(East Los Angeles, CA) July 24, 2022 [From The Editor’s Desk]: For all of our established Rams fans, and those who are just coming on-board with us here on East L.A. Sports Scene, the catch-phrase of “Watch out!” is ringing out very loud as the new season gradually approaches us all. And, here comes the Los Angeles Rams “run it back” season of 2022-2023 and it promises to be a fan’s delight thanks in large part to the fantastic Home schedule and all of the accompanying game-day promotions that go along with each date. The reigning Super Bowl LVI Champions, representing our wonderful and supportive City of the Angels plus the home of SoFi Stadium, located in the City of Champions, Inglewood, CA, are coming out with a fresher and an even stronger look than last year’s championship team.
But first, let’s hear from the Coach himself as we offer you the full transcript of his recent media question and answer session. It’s a deep, but in-depth read about how he has been preparing for the upcoming season and the Training Camp which is just days away.
Los Angeles Rams Transcripts – Head Coach Sean McVay – July 22, 2022
Head Coach Sean McVay
(On if he has his ring on)…“My hand? No. My ring, we left it on shortly. I felt like it was almost too nice to even wear. Last night was a really special night to be able to celebrate what’s definitely the most special year I’ve been a part of in coaching. You know it really is all about the people and you’re reminded of what was right about our team. There was a purpose, but most importantly, they wanted to play for each other and different things like that and to be able to celebrate that, it was a really special thing. I also think it was kind of good timing because now it represents, ‘Let’s turn the page. Let’s not minimize what a great year last year was but that’s not going to have anything to do with this year. And so, I know our players and coaches are really excited about getting going, attacking things one day at a time and with that I’ll let you guys start with questions.”
(On whether there are any players on the PUP (Physically Unable To Perform) list heading into Training Camp)…“I’m going to get with Reggie (Scott) and his group really right after this but just with the dialogue we’ve had, Travin Howard is a guy that, he actually pulled his groin pretty good doing some training on his own. May or may not require surgery, but he’s a guy that would definitely be a candidate for PUP. Other than that, there is nobody that really comes right to mind.”
(On if Jalen Ramsey could be placed on the PUP ...“The thing with Jalen is you want to see what the timetable is because there are some parameters where you lose the ability to do certain things you might want to, but that is definitely going to be a topic we will discuss this afternoon. But he’s doing good. He’s been attacking the rehab the right way, he’s feeling good. You know when we did do that surgery on him, obviously, most importantly was how he felt about it, but then with the goal in mind of, ‘Alright attack the rehab the right way and most importantly be ready for September 8 ready to go.’ So we will be smart about that progress for him.
(On what he needs to see from Jalen Ramsey to be ready for September 8)…“I think it’s going to be a long process but a lot of it is the feedback from him and then when he has to really use that shoulder, just some of the different things where it’s stressed. It’s hard to really simulate some of those things because you don’t ever really go live in practice settings, but I think a lot of it will depend on how he is feeling and then obviously the doctors giving him a full clearance.”
(On the status of his contract extension)…“We are in a good place. I think the goal in mind, you guys talked to Kevin (Demoff) about that, was myself and Les (Snead) being a pair. When you get that thing finalized, you guys will know. But I feel really good about the direction that’s going in and I think it’ll be something where it’ll be me and Les and you guys will know when that is finalized for us.”
(On if he anticipates it happening before the season opener)…“I wouldn’t want to put a timetable on it, but I’d say more than likely. But again, these things can kind of drag on as we all know but I do feel really good about the direction and all the conversations that have been had as it relates to myself and Les.”
(On going into the season being defending champs)…“I think every team, if you are performing at a high level, has a target on their back, if you will. That is something you are not naïve to because we won last year, but I think a lot of these teams know it’s a brand-new year. We won it last year but everybody is undefeated now so we are just going to take the right steps one day at a time. I think you embrace the opportunity to be somebody that people care about covering. That is a thing we always enjoy. We talk about it all the time, pressure is a privilege, but I think we got the right kind of guys that have the humility and understand that that confidence is earned every single day by the way they work.”
(On coming off a short offseason and the goal for Training Camp)…“I think a lot of it is predicated on once we get the guys in here tomorrow and then start to really work with them, getting a feel for how their bodies are recovering. It’s about 160 days or so since we had played. You do want to be smart because there was a lot of guys that were banged up. But the goal to me really when you look at it, and we always talk about it and it will pretty much remain the same, we want to be able to establish our culture, our football philosophy and most importantly, come together as a team. And then our job as coaches, as it relates to that process and planning, is making sure that we get our guys healthy and ready to go for September 8. There is a lot of things that take place in between then. We are going to be one day at a time, but you guys know how we approach the preseason. It’s a great opportunity for a lot of younger guys to get to compete in full-speed settings, but those guys that you project as people we are counting on, nothing is changing. We’re not playing them in the preseason. That’s kind of what we believe. It might not be for everybody, but that’s what we feel is best for our team.”
(On if Matthew Stafford is going to throw at the start of camp)…“He’s feeling good. He’s been able to do a lot of things over the last handful of weeks, even since we’ve been off. I think with a veteran player, anyone of his magnitude or really with the amount of experience, you want to be smart with following some pitch counts and different things like that. He is going to be ready to go, but we will be smart with what that workload looks like within our four- and three-day work week increments.”
(On Stafford being irritated he couldn’t throw in OTAs and how he goes about managing a shoulder procedure with a veteran quarterback) …“Pleasantly irritated? No, he was freaking irritated… In a lot of instances with somebody that has accumulated his much experience, you really rely heavily on the feedback he’s giving. He’s so tough and he pushed through so much in terms of that thing nagging him throughout the year, but he will never use that as a crutch or an excuse. I think that’s just who he is and how he’s wired as a competitor. He wants it to feel better but he is going to be able to work through it. I think his ability to communicate it to us, working with Reggie (Scott), is going to be an instrumental part in him feeling good for September 8 like we talked about. Just like great shooters and pitchers, quarterbacks need to throw. You have to be able to get that work in and no matter how great you are, like Matthew is, those reps do matter and you want to be able to accumulate them the right way. The offseason was different than anything else and I think because of the amount of injuries really for our team, or guys that had corrective surgeries, we wanted to be intentional about really focusing on how do we walk-through, how do we digest the foundations of our systems offensively and defensively and on special teams the right way, and then how can we teach these guys the drill. It’s going to feel very different, as you guys know, once we start getting into these competitive settings. There still will be a progressive buildup to that, but we are expecting to see some real football, 11-on-11 action on Sunday, even though it is in the acclimation phase, if you will, still.”
(On why it has been so long for a repeat champion and how to solve that issue)…“I think it’s because of the competitiveness of this league. So many things have to go right. We can be a better team this year and I think we’ve got a chance to do that, and it might not mean we win a Super Bowl because there are a lot of things that take place throughout the course of a game where a bounce of a ball here or, you know, certain things that are out of your control. But I think being able to stay healthy, focus on the controllables, and then really how do we have, whatever the event is, how do we have appropriate responses that then can affect the outcome in a positive way for us. It’s the cliché thing but I think it really has served us well and I truly believe it in my heart that, ‘Hey we aren’t worried about winning a Super Bowl today, we are worried about stacking blocks the right way so that we can peak on September 8 and then be ready to adapt or adjust accordingly as we navigate the 17 games in the regular season.’”
(On concern about Super Bowl hangover) …“No, I think what I have respect for is how competitive this league is. So, whether it’s a hangover – to me what that entails, is guys think they are better than they are. They stop working the right way, complacency sets in, and the previous success you think has anything to do with your future success. We got the right kind of guys in our locker room, the right kind of coaches that are intrinsically motivated. They care about each other enough that they don’t want to let each other down, so I don’t worry about that. But what I do think is all those experiences have been valuable information to gather on and how do you avoid some of those pitfalls with the things that I can control as a coach. How do we make sure we are contining to stay ahead of the curve from a standpoint emphasizing the types of guys that we want in our locker room that embody that mental and physical toughness. And so there’s so much that goes into it – 9 and 7 there was a lot of teams – there was some characteristic things in that 2019 year that you alluded to, but I don’t think that had anything to do with guys not wanting to do it the right way. We just didn’t come up with the results and there was a lot of reasons for that, but the hangover no. I think the respect for the competitiveness of this league from the players and the coaches absolutely, and that’s why you know you earn that confidence.”
(On concern about his reaction to opening the Super Bowl Ring last night) …“Probably had too much to drink before then to really be able to tell you. But a no I’ll tell you what, I had seen pictures of it before and in person, just blown away by it. Really, I’m glad you asked about that, because credit to Jason at Beverly Hills and his group they did such a great job. Really [VP of Football and Business Administration] Tony Pastoors was instrumental really facilitating a really smooth process. It was a great night. It’s one of those deals. It’s like wearing a trophy so this thing is something you will always cherish, but I don’t know how often we’ll be able to wear it.”
(On concern about future culture of the team without Andrew Whitworth) …“Andrew is a special guy. He means so much to me for so many different reasons, but I think what he has done is done a great job of setting an example where guys can still be themselves. You know, we don’t need [OL] Rob Havenstein to be Andrew Whitworth. We want Rob Havenstein to be Rob Havenstein and he’s got a great compacity to be a leader. Veteran player that’s played at a really high level. I think you are going to see guys like [OL] David Edwards and [OL] Brian Allen continue to take steps in the right direction. [OL] Coleman Sheldon’s played a lot of really good football for us, and then I’m really excited about [OL] Joseph Noteboom. I think he’s had a great off-season whenever he’s played he’s really played at a high level and we’re going to see how the other spots are going to be competed for unfold, but Rob is a guy and there’s other guys that have great leadership compacity and I think it’s about that entire room and [Offensive Line Coach Kevin] Carberry does an excellent job as well.”
(On concern about fans and the work that will be done to expand the fan base)…Yeah, well I think you want to be great ambassadors for the community, but the way our guys play and perform I think as a team that people enjoy. There’s a joy, there’s a connection, there’s a comradery you know when you listen to the things like mic’d up games. You can’t fake the way these guys enjoy each other, and I think people are drawn to that. And so our job is to put out the best product and to have the right kinds of people that handle themselves the right way on the field and off the field and I think that attracts people to want to be apart of it. We’re going to continue to work as hard as we possibly can to do that.”
(On concern about expectation for younger players taking a step forward this season)...“I think all of them. I think everybody has to be able to get better. There’s certain guys I’m excited about the way that they approach the off-season you know taking steps in the right direction. The guys that come to mind are [DB] Robert Rochell, [WR] TuTu Atwell – you guys have heard me talk about, but there’s a lot of guys that have done really good things and so to single anybody out, that’s the whole point of camp which we’re really excited about is seeing some of these competitions unfold, see some of these guys best of their ability and whether that’s first year second year or guys going in to their 10th year. We want to see guys take steps in the right direction, so we can be the best team we can possibly be.”
(On concern about his two rings this offseason and how different he is because of it) …“So that’s a tricky question. It might get me in trouble. No, you know what I feel like I’ve been married because we’ve been engaged for so long and had to put it off thanks to COVID. But I couldn’t have asked for a better wife and the support. I don’t think its by coincidence that so many things have gone well in my life since she came into my life. She’s such a steading force for me. She’s got such a sweet nature and disposition, but also just an amazing ability to be able to keep me in line if you will. So I love her so much. You know then being able to go through that. You talk about the things really that matter the most in your personal life, being able to kind of celebrate that with people you care about and your professional life so they both have been very special in different ways.”
(On concern about the offense being explosive this season) …“That’s the goal. You know I think for us the goal is to always be explosive and efficient, and I think we have to be much more efficient running the football. There’s a lot of things we did do well especially throwing the football to create some of those explosives, but there’s a lot of stuff that when you go back and look there’s improvement to be had. You don’t minimize how tough these defense structures are and the landscape of the league and where that’s going, but I do expect us to be better. That’s always the goal. That’s why you work at it the way that you do. We don’t have the kind of guys I worry about complacency setting in but if you’re explosive and you stop explosives on defense that’s a huge indicator of winning and losing games in this league and it’s going to be a huge point of emphasis for us again.
(On concern WR Cooper Kupp being smart with his body) …He’s so conscientious that you know he understands that, and I think whether it’s him or a guy like [DL] Aaron Donald it’s understanding the sports science and educating them that you aren’t being lazy by letting your body recover. So, I think he really has a great feel on how to work smart, work hard but work efficiently. I think that’s really one of the goals we try to educate our guys on, but when you have people that are as consciences as you talked about with Cooper, he kind of figures it out. He’s so smart, he’s got a plan in place, but he’s also so interested in learning and acquiring knowledge and that’s what the best people in any walk of life that you meet are. They are never ending learners. They are always trying to find the way. Even if I’m at the top of my game how can I continue to do things better over a sustained period of time. Coopers always taken that approach and so he’s very aware and understands that even if he knows he wants to naturally work and grind himself down, but he’s very smart about that.”
(On concern about ESPYS) …“Yeah very touched. I think when you see that what a great ambassador just like [President of Ukraine Volodymyr] Zelenskyy’s leadership. I think those two guys embody their culture. Where they fight for something – you just see the passion, the purpose behind really defending your country in a way those people have rallied in what everybody thought would be a quick thing, and they’ve stood their ground they are really a mentally tough group of people. That’s part of my family now so it was touching and very well deserved and I think what you see – I’ve always been a big leader of no such thing as bad teams only bad leaders. I think the leadership that you’re seeing from Zelenskyy and people like [Former Ukrainian Boxer Wladimir] Klitschko was such a great reflection on what makes that country so special.” –RAMS–