(East Los Angeles, CA) [From The Editor’s Desk]: The Los Angeles Rams have started their Organized Team Activities (OTA)s for the upcoming 2023 season that included a Monday morning, 4/17, major press availability at the team’s Cal Lutheran University training facility.
First up on the docket was the acclaimed and Super Bowl LVI winning Quarterback, Matthew Stafford, who started his press conference at 10:00 am. Here’s where our Rams fans can pick up on all of the latest news connected to the 2023 Organized Team Activities (OTA)s.
Give a good read on the session and learn what Rams returning QB, Matthew Stafford had to say on a wide-range of important topics that he addressed while taking questions from the media outlets in attendance. Stafford was followed at 12:00 noon by teammates RB/Cam Akers, DL/Marquise Copeland, and LB/Ernest Jones, for their 12:00 pm media availability session.
Rams Transcripts – QB Matthew Stafford – 4/17
(On what the schedule looks like for phase one of OTAs)…“Yeah, meetings this morning. Heard from (Head Coach) Sean (McVay), heard from (Offensive Coordinator) Mike (LaFleur), just kind of what we want to be about this year and also some formations and all that kind of fun stuff. And then heading to a workout here in a little bit. Pretty typical phase one schedule, but excited to be back in the building and see everybody.”
(On what McVay said to the team in the meeting this morning)…“I’ll kind of keep that between us, but it’s the same kinds of things. You want use this time, phase one specifically, to kind of just build your team, what you want to be about as individuals, how you want to work, how you want to come together collectively. Obviously, we know we’re going to have a bunch of new teammates come the draft and all that kind of stuff as well. So being able to kind of ingratiate those guys, bring those guys in as quickly as we possibly can. But at this time of the year, it’s very physical. Alright, what are we doing out there on the field? What are we doing in the weight room? All that kind of stuff to kind of get yourself ready to go. And at the same time, learning the basics of what we’re going to be on offense, what we’re going to be on defense, special teams, all those kinds of things. This is day one stuff and (I’m) just trying to enjoy that process and understand that it’s about building that foundation, starts today, and we go from there.”
(On if there was any question or talk about his future with the team during the offseason)…“I felt really confident I was coming back. I feel like more people were less confident in that than I was. But no, I was ready to go, ready to play as soon as I was cleared and I feel great, feel healthy, and I’m not 25 but I definitely feel good.”
(On how he was able to prepare mentally coming off the injury last season and move forward to the upcoming season)…“Yeah, I think like everybody that plays this game, you got to take some time away just to kind of relax and reset. (I’ve) spent a lot of days in my life in a practice facility somewhere, either here or in Detroit, and so you got to take that time to kind of be away from it so that when you do come back, days like today or days like the first day of training camp, whenever that is, that you are truly really excited and ready to go, which I am at this point. So I think that’s the biggest thing. Just take some time and get ready to go.”
(On what makes him confident that the Rams are a place he could stay and be successful long-term)…“Well, I love being here. I really love playing with the guys that we have in this locker room, obviously there’s going to be new faces. There are some great teammates of mine that are no longer going to be teammates of mine through this offseason. I understand that it’s part of the business. But I love coming to work here. I love working with our coaches and getting the opportunity to play with some of the guys that we play with. So that made that decision easy for me. And like you said, I didn’t feel like it was the same kind of level and that’s yet to be seen. Every season is different, and we will see who our new teammates are going to be and we’ll go from there.”
(On if he can confirm Sean’s message at league meetings that he is a ‘full go’ for offseason workouts and if he can describe what that will look like for him)…“Yeah, definitely I’ll be out there. I’ve been throwing with the guys a decent amount leading up to this. So I feel good. Obviously going to do everything I can to try to be as healthy as I can at all times. Not probably a human jugs machine like I used to be, but (I) can still get it out there and throw it around a bunch. So it’ll be a process as it always is to try and stay as healthy as you possibly can at all times. But I definitely feel like I can go out there and compete and do everything I want to do which is fun and exciting for me.”
(On if he can expand on what he went through with his elbow injury last season and how he feels now)…“I’m not going to talk too much about what used to be or how I used to feel or anything like that. All I know is that I put a lot of work and time into trying to feel as good as I can for right now. I do feel about as good as I can for right now and it’s exciting for me. So it was a lot of hard work, some tough times, and (I’m) just excited to be where I am right now.”
(On having a longer offseason than last year and what he and Head Coach Sean McVay can add to the playbook that they weren’t able to add last year)…“I think there’s plenty to be talked about when it comes to ideas and formations and plays and whatever that is as far as building plays on offense. I think maybe the part that I’m more excited about and is more fun for me is just being able to be as refreshed as I am coming back into this building. Just building the relationships with coaches, players, whoever it is. Just being able to spend time with those guys, be in a good head space as far as how I’m feeling, what I’m able to accomplish when I’m here, all those kinds of things. That puts me in a good mood, gets me excited to be here and kind of helps me make sure that my attitude, my energy level is at the correct place every single time I come in here, and I feel like it’s there right now.”
(On if his energy level and attitude was different at this time last year)…“Well, I wasn’t able to do much and that’s frustrating for me. Wasn’t able to do much. Obviously, it was a long season the year before, a great one, had a ton of success, but I wasn’t able to do what I wanted to do. We handed the ball off on every play or whatever. I didn’t throw all offseason. That’s kind of frustrating for a guy that likes to do that so it’s kind of nice that I’ll be able to go out there and have a much more normal offseason experience and be able to be out there and do what I love to do.”
(On what he saw from RB Cam Akers towards the end of last season and what he is looking to build off of with him heading into this year)…“It was an interesting perspective being on the sideline at the end of the year watching him. I thought he did an unbelievable job setting the tone in the run game for us. He was running physical, making big plays, doing all the things we really needed him to do. (I’m) looking for him to continue to build off of that. Obviously he had a massive injury the year before and was able to get himself back there late, but I think you talk to guys that have had those injuries, it’s the more time the better. You’d love to see that surge at the end of the year continue into this year, and that’s going to take hard work. I’ve been in here working out on and off for a while now. I see him every time I’m in here so that’s a good thing for me to see.”
(On if his physical limitations last offseason affected him and the offense during the season)…“I don’t know. I just know for me, the more reps that I can get live the better I’m going to be. I think if you ask a lot of guys in our locker room, they probably feel the same way. I’ll let that be my answer. I think that the more time that we can spend together operating as a unit, the better we can be.”
(On this offseason being quieter than previous years and if management discusses with him what the offseason plans are)…“I’ve been doing this going on 15 years now and I’ve been a part of all sorts of offseasons. Some that were quiet like this that turned into really good years, some that were really loud, like maybe two years ago, that turned into not so good years. What matters is the games that we play in September and October and all that through the season. This time of year, there can be a lot of noise and a lot of people writing about a lot of things and it’s understandable. This is a yearlong business, the NFL nowadays. I understand that you guys have things to talk about and it’s all part of it, but for me it’s just, okay, who do we have in the building? Let’s go to work with those guys, let’s enjoy it. Let’s find a way to be better every single day, and if I can do that and lead that way, I think we’re going to be better for it. But it’s different every single year. As far as talking with those guys, I’m in communication with Sean (McVay) all the time. Not to say that I know every single thing that’s going on behind closed doors, but they do a great job of communicating with me.”
(On what he can do to make sure that the offense is clicking heading into the season if Allen Robinson remains on the team)…“I definitely think just trying to find as many things that we can to get better at. That’s me, that’s him, that’s everybody just trying to find ways to go about our work and get better. I think obviously as many reps as I possibly can get with him is going to help us out, just like everybody on our roster. Finding creative ways to get guys in position to be successful. That’s the name of the game in this business and we’ll continue to do that with whoever is on our team. (I) love playing with Allen, hopefully get chances to play with him more, and we’ll go from there.” ###