(East Los Angeles, CA) [From The Editor’s Desk]: The Rams Training Camp was recently abuzz when reports of an incident regarding its young Super Star and All-Pro wide receiver, Cooper Kupp, came to light. Head Coach, Sean McVay, then directly addressed that and several other important personnel situations during his customary press conference held after practice at Cal Lutheran University.
There were many sighs of relief in, and outside of camp as news spread very quickly. There were of course, lots of immediate and continued concerns, first for his overall health, and second in order, for his appearing in the Rams opening season road game against the Seattle Seahawks on 9/10 in the Emerald City.
This is the best time to become better informed as Rams fans, as well as a good location to read all about it directly from his Head Coach, Sean McVay via his recorded transcript.
[Rams Transcripts – Head Coach Sean McVay – 8/31]
(On if everything is OK with WR Cooper Kupp)…“Yeah, he got a little muscle strain so we’re kind of taking it day by day with him.”
(On if it’s his hamstring),,,“It is, yeah.”
(On if he would call it a setback)… “I would probably call it a setback. Yeah, I think that’s fair to say.”
(On how Kupp’s injury impacts things going into Week 1)…“I think we just take it a day at a time right now. We’ll see, we want to be able to get him back right. We’re obviously a much better team when he’s available, but in his absence over the last handful of months he’s been out there leading in the way that he can. But those guys at the receiver position have really done a good job of continuing to develop and we’ll see. Hopefully we’ll know exactly kind of when he’s back as soon as possible, but (I) do have a lot of confidence in the depth that’s been developed in that room. And coach (Wide Receivers) (Eric) Yarber and Coach (Pass Game Specialist) (Jake) Peetz and Coach (Offensive Assistant) (K.J.) Black have done a great job there.”
(On if he would expect him to be ready for Week 1 against the Seahawks) …“I think we’re taking it a day at a time right now.”
(On if soft tissue injuries are something to be extra cautious with)…“Yeah, it’s just tricky because there’s the one thing I’ve heard (Head Team Physician) Neal ElAttrache say this before, ‘There’s a difference between return to play and return to performance.’ And we want return to performance for Cooper Kupp and we know how special of a player, special of a person he is. And so we want to make sure that we’re smart with that and getting him back to feeling like the Cooper Kupp that we all know and that he’s able to play the way that he’s capable of and whenever that is, whether that be September 10th or not we’ll continue to monitor that and control what we can control.”
(On if Kupp’s role would be filled with a committee approach or if he has someone in mind)…“I think you just mentioned the guys that have really continued to step up and (WR) Ben Skowronek is another guy that can play a lot of different spots. (WR) Demarcus Robinson has really done a nice job of continuing to get more and more comfortable. He’s a guy that’s played a lot of snaps in this league and so it might be different in terms of, how do we really activate our players that we feel like are best fit to be able to try to attack an excellent tough defense and a team that we know is going to be ready to go? So we got a little bit of time. We’re going to use these next 72 hours to really be able to kind of get our ducks in a row, figure that out, and then hopefully have a great week of preparation starting on Monday for the Seahawks.”
(On what went into signing K Brett Maher) …“Brett’s a guy that’s got a lot of production, over 90% for his career and I think he’s done it for a while. (I) thought (Special Teams Coordinator) Chase (Blackburn) and coach (Asst. Special Teams) (Jeremy) Springer did a great job of kind of vetting a lot of the different possibilities and options that could occur. Really grateful for (K) Tanner (Brown’s) contributions. (It) didn’t go the way that we wanted, but Brett Maher is a guy that’s done it at a high level. It’s good to be able to get him out here today and get acclimated. You don’t take for granted, everybody just thinks on the kicker, but the snap and the hold and those three really developing a continuity and a rapport is important and I was really pleased with the way the operation looked in day one. It’s great to have (LB) Troy Reeder back too, to be able to get Troy Reeder back with us, a guy that we all know and love. And he certainly has made a comfortable transition back in here in a couple days. And the language is very familiar with him and another familiar face. So those are two new faces that were with us today. And glad to have both those guys and then (OL) Kevin Dotson a couple days ago.”
(On being voted captain by his teammates what that says about the character of (DB) Jordan Fuller)…“He’s a special person. I think it’s the epitome… the coolest thing about all of those guys, and we’ve got a lot of guys that are capable leaders and that could be considered captains in their own right, but these are guys that are leaders. They elevate people and situations that they’re a part of. And Jordan’s consistency, his commitment to his teammates, his commitment to trying to be the best that he can possibly be, his ability to be able to handle a lot of good, but also some of the challenging times with just a steady, even keeled demeanor. Anybody that’s been around him, you can’t help but root for him. And this goes back to being a couple time captain at Ohio State. I can remember (former Ohio State co-defensive coordinator) Jeff Hafley talking about him. And he is like one of those guys that you say, ‘I’m going to bet on him to be able to figure it out.’ And I’ve gotten to know his uncle who was our team pastor in Washington, Brett Fuller. He is an incredibly special man. It’s a special family. And it’s awesome to see Jordan be recognized by his peers and what’s an incredibly special honor, but it’s a credit to the work and the consistency that he’s put in and I love seeing things like that occur.”
(On if he has learned anything about different types of leadership styles through DB Jordan Fuller)…“Yeah, I think he’s authentically himself. I think the number one thing that people feel is, are you being yourself? He’s so steady, so consistent, he’s refreshingly secure in who he is and what his natural personality is, but he connects with guys. He’s one of those guys, in a lot of instances, this can be sometimes transactional and he’s a transformational type of person where he wants to get to know guys. He’s invested in them, but then he’s also totally invested in football and his communication, especially playing the safety position in our defense, is immensely important to us. He was a guy that from the jump when he got here a couple years ago in 2020, truly earned a role. Last year was really a challenging year only because of some of the things that were outside of his control. (I) loved the way that he approached the offseason. He’s back healthy, he’s moving around really well, and I wasn’t at all surprised to see the recognition from his teammates just based on how he is with them and how they respond to him.”
(On the value that WR Ben Skowronek brings to the special teams unit)…“I think somebody that knows how important that is for the overall team success, a guy that can play in a variety of spots on different phases of special teams. He could be a PP (Punt Protector), he could be a gunner, he can be in different locations on both of the return units, he can be a significant part of the coverage units on kickoff cover. He’s embraced that role, but then he’s also a guy that has a lot of experience making plays in a variety of roles as a receiver playing all over the formation offensively. So again, another great recognition of a guy that’s been putting in the work, done a great job. It was incredibly important to him the way that he comes out and attacks his opportunities with special teams and when your teammates recognize that, I think that’s more important than anything else and that’s what you’re always striving for. I was really happy for Ben, really happy for all of those guys.”
(On the status of OL Joe Noteboom and how he looks at right guard)…“He looks good. He looks good. He’s getting comfortable and he’s taken a lot of snaps throughout the course of his career at tackle. He has started at left guard for us, he’s started at right tackle. He’s got the ability to play outside or inside, but he’s really done a nice job at the guard position. I think he’s still continuing to fine tune some of those things, but you can see the overall athleticism, the feel, the ability to be able to bend, the ability to be able to recover in both phases, and it’s great to be able to see Joe come out here. He’s put a lot in, even just to recover from the Achilles injury last year, and even just talking to him in the training room before. He’s got a good look in his eye, just being able to get out here and compete with his teammates. Again, another guy I’m happy to see back out here and hopefully we can continue on this trajectory.”