(East Los Angeles, CA) [From The Editor’s Desk]: The Friday, 1/6 transcripts feature Head Coach Sean McVay and Jalen Ramsey as they addressed the #1 sports topic in the NFL, and quite possibly in our country…the day-to-day condition of Buffalo Bills safety, Damar Hamlin.
The newest Doctors’ reports now show some very welcomed and very positive improvement in his recovery process from the terrifying incident/accident he was a part of on January 2nd. As of Friday, 1/6, he was taken off the ventilator and later appeared on a “Zoom” call with his Head Coach Sean McDermott and the entire team as they prepared for their game on Sunday.
In their transcripts Coach McVay and Ramsey also address the team’s final game of the season against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. We invite all of our Rams fans and followers to get updates by giving our posting a good read.
Rams Transcripts: Head Coach Sean McVay & Defensive Back Jalen Ramsey
–Head Coach Sean McVay–
(Opening remarks) …“First of all, amazing news on (Bills S) Damar (Hamlin) and God is good. Just so happy to hear that he’s making the progress he’s making. To be able to hear that he was able to speak to the team and some of the things that are a representation of great progress is an amazing thing. So happy to hear that for so many people, himself, his family, (the) Bills’ community, and all those guys.
As far as the injuries are concerned, (OC) Brian Allen will be out for the game. (DT) Aaron Donald will be out for the game. (S) Nick Scott will be out. He had his shoulder injured yesterday, that was something that ended up occurring. You talk about a guy that’s been a stud in so many ways for our football team as a leader, as a player, so it’s unfortunate that his shoulder won’t allow him to finish up this year but can’t say enough good things about Nick Scott. And then (WR) Ben Skowronek will be out for the game as well.”
(On if Nick Scott’s injury was related to the stinger he took against the Chargers or if it was separate) …“Separate.”
(On if DT Greg Gaines will be available against the Seahawks) …“He’s going to go.”
(On if he has heard from anybody in Detroit about the playoff implications this week) …“I have not but our goal, we want to try to be able to go put together a good performance, try to win the game. That’d be a good thing to then be able to watch Sunday Night Football and see those two duke it out for who gets in. But it’s going to be a great challenge and a lot of things that our guys want to be able to do to finish this season up on the right note so looking forward to Sunday against what we know is a great opponent.”
(On who will start at safety in place of Nick Scott against the Seahawks) …“(S) Russ Yeast.”
(On if he expects DB Quentin Lake to get any playing time against the Seahawks) …“I do, yeah. There’ll be some different things. He’s done a really good job and so it’ll be good to be able to get a chance to look at both those guys.”
(On handing out team awards today and what that process is like with showing appreciation to some of the players) …“It’s always something that’s good. Usually, you like to do that a little bit later on and know that you have some football left. This has kind of been out of the norm as we know, but the team votes on it. When your teammates vote on certain awards, I think that is a huge honor. MVP was (LB) Bobby Wagner voted on by his teammates. Rookie of the Year, (DB) Cobie Durant. And then you look at the Spirit of the Game (award), which is the commitment, kind of the leadership, some of those types of things, (OL) Rob Havenstein and then the Ed Block Courage Award, (DB) Jordan Fuller. All of those guys incredibly deserving and I think it’s a huge deal when your teammates vote on that, really special. Everybody was happy for those guys when we recognized them this morning.”
(On if it’s exciting to have younger players get more playing time to end the season) …“It’s been good. It’s been a really good look and a chance to be able to look at these guys, get a good evaluation, and really I think you’ve seen a lot of guys continue to improve with opportunities that maybe we didn’t anticipate them having. I think it’s going to serve them well for their futures and that has been a positive thing in spite of everything we’ve gone through.”
(On what he has seen from QB Baker Mayfield and what he wants to see from him in potentially his final game with the Rams) …“He said it this morning it’s been a month since he got here and it’s been an incredible month. It’s been amazing all the things that he’s been able to do in a short amount of time, building relationships with his teammates, getting familiar with the way that we operate on a day-to-day basis, and taking over and doing a lot of really good things on the field. I just want to see him be able to go out and play the way that he’s capable of, one play at a time, be in the moment. But I’ve really enjoyed the time. It seems like there’s been a lot of things that we’ve done in a month, but he’s been a great guy to be around. He’s got a swagger, he’s got a confidence, he’s an incredibly smart player, got the ability to be able to bring people with him, and I’ve really learned a lot about him and been so impressed. Just really like our whole team but with Baker, I want to see these guys go play the best that they’re capable of and end this season on a good performance, which I fully believe he’s capable of.”
(On how RB Cam Akers has been able to improve as the season has progressed) …“I think Cam would be able to tell you that. I think it’s really about opportunities and then I think what you can see is when you maximize and capitalize on those opportunities, that confidence can compound. And he’s playing really well, he’s playing confident. I don’t know if there’s anything that you could really say as much as even some of the body mannerisms and just the way that he carries himself, the way that he’s able to get in and out of things, staying grounded and playing underneath himself, working edges on people. He’s played really well and I think that’s elevated guys around him. But I think Cam would be able to answer that question better than me.”
(On if there is any effect between coaching turnover and developing mid-to-late-round draft picks) …“I think that everybody that’s a part of this has a huge impact and you don’t want to minimize. So anytime that you lose great people, whether it be players or coaches, I think there’s impacts that are absolutely felt. You don’t take for granted the amount of time that’s spent to be able to try to really incorporate people into the way that we do things, and those players or coaches that you talked about were vital parts of a lot of the things that have been good, so you don’t minimize. To say exactly how you measure that is tough, but it’s always about people. That’ll never change, whether that be players, coaches, staff members, anytime that you lose really valuable people, there are challenges that are accompanied with that. I don’t know if that’s kind of what you’re asking or not.”
(On if coaches leaving for other opportunities affect the development of younger players that they helped identify with scouts in the scouting process) …“Really challenging, and it is because there are prototypes and then it’s an evolving thing based on what we need and how we want to be able to operate because in a lot of instances, there might be a core philosophy that we have on offense, defense and special teams, but those identities shift based on the players that are in the key roles and how that alters or adjusts the way that you want to be able to maximize those guy’s skill sets. It’s a big deal and I think what you especially felt too is the amount of turnover when there’s so little time given the fact that you’ll never hear me complain about finishing later, but there’s less time to be able to do those types of things to onboard people the right way. And then to even really, just for myself, to evaluate what is the identity of it? Then you add on the injuries, and everybody deals with different injuries, and then this has been something that will be a great learning opportunity for us as we move forward. But there is no question about it that those have posed some challenges, but it doesn’t excuse any reason not to be operating at a high standard. I don’t want to make that kind of a crutch, if you will.”
(On if ending the season before playoffs helps with filling vacant coaching positions as a result of coaching turnover)…“It’s a good question. I mean you have more time, so that certainly helps. But I think the biggest thing is there’s a lot of different things that you have to navigate and kind of manage through and what I’ve tried to do, easier said than done, is really just focus on let’s be here right now, let’s get through the season, and then there’s a plethora of different things that you have to be able to work through. But anytime that you have more time and then there’s possible more options available, that is a positive thing. I can remember even when I was first able to get this job, there were a lot of coaches that I was fortunate enough to be able to get on the staff because our season in Washington ended up a little bit sooner. Then you look at going through, whether it be with (Bengals Head Coach) Zac Taylor or (Vikings Head Coach) Kevin O’Connell and them navigating and negotiating through coaching all the way up into the Super Bowl and then putting together a staff, I’ve seen that there are some challenges and maybe less options available just based on the timing of things.”
(On how Lions QB Jared Goff has played this season and being on the verge of making the playoffs) …“He’s played really well. You see when you watch around the league, their offense has been outstanding. He’s been at the switch playing with great timing, anticipation, great recognition. I think he’s done a phenomenal job. (Lions Offensive Coordinator) Ben Johnson deserves a ton of credit and (Lions Head) Coach (Dan) Campbell. I’ve really been impressed just watching the way that they’ve operated offensively. Obviously the quarterback is a key and critical part and it’s great to be able to see a great guy in Jared and he’s playing at a really high level, which we’ve seen him do that here as well.”
(On the challenges of the season and if he has questioned if he wants to continue coaching) …“No, I don’t know if you necessarily look at it like that as much as just I am going to be open and honest about the things because you care so much. It’s being able to be honest with those things. I think that acknowledgement helps me work through it. It doesn’t mean that it changes the passion and the love that you have for it, but to sit up here and say that this hasn’t been challenging because so much of it is predicated on, like even the comment that I made the other day when the question was asked, we’re charged with trying to be able to win football games. That doesn’t mean that I feel like a failure. It means that we haven’t lived up to the expectations. There’s a lot of reasons for that, but it doesn’t change your passion, your competitiveness, but it’s all about using these experiences to shape you, make you more whole, and then to be able to apply the appropriate perspective. Until you go through these things, you can always try to imagine, or you can read about it and different things like that, but until you actually go through it, which I can speak from experience now, it’s different. But when you’re around the right kinds of people, it’s absolutely something that is going to strengthen you and I feel like it’s made us a lot stronger in the midst of this and that’s why I’m looking forward to finishing this up the right way.”
(On being pursued for broadcasting jobs given the public speculation and how he navigates knowing that players can see the speculation)…“I think it’s flattering. I think you said it best, these are always going to be things that you kind of anticipate and expect that are going to come up because I haven’t run away from the fact that down the line or whenever that is, that’s something that I’ve been interested in. But kind of like what I was saying earlier, I want to be here right now, focus on that, and that’s where I’m at.”
–Defensive Back, Jalen Ramsey–
(On what it was like processing Buffalo Bills Safety/Damar Hamlin’s incident on Monday night and what his thoughts are now)…“I was just praying for him, hoping that he would get better and he has and (I) continue to pray for him and stuff like that. Obviously, everybody’s affected by it, the other players on both teams, families, really anybody involved with it. But my feelings and emotions about it were hoping that he was okay, but also, it’s kind of what we signed up for is knowing everything that could happen. Yeah, my childhood best friend, he died on the football field back at Tennessee State, (William) Wayne Jones Jr. , back in 2013. So since then, I’ve always kind of had the perspective of it could happen and every time I go out there and practice, game, whatever, I’m at peace with taking that risk with my life. That was kind of the only thing that I remember at that time in 2013, the only thing that really gave me a sense of peace about that was he died doing what he loved to do. And I don’t want to see that obviously for anybody, so I’m glad that’s not the situation here. But for me personally, that’s always been something that I can live with that. Lord forbid, I could go drive today and people in LA don’t know how to drive in the rain and something could happen to me. So I’m going to keep going, keep living my life in the way that I do and do things that I love to do.”
(On if he can emphasize with how the Bills players are processing this trauma after he went through a similar situation with his childhood friend)…“Yeah, I can, but everybody goes through things differently so it’s very individualized how people take things like that. And me personally, I just take things as they are. I can’t personally do anything about it but pray on situations, that’s with anything in life. So that’s just how I am regardless. To me, it wasn’t like a completely new feeling for me in terms of…I hate seeing injuries or anything happen to anybody on the field because that was severe. That was insane, right? But I feel that same way when anybody gets injured. Just two weeks ago when (Los Angeles Chargers S) Derwin (James) got a concussion and he came up wobbling, I immediately was like, ‘Get him out of the game,’ and texting him and making sure he was going to be good. Like I said, I saw my childhood best friend, he died on the field. I’ve seen concussions, I’ve seen people get paralyzed, I’ve seen it kind of all, just the risk we take playing the game that we love and it can alter our lives in the way that we live our lives going on from this point on. But still, each day I’ll still make the decision to go do what I love and do it at an elite level and fearless and with as much heart and passion as I can. I honestly think that would be the same for a lot of people if you asked them that. They would still want to go out there and play. We heard that one of the first things that he asked when he wrote to the doctors was, ‘Did we win?’ That’s our mindset, that’s what we think about. We love the game that much. We want to know…that’s how I would’ve been if a situation would’ve happened to me. I would’ve been wondering too if we won, how the boys do the rest of the game. I would’ve wanted it to continue, things to go on, and them to go hard on my behalf. So that’s kind of what I’ve always done just in my life for my friends who can’t play and my friends who wish they were in my position, I try to go hard for them.”
(On what he appreciates the most about LB Bobby Wagner and what he’s learned from him this year)…“I’ve known Bobby even before he was here, so I kind of knew him already so it wasn’t like I had to learn anything new. He is who I always thought he would be. And (he’s a) great teammate, really all the things that I already knew about him, all the things that I think everybody knew about him. It was just getting confirmation this year because he was actually on the same team as us. But I wouldn’t say it’s anything new that anybody didn’t know. We kind of had this conversation before, you don’t become who you are without having a process and being that person for many years and many years.”
(On how he approached the conversation about Damar Hamlin with WR Brandon Powell) …“Well the first question, I didn’t feel that I was instrumental in helping him get through it. Everybody’s got to go through their own process of it. Like I was kind of just saying, everybody can feel the way that they need to feel about it and process it and go through it however they need to. And all we need to do is just support them through that. There’s no right or wrong way to do that. There’s no right or wrong way to go through your own emotions, especially something like that. So yeah, I was just there to support him.”
(On Brandon Powell stating that he made an impact with the way he showed support for him and what he hopes to accomplish in the final game of the season)…“Yeah, I guess you could say that. I think me and other people as well. I am who I am all the time. I’m the same. I don’t change and I think that’s kind of what the team appreciates about me all year. I just don’t change. I’m the same. I’m going to be the same. I’m going to have the same demeanor. I’m going to approach things the same way, express my emotions, express my thoughts and feelings on stuff and try to be as supportive and help out as much as I can. And then when there are times, because you have the emotions and all of that, but then you also have times where you got to be realistic and you got to put down the facts and you got to figure out how do we get past all of these emotions and the other stuff that’s going on.
And so I do try to bring that in there as well, that reason in there. So yeah, I did that and we had that talk in team meetings and stuff, but Bobby also spoke up and obviously Coach McVay spoke up as well. But I appreciated BP (Brandon Powell) being open and honest about stuff so we could talk to him about it. But I didn’t really think too much of it. That’s just kind of how we are regardless. Even if it wasn’t this situation, BP could holler at us about anything and I’m going to be the same way with him, kind of analyze the emotions, and then get to some facts, and then figure out where to go from there and try to help him out and support him. That’s what it is at the end of the day. I think everybody knows, I’m big on journeys and you got to take your own journey through things and I’m cool with that. Everybody’s doing it their own way and figuring it out and I’m just here to support it because I know when I’ve been through things and I’ve gone through things, that’s all I’ve needed. I ain’t needed nobody to tell me what to do, or try to sway me this or that way, I just at times just needed that support, like, ‘All right, if I go that way, you got my back. Cool, all right. But if I go the other way, do you still got my back?’
That’s most important sometimes. So that’s who I try to be for my teammates. And then what do we hope to accomplish? We hope to win. I know we ain’t necessarily playing for a playoff spot or playing for none of that, but we’re trying to win still. Every time we go out there we’re trying to win. I know that it hasn’t happened too much for us this year, but it’s all good. We’re going to go out there and play fast, fearless, all the things that we always speak about. Yeah, we’re trying to win and we’re trying to…everybody’s got different motivations for this game. And yeah, we’re trying to win, man, that’s what it’s about.” –-RAMS–