(East Los Angeles, CA) [From The Editor’s Desk]: The Rams have now put together a modest, but highly positive 2-game winning streak and will be happy to build further on it as they stand on the verge of re-capturing their winning ways from their Super Bowl LVI Championship season. A solid return to that path is what could certainly lead them to an eventual “Wild Card” playoff spot. However, as of this posting, they are sitting on the “Bubble” with their next measured sights set on moving into an “In the Hunt” spot. For the record, as everyone knows, it’s been an “Up and Down” season, after all of the injuries they have endured up to this point.
Now, to bring all fans up to even better speed, we present you with the Monday, 11/27 post-game report on the Arizona Cardinals game from Head Coach Sean McVay’s weekly transcript read-out.
Rams Transcripts – Head Coach Sean McVay – Mon. 11/27/23
[Head Coach Sean McVay]
(On injuries from Sunday)…“Everybody came out pretty good, except for (DB) Duke Shelley. He got his hamstringing so that’s unfortunate and he’ll probably be a candidate for IR.”
(On if the decision to play TE Davis Allen and TE Hunter Long more on Sunday was due to their work in practices)…“Yeah, I think it was just what you mentioned. Those guys have done a good job in practice. I think we wanted to make a concerted effort to be able to get some other guys some snaps. (TE Tyler Higbee) Higg’s has done such a good job, but to take a little bit off his workload just considering all the work that he’s gotten, continue to develop the depth at that position. (Tight Ends Coach) Nick Caley has done a really good job. Then we had another guy that wasn’t active who’s more than capable of filling in and playing snaps when he’s done that in previous games with (TE) Brycen Hopkins as well.”
(On winning back-to-back games and if he’s aware of that)…“Only because you ask me. Yes, we’re conscious of it. Here’s what I would tell you, I think one of the things that’s been fun about this group is they take it a week at a time. I do think that momentum can be a powerful thing and I think we talked about it a little bit after the game, continuing to learn how to capitalize on opportunities to play complimentary ball, to be able to finish games, to be able to recognize and identify those moments that are key and critical to be able to put yourself over the top. I think those are things that you have to be able to continue to learn how to do. We’ve got a lot of guys that have been a part of a lot of teams that have won, but every single year’s a new year. What I’m really proud of is that one of the things that we challenge these guys coming off the bye was let’s focus on what we can control. It still is that one day at a time, one week at a time mindset and mentality and every streak starts at one. After that bye, these guys have gotten that to two. By taking it one day at a time, one game at a time, we’re going, with a great opportunity in front of us, to see what we can do against a really tough opponent in the Cleveland Browns this coming week. I was aware of it, but what I am pleased with is this team’s ability to take it one day at a time, one game at a time while also being able to build on some momentum that they’ve established. I think a lot of things have been on display over the last couple weeks that we can learn from. Winning each of those two games was reflected in a little bit different manner which I think is powerful.”
(On coming into the office after a win and if it’s different than after a loss for him personally)…“It’s a big deal. I don’t necessarily know if you have to reset because every single week entails evaluating, doing an after-action review on what we can do better and how we move forward regardless of what the outcome is. But it certainly is a lot more enjoyable. I think most importantly, the feelings that you have when a lot of work goes into those three and a half hour windows that you’re allotted on a weekly basis and to see those guys and the joy that they have for getting that kind of result, that’s what makes it all the worthwhile. We want to continue to do that. Yeah, it’s definitely a little bit different mood as you can imagine.”
(On Defensive Coordinator Raheem Morris’ approach to in-game adjustments)…“They do a great job. I don’t necessarily know if it’s adjustments or just executing the way that we’re capable of. I think our coaches do a phenomenal job and if those adjustments are necessary, but in a lot of instances and yesterday for example, it was more about hey, let’s just settle in. Let’s play the way that we’re capable of, let’s execute the calls, and then let’s just do our ‘one eleventh’, every single play and try to play as close to 11 as one. I thought our guys did a great job and I thought they brought the plan to life. It wasn’t necessarily as much as adjustments as opposed to just bringing the game plan and executing the calls that Raheem and the defensive coaches made after that and playing good situationally. I think it was more that than it was necessarily having to make any sort of altering adjustments because they did a good job of executing their first drive and then ultimately punching in the two-point conversion, but then our guys settled in and played the way that we thought that they could.”
(On deciding whether the game plan or execution is the issue during the middle of the game)…“I think it’s about being able to see what the problems are and if you need to find solutions that are outside the framework of the execution, then that’s what requires changes and adjustments. And that’s where it’s so important for all the coaches to be able to see the right things, to be able to communicate and stay connected as one when there are 11 guys on each side of the football trying to do things that are not necessarily in alignment with what we’re trying to get done, whether that be defensively, offensively, or in the kicking game. So if there are certain things that are totally different or outside the framework of the intent of the calls, that’s when changes need to be altered and adjusted in regards to those game time adjustments. But in some instances, if you say all right, it’s a misfit, we didn’t match up a certain pass concept based on the coverage contour we were in, we didn’t hit this blitz pattern the right way, or we didn’t have a protection pickup. So it’s more about if you need to solve problems that are outside the framework of the intent of the original call is where those major adjustments come into play.”
(On if QB Matthew Stafford’s thumb is 100% or if it’s still healing)…“I think a hundred percent would be probably a strong percentage. I think he felt a lot better than he did last week and I thought he was able to make some incredibly high-level throws that not many people in the world can make when they’re feeling at a hundred percent, but his one hundred percent is pretty special. I think he’d have to tell you that. I do know that it felt a lot better than what it did last week. I think there were a couple just last little right before that release point adjustments that he made that demonstrated that that thing was feeling a little bit better that are throws that very few people in the world can make. So I know he is taking steps in the right direction, to say a hundred percent, I would defer to him on being able to tell you that percentage.”
(On if Raheem Morris has done anything this year that’s stood out in the way he’s coached)…“He’s been the same great coach that I’ve always known. He’s a great leader. He elevates people and situations that he’s a part of and I think that’s the greatest sign of leadership. We always talk about trying to help guys reach and realize their highest potential. I think we’re seeing a lot of growth and development from a lot of people that he has an influence on and it certainly isn’t exclusive to just the defense. Raheem influences this whole building. He influences this coaching staff and these players in a real positive manner. It certainly isn’t to take any credit away from the job he’s done, but I’ve seen the consistent great coach this year that I’ve seen each of the last couple years since he’s been here and what I’ve always witnessed from afar when we worked together in Washington. That’s just who he is and he’s as consistent as it gets.”
(On what a quarterback has to do against the rush when the screens are so effective)…“I think that’s one of those plays, in particular the screen game, where, does it feel authentic and genuine to some of the other things that you’re trying to marry it up with? Whether that be off of an action or off of the drop back, and then how can you influence and entice guys to continue to rush? And I think the quarterback is instrumental in the success of the screen game, being able to change the release point, the eye manipulation, all the different things like that and he does as good a job as there is. And I think in a lot of instances people say, ‘Oh, it’s just a screen,’ but there’s just so many intricacies that the quarterback position entails that the great ones, they just do a good job of making a monotonous or what people would look at as an elementary play and it ends up turning into an explosive because of the way that they can kind of set it up and then it puts everybody in a better position to be able to get their blocks set up, the backs in better phasing with those guys. And those couple things were definitely on display yesterday with what he was able to do, but there’s an art to it without a doubt.”
(On if he thinks DB Quentin Lake will be back this week)…“I would say that would probably be…Probably not this week. But again, we’re going to see how he does. I was really pleased with the way that (DB) Russ Yeast and (DB) Cobie Durant played in his absence. (DB) John Johnson (III) is playing a lot of snaps and doing a heck of a job at safety. I thought he and (DB Jordan) Fuller were excellent yesterday. We’ll take it a day at a time. I’m not ready to quite rule him out, but I think that would be tough for him to make it back for this game.”
(On what he’s noticed from the DB rotations over the last two weeks and if he thinks it’s a trend coming from the college game)…“Yes and I think some of it is by necessity, but also some of it is the versatility that the way these guys are trained and you just see some of the different things that they can do. I mean, you really have a handful of guys that can play safety, they can play the star position. And when you can do that, you can create a lot of different looks for the defensive staff to prepare for. Number one, that’s a credit to the skill sets and the versatility of these guys that you’re talking about, but it also does give you the ability to be able to present a variety of different things that make it a little bit more challenging for offenses, which is a good thing from a defensive vantage point.”