(East Los Angeles, CA) [From The Editor’s Desk]: The NFL’s Week #8 was not a kind or a positive one to the Rams as they were outplayed and overpowered by the Dallas Cowboys before 92,000 of their adoring fans in Arlington, TX, coupled with the always present in attendance, team owner, Jerry Jones.
In spite of the loss, there was always Coach McVay’s,perspective that his team came away from the contest with some positive feedback. And he always provides a glimpse into how his team will prepare, and be prepared for their next big match-up coming this Sunday in another road game, this time against the always dangerous Green Bay Packers, currently with a (2-5) overall record, and an NFC North 3rd place in the Division standings.
And in keeping a par for the course, the Rams timely executed their usual and highly informative post-game and weekly media activities for the benefit of the team’s millions of fans to learn first-hand from the Head Coach himself, Sean McVay how the team resumes its regular practices and readies itself for the next opponent. We present his weekly Monday transcript on 10/30 for your reading.
Transcripts – Sean McVay – Monday, 10/30/23
[Head Coach Sean McVay]
(On an injury update for QB Matthew Stafford)…“Yeah, he has a UCL sprain of his right thumb and he will be day-to-day.”
(On the confidence level of Stafford being able to play Sunday)…“Yeah, I think we’re taking it a day at a time. We definitely have to get some contingency plans in order. We’ve obviously got (QB) Brett Rypien on the roster and there’s some other possibilities that we will explore and that we’re kind of in the midst of working through once I get off with you guys today.”
(On if he plans to sign another quarterback)…“Yeah, that’s a safe possibility to say.”
(On the status of QB Stetson Bennett)…“Yeah, he’s doing well. I would say there’s really no updates in regard to him returning back with us. I’m not ready to say that he won’t be back with us at all this year, but it’s probably less likely than it is likely he would be.”
(On what the week will look like for Stafford and how they will evaluate his progress throughout the week)…“Yeah, I think it’s exclusively a result of how quickly that thumb turns over. There’s obviously some swelling and some bruising. It’s a significant part of being able to throw the football. This is an injury that he’s previously had, so there was some scar tissue, so there’s a lot of things to it. It’s really about let’s see what happens over the next 24 to 48 hours in regard to just all of those things that I had kind of previously mentioned. I think we’d be silly to not try to get our ducks in a row if he’s not able to go and figure out alright, with Brett what does that look like in addition to adding somebody to that quarterback room? That’s something that we’ve talked about even before this injury, but it seems especially pertinent this week given the uncertainty of Matthew’s status.”
(On if there is any concern that this is a reoccurring injury)…“There’s not, no. They feel good about that.”
(On clarification for when Stafford’s injury occurred and what postgame looked like for him) …“It was similar to what I had said. He got it hit on a throw to the corner route to (WR) Puka Nacua when we were in the tight red area at the end of the first half. Then on the two-point conversion that was failed, it ended up getting hit. They checked him, it was stable. He obviously got it hit so it was bothering him there, but it wasn’t something that restricted his ability to play. As you saw, he came out and he was doing an excellent job. He led us right down the field on a touchdown drive. Then the play that actually forced him to leave the game because it felt like there was potentially some instability in that thumb was on the two-point conversion that he caught from (WR) Tutu (Atwell) when he dove in. If you watch the TV copy you can kind of see the way that the thumb got caught on the turf the way that the ball moved when he crossed the goal line. That was the play that forced him to leave and not be able to return.”
(On how much he weighs the type of environment and cold weather in Green Bay and having an upcoming bye week when deciding if Stafford will play or not)….“Oh yeah, all those things are consideration. What the weather supposed to be like?” (Reporter: “In the thirties.”) McVay: “Oh, baby. So yeah, all those things are things that are absolutely of consideration for us. I think what you have to do, especially just given the uncertainty of it, let’s get our ducks in a row. Let’s figure out exactly what that looks like and let’s plan on if we get him, that’s a great thing and we’ll take it a day at a time.”
(On what he learned from getting a new quarterback up to speed with the first team on the fly in between games) …“Yeah, that was a really unique situation and circumstance. I thought we had a couple different guys that started games for us once (QB) Matthew (Stafford) ended up going down. We had (Former Rams QB) John Wolford on the roster last year, but I thought that was a pretty unique circumstance in regard to (Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB) Baker (Mayfield) coming in, being able to put his head together with myself, (Former Rams Offensive Coordinator) Liam (Coen) and (Pass Game Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach) Zac (Robinson), and then do an excellent job of quickly getting up to speed. There was some concept carryover from some of the things that Baker had done with (Browns Head Coach) Kevin Stefanski because (Former Commanders Offensive Line Coach/Current Browns Offensive Line Coach) Bill Callahan was the offensive line coach there. Bill and I had worked together in Washington, and they carried over a lot of things relative to the cadence, some of the concepts in the run game, and then even in the pass concepts there were some similarities. That was a very rare and special circumstance and I think that’s a huge credit to the people that were involved in that. If anything, you can use that as a guideline if that’s the case but we’ve got (QB) Brett (Rypien) in house who’s been familiar with what we’re doing in addition to whoever else we bring in. We’ll see what that looks like.”
(On his thoughts on Rypien’s performance yesterday) …“He did some good things. I think there were some things that he could operate that we can certainly all improve upon, but that’s like it always is in football, it’s never perfect. I thought the overall operation and the different things, I thought he did a good job. That’s not an easy situation to come into when you’re playing from behind against a defense like that and you’re pretty regulated in regard to what types of plays they’re really worried about the defending and so I thought he did a nice job.”
(On if Stafford’s sprain affects how he grips the ball) …“Oh yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it’s the sprain, the swelling, all of those things. This guy is as tough as it gets, as great of a competitor as it gets and so that was what ultimately led to him not being able to return yesterday and then they sensed some potential instability. There’s so much swelling when you look at it, but we were encouraged that it was a sprain. I think there were some potential concerns that it could be worse and might’ve even been some scar tissue from the previous thing where you’re kind of breaking it up from that previous surgery that he had. So hopefully it was just a good scare. That’s what the scans revealed and then we will see how quickly some of that stuff that is key and critical to being able to grip and throw a football, some of those symptoms subside with Matthew and how quickly that makes him available to return for us.”
(On if there’s a fear that it could get worse) …“No, that’s not the information that I’ve gotten from our doctors.”
(On what stood out to him about the way Rypien came into the game)…“I think it’s hard to say. I think it was a really tough situation. I do think in regard to handling the operation in a road atmosphere like that where you’re playing from behind, he was able to lead us on a scoring drive. I thought there was a good fourth down conversion and then we had a chance moving the football down the field and ended up getting stopped on a fourth down. But I just think overall, it’s really hard to play quarterback to get in and out of the huddle, to have some of the communication, the different changes in tempo, reading and recognizing coverage, and then being able to deliver the ball with accuracy and on time and I thought there was some examples of that being illustrated. And then there’s a couple plays that I think you want guys to be able to make some plays for him and then some things that he would tell you that he could do a little bit better as well but that’s going to always be the case.”
(On the decision to carry two quarterbacks as opposed to three throughout the first seven weeks of the season)…“Yeah, it was and then because we just have had some other flexibility but you really just kind of answered it. Originally, we were with three. It’s kind of an unforeseen circumstance that led to us getting down to two and then there’s been a lot of conversation and dialogue in the background about potentially bringing a guy in, whether it be on the active roster or somebody on the practice squad. It seems like there’s always things that kind of come up each and every week that maybe take a little bit more precedent over that, but that was really what it boiled down to, kind of what you said early on.”
(On the rest of the team’s injury updates) …“So (DB) Cobie Durant got a stinger in his neck. He’ll probably be just limited when we return on Wednesday but he should be okay. We’ll continue to monitor (OL) Rob Havenstein’s calf. Obviously, he wasn’t able to go. He’ll be day-to-day for us. (WR) Austin Trammell got his hip on one of his punt returns but he should be okay. (WR) Puka (Nacua) had some knee swelling, but he is a competitor. The physical style of play that he has, we’ll probably be smart with him on Wednesday. (P) Ethan Evans got an ankle sprain on one of their punt returns. We’ll see how he’s doing and everybody else is just kind of your typical bumps and bruises.”
(On what he’s seen from Rypien running the scout team during practice and how that’s prepared him)…“He’s done a great job. I think he approaches every single week with an intentionality to really be able to say, ‘Alright, if these are the reps that I’m getting, how can I get better? How can I play within the timing and rhythm?’ I think he’s done a great job of mimicking and emulating the opposing team’s quarterback, the cadence, all those different things. I just think the consistency at which he’s approached this craft and the intentionality has allowed him to be able to improve and he’s done a really nice job with that role. I think there were some instances of that really paying off with some of the things he was able to do yesterday.”
(On if ‘return to performance’ versus ‘return to play’ is any different for Stafford considering the things he’s played through)…“Absolutely, no question it is. I think in a lot of instances, so much of that is about the dialogue and the discussion in regard to how is he feeling? What does he feel like he’s able to do? We would love to be able to have him available for us, but not at the expense of pushing it and making sure that you’re not leaving him susceptible to anything unnecessary and you want to make sure that you’re setting him up for success. But his feedback is key and critical, just like it has been with a lot of these veterans that are mature enough and experienced enough to be able to kind of communicate in a manner that’s reflective of understanding all the layers that go into these types of decisions.”
(On if he’d lean towards someone that he’s worked with in the past if he were to bring in a new quarterback)…“Well, I think that’s certainly something that is enticing. Those are always possibilities because I think the learning curve becomes a little bit steeper and given some of the circumstances that surround this particular situation, yeah, that’s a positive. I don’t think that’s necessarily a mandate. We’ve talked about a handful of names already, some of which fall under that criteria and some don’t. I definitely think that’s a positive though if that’s the direction that we decide to go, but it doesn’t mean that it’s the only thing that matters.”
(On the attention DT Aaron Donald garners and ways offenses game plan for him and the ways he opens up other teammates on the defensive front)…“I think it’s understanding where your rush opportunities come based on a lot of the attention that he elicits. But then I think it’s also, alright, if he creates a vertical seam from an inside position, in a lot of instances that means, okay, now he’s become the contained player and then how does that rusher end up being able to play off of him? You want to keep the integrity of keeping those spots on a quarterback, not leaving openings for them to be able to step up and out or lose edges. I think it’s really about being able to rush as one, whether that’s four guys rushing, whether that’s five, being able to have that integrity. But with the get off and with the penetration that this guy can create immediately and some of the different things that we give him a leeway on based on what he’s done, it’s really important for those guys to be able to understand, okay, if this occurs, then what is the intent of where I fit in this rush pattern relative to keeping the cup on the quarterback is another example of kind of what you’re asking about.”