(East Los Angeles,CA) [From The Editor’s Desk]: With their much-expected win over NFC West member, the Arizona Cardinals, now (1-5), after Week #6, the Rams evened their season record at (3-3), with a convincing (26-9) win, to claim 3rd place.
However, the victory was somewhat costly because promising running back, #23 Kyren Williams, who rushed for 158 yards on 20 carries, and a touchdown, in one of the biggest ground attack games displayed by a Rams back in awhile, sustained an ankle injury late in the game, which could be “challenging” per Head Coach, Sean McVay, in terms of his recovery time.
Read much more about many other topics that were addressed by Coach McVay in his Monday Zoom Press conference and via this Transcript prepared by the Rams Communication Staff. The team will be preparing extremely hard for their third consecutive home game, this time against the NFL’s widely respected, and former Super Bowl Champions, the Pittsburgh Steelers, who come into SoFi Stadium with a (3-2) overall record, and tied for 2nd in the AFC North. Kick-off is scheduled for Sunday at 1:05 pm. The game will be televised on FOX and transmitted on radio via 710 AM/ESPN.
Rams Transcript: Head Coach, Sean McVay, 10/16
(Opening Statement)…“I’ll start off. I was made aware of the (DB) Derion Kendrick situation earlier this morning. We’re continuing to gather more information on that and so, until then I am going to just kind of leave it at that until I have all the appropriate information and I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to speak on things that I don’t have the totality of it other than knowing that he was arrested early this morning and that’s kind of where we’re are at that. And then I’ll open it up to questions, but as it relates to Derion, there’s nothing further on that until I have more information that I think would be appropriate to speak on.”
(On if he expects Kendrick to practice or play this week)…“It’s all about gathering more information, kind of like I had said. I understand the question, but until I have all of the information, it’s hard for me to answer anything further with regards to his status, any of those types of things.”
(On if he has injury updates for RB Kyren Williams and RB Ronnie Rivers)
…“Yeah, those guys are going to be out for a little bit. Exactly how long, we’re kind of working through, but it’s tough. That’s tough information for both those guys who have done a really good job and for our team, obviously.”
(On if there are specific timelines for when Williams and Rivers will return from injury)…“I’ll have a little bit more for you guys probably on Wednesday. It’s just the day after the game and so they’re kind of coming in and you’re going through your standard operating procedures. But the initial prognosis looks like it’s going to be challenging for those guys in the immediate future.”
(On dealing with a player getting arrested for the first time as a head coach and how he handles this situation with the rest of the team)…“I think the first thing is, in all sincerity, you want to gather the appropriate information before you speak on things without knowing the totality of it all. And there’s still information we’re gathering. There are still some things that don’t have full clarity and I think once you have that, then you can use these as opportunities to try to be able to educate and see exactly what happens. But I don’t want to be quick to pass judgment before I know everything. I care about these guys a whole lot. I want to continue to help them make all the right decisions and try to avoid situations like this, but I also know that life isn’t perfect. I’ve certainly made my mistakes and how can we continuously educate guys on how to avoid these, and then also understand all the layers that are involved in a situation like this before I dive deep into having an opinion and passing judgment.”
(On who would step into Kendrick’s role if he isn’t available for practice or the game)…“Yeah, we haven’t even gone down that yet so I think we’re kind of putting the cart before the horse on some of those types of things. But when you look at just the guys that have gone out there and played, whether it’s a (DB) Tre Tomlinson, the (DB) Duke Shelleys of the world, I think those guys at the corner spot in particular have done a really nice job. And then we’ve got some safeties that have some position flex as well, but I think we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves before I know all of the information.”
(On if Kendrick is still in custody or if he’s been released)…“Yeah all of that stuff I just would prefer to keep in-house out of respect for the situation as we’re continuing to gather information.”
(On what gathering information looks like and who he is in communication with specifically within the building)…“Yeah, I’d like to just keep all that stuff in-house because I don’t necessarily know that that’s pertinent to anything other than just trying to gather the appropriate information and then speak on it as it relates to exactly what this situation entails and how we’ll be able to move forward with Derion and how that affects our team and everything that’s involved.”
(On the process of gathering more information about a situation like this)…“Yeah, it’s one of those deals that I’m just going to keep in-house.”
(On any injuries that occurred during Sunday’s game)…“I thought (LB) Ernest (Jones) did a good job of pushing through with his knee. He’s got some soreness today. (NT) Kobie Turner ended up kind of just banging his shoulder a little bit when he and (DB) Quentin Lake were going for that fumble that (OLB) Byron Young ended up forcing towards the end of the game. Then it’s just your typical bumps and bruises in a really physical game yesterday.”
(On if yesterday was the first time he ran cheat motion and the advantages of that play)…“Yeah, I’ve seen some teams do that last year. Miami dabbled with it a little bit last year as well. There’s just a lot of different ways to try to be able to change the picture and how that elicits a certain response that can create some challenging things depending upon the principles of the defense that you’re going against whether it’s creating access, whether it’s creating new counts in terms of some of the ways that you have to match up with your match principles coverage wise, or whether it creates favorable leverage based on the different routes. We’ve dabbled with that in some different games. We did it a couple times… variations of it a couple times yesterday, you could say. Certainly, those guys in Miami have done an outstanding job of it and I’ve seen it with a lot of these teams that like to utilize and implement motion pre-snap. That just creates a little bit of conflict and you’re kind of just changing that picture just before the snap is imminent for the defense.”
(On if cheat motion is the closest you can get to the CFL in terms of being able to move forward to create speed going into a play)…“Yeah, I think those and the jet motions, they’re all variations of fast motions that are going lateral as opposed to being able to attack the line of scrimmage because of the way that our game is officiated. It does establish a certain amount of momentum that’s probably the closest thing to that. There’s nothing quite like a full speed towards the line of scrimmage sprint motion that those guys can do. It really creates some leverage and some momentum for you.”
(On how you keep RB Kyren Williams motivated and ready to go when he returns from his injury)…“Well, I think you know from even talking to Kyren, that’s not something that I worry about at all because of the human being. He’s a special guy. He’s wired the right way physically and mentally. He’s overcome setbacks, which was demonstrated last year. He’s a guy that I don’t think you necessarily have to worry about that, but you want to keep him engaged as much as possible. One of the best traits and compliments I can give Kyren Williams is his intrinsic motivation, his internal drive to try to be great and maximize his potential and I think things like this will only motivate him that much more to come back stronger. I trust that he’ll use this setback as a setup for a comeback.”
(On what’s impressed him about WR Puka Nacua in terms of off-the-field things that make him come alive on game days)…“Yeah, I think a lot of this stuff is what he had done consistently. I would say this, I think a lot of the stuff that you’ve seen, whether it’s his attention to detail in the meeting room, how focused he is in the walkthroughs, his ability to be able to translate that stuff to practice, the aggressive hands, the ability to separate the big picture, understanding the willingness to ask questions to (QB) Matthew (Stafford) and (WR) Cooper (Kupp) and his coaches, and (he) is a great listener. All those things came to life. What I don’t think you could ever really simulate is the toughness this guy plays with. His game day demeanor and disposition, I love it. He brings a toughness and an element to our offense, especially coming from that receiver room that I think is really hard to find but when you have it, man, it’s a very helpful thing for your offense. A lot of the same and then the stuff that you can’t simulate is just the dog that he is on game day.”
(On if there was a particular moment that stood out to him that told him that Carolina Panthers Offensive Coordinator Thomas Brown would be a play caller)…“I think it’s just his everyday approach. He had great experience when we first got connected, but I remember watching Thomas when we played against each other in high school. He was one of the ultimate competitors. He’s always trying to just continue to perfect his craft, whether that was when he was playing or whether that’s as a coach and he did such a great job of owning whatever role it was, whether it was a running back or the tight end coach. But there was always an interest in continuing to absorb a bunch of different material where, hey, I want to be able to make sure that, hey, I’m doing my job right now, but I’m also setting myself up for the opportunities that I think he knew were ahead. And that’s been a consistent thing with him. I don’t know that there’s one moment that steps out. I think the biggest compliment I can give him is the consistency at which he approached every day and how that built towards him interviewing the way that he did with Coach (Panthers Head Coach) (Frank) Reich. I remember when I was speaking with him about it, I think this was something that he envisioned inevitably happening and I know he’ll attack it and do a really good job being able to collaborate with the rest of the coaching staff and figuring out how to put your guy’s players in the best positions, but I’m not at all surprised and looking forward to him doing a great job attacking that opportunity.”
(On the most important thing for a first-time play caller to be able to gain confidence and get their feet under them)…“Yeah, I think it’s just continuing to play out the different scenarios, making sure that you have a rhythm and a routine and a collaboration with the rest of the coaches. And then if things go off-schedule or a little bit differently than what you had planned throughout the course of the game, whether it be situationally or if the opponent gives you some different structures, how quickly can you use the help around you, be able to put together a plan, communicate it clearly to your players, and then ultimately give them an opportunity to be able to go execute? Because I know those are the things that…I remember when I first started doing it, those are the things that I know I had to be able to learn sometimes the hard and humbling way. He’s ahead of the curve. He’ll be ready for it. He’s called plays before and I’m very confident that he’ll do a really nice job.”
(On if he remembers when Thomas raced with a player on the practice field and the energy he brings)…“Yeah, well that’s the truth. You can go back and watch our Washington game during COVID. He tears his Achilles giving good looks to our running backs on some of their reads because he is so twitchy. He looks like a strong safety, giving him looks. He tears his Achilles and then you flash forward just a couple months later, this guy is on the sideline chasing (Former Rams’ RB) Cam Akers on a long run. He springs down the sideline when he still should be in a walking boot. So he is still a “G” that probably could still take a couple carries and be able to lower his pads and finish strong. He’s a competitor. He still is rocked up. I’m sure he’d be throwing weight around in the weight room. I don’t remember the actual race, but I’d never bet against Thomas Brown in any of those types of things.”
(On what Thomas brings to Panthers rookie QB Bryce Young having never played QB in league)…“Well, I think he’s got great guys on that staff that have background of playing quarterback in the NFL, but Thomas has always been preparing himself for that opportunity. Seeing the game through the quarterback’s lens, what are the reads? What is the timing and rhythm with how you want to play with your feet? What are the different things in terms of how do you want to read certain coverage contours based on the concept? Those were the types of questions going back to even what (Reporter) Darin was asking, that he was always so inquisitive and wanted to know about and have the ownership of the total picture. That’s why I think being able to use the help that you have, but then also the work that he’s put in to prepare for this opportunity. He’ll be ready to roll.”
(On DB Ahkello Witherspoon’s play early in the game his assessment of him)…“I thought he did a good job. We had the one where there was a little bit of miscommunication between him and (DB) (Jordan) Fuller that fortunately he was able to kind of panic out of there and be able to get his hand on it. But Ahkello has made a really big impact on this defense through six games, super coachable. He’s obviously got great length in athleticism and I love the way that he lets (Defensive Backs Coach and Pass Game Coordinator) Aubrey (Pleasant) really just kind of challenge him snap in and snap out. I think he’s responded really well and I’ve been really pleased with Ahkello Witherspoon. I love having him on this team.”