(East Los Angeles, CA) [From The Editor’s Desk]: The NFL is one of the most watched and followed professional leagues in its competitiveness, rivalries, standings, winners, losers, and just plain old matching up on each and every Sunday, Monday, and Thursday during the long season on the road to the annual Super Bowl Championship in February. Fan interest always runs high in both the weekly pre-game and the post-game phases, and Rams fans are always eager to hear from Head Coach Sean McVay on both occasions.
As is customary, the Rams Communications Staff always makes sure that its fans and followers can easily read and view the magnitude of content that is always available for their discretion and better understanding of how the Team is always doing now that the season is well underway.
With that said, here is the Rams Week #7 “must-read” transcript from Head Coach, Sean McVay, on the Pittsburgh Steelers game, that will bring all Rams fans up to date with their team.
Transcripts – Head Coach Sean McVay – Monday, 10/23
[Head Coach Sean McVay]
(On if there were any injuries coming out of the game)…“Everybody should be good just your typical bumps and bruises. Nothing really significant to report.”
(On if any new kickers will be brought in this week)…“There’s a possibility. I talked to (Special Teams Coordinator) Chase (Blackburn) and (Assistant Special Teams Coach) Jeremy Springer earlier and I’ll talk to (General Manager) Les (Snead) after this. You want to evaluate the landscape, see what that looks like. (K) Brett’s (Maher) been pretty consistent throughout his career. He’s had some long attempts that are difficult kicks to be able to make that we’ve missed. You obviously want to be able to hit the extra point, but those will be things that we could possibly look into.”
(On his thoughts about the spot on the fourth and short at the end of the game after having a change to review it)…“Yeah, I don’t necessarily think that that would’ve affected and altered because unfortunately we got the clock stoppage on third down where I would’ve used my third time out there. In a lot of those situations, you want to be able to save those in the second half, no doubt unless points are at a premium. We had a third down and seven early in the third quarter that got a look and we were in a situation (that we) didn’t necessarily want to be in. It ended up leading to a conversion which led to a 17 to 10 score at the time when we ended up converting the two points. Even in hindsight when you look at it, where I was trying to use those timeouts to try to get the ball back was still a two-minute stoppage. Started using them outside of that three-minute window. I would’ve used it on the third down had we not had the stoppage by the offsetting penalties, so I might not have had a chance to be able to review it, but there’s no doubt. I think you know me well enough to know that I’ll always look inward. I do feel like in the circumstances, based on when I did use the one in the third quarter, it was in alignment with some of the things. Maybe that doesn’t mesh with what the overall management is but because points were at a premium and the way that the flow of the game was going and kind of what we were in in that third down and seven situation, I felt like that was appropriate. In an ideal scenario, you have all three at your disposal when you want to start using them, whether that be under two minutes or outside of two minutes when it’s a one possession game in that scenario. Certainly, had you had that, you could have maybe reviewed the spot but I don’t know that I would’ve in hindsight either way. Those are things that I always have to be honest with myself about and those are the things that eat you up where you want to do a great job for our team of always making good decisions and being honest with that assessment. I don’t know how much differently it would’ve played out based on the rationale that I’m giving you. I did get a chance to go back and look at some of those things closely. We usually have communication with the league based on how they saw it and that’s really the only thing that matters.”
(On how WR Cooper Kupp opens the field for other receivers)…“He does. He is a guy that gets a lot of attention. I think he’s played really well, especially in those first couple games back from injury. He’s always been a guy that’s been so steady, so consistent, and he certainly is one of those players in this league that usually dictates coverage specifically in some of those known passing situations and does free up some opportunities for other guys in a lot of scenarios.”
(On how WR Puka Nacua and Kupp complement each other)…“I think just both really good players. They can work edges and separate. They’ve got good aggressive hands at the catch point. I think you’re just seeing two really good football players. Puka plays a very physical brand of football. Cooper can do that as well. You see Cooper have the ability to work some of those options and choice routes where he’s got some different elements of recognizing and reading coverage. Certainly, Puka can do those things, but I think you’re just seeing two good football players that complement each other and we got to continue to do a good job of trying to get those guys in the right spots.”
(On if yesterday’s loss influences the way they view the trade deadline)…“No, I don’t think yesterday’s outcome… I think yesterday’s outcome is there was a couple turning points that I think totally changed the way that that game goes especially when you’ve got a chance to make it a two-possession game with basically a minute left in the third quarter and the way that our defense had played. I think we got to do a better job of playing complimentary football, seizing the moment in some of those crunch time opportunities to be able to flip the switch and really be able to kind of close people out and then be able to try to pull away. When you let you know teams that are opportunistic hang around, that’s what they can do. Yesterday’s outcome doesn’t change our approach in regard to that.”
(On what he likes about his current starters on the offensive line the last couple of weeks and what it means for OL Joe Noteboom)…“I look at Joe as still a starter. Joe is working himself back to being healthy. When he is at full health, exactly how that affects what we’ll do with that five-man rotation is to be determined. But I’ve been pleased with those guys. I really like what I’ve seen from the left side of our offensive line. I think (OL) Alaric (Jackson) and (OL) Steve (Avila) are younger players that are continuing to get better and better with experience, love the communication and the command and the competitiveness of (OL) Coleman Shelton. I think (OL) Kevin Dotson’s done a nice job since he’s played. I thought Joe Noteboom did a really good job when he played. I thought Joe did a good job against Indianapolis starting at left tackle and I’ve been really pleased with the steady consistent presence and play of (OL) Rob Havenstein. I thought he did an excellent job against a really good player yesterday. Those guys have done well. There are always areas of improvement, but overall, I thought they did a nice job particularly in the run game. There were some good situations in the protection and there were some certain situations that we can certainly be better, but it’s to be expected against a really good front like them.”
(On what makes RB Darrell Henderson effective in pass protection situations)…“I think he’s fearless. He plays with good technique. He’ll stick his face on people. He always had a good low center of gravity and sturdy from his core all the way up. He’s always been really good because I think just how sturdy he is and I think part of why he is a good contact balance runner is why he is good in blitz protection. And when he sees it, he will go meet people at the line of scrimmage, tight elbows, tight thumbs, and be able to uncoil up through people and he is not turning his face. He’s going through people. Darrell has always been really good as a protector. I thought he did a good job of leveling some runs off. I thought (RB) Royce (Freeman) did as well. They were a team that was a heavy pressure outfit, especially on some of those early downs. We saw a lot of backer blitzes or rush to cover situations yesterday.”
(On how teachable pass protection is for a running back or if it’s mostly instinctual)…“Well, I think it’s definitely teachable from a technique but I think there’s certain guys that have an innate toughness where they won’t close their eyes at the point of contact and they’ll go attack people when they see it and they’re decisive. I think there’s definitely technique elements, which (Running Backs Coach) Ron Gould does a great job of being able to teach and emphasize, but I think there’s also an element of the physical toughness that is needed and necessary to play with the appropriate technique and I think both those guys that played yesterday are checking both those boxes.”
(On if Noteboom is the type of player he would possibly receive calls about for a trade)…“We’d have to see how things go. He’s a starting caliber player. We look at him as basically a starter on our roster too. The only reason that he was inactive a couple weeks ago is because he wasn’t ready to play through the groin. He’s still getting himself back where we deemed it that him being up as a possible, whether it be guard or a tackle, even when he’s not at a hundred percent is better than some of the alternatives but you still want to be smart with him. But I would think he would fit in that role, but he’s a really valuable player to me and to us.”
(On WR Tutu Atwell’s block on the sideline during Nacua’s 36-yard catch and run and if a play like that gets a reaction after replaying it in offensive meetings) …“I think so. You always try to emphasize guys competing without the ball. We’re running a concept that we ran a handful of times yesterday and hit Puka on a crosser. They’re in a match coverage and I think the guy covering him when he’s running the speed out to the short field, you could really see he just did a great job. Tutu’s got a really natural feel for the game. Even in the run game for a guy of smaller stature, he knows how to cover guys up and kind of get in a way and be connected so that he’s getting production on these blocks. But that was just great overall awareness and it ended up springing him where you thought he was maybe going to come out for more than the 36-yard play, but you always try to highlight those things. I think that’s the epitome of some of the stuff that’s made it right around here is the selfless ball and being able to compete, whether it be without the ball, as a run blocker, without the ball once somebody else is catching it and that was a really cool play. When we do go through those types of things, those are absolutely the stuff that you want to point out and guys get excited for doing the little things the right way for one another that might not always be highlighted or illustrated publicly, but you see it in some of these team meeting settings and I think that’s really important to highlight.”
(On Atwell and Kupp’s routes on Atwell’s touchdown) …“(QB) Matthew (Stafford) ended up doing a great job. He felt the edge was lost on the left side. He just kind of spun and got flushed out and two guys working off schedule for him and whether he was throwing to Cooper or Tutu, you’ll never know.”
(On if he expects RBs Kyren Williams and Ronnie Rivers to be ready to come off IR as soon as they’re eligible) …“I hope so. I think like what you said, I think the first part is it’s still a little bit early, but there was a debate on whether or not we were even going to do that with Kyren knowing that the buy fits in between there and that still doesn’t count as one of the four games that you have to miss. So definitely that would be the goal with him and then as it relates to Ronnie, he’s a guy that we’re hopeful on that but we’ll see how he continues to respond from his knee injury.”
(On how he thinks the rotation worked with the RB Darrell Henderson and RB Royce Freeman and if he expects RB Myles Gaskin and RB Zach Evans to contribute as well) …“I think we’ll see. A lot of it is predicated on what it looks like as we start to dive into Dallas, but I was pleased with both those guys. I thought they did a really nice job on a short week, not necessarily a short week, but on kind of short notice where their roles were elevated. I thought we ran the ball efficiently. I thought our guys did a good job blocking, I thought they pressed it fairly well. Like what was being asked earlier, I thought there were some good elements of some pass protection, almost scored on the screen to (RB) Darrell (Henderson) in the tight red area but it got us down to the one-yard line where he was able to punch it in. I thought both (RB) Royce (Freeman) and Darrell did a really nice job. You can expect to see, I would imagine, a similar deal and then we’ll see how Myles and Zach fit into that equation as we move towards the game plan and then their progression as well.”
(On if this week will be a big week for him and his family) …“I would think so. Yeah, there’s a good chance of that so we’ll keep you guys posted if there’s a new addition to the family in the near future.”