TRANSCRIPT: Rams Head Coach Sean McVay - Media Availability - Nov. 18, 2019
(On an update regarding WR Robert Woods)
"There's no update. He's (WR Robert Woods) still handling that personal matter and we'll probably have a little bit more of an update on that later on in the week."
(On if he expects WR Brandin Cooks to return this week)
"We do. He's (WR Brandin Cooks) been in great spirits, he's been in good shape. The anticipation is that he will be able to play this week."
(On injury updates following Sunday's game)
"Came out pretty good. Your typical bumps and bruises, but the tight ends that were banged up going into it, they came out in good shape. For the most part, 'Brock' (DL Michael Brockers) had his little elbow deal, but he ended up coming back into the game. It was as healthy as we've come out of a game with all the guys that did play."
(On OLB Dante Fowler Jr. exiting late in Sunday's game)
"I think it was probably more of just catching his (OLB Dante Fowler Jr.) wind. He's good."
(On what Brockers' injury was)
"He just irritated his elbow. Not exactly sure what it was. As soon as I went out there – I think, probably, one of those deals where it kind of just scares you initially more than anything. Once you kind of settle in you realize, 'All right, you're okay,' and he came back and he did a great job to finish it out."
(On him going out on the field to check on Brockers)
"If a guy stays down there, usually I end up going out there just to make sure they're okay and just kind of check on them. That was the case and as soon as we got out there, you felt pretty good just based on the feedback he was able to give to us."
(On if T Rob Havenstein will be available this week)
"I would say he's (T Rob Havenstein) probably going to be doubtful for this week. He is making good progress. To have a finite answer on exactly when he'll play a week from today is difficult. I think the anticipation – just originally with that injury – was that it's probably going to be a couple weeks. That's why he'll most likely be doubtful, but you don't want to rule him out quite yet."
(On QB Jared Goff saying Sunday was one of his favorite wins as a Ram and if he can relate to that feeling)
"Any win is a good win. We'll certainly take that – it was the most recent one, so it was certainly a fun one. I think all the things that went on and the way that our team continues to stick together through the good, though the bad and all those different types of things – I think the mental toughness, the resilience that they really embody and personify is something that I think is really powerful. I love the way that our guys just hung tough. I love the way that yesterday provided a lot of opportunities for guys that didn't expect to be in some of the positions they were in last night. To show that the game's not too big for them and I love the way that we found a way to win as a team, which is always the goal."
(On if there are circumstances that took place on Sunday that may translate to future games or if it was a one-off)
"I think it's a combination of both. Obviously, when you end up having a late adjustment because of something that occurred with a player that's a big-time contributor – but then you always talk about, 'How do you want to win games as a team? What do we feel like the best way to put all three phases together?' I think what we're all learning is that the ways that we do that with this year's team is maybe different than what we've seen. The most important thing is what's the best way for this team to be able to win football games. I think that's something that we're continuing to learn. Each week based on the opponent we play might look like a different answer in terms of the matchups, but I think yesterday was a good indicator of some things that you might want to see moving forward."
(On if the team felt a little bit of a relief or if there were extra emotions after winning Sunday's game)
"I think the guys would be better served to answer that than me. I was really pleased with just the amount of different things that went on – the guys found a way to bond together and win a football game. Whether that be overcoming injuries, whether that be opportunities for some guys that hadn't played to step up, whether that be some things that are way bigger than football going on, I think there is a lot of different things. Anytime that you're coming off of a disappointing outcome the previous week – especially when it was the bye – you have a tendency to feel like, 'Man, it's been so long since we've played a good game.' But, because of the two-week stretch since we had won coming off the bye, then you don't get the result you want. I think there was a lot of things that went into it, but I think the guys were pleased with the win, to answer your question."
(On if the tight end usage was something he planned coming in or if it was exacerbated by not having Woods)
"It's a little bit of both. They do a good job of mixing some of their personnel groupings and we wanted to be able to run the football. Some of the run concepts that we felt like would give us the best chance to be able to move the football consistently and do some things that we wanted to do against that front structure. We felt like the best way to do that would be out of the two-tight-end personnel grouping. Obviously, there is going to be some adjustments when one of your starting receivers that's a main contributor for you ends up not going right before kickoff."
(On what it says about the tight ends and offensive tackles to be able to keep Bears LB Khalil Mack off the stat sheet)
"It says they did a great job. He is a game wrecker, he is a big-time, special, unique player. I thought the ability to be able to kind of consistently stay patient with the runs, consistently move the ball – I think we've got to be better in some of those third-down situations when we do run it, but I thought just the commitment overall. Then what we were able to get in terms of some of the ways we were limited in having to throw the football outside of a few drop backs here and there, limits really the 'opps' that he has and I think that's a credit to those guys that you just mentioned."
(On what he remembers about Ravens QB Lamar Jackson from when the team had training camp practices with the Ravens in 2018 and what he thinks about what Jackson is doing this season)
"As you're just diving into the initial part of getting familiar with the Ravens, I think you saw a dynamic athlete, you saw a guy that was just getting used to…I mean, you think about the early stages of where you're at in your development as a rookie quarterback right in the beginning of training camp. That's a lot of stuff that those guys are getting accustomed to. You could see the athleticism, but then when you look at what he's done so far, it has been impressive in terms of the ability to put pressure on defenses with the way that he can beat you in a couple different ways. I think (Ravens Offensive Coordinator) Greg Roman has done an outstanding job. They're one of the best offenses. They're on track to have less punts than anybody in the history of the league over the course of a season. I think they had zero punts yesterday. Dynamic playmaker, builds the guys around him, have a confidence because of his swagger and confidence. When he is delivering the football, he's throwing the ball accurately. In a lot of instances, they're dictating structures because they're able to be so efficient and such a threat of the run and the pass that can come off of it."
(On how CB Troy Hill has done since taking over the starting position and if that role became increasingly difficult for him after adding CB Jalen Ramey to the other side knowing that quarterbacks would want to avoid Ramsey)
"Yeah. I think in some instances, if that's what a team wants to do, you typically say, 'All right you might see a little bit more work.' But I think (CB) Troy (Hill) has done a great job continuing to improve. (Cornerbacks) Coach Pleasant does an outstanding job with those guys as a whole. Helping really to fine-tune the fundamentals, the techniques. Troy has always had the skill set in terms of his lateral agility, his just body control, overall speed. I think you're seeing him play at a really high level. He ends up having a pick yesterday, gets a sack on the one that gets flushed out on the sideline, he's making tackles. I think he's playing really good football right now. Really, I thought our secondary as whole did a great job last night. To minimize – where you talk about the biggest gain they had was on a 19-yard gain where we ended up dropping a coverage responsibility in a man pressure we had. I think that's a real credit to those guys and I thought it was a real positive to see (CB) David Long (Jr.) play his first extensive action – 15 snaps, did a great job. That's a reflection of those guys on the backend with (Safeties) Coach 'E' (Ejiro Evero) and Coach Aubrey doing a great job coaching those guys up."
(On how much harder the challenge is against Baltimore)
"When you look at just the production that they've had offensively, it is getting increasingly difficult. I think that's something that you embrace as a competitor. I know our guys will be excited about the challenge and the opportunity to compete against one of the best and most productive offenses in the league this year."
(On when the defense is playing really well and if that changes or impacts anything he does as a playcaller)
"Yeah, it certainly does. At the end of the day, the goal is to win the football game. Regardless of how you end up doing it, a win is a win. Now, certainly, that doesn't mean you don't want to be efficient and operate with consistency offensively, but I think it does enable you to feel like…I don't necessarily know if conservative is the word. But you want to play a smart, complementary game. I think yesterday indicated our ability to approach the game like that. There are still some instances where, as a whole, as good as the defense played there's some things we talked about that we expect them to do at a really high level. Same thing with the offense and the special teams, and like anything else we expect to get better from this. I think it's always easier to be able to teach and have guys learn from it when you do get the result that you want. But we do want to continue to focus on that process."
(On how RB Todd Gurley was feeling today and if he will continue to use him in the same way in which he did in yesterday's game or if it'll be a game-to-game evaluation)
"I think if he's feeling good. That's what you want. Obviously, that was the most work that he got this season. I think the thing that we had discussed that we talked about it last week, don't miss the opportunity if he's feeling good and getting into the flow like he was in Pittsburgh. I think more than anything he can really draw on that, feel good. So, yes if that's something that he continues to feel good, with his body responds the right way, which every inclination that I have is he's feeling good. That is something that you'd like to see because when the ball is in (RB) Todd's (Gurley) hands good things happen. I love as much as anything the way he responded after what happened on the first touch."
(On after watching the film how he felt about the offensive line's performance)
"Just physical. You saw a lot of downhill, direct runs. I just thought you could feel, especially for a lot of guys making their first extended action, wasn't too big going against a great front with a bunch of different play-makers on that front. I just thought that they played with a consistent physicality, a toughness, the way they were finishing. I thought there was a good energy in and out of the huddle. Obviously, able to keep Jared clean where he wasn't getting hit. They did a very, very good job. I thought (Run Game Coordinator) Coach (Aaron) Kromer's guidance, and then you talk about (T) Andrew Whitworth's leadership, (C) Austin Blythe's command at the center spot with those two big guards, and then (T) Bobby Evans doing a nice job stepping in at the right tackle position."
(On how he goes about trying to simulate Ravens QB Lamar Jackson's mobility and option concepts they run during practice this week)
"That's a hell of a question. That is something that we've started to discuss as a group with our defensive staff. It's hard to find somebody that has the skill set, in terms of the athleticism, to put the pressure on your defense, but then can also throw the football. Those are some things that we're working through. But typically you would like to say, 'All right, is it maybe even something where you explore a really unique athlete that can throw it?' Because you don't want it to be so predictable if you just put a guy in there. We've got some guys that might be capable of mimicking and emulating him, but he is certainly the man and playing at this rate for a reason. It's hard to truly do that."
(On if there is any concern for the wellbeing of Woods)
"No, we feel good. He's in a good place. We feel good about where the situation is at and his wellbeing, and that's very, very important to us."