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TRANSCRIPT: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay, OC Matt LaFleur Explain Jacksonville Plans

Here’s what McBae and the Flower said ahead of the Week 6 road trip.

Los Angeles Rams P Johnny Hekker
Los Angeles Rams P Johnny Hekker
Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay

(Opening Statement)

“From an injury standpoint, (S) Lamarcus Joyner was limited today, he’ll be questionable for the game. (LB) Mark Barron was limited, he’ll be questionable as well. (CB) Troy Hill was also a limited participant, he’ll be doubtful for the game. Everybody else should be good.”

(On how he feels like his team is prepared for this long trip)

“We talk about that all the time, we’ve got plans in place with exactly how we want to handle it to try to immediately get our players adjusted to Eastern Time Zone and then moving forward after the game as we’re in Jacksonville going through that Thursday then when we travel to London. But, it’s a great opportunity for us to travel together as a team, continue to work on staying connected. We look at it as an advantage, it’s not something that we’re ever going to make an excuse for. Whether our routine is off a little bit, we stick to our same routine – we have an opportunity to go travel together and our first goal is to try to go win against an excellent Jacksonville Jaguars football team on Sunday. Then we will worry about what’s after that. In terms of the adjustments, (Director of Operations) Bruce Warwick, (Assistant to the Head Coach) Billy Nayes, those guys that set out the plans a long time in advance have done an excellent job making this a seamless deal and we’re hoping that it goes very smoothly as we’re away for a little bit.”

(On what went into the planning for this trip and a shorter stay in London)

“It was a combination of a lot of things. You certainly take the players input and feedback into account. You also draw on some of your previous experiences and I think when you look at the opportunity to play in Jacksonville, where we were able to stay and practice during that week. Then when I was in Washington last year, we traveled on that Thursday to go play Cincinnati in London and we felt like that was a pretty seamless transition, as seamless as it can get I guess when you’re adjusting with that different time zone change. That’s what we’re going to try to do. We felt like it was the best way to put our players in a good situation and try to travel as little as possible, knowing that there is going to be a lot of traveling involved. I think with the things that we do have set up to try to keep our normal approach and preparation for the next couple weeks, it’s going to be a good setup for us.”

(On some of the challenges that the Jaguars defense presents)

“I think any challenge, really for any offense – what they’ve got is great players on all three levels, specifically you look at the way they’re taking the football away has been incredibly impressive. 15 takeaways, they’ve got 10 picks, five fumbles recovered and they play really hard, they’re very fundamentally sound, play with great technique and effort, they’ve got a lot of guys that they rotate in that can play and then you can see why they’re playing such good pass coverage on the back end. They’re one of the top teams in the league – I want to say that they’re holding teams to under 180 passing yards a game and it’s going to be a great challenge because of some of the players they have, but also great coaches on that side of the football. (Jaguars Defensive Coordinator) Todd Wash has done an excellent job of leading that group and then I’m very familiar with (Jaguars Secondary Coach) Perry Fewell from working with him in Washington. I can’t say enough about these guys and you see why this is definitely one of the top defenses in the league and it’s going to be a great challenge for any offense, specifically ours’ this week.”

(On why was it important to him for LB Alec Ogletree to agree to a contract extension)

“Very happy for Alec. It’s always great to see good people, good players – especially when you look at they invested in him a while in the draft and then you always want to take care of your own. But, since I got here, my exposure to Alec has been one of the more influential players in this locker room. He always goes about his business the right way, he brings people with him. You always talk about what a real true sign of a great leader is – do you bring people with you? It’s not only being a great player, but making people around you better as well. That’s what you see from him. He raises the level of play around him, he’s a high football character guy. He’s the epitome of kind of what we’re looking for in terms of the players that you want to build around. I’m very happy for Alec and we’re excited to see him get locked up as a Ram for a long time to come.”

(On what impact will that contract have on DT Aaron Donald’s contract situation)

“We’re still very optimistic. Everything that we do, I think when you look at (Senior Assistant) Tony (Pastoors) and (Executive Vice President of Football Operations/Chief Operating Officer) Kevin (Demoff) and (General Manager) Les (Snead), those are two of our major priorities and there’s very specific ways that you do some of these things to take care of the player first and foremost, but also make sure that there are some other things that we want to do, especially with regards to Aaron. We feel very good about those things. Aaron is in a good position, he’s in a good spot right now. He’s doing a great job these last couple weeks. I think you’re seeing Aaron play really good football and he’s trusting that in the meantime, we’re letting our side of the organization and his agents continue to negotiate and we’re very optimistic that that will get done at some point.”

OC Matt LaFleur

(On if WR Sammy Watkins will be more involved in the offense this week)

“I think any time we go into a game, especially with the collection of receivers that we have – we’re trying to get them all involved, because we know that we’re at our best when we’re able to spread the ball around. So certainly, we’re always going to target our guys and sometimes coverages dictated as such – where they might not get the opportunities in one game, but will in another game. So, absolutely always trying to get everybody involved.”

(On how important it is to control the tempo in a game like this)

“I think that’s part of our football philosophy on offense is we like to dictate the pace of the game and in order for us to do that, we’ve got to be great on third down. It goes back to having a good balance on first and second down. We’ve got to stay ahead of the sticks a little bit to kind of keep the defense a little bit off balance.”

(On if he could go back and change anything from last week, would he have run the ball more with RB Todd Gurley II early on in that game against Seattle)

“Yeah. I think certainly again, it kind of goes back to your first down efficiency. If you’re running it well on first down, you’re a little bit less likely to be in those second-and-long situations where you can keep that balance. But really when you look at last week, I thought we did a lot of good things offensively. You start out the second half with a 12-play and a 13-play drive and you come away with no points, that’s tough to overcome.”

(On what he sees from Jacksonville that is allowing them to come up with so many turnovers right now)

“I think the first thing you see is just the speed they have, really at all three levels. Not only the speed, but when you look at like their linebackers, (OLB) Telvin Smith, what did he have three interceptions? (S) Tashaun Gipson, three interceptions. They’ve got a lot of guys with really good ball skills. What really complicates it I guess from an offensive perspective is you combine that with a pretty good pass rush and it makes life difficult on an offense. So, we’re going to have to do a great job of being in rhythm within the passing game and throwing on time. Guys are going to have to run great routes, quarterback is going to have to do a great job with his eyes to kind of manipulate coverage and open up some holes for our receivers.”

(On how much ball security has been a theme this week)

“That’s again, it goes back to our football philosophy. You turn the ball over five times and naturally everybody thinks, oh that’s all you’re talking about. Well, this is something we’ve been talking about since the day we got here, it’s all about the ball so philosophically nothing’s changed. I think our guys are a little bit, naturally when you have some of unforced errors, if you will, like there were a couple in that game. I think they’re going to take it upon themselves to make sure that we’re finishing plays so those unforced errors don’t happen.”

(On how much having LT Andrew Whitworth has helped open up the offense and what the offense could do if they didn’t have Whitworth)

“I think anytime you got a guy like that, it allows you to run maybe some deeper developing concepts to really try to push the ball down the field. I think that’s one thing our offense has done pretty good job of. Talk about last game, I think we threw it 47 times, I know (QB) Jared (Goff) had another scramble and he got hit twice all game against one of the premier pass rushes in the game. I think up front I can’t say enough about what those guys have done in the pass game. They’ve done a great job.”

(On if he’s ever seen anyone the same age as LT Andrew Whitworth who has been able to function at such a high level)

“I think it starts with just his mentality and his approach. This guy is a pro. He’s always studying the techniques of the defensive players he’s going to go against. He does a great job fundamentally. I got to give a lot of credit to (Offensive Line) Coach (Aaron) Kromer working with those guys. He does an outstanding job. Definitely happy that Andrew Whitworth is on our team. He brings so much more than just his play on the field too. He’s a veteran leader in the room, he kind of sets the tone for those guys in that offensive line room.”