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TRANSCRIPT: LA Rams HC Sean McVay, QB Jared Goff, WR Robert Woods, RB Todd Gurley, ILB Alec Ogletree, DL Aaron Donald, ILB Mark Barron post-game media interviews

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Here’s what the Rams had to say after the 33-7 Week 10 win.

Los Angeles Rams WR Robert Woods
Los Angeles Rams WR Robert Woods
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay

(Opening Remarks)

“From an injury standpoint we came out clean for the most part. (G) Rodger Saffold just rolled his ankle a little bit, he could have come back in – we needed him, he was ready to go. It looks like (S) Lamarcus (Joyner) just had a little bit of hip, but he’s going to be okay. So, fortunately it seems like we came away clean talking to (Director of Performance/Sports Medicine) Reggie (Scott) and our trainers. Overall, very pleased with our defensive effort. To get four turnovers against a tough, great opponent, great scheme like (Texans Head) Coach (Bill) O’Brien has, that was a real credit to them. Offensively, not very good in the first half and it starts with me – I’ve got to do a much better job putting our players in better situations. I didn’t do that and credit to their defense, they made a handful of plays. (Texans OLB/DE) Jadeveon Clowney is a special player, made a lot of plays that disrupted the rhythm and timing of our flow. But, I think when you look at, really the start of the – kind of the end of the first half when (QB) Jared (Goff) made a couple big time completions to be able to get us in field goal range – (K) Greg (Zuerlein) hits the long field goal to go up 9-6 gave us some good momentum going into the half and then kind of carried that on. Then the (WR) Robert Woods 90-plus yard touchdown was huge. Great pickup by the offensive line, (RB) Todd (Gurley II) picks up the corner blitzing off the left side and then Jared stands in there, delivers a great ball over the top and then Robert finishes. A lot of good things – still many things that we can clean up and we’ve got a great opponent that we’re traveling to see that’s 7-2 as well with the Minnesota Vikings. With that being said, we’ll open up questions.”

(On if he was getting frustrated at not being able to score touchdowns in the first half)

“Absolutely, yeah. It is frustrating because you’re responsible – because there was a lot of things when you look back at it that I didn’t do a very good job of putting our players in the good spots. You look at that as your responsibility as a coach and especially as a play caller. I thought the guys overcame some bad calls, even earlier on in that game. But, as a whole, they continued to just stay resilient, mentally tough, defense played really well throughout the course of the game and that kept us in it when we weren’t playing very well offensively. Then you get a little bit of momentum, you’re able to string away some drives and come away and then you look at the field positon that we got on a couple of the short fields where we were able to convert that into touchdowns and that was huge. But, the defense really just continues to play well and very pleased with their effort.”

(On what impressed him with QB Jared Goff today)

“I think what you’ve heard us say before is the mental toughness. Things started out and really, like I’ve mentioned, I put him in some bad spots and I thought he just stayed together, stayed the course, didn’t let whatever the previous plays that didn’t work out for us effect his ability to move forward and that’s what he’s done a really good job of throughout the course of the first nine game now – he’s a mentally tough guy that’s unfazed by the good of the bad. He’s able to make big time throws – I thought to be able to deliver that ball on a second-and-8 when you’re backed up for the 90-plus yard touchdown shows the type of mental toughness has and then he made a couple other big third-down conversions. (WR) Cooper Kupp was big for us and it kept the offense together and we came away with 30-plus points, which credit to him.”

(On if there is any other aspect other than mental toughness that he has seen Goff improve on each week)

“Yeah, the decision-making. I think he continues to gain a grasp of exactly what we’re trying to get done – kind of the intent of the play calls, being that extension of the coaching staff. Anytime that you’re able to throw for as many yards as he was – we threw it a lot today and when he didn’t turn the football over at all, that’s big-time. You feel very comfortable and confident to be able to put the game in his hands and he’s shown why. We had great protection, but even you look at the long play that he hit off the play-action to Robert on the left sideline when we had a comfortable lead there. You feel comfortable that he’s going to make good decisions, he showed that all day today and very pleased with Jared’s effort.”

(On what let him get into a rhythm in terms of play calling)

“I think anytime that you’re able to get more plays off it gives you a chance to kind of just sustain some drives and you feel like you can get into a rhythm. But, to Houston’s credit they had some good disguises, some different looks that they presented to us, where you’re kind of anticipating one thing and then it ends up being something else. But, I think just being able to get some plays off – we had some good runs on some early downs in the drives that we ended up finishing for touchdowns, but just being able to get more plays off. Anytime that you can create some of those explosives as well, it allows you to be a little bit more aggressive on some first downs and different things like that. But, I would say the guys’ ability to be more efficient on first down is what allowed us to kind of get into a rhythm in that second half.”

(On if he can make the case that every phase on this team is clicking)

“I think at times that we’ve played pretty well in all three phases. I think you look at it today, special teams continues to play at an efficient level. I can’t say enough about what Greg Zuerlein has been to our team as far as just how automatic he’s been. He does a great job and then (P) Johnny (Hekker) and (LS) Jake (McQuaide) with that operation is not to be taken for granted with how consistent they’ve been. Defensively, I thought they played outstanding. And then offensively, really with the second half we played much better. The first half got to do a better job of not really beating ourselves. Houston did make a handful of great plays, but some of them were some self-inflicted wounds, starting with the play call by me. I think there are some things that we can clean up and we know that we have a great defense that we are getting ready to go play this week in the Minnesota Vikings.”

(On how important it was for him to play well and in an entertaining style in front of the home crowd)

“I think what was important for us is to come away with a win. It’s good to be back. I thought there was some good energy and the fans were excited today, players made a lot of big time plays all across the board. But, anytime that you go into the preparation for these games, it’s about what’s the best way for us to come away with a win and we found a way to do that today. It was good to be able to have the fans out here and we enjoyed that atmosphere for sure.”

(On if he saw something on the big touchdown play to Robert Woods)

“There was some different things on some of the second downs that we felt like it would be a play that might have been favorable, but the players made a great play. Kind of caught them in a pressure where it’s a two-safety fire zone and hit a post route over the top, but it gets picked up, up front and then Robert is able to kind of skinny inside of (Texans CB Johnathan) Joseph and run by him and finish and that’s where you see that 200-meter juice. I don’t think we can talk about Robert Woods as a possession receiver anymore after the last couple weeks, so very pleased with Robert.”

(On what allowed the offense to explode in the third quarter)

“I think we were able to get into a rhythm. We really kind of hurt ourselves with some negative plays and then you get into some third-and-longs. I think we avoided those third-and-long situations and you’re in some more third and manageable where the ball can come out in the rhythm and timing that you’d prefer to operate with against a great rush like that and anytime that you’re able to do that, I think you’re going to get a little bit more regulated looks and Jared made the throws and guys were doing a great job protecting up front. Like we mentioned, receivers consistently made some plays and I think that was the key to the second half for us offensively.”

(On what the 33 points scored given the struggles in the first half shows about what this team is capable of doing)

“I think what it says is that we’re pleased that when we faced a little bit of adversity, specifically offensively, the guys just stayed together and just kept competing and worried about the next snap because that’s the only thing that we can control, is what’s next? Let’s lean from the previous things and let’s correct it moving forward and I think that’s what guys did. Anytime that you’re able to create some of the explosives that we did, I think it’s very, very helpful. It’s too hard in this league to go 12 and 15 plays all the time against some of these defenses. So, to be able to get some of those chunk plays that alleviate the stress on having to just kind of having to go four and five (yards) all the way down the field was critical and when you’ve got explosive playmakers like we do, it was big. You look at the first half where not a real good continuity, but the screen to Todd at least got us where we get some points on the board – he continues to show up in the pass game, which is a big time thing for us.”

(On what his comment is being 7-2 at this point in the season)

“The guys have done a good job. To be able to go through the nine games and get seven wins is a credit to our players. I think our coaches have done a nice job preparing them and putting them in some good spots. We know that, really after nine games we’ve done a couple good things that give ourselves a chance to still continue to play meaningful football and now we’ve got a game coming up against another 7-2 team at their place where they’re playing really well on all three phases and it’s going to be a great challenge against (Minnesota Head) Coach (Mike) Zimmer and the Vikings.”

(On DT Aaron Donald having his second forced fumble in the first possession of a game in back-to-back games)

“He’s special. He’s a special player, special person. He continues to kind of epitomize a lot of the things that we talk about in terms of what you want your players to look like – the way that they prepare and then it shows up on game day. He’s doing a lot of other things that might not show up on the stat sheet that end up freeing up some other guys that are making plays on the defense. But, Aaron has done a great job, been a huge part of why our defense has played so well and very happy that he’s on our team.”

(On the Texans timeout usage before the half)

“I can’t remember exactly. I know we used one of our timeouts when we hit the first down under 40 seconds, so I can’t exactly recall if they did or not. But, I know we used one of ours to kind of just give ourselves a chance to huddle up and then we ended up settling for the field goal at the end of the half, but I can’t recall exactly how that played out.”

QB Jared Goff

(On if he getting to the point where he has confidence that, even with a slow start, they can finish strong)

“Yeah. I think so, I think talking about you know credit this whole week. We’re playing with confidence right now and that’s a good place to be and you can go through some drabs like that early on – we never want to. Ultimately, we were shooting ourselves in the foot a lot, just penalties and negative plays and came out in the second half and got those big plays, we got a couple turnovers. Can’t say enough about what the defense has been doing, just putting us in good field position and continuing…keeping the momentum on our side. I talked to him in the locker room at halftime and we’re fine, don’t freak out and came out and did our thing in the second half.”

(On what’s the key to guarding against frustration he may have from the first half and not letting it derail him)

“I think it goes back to confidence. We’ve played well. We’ve won four in a row now and we’ve played well and every pass of the game we trust our defense. They trust us. They keep getting turnovers. We keep getting mid-field position. It’s all confidence, momentum and we know it at some point it’s going to pop and the second half it did.”

(On how the first touchdown to WR Robert Woods developed)

“We called a basic sail concept and they played corners and turned around a great route and ran right past the corner.”

(On the offense getting to the line quickly on the Woods touchdown play and if he saw something there that he thought he couldn’t)

“You have to ask (Rams Head Coach) Sean (McVay) that one. We called it earlier and we didn’t get it. Snag or corners ran out, I cant remember, but we got it he kind of got in my head so that when I get to line, I see corners. ‘Alright, here we go’ and sure enough we got the look we wanted and threw it over the top.”

(On what Woods means to him and what he means to the team)

“He’s been huge. He’s been as big as anybody on this team. I think just…take everything he does on Sundays away – it’s been truly impressive seeing him day-in and day-out. The way he works the way he brings guys along. His attitude daily and the way he communicates with me is impressive. I’m happy to have him and I know he’s happy to be here.”

(On how he would evaluate how he played today)

“First half was a little shaky and there’s definitely some I’d like back and wasn’t playing particularly well in the first half you could just…couldn’t really settle into a rhythm for whatever reason and I think you’ve got to credit Houston’s defense, that’s a good defense. I don’t care who they’ve got out. They’re a good defense with good players and played us tough for most of the game and just couldn’t really get into a rhythm. They were doing a good job bringing different pressures and obviously (OLB/DE Jadeveon) Clowney is always a problem. So they were doing a good job keeping myself and the whole offense out of a rhythm. But, like I said in the second half we’ve figured it out and we started rolling.”

(On if overcoming adversity helps confidence)

“Yeah, I think it’s huge. That’s one thing we talked about post game is how big that is, is that we haven’t really hit anything like that in the last few weeks. We’ve been playing pretty well throughout the whole game and this first half, we didn’t play well especially on offense. We really didn’t play well, for us to realize that sometimes things like that are going to happen. You try to eliminate them. You try to minimize the mistakes, but sometimes they’re going to happen and don’t flinch and don’t ever hesitate. You can always come back in the second half and ??.”

(On if he feels like the team put on a good show today)

“I hope so. Hope the people liked it. It was fun. We had a pretty good crowd there. They were loud and think we’re still new. We’re only two years in to being in LA, so still building that fan base, but I think today may have taken the next step and had a little bit more of a family feel and hopefully we can keep that going.”

(On how it felt to connect with WR Sammy Watkins on his completions)

“The play before we had ran…three plays before and I missed it. I didn’t throw to Sammy, he was open I didn’t see him. I checked it down and he came to the sideline and talked about it. ‘Sammy, if we get this again, it’s coming again’ and sure enough got it again. Same coverage, rolled right in here. Hit him and then the next play was great play-call, I thought just getting him in a screen and open field with (T Andrew) Whitworth running out there and he did the rest.”

(On how big Whitworth has been on long completions like the ones to Watkins and Woods)

“He’s so athletic and so big. I think people underestimate how truly athletic and fast he is. He can get out in front of guys. I think he blocked two guys on that play. Again, what he’s done this season’s been one of the biggest things of our season for sure.”

(On what the third quarter was like when the whole game changed as the offense picked up)

“It was fun. It was a lot of fun. When it starts rolling like that, we start getting turnovers. Crowd gets into it, we start hitting big plays. We start hitting big plays, we score on the play after the turnover that’s when you really starting getting the momentum you want. And I thought Sean (McVay) did a great job handling that with the play-calls and just giving us stuff to succeed in the second half, especially just putting us in good spots. In his own way, his own self-evaluation, he’s done a great job of that all year just continuing to put us in great spots and I thought he did that all day.”

(On what his thoughts are on the stretch of games coming up going against playoff teams and competition)

“We got Minnesota next week, right? I don’t know who we’ve got after that. I’m just messing with you. I mean it’ll be tough. Next week will be a tough one in Minnesota. They’re 7-2, we’re 7-2. It’ll be a fun one though. It’s going to be loud there I’m sure. They’ve got a really good team right now and that’s all we’re focused on right now.”

(On what the completion to Woods was like for him and how much that play helped get the team rolling)

“It felt like all day we kind of needed a play, I mean maybe not necessarily that big, but a play just to kind of get us going to get us on a roll and that was the one that did. It was a big play and like I said early, Robert ran a great route and he was wide open, just threw it out there for him.”

(On if he feels like he’s made week-to-week improvements on decision making as stated by Head Coach Sean McVay and if he feels like the game slows down as he progresses)

”Yeah, for sure. I think anytime you come into a next level of any sports, it does take some years to let it slow down, some experience and it’s continued to do that. I’m continuing to see things better and see more and be able to understand more and more. I think it’s a credit to the coaching staff and the way they’ve handled not only myself, but the whole offense the whole year and right now we’re in a good spot for sure.”

(On how much of a lift it gives them as an offense to keep getting takeaways)

“Yeah, again, I can’t stress enough how huge the defense has been. I don’t think they get nearly enough credit because of how much we’re scoring on offense, but they’ve been the backbone of this team. They’re guys we can rely on and know, ‘Hey, we need a three and out’ and it’s coming or we feel like we might need a turnover here and they’re ball-hawks out there now and they’ve done a tremendous job. I was talking about it after the game, you see the pocket that the other teams have had recently, it’s like that thing closes in really fast and it’s (DT) Aaron (Donald), it’s (OLB) Connor (Barwin), it’s (OLB Robert) Quinn, it’s (DT Michael) Brockers, (OLB Matt) Longacre – it’s just like you can’t win when we’ve got so many guys upfront right now that are doing such a great job. Like I said, I think we’re in a good spot and got a lot work to do.”

(On if Coach McVay’s demeanor changes at all under pressure)

“No. He’s got a really good demeanor, him just as us understand that there’s going to be times where it’s not going our way and of course he’s not happy about the mistakes, but he understands that you got to work through them sometimes and that was his message in the locker room. You know we’re fine, just a little adversity – let’s see if we can figure it out in the second half and we did.”

Rams WR Robert Woods

(On what he’s thinking when he hears the play call in the huddle before the 94-yard touchdown)

“I heard the play call, I looked up, checked the coverage and pretty much saw the matchup and ran my route. I felt like I beat the guy and took three steps and saw the ball fly out. The ball was on the money, (QB) Jared Goff put it right in the palm of my hands, so I was just able to catch it and run. Saw the end zone and just a race to the end zone.”

(On if he can remember the last time he had a touchdown that long)

“No, I don’t. Probably here, for sure, in the Coli (Coliseum) (laughs).”

(On the 94-yard touchdown reception being his longest play ever)

“Yeah, I was saying earlier, it’s probably my longest play in NFL, college, high school, (video game) Madden (laughs). Pretty much, it was a big play. I was able to catch it and run, but Jared put it on the money.”

(On what it feels like to be 7-2)

“It feels good. It’s just a win. We look at it, we put it in the win column, but at the end of the day, we just put it away. It’s on to the next one, we have Minnesota coming up next week who is playing pretty well. Just got to work hard again this week and try to get another one on the win side.”

(On what changed at the end of the first half)

“I think they were playing us pretty well. We weren’t able to get our tempo going initially. Just the rhythm, we had a few mess ups early on. Just one play just almost hit and then finally – second half we were able to click. The big play was able to open up and our offense got to get going and (RB Todd) Gurley (II) was able to get free.”

(On how it feels to come to this team and in back-to-back weeks have career records)

“It feels good. Able to come to a new team and contribute, be a part of a winning team. But really it’s just working hard with these guys and coming out and seeing it pay off on Sunday’s is the biggest thing, because we’ve worked hard for it. We’ve been working since the summer and it’s finally clicking, but everybody is still staying focused. We have success right now, but everybody still staying focused on the course – one game at a time.”

RB Todd Gurley

(On starting off slow in the first half)

“We were trying to get (P) Johnny (Hekker) back in the Pro Bowl (laughs). We made some adjustments at halftime. But no, they came out and they was playing tough. We was a little sluggish, but we found some energy there in the second half. Great day by (WR) Rob (Woods), incredible, (WR) Sammy (Watkins), the O-line – everybody was doing their job and that’s what it’s all about.”

(On if it feels like just a matter of time with this offense during games before they break out big plays)

“Yeah. When you’re constantly doing it, you’ve got high expectations and when you go from scoring – I don’t know what we scored against the Cardinals. When you score 30-plus points and only have seven at halftime, you definitely want to be able to do what you’ve done in previous weeks. But every game is not going to be that game. You’ve got to find a way to make adjustments and keep doing what we’ve been doing. You see what happened in the second half, we was able to come out and execute and get some yards.”

(On the way the defense has played)

“Yeah man. I was just saying, they have to be the number one defense the last five or six weeks. Those guys have been playing lights out. We went three-and-out, missed on the fake punt and those guys came out and got a turnover. So, that’s big when your defense can go out there and those guys, yeah – they’re definitely playing lights out for sure.”

(On how big the 94-yard play was to get the offense going)

“It was crazy. Like I said, it was – they sent the (Weak Inside Linebacker) ‘WILL’, they sent the corner and we picked it up, let (QB Jared) Goff get some space, do what he do and Rob do what he do. Ran right past the guy and go 94 yards. It doesn’t get much better than that for you to start right there inside their redzone and be able to go and execute.”

(On Head Coach Sean McVay’s message about facing adversity)

“Obviously, we haven’t really been in too many situations. The Seattle game, the Washington we were down. But like I said, when you’re having success and you’re doing good and you only have what? Two, three field goals at the half, obviously everybody wanted to be able to do what we’ve been doing. Like I said, we just kept doing what we’ve been doing. Everybody was doing their job, Coach makes plays for us and we went out there and made the plays, honestly.”

(On how the team feels as a whole about their tough upcoming schedule)

“Good. It’s a good challenge for us to see where we are as a team. We want to be in the playoffs and right now if we keep doing what we’re doing, we will. And these teams are going to be in the playoffs as well, so it’s a great challenge for us to go to Minnesota. Those guys been playing lights out. (QB) Case Keenum has been doing a great job. The Saints are doing great, Seattle is doing great, Philly. So, it doesn’t matter who you’re playing in this league. Whether you’re playing the worst team or the best team, you have to bring each week, because you never know what might happen.”

LB Alec Ogletree

(On the difference between the first half and the second half)

“The first half we didn’t put up many points. The second half we put up 21 or something like that. We got a couple more turnovers and just kept it rolling. We didn’t start out hot offensively, I guess you can say – they kept pushing. With ‘AD’ (Aaron Donald) getting a good sack-fumble at the beginning, it was definitely a great tone setter.”

(On if this is as confident as the team has been all season)

“It just grows every week. The more you play, the more you communicate the better you feel about going out there and playing together. We just continue to work and know what we have to do in these upcoming weeks.”

(On how much the defensive line’s pressure influence what they’re try to do)

“That’s what we want to do. We want to get pressure on him. If we can get pressure with a five-man rush or four-man rush, it definitely works to our advantage.”

(On if he sensed Texans QB Tom Savage felt the pressure today)

“Yeah, I’m pretty sure he did. We got a couple good hits on him and were able to get the ball out and create turnovers. That’s what you want to do when you have an offense like we’ve got, try and get them as many possessions as possible.”

(On if he’s still surprised with what this offense has been able to do)

“We have as much confidence in them coming into the season. We knew if we did our part on the defense, the offense would definitely come together and play well and they continue to show that each and every week.”

DT Aaron Donald

(On his thoughts about the sack fumble to start the game)

“I got a one-on-one, I won my one-on-one and got to the quarterback.”

(On what kind of lift the takeaways give the defense)

“It helps us win games. Give the ball back to the offense and let them keep rolling. We’re playing as a team and we have to stay on track.”

(On if this is the best the defensive front has been this season)

“We’re just playing well. Everybody is making plays from the guys up front to the guys in the middle to the guys in the back. You have guys that are all over the field that are making a lot of plays, you’ll win a lot of games in the NFL.”

(On if the defense was waiting for the offense to get up to speed today)

“We knew they were going to get rolling. Like I said, our job is to just get those guys the ball back and let them do what they do with the ball and it showed.”

(On if it was a matter of time before the offense took off)

“Yeah, we weren’t worried. We didn’t panic at all. We just kept playing and knew they were going to get rolling soon.”

LB Mark Barron

(On his thoughts about his interception)

“I was just basically keying the quarterback, he threw the ball and I broke on it and went up and got it.”

(On if they had a sense today that they needed to produce turnovers)

“You know, really that’s kind of our mindset anyway. We want to be the ones to kind of get things going. Fortunately for us, our offense has been doing a great job and they really haven’t needed it but that’s kind of how we approach every game – we want to get things going.”

(On if this is as confident as he can remember the defense playing)

“Most definitely for me in my career. I’ve never felt so confident in the other side of the ball. Like I said, in that situation, even though they started out slow, there was no doubt in my mind that they would get it going and they did.”

(On how the offense turned it around so quickly)

“Yeah, it’s a great feeling to be a part of that and have that on the other side of the ball. Like I said, it’s probably the best that I’ve been around as far as being on the defense and depending on that other side of the ball. No matter what they’re doing at the present moment, I always feel like they’re going to come out and do their thing at the end of the day.”