(Author’s note: Shout out the Pro Football Writers of America for putting the transcripts together again this year.)
I'm jacked about the helmets. But if anyone wants to vote for the white face masks I'm all in. But I don't have a social media account so I can't vote. But I am jacked about the helmets and uniform change.
(On Todd Gurley)
It was definitely a sophomore slum. But I think, hey let's start with myself, did we put enough around Todd? It starts with Todd, it goes to the OL, the receivers. It's a We thing. It's not just one player. That's what this off season's about. Trying to figure out how do we get him back to that freshman year, that Rookie of the Year season.
(On Rams activity level in Free Agency)
Philosophically we're always: Draft first and develop from within. But you definitely got to use free agency to supplement. And with that, similar to the draft but different is, OK you've got a board of UFA's, that you would like to acquire. Some of them get franchised before we get to next Monday and maybe your board changes.
And then the market forces that go into it, because we've got a budget to work with. We're definitely planning to be active, but you gotta wait to see how the process goes and see who goes off the board, what they get paid and do they factor into your big picture. But I definitely think we need to use free agency to supplement our roster.
We're open to multiple positions, offensive side of the ball even defense. Because we are moving to a 3-4. There's some positions we're adding to our defense we didn't have before. It's not just one position, it's multiple.
What stands out is there success as long as we've been covering this league they've been doing what they do. You can tell sitting down with those guys, highly intelligent, and they use that intelligence to get a competitive advantage in football. They've got a plan, they've got a system they believe in and they execute it. And that's what you get when you sit down with Josh and Matt. Very impressive.
(On stacking your draft board without a first round pick)
You definitely need to stack it as you're picking first overall. That helps you figure out who might be there at 37, but obviously you don't have a first round pick so from a speculative standpoint, let's call it the first 36 players will be off the board, but that's just speculation right now and we have to prepare for, hey, one of those 37 guys is going to be there you just don't know who. But it is advantageous to start at one and get to your second and third and fourth so it helps you map it out and be more efficient.
(On Tagging Trumaine)
The thinking for Trumaine started last year, when we had two (free agent) corners. After the 2015 season Trumaine, in terms of looking at the corner position since 2012 when he was drafted, he ranked second in interceptions. After last season, he ranks fifth. Takeaways are important in this league, and he's been able to do that. So he's a viable player and we need him. Now we change coordinators going to Wade Phillips, but we know this: Wade values corners. So I think what we're going to do with Trumaine is, because everyone is new, we need to work together, live together, see if we all fit. Does Tru fit Wade, does Wade fit Tru? Because it's obvious by the tag number and what corners get paid, it's a heavy investment and you want to be right. Especially when you go long term.
(On college to pro offenses)
You know what's great, we can finally we can quit saying spread because we've got Bear Raid. I've always said we've got to have a better word then spread. But I think you said it well” Rookie Year, that's his first chapter in progressing. He's not there yet but he's getting there. But when you do got from Bear Raid spread, whatever you want to call it, it is different than what we normally do at this level and that's just going to take re-wiring your central nervous system. A lot of times you're going from two ski's to snowboarding. You're gonna be able to snowboard at some point but the first time you go down that mountain it's going to be a little different. Last year was the first step in that.
At the quarterback position you've got to be patient and it's probably going to leak down to other positions as well. Because, the gap's getting wider between the differences in our league and college football. And nothing against college football, they're doing well there. So I think it's going to take patience with QB's, but also wide receivers, even offensive linemen and even running backs. Because now you've got running backs lining up beside the QB and they run side ways where as in the NFL a lot of times they're behind the QB running north and south. It's seeping over to the defense too. We're going to have to be more patient with these young kids coming out. Even though they come in with a lot more hype. Storms are colliding.
(On Tyler Higbee)
It was interesting, Tyler started off real hot. In training camp he was a big weapon for us. But then he ran into a few injuries that set him back. And when that occurs, your offense moves on. They're moving on to try and win games and that's what happened to him. He got behind because of injuries and wasn't really able to recover from that until midway through the season and we started seeing him in the lineup and saying 'that's really Higbee. But with Sean (McVay) he uses tight ends ,his offense has multiple tight ends a lot of time two sometimes three. So we expect big things from Tyler
(On Kenny Britt)
Kenny should fit in any offense, but we do expect him to test free agency. And I do know that we're 32 in offense and we do need to improve. So we're going through that right now in, hey, what type of skill does Sean need to get us better than 32.
(On free agent WR crop)
We're confident that we know that market and who, in that market, fits Sean the most. And from there we've got to wait and see what happens next week. But we're confident we're prepared to test that market, and that we're prepared to test the market in the draft as well. We know we want to get better on offense, that includes wide receivers and other positions as well.
(On how much Sean McVay’s scheme can jumpstart offense)
I think this, we've got to improve the offense. And that could come by addition, it can come by subtractions, it can come by evolution, which is the less sexy guys from within. But going back to when we were searching for a head coach, one of the things that stood out about Sean is, and I know it's getting talked about at this combine, the last two seasons that Kirk Cousins had. So, he's taken a quarterback that was, hey, drafted in the mid rounds and wasn't drafted to be a starter, and he's probably the darling of the combine for content for really one thing: His last two seasons were really productive. So there's no doubt Sean's offense has been successful. So we do think, just him coming in and setting up his system, will help our team.
(On the young offensive linemen on the team)
That goes back to the evolution part. We've still got to figure those guys out. The 15 season was better than the 16 season, in the run game and the pass game. You take that 15 season, a lot of those guys are the same guys. In terms of sack to pass play, we ranked in the top five, which is good. But this year, we ranked in the bottom 30. Same group, same QB for the most part, same running back. When it's that drastic a change from '15 to '16, you now gotta figure out why. Was it the individual. Is it more than that? Do we need to add anybody? Do we need to subtract? So it's going to be a big offseason in terms of subtracting, adding, and trying to figure out if we can get those guys back.
(On Wade Phillips)
I think definitely Wade is somebody whose track record speaks for itself. And I do think when you look at our roster, most people will say, most of the work needs to be done on the offensive side of the ball. So when Wade came in, we've spent the last month or so really scrutinizing our roster, Who fits who doesn't. And I know Wade's excited about that front seven and how he's going to move them around. But he is excited about that bunch. And as most coaches should, hey, don't forget about us over here. We're playing defense too. But he's excited and there's some parts that fit him.
(On how Wade Phillips plans to use Aaron Donald)
Number one plan is, hey, he's one of the best if not best interior linemen in football so I don't want to mess him up. But I think he's got some creative ways in how he wants to use him in a three man front and also a four-man front. In today's football you're going to be in a traditional four-man front probably more than 50 percent of the time the way offense spread the ball out. So when he goes to a four-man front, very similar to what he has done, and what Wade's scheme allows his defenders to do, it's not just play one position every down. But move them around. His goal is to have the offense not be able to know what's coming and 'oh no, Aaron was here last play and is here this play.
(On the synergy between he and Sean McVay)
It's definitely been good. As you guys know just from his first press conference, he's s a ball of energy and it starts at 4 and it's still going at 10:30 pm. But these four weeks are really special in, terms of, you go in and you're digging through your roster, free agency and now the draft. So you're really working together. Not only with Sean, but his staff trying to figure out what they're trying to do in there scheme,s, what they're type player fits that scheme, how do our player fit. Who's available in free agency. Who's available in the draft to help is. And those moments start early and go late, and that where you really get that synergy.