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TRANSCRIPT: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay, DC Wade Phillips, RB Todd Gurley October 4 press conference

Here’s what the trio had to say today.

Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay

(On the sacks that happened late in the game and if that’s important for players to get)

”Yeah, I think over time, like anything else, the more push you can get in the pocket, whether it shows up on the stats as a sack or anything like that. It’s influencing and affecting your ability to be in rhythm and stay on schedule as an offense. When you move the quarterback off his spot, especially when you’re talking about your drop-back passing game, eventually it does affect you. The other night was a great example, where it’s kind of just that over the time, they ended up playing their best when they needed to. I think that was kind of an evolving thing as the game kind of wore on - when you’ve got to drop back. You always want to try to finish those plays, but there certainly is a lot to be said for even just creating that push, moving the quarterback off of his spot and how that affects and influences an offenses ability to stay in rhythm and on schedule.”

(On TE Tyler Higbee and G Rodger Saffold III being on the injury report and if either of them is in danger of playing on Sunday)

”No, I don’t think so. Really, with (G Rodger) Saffold (III), it’s just being smart with his knee and kind of a maintenance type deal. Then, (TE) Tyler (Higbee) got his knee a little bit in the game, but he returned. We expect those guys to be ready to go. As we kind of get closer to the week, they’ll be able to get some more work in, maybe even tomorrow. But, we don’t expect to not have those guys.”

(On how LB Mark Barron recovered)

”Yeah, he did good. Really, we only had a handful of, not necessarily even live reps, but full-speed reps, where you’re going faster than a walk-thru tempo. Today will really serve as a great measuring stick more than anything because this is our most physical tolling practice that we’ll have. We’ll put the pads on today. How he responds and how he feels tomorrow will be a big indicator on whether we feel like he’s going to be ready to go or not.”

(On WR JoJo Natson’s status)

”(WR) JoJo Natson’s doing a nice job. As far as if we feel comfortable, I know (Special Teams Coordinator John Fassel) ‘Bones’ feels good about him. But if you’re going to put somebody back there, just having gotten that surgery, we want to make sure we’re making smart decisions. That’s something that’s probably going to be a little bit closer. We’ll make that after tomorrow as well. If the case is he doesn’t go, then you feel confident in (WR) Cooper’s (Kupp) ability to consistently be back there and do a good job.”

(On how having a new kicker will impact him as a play-caller)

”Really, until we get a little bit closer, those are things that Bones and I will sit down, we’ll kind of discuss where we feel like that range is at. Really, in those two-minute situations – end of the half, end of the game – and then, obviously, in some of those where, hopefully, if we get ourselves into scoring position, what would dictate what we feel like is maybe a chance to go for it or not. That’s something that I think - he’ll kick today. He had the workout the other day. We were going to kick him yesterday, but because of his workout that he had, today will serve as a good chance for him to get some kicks and our guys to get experience with him. I think that will allow us to figure out what we want to do.”

(On QB Jared Goff saying he’d like to have back the interception he threw in the red zone and if that’s something he likes to hear from his quarterback)

”Oh no, I think (QB) Jared (Goff) has a great ability to not be affected, but to certainly learn from his previous plays, whether that’s good or bad. I think, really, he’s hard on himself and that’s what you appreciate. You want your leader to be accountable, to have a certain standard for the way that he expects himself to play and to lead our team. I know he mentioned that and the (Cardinals CB Patrick) Peterson play. Those are the two ones that you remember. One of the things I’ve been really impressed with Jared, really from the time that we got here, was his ability as a quarterback to respond from negative plays. A lot of instances, I have been around people where that affects their ability to continue to compete, then where you almost operate where your fear and failure – he is fearless. You want your quarterback to be a fearless competitor that isn’t afraid to fail, that will let things go, let it ride, but then you also learn from those experiences, so that you don’t make the same mistakes twice. He’s doing everything to give himself a chance to do that.”

(On if DT Ndamukong Suh was everything he expected in terms of his versatility)

”Yeah, I think he’s been a little bit more. I’ve always had a lot of respect for his game, but I think his ability to really play across the line, really, at any interior spot. He can play off the edge and he’s made a lot of plays, really, at all those spots. So, continue to come away impressed with him. Really enjoy getting to know him as well, where you really can appreciate, not only is he a really talented player, but he’s extremely smart – understands the game, asks great questions and that seems to be a consistent thing that you find as you get a little bit more experience as a coach. When you’re around really good football players, there’s a level of talent, but there’s also an intellect and an appreciation for the work that takes place throughout the course of the week and certainly he fits that bill.”

DC Wade Phillips

(On leading the league in quarterback hurries, pressures, the four sacks the defense had in the fourth quarter against the Vikings and how important it is to have their production reflect the kind of pressure they’re putting on the quarterback)

“Yes. You always want to get pressure on the quarterbacks, that’s the number one thing. It helps your pass defense, obviously. I just thought pressure situations, I thought we played well defensively. I saw the league last week and almost everybody that had the ball at the last drive scored a touchdown or made plays. I thought playing under pressure is a really key thing when the game is on the line, those kinds of things. We did a good job of that. We still need to improve. We’re working hard to do that. But, we do have some talented guys that can rush the passer.”

(On the outside linebacker position and how the position has come along since training camp and if he’s using the players a little bit differently than he has used outside linebackers before)

“You use different players differently, no matter what position they’re playing. We try to do the things that they do well. It sounds simple, but if there’s certain things guys do well then we try to let them do those things, and not do things they don’t do well.”

(On if LB Mark Barron is able to play on Sunday)

“Yes, that would be great if (LB) Mark (Barron) is able to play on Sunday. He’s worked so hard to try to get back. He’s practiced this week, which is a really good sign, and he’s a really good player. We hope he gets back — I’m sorry I interrupted the question. When you said Mark Barron I said, ‘Alright, let’s go!’ We hope he’s there (laughs).”

(On if Barron will be eased back in or will he be full go if he plays against the Seahawks)

“I think you’ll still have to watch him. He hadn’t played any preseason or regular season games this year. But, he’s in good shape. He’s worked hard, so we’ll just see where he is in the game. He could get tired. We’re not going to play him an extended, every play certainly. But again, the things he does well, we’re going to try to get him in there for those things.”

(On what he saw from CB Sam Shields against the Vikings)

“(CB) Sam (Shields) had to play every play, which was different — he had a limited role the first couple of games. I thought his effort was tremendous. Sam, I think he could’ve gotten down a little bit mentally during the game, but he didn’t. He kept fighting and I thought our whole team did the same thing.”

(On Shields background and what he thinks it means to Shields to be able to playing after being sidelined for nearly two seasons)

“I’m pretty sure I know how he feels, too, but it’s a great feeling that a kid or young man that’s had the things that happened to him is able to play football again. I know how much he appreciates that, and we’re really glad we have him.”

(On DT Ndamukong Suh playing on the edge a couple times and being able to get sacks from there and what he likes about Suh’s versatility)

“We thought it was good match-ups when we put him out there. He can play, obviously he can rush from inside or outside. Some of it’s match-ups, some of it are schemes that we want to do and certain calls and so forth. We want to move those guys around. I mean we move (DT) Aaron (Donald) over the center, over either guard and Ndamukong can go over either tackle, either guard or the center. He gives us some versatility. Their protections have to change, or we get one of those guys or two of those guys one-on-one. That’s what we’re looking for.”

(On how familiar he was with Suh’s versatility)

”Yeah, we knew that. We looked at all the plays – he played quite a few plays at defensive end at Miami. We were well aware of that, but we still had to work with him and make sure he could do those things we saw on film, but he did that.”

(On what he has seen from S Lamarcus Joyner this season)

”Yeah, he hasn’t had a lot of action. I mean, the one game we played – Arizona – he said, ‘I just watched the game.’ He was in the middle and nothing really happened. But, he’s the same guy. He’s an active player that we going to try to utilize him as much as we can on certain things. He’s a safety net back there that can overlap almost any play. We played a three-deep zone and I know they threw a touchdown – we were supposed to have a guy in deep zone and he almost made the play against the Chargers. We were supposed to have somebody in that deep third, he was in the middle. He made the tackle and I’m sure everybody, Pro Football Focus said he gave up a touchdown or something, but he was actually playing the middle of the field. So, he can make plays.”

(On if the versatility of this current defensive line is consistent with what he’s had in the past)

”That’s unique. It’s not usual that you have guys, number one, have those kind of caliber players – three of them. But, they can pretty much play almost every position or at least can give you matchup situations that you don’t normally have. Again, yeah, I’ve had some great players, but most times they played one position and obviously they played that position well. There’s not many players that you can move around like our guys.”

(On what DL John Franklin-Myers has shown him through training camp until now)

”Yeah, we’ve liked him all along. We’ve said all along he’s doing better and better as he goes. He beat his man several times in the game. It wasn’t the only time that he did. Obviously, that’s a big time – quarterback still had the ball. He’s a young player and we want to get him in the ball game with the things he does well and keep working on that. The thing he does well is rush the passer, so he’s been in those situations and we’re trying to hone in on that. Now, he did – he’s rushed either side which is – he’s not just tapped in to just rushing one side. He rushed on the left side quite a bit and then when he made the play at the end, he rushed on the right side. He’s a good, young player and we hope he keeps improving.”

(On what kind of challenge it is to defend Seahawks QB Russell Wilson and what specifically makes it difficult)

”Yeah, he’s a tremendous player. All you have to do is watch the film and watch him play. He makes plays out of nothing. He makes plays that nobody else makes. He’s fantastic. He’s obviously an elite quarterback that can win a game. He can beat you himself. Not many quarterbacks can do that and he can also – he can beat you running with it or throwing it. He’ll run for first downs to keep plays and then run around enough and find somebody open. You have to cover them for a long time, with him, and that makes it hard. He’s been doing it since he’s been in the league. So, I can’t say enough good things about him. He’s a great player. I think they’ve done a good job offensively. They’ve run the ball a lot better than they did last year. They’ve got three running backs who can really run with the football – that are strong runners and their running game is good. So, you’ve got a strong running game and a quarterback that makes you more dangerous. I think (Seahawks Offensive Line Coach) Mike Solari, the line coach, has done a really good job with their offensive line. They were talking before about how their offensive line was hurting, but now they block well and protect well. So, again, it’s always a challenge, but it’ll be a challenge up there. They’ve got good players and good coaches.”

RB Todd Gurley

(On Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott crediting Gurley’s success to teams being more willing to use first round draft picks for running backs)

”I appreciate it. I guess, I kind of did start the first-round thing again. Those guys are great players, so they put themselves in a great position – (Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott) him, (Jaguars RB Leonard) Fournette, (Panthers RB Christian) McCaffery, all those guys – they put themselves in great positions to be where they’re at today. You see why they’re having success in the NFL, just like me.”

(On the importance of running backs to the passing game and if yards per touch is a better measure than yards per carry)

”I don’t really care about any one of them, honestly. As long as we get the yards and win.”

(On if he enjoys playing in the Seahawks loud environment)

”It’s cool. It wasn’t loud last year. I forgot how loud it was. Hopefully, it won’t be loud again.”

(On if he recalls having a long run last year in Seattle where he broke free for more than 50 yards)

”It’s like 3rd-and-20, everybody was playing off. They probably thought we were just going to do a little screen or something like that. (Head) Coach (Sean) McVay called the outside-zone run, (G) Rodger (Saffold III) had a great block and just kind of ran free, honestly.”

(On when he gets into the situation of running free and what’s going through his mind)

”I’m just like, ‘Oh, snap!’ Kind of just look at the screen or look around and it’s kind of like too good to be true, honestly. Wish those came like once or twice a year. Don’t very often because teams are great. Teams put themselves in good positions. They get paid just like we do. It’s just one of those plays, honestly.”

(On if there is any other way to look at this game other than an NFC West matchup)

”Yeah, every game is a must win. We just started off pretty hot. Had a 10-day rest and divisional game, so definitely want to go out there and get this win. Can’t give them anything to feed off of and just go up there and try to dominate.”

(On if he likes to hear others calling the Rams the best team in the NFL or if he blocks it out)

”If I’m watching TV, you hear it, but it is what it is. We know we’re good. We don’t need anybody else to tell us that.”

(On being at the center of the offense and everything working based off of him)

”Yeah, I tell those guys they need me out there (laughs). I tell them, ‘Thank me all the time.’ When I go in motion and they get their little touchdowns (laughs). But no, man, obviously Coach McVay – we want to have a well-balanced offense. It starts with the run, then the play-action and then everything else is going to take care of itself. But, at the end of the day – like I said before – if they’re going to stop the run, they (expletive) sure not going to stop the pass. We’ve got some great receivers. The O-line is fantastic. They keep (QB Jared) Goff back there clean all the time. So, whether we run or pass the ball, or whether I’m in there or not, everybody’s in their doing their job. They’re just balling out.”

(On if he still feels like defenses are keying in on him a quarter of the way into the season)

”Yeah, I would hope so. That’s what a smart defensive coordinator would do (laughs). I mean, I know players on every team and we talk all the time. They’re like…man, they tell me during the game. ‘We’re not going to give you nothing. So, you’re going to have to earn it.’ You hear it throughout the week, press conferences, whatever it is. Even in the game, guys are like, ‘Uh, uh (No.) 30. You ain’t getting nothing.’ But at the end of the day, we’re going to line up, we’re going to run the ball and you’re still just going to have to stop us. O-line does a great job of blocking for me. Even the receivers, man. Those guys – tight ends, can’t forget about those guys – but the receivers are out there. (WR Robert) Woods is doggone – he’s the lead blocker. He’s doggone a fullback some plays. So, credit to those guys, the receivers, just wanting to be out there and blocking for me and vice versa.”

(On if last Thursday’s atmosphere at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was what he imagined when he envisioned football in L.A.)

”Oh yeah, it was great. It was just one of those moments, man. It was definitely a fun moment. Thursday night game, lot of high energy. It was like a dream come true. It felt like a night college game. You don’t get too many night games in the NFL, so it was definitely great energy. The Coliseum was rocking. Obviously, (celebrity hip hop artist) YG’s always there supporting at every game. It was just a good moment.”

(On if there are any celebrities in particular that he’d like to see come to a game)

”No, not really.”

(On Goff saying he’s confident in his pass protection skills and if he’s always been an enthusiastic blocker or if his blocking skills have evolved over his professional career)

“I mean, I’m just doing my job. One thing about this league is if you’re not going to block for the quarterback, then they don’t care who you are, you’re not going to be in the backfield. You know, that’s my job not to let my quarterback get hit. It’s not that hard, you just hold the guy up for two, three seconds, and then we got great receivers so they’re not getting shut down. Those guys are separating in the one-on-ones and doing their thing. He does a great job of just stepping up in the pocket and well awareness. But it doesn’t start with me, it starts with (C John Sullivan) ‘Sully’ up there making the right calls and everybody just really being on the same page. I’m a big guy so, hopefully, I can’t get ran over too much.”

(On having to take on players that are really fast and big while blocking and not being able to run past them)

“Yeah, especially when DBs come off from the slot or something. You just got to study guys honestly, because different guys are going do different stuff. Might get a spin move, you might get a fake and try to come underneath. You just try to do your job and stay grounded, not try to go for all the movement. Just study, and that’s why we practice. We deal with this stuff, do one-on-one stuff at camp and we always do fit drills with (Running backs) coach (Skip) Peete. That’s definitely a thing we pride ourselves on.”

(On what he’s seeing from Seattle’s defense this year)

“Obviously, definitely, a whole new change from years in the past. Still a lot of new guys figuring out the system. Like I said, they’re a simple defense anyways. They’re going to run what they run, line up, do their stunts and twists up front. Used to have (DE Michael) Bennett but now they have (DE Frank) Clark and (LB Barkevious) Mingo. Those guys are great — have a knack for just finding the ball. Like I said, starts with the protection up front, we all being on the same page and just taking care of the rest – winning on our one-on-ones. But great match-ups, very disciplined secondary. Got one of the best linebackers in (Bobby) Wagner. He’s always a great competitor to go against. Obviously (Seahawks LB) KJ Wright’s out right now, but hopefully we see whoever steps in for him. I’m pretty sure Bobby will have him in the right position to make plays.”

(On the barbecue at WR Brandin Cooks house and how great it is for them as a team to get together away from the field)

“It’s cool. I see these guys all the time. I appreciate (WR) Brandin (Cooks) inviting us to his house and catering food. The food was real good actually, put me to sleep for like — I woke up at like one o’clock. It’s just cool. Guys had their families there so you get to see the kids and the wives and just say hello and watch some football. It was pretty cool.”