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TRANSCRIPT: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay, Co-OC Shane Waldron, QB Jared Goff November 15 press conference

Here’s what the trio had to say today.

Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay

(On his reaction to moving the Monday Night Football game to Los Angeles)

“We were excited about the opportunity to play in Mexico City, but I think it’s a great demonstration of the league’s consideration for our players – when you talk about all the efforts that are being made to take care of them, to put them in safe atmospheres and environments. If you’re talking about putting them on a field that could potentially put them at risk, this is clearly the right thing to do and I think the players feel appreciated about that. It’s something we feel good about. We’re certainly not going to complain about getting a chance to play at the Coliseum and in front of a great atmosphere on Monday night.”

(On if it gives them an advantage to be at home on Monday night against the Chiefs)

”Oh yeah, certainly. I think the atmospheres and the environments that we’ve seen from the Coliseum thus far, has been exactly what you want. You talk about creating a home-field advantage, being able to do some things. Monday night, only game that’s on, against a great opponent – we have a lot of respect for them. Excited about having a great week of preparation and hopefully being ready to go on Monday night when we kickoff.”

(On if the decision to stay in Colorado Springs was easy to make once it was confirmed the game was being moved rather than returning immediately to Los Angeles)

”Yeah, it did. With all the things going on right now, I think there’s some guys that, at the time, wouldn’t have been able to get back into their houses. There’s a lot of things that we were doing here. One of them was, obviously, to get ready for playing in the elevation and different things like that. It does still serve you well to train in these environments, even going back down to where we’ll be at with just the altitude as far as when we’re in L.A. So, it’ll help us out. Then really, we looked at it as another chance to kind of get away before the bye week, continue to connect as a team where there’s not any real distractions. Then, being able to have guys’ families here as well with what (Owner/Chairman) Mr. (E. Stanley) Kroenke and (Executive Vice President of Football Operations/Chief Operating Officer) Kevin Demoff ended up setting up, I think enabled guys to feel good about staying here. We’ll go back on Saturday and then have Sunday and all day Monday to get ready to go.”

(On how much being in Colorado Springs and connecting as a team and with their families helps the players with everything that’s going on)

”I think so. I think, if anything, the last week has really made you appreciate the perspective that this gives you. What’s so special about football is the brotherhood that you share with the teammates, the coaches, the rapport and just the camaraderie. There’s nothing like it. To be able to go through some of these things, to also know that when you’re going through real life adversity outside of football, that you have a support system, you have people that care about you unconditionally – that’s what’s real. I think that’s made you appreciate things and like we’ve talked about, just giving you a perspective on not getting worked up over things that – I’m really talking to myself as far as just kind of the little bubble that we live in.”

(On if he talks to CB Marcus Peters about going against his former team, the Chiefs)

”Yeah, we’ll talk about it. There’s still a few days to go before that time comes. But, we have dialogue, whether it’s playing the Chiefs or anybody throughout the course of the week. Certainly, you don’t shy away from the fact that there’s some elements that, he’s got a history there, did a lot of great things. He’s got close friends on the team and a history and a lot of relationships. So, I don’t think you ever shy away from those conversations. But as far as the expectations for (CB) Marcus (Peters), we expect him to play at a high level. I know he’ll be excited about the opportunity to play on Monday night. He’ll have a lot of family, I think, coming from Oakland to be able to support him in L.A. It wouldn’t be anything different, but you don’t ignore the fact that this is his former team and that naturally comes with some other feelings, just based on the history and the relationships you have.”

(On Peters having the reputation of being hard to coach and if McVay has ever experienced that)

”I haven’t seen any of that. I think the one thing that I’ve really appreciated in my dealings personally with Marcus is how receptive he is to being coached. He’s clearly a very smart, instinctual player. He’s got a good feel for the game. He’s passionate about it. I think that I’ve been able to learn some things from him and enjoy being around him. I think what we’ve seen from him is a mentally-tough player. Physically, he’s extremely talented and really enjoyed the time with him and continuing to look forward to working with him in the future.”

(On if Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes compares to any other quarterback)

”I think just based on the nature of (Chiefs Head) Coach (Andy) Reid’s history with a Brett Favre and just the arm talent and ability to speed it up – things like that – you could say that. I think what you’re seeing is a great player. Really, I’ve been so impressed with his ability to sustain from the way he started against the (Los Angeles) Chargers in Week 1 and going back to how well he played against Arizona (Cardinals). You look at the explosives, the ability to create on-schedule. You can see, he’s really recognizing coverage – eye-manipulations and understanding where the ball should go based on the concept that Coach Reid’s calling. Just clearly, some of the throws. You think about it on Monday night when they’re playing Denver (Broncos) earlier in the season, he gets flushed to his left on a third-and-long and throws all the way across his body to (Chiefs TE Travis) Kelce. He’s made some plays that you just sit back and you can’t help but just say, ‘Wow, what a great play.’ They’ve got that that consistently shows up on their tape with, really, their offense as a whole. He’s doing an excellent job leading. I think Coach Reid’s system is sound and he does an excellent job calling plays and putting those guys in good spots. You see why they’re arguably the best offense, or one of the best offenses in the league without a doubt.”

(On how the team is doing health-wise)

”We’re good. We’re feeling pretty good right now. I’ll be interested to see – looking forward to getting (WR) Pharoh Cooper back out there, seeing how physically ready he is to go and if that affects whether he is active on gameday or not. But for the most part, we’re very healthy right now and that’s a credit to (Senior Director, Sports Medicine and Performance) Reggie (Scott) and his staff.”

(On how he expects the Rams defense to respond against the Chiefs after last week’s performance)

”I expect them to respond with a great week of preparation. I think our defensive coaches have started putting together a good gameplan that we feel like is conducive for putting our players, number one, in good spots. Then doing some things that try to take away what they’ve had a lot of success with. It’s easy to say, ‘Oh, you’re going to stop one thing or the other,’ you can’t do that. This is a great offense that has a variety of ways that they can beat you and attack you. We’ve got to be sound. We’ve got to make sure that we keep our gap integrity in the run game, we’re sound with our coverage matches. It’s going to be a great challenge, but I think our guys will be excited about the opportunity to compete against one of the best offenses in the league, for sure.”

(On if the Chiefs are a team that he regularly watches and studies to see if there’s something he can mimic)

”Oh, for sure. I think, like you’ve heard me say before, really our coaching staff as a whole, is a fan of the game. There’s so much good tape. With the ability to easily access it week-in and week-out, it’d be silly for us not to be able to look and see what the heck they’re doing. Every single week, they do something and you say, ‘That’s pretty good.’ Guys are making great plays. I’d be lying if I said we haven’t stolen some of their stuff this year (laughs). They do a great job.”

(On if he’s planning to use their plays on them)

”You’ll have to wait and see (laughs).”

(On how Colorado Springs has been)

”It’s been great. I think The Broadmoor (Resort) has done an excellent job really accommodating us. What a beautiful place. You can just appreciate – it’s just the fresh air, the amenities that this thing has and then, I haven’t really had a chance to get out and explore. We’re in the midst of game planning and things like that, but I know our players have enjoyed it. They got a chance to go to the (Denver) Nuggets-(Houston) Rockets game the other night. I think it’s been a great getaway for the team to be together and kind of bond. Certainly, the facilities have been excellent for us.”

(On if he spoke with the Patriots about their time at Colorado Springs last year)

”I did. I got a chance just to be able to – one of the things that you appreciate about getting to know some of these guys. (Patriots Head) Coach (Bill) Belichick was very helpful with regards to just saying how their process was. That was something that we actually reached out to them, knowing that they played Oakland (Raiders) last year in (Mexico). It was something that we felt good about, using the resources with Reggie Scott, (Director of Strength Training and Performance) Ted Rath and from a sports science approach. Some of the things that we did last year, we felt like it was a good fit. But certainly, anybody like a Bill Belichick, if they’re able to give you a perspective, it’d be silly not to be able to listen and try to apply it if it fits for us.”

(On if he was on board with Marcus Peters’ response to Saints Head Coach Sean Payton)

”You know what, I think it’s a fine line. I think that you want to allow people to be themselves. As long as it doesn’t take away from the team, his ability to play at a high level regardless of whatever those things are. I think you guys were more uncomfortable than I am answering this question right now (laughs). But, no, honestly as long as it doesn’t hurt the team and it’s all in good nature, I think we’re okay with that. I think we take a commonsensical approach. If it’s something that goes to that fact of where you’re like, ‘Okay, we know that.’ I think Marcus knows what that line is and I want to be consistent. But you also don’t want to be naive to the fact that guys have fun. I like talking a little bit back and forth with some of the defensive or offensive guys that you know when you have a relationship with. I know (Saints Head) Coach (Sean) Payton and Marcus have competed against each other. I think there’s a mutual respect, but there’s a competitive nature and that’s what makes this game fun.”

Pass Game Coordinator/Co-OC Shane Waldron

(On if his home was affected by the wildfires)

”No, we were really fortunate. We live right near the facility and just the way the winds blew we were able to stay home even though we kind of looked over the ridge right there and it was right there, but we were fortunate.”

(On what the last week has been like with the fires, the team being in Colorado, if it has been a little bit of a whirlwind and how do they focus on the game)

”I think one thing that has benefited us is coming out here, allows us to focus on the task at hand which is the Chiefs game. Obviously there has been a lot of other things that have been going on for everybody the last few weeks. I think our players have done a great job of dealing with it and really some of the leadership ability of some of the players has really come forward. (T) Andrew Whitworth has been just so impressive with his ability to articulate to the team how to help out in times of need, not just through words but through actions and then he went and backed it up. Some positives have come through some very extreme negatives in this situation.”

(On going against a team that has the ability to score 40 points on a team and if that changes how he looks at a game plan in terms of maybe needing to do more to compensate that)

”I think for us offensively we really focus on us and the defense. Like everything else, I don’t think we’ll get into a mode where we have to press or think of it any differently. We always want to play a good complementary game with all three phases – offense, defense and special teams. I think this week presents a great challenge. Obviously, they’re a great offense, but they also have a very good defense that’s leading the league in sacks and has a ton of production, especially in those third-down situations. Our focus needs to remain on that offensively and doing the best we can to get points on the board each possession.”

(On if there’s times he goes back and looks at the Chiefs offense regularly to see their scheme)

”Sure. That falls into each week, you go around the league and you look at some different things that are happening around the league. Whether it’s the Chiefs or another team that’s done some nice things offensively. If it fits with us, or something that we can apply to our system, surely, we’ll look at it and see how we can look to improve. But yeah, the Chiefs have popped up quite a few times. They are leading the league in explosives, or right up there in the top couple with us and so it’s been some good film to watch for us.”

(On if he feels like they’ve cleaned up some of the issues that led to quarterback hits and sacks from a few games ago)

”Sure. Some of those things, a variety of issues come up with those pressures or things that happen. I think we’ve stuck with our plans and really just overall, just keep focusing on the communication aspect to make sure we’re always on the same page. I think that’s shown the last few weeks especially.”

(On if going from playing at a neutral field to playing at home make it easier in terms of planning for the communications)

”It’s obviously going to be a little bit different when you’re playing, especially it was going to be in Mexico City, just like the game last year in London or two years ago in Washington when I was in London, you don’t know exactly what to expect when you have the ball. So back at home we know our crowd has done a great job. They know when to cheer and when to be loud when we are on defense and when we’re on offense getting in that mode of be quiet and let us work and cheer when something positive happens. It definitely helps us out being back home in that home game environment.”

(On with this game being back home what can the team do for the community and the city of Los Angeles moving forward)

”I think when you have a tragedy like this, you want something where people can come out and maybe get their minds off it, even if it’s just for a couple hours in a positive light. I think our organization with (COO/Executive Vice President of Football Operations) Kevin Demoff and everyone has done an excellent job reaching out to the community. I know we’ve donated a bunch of tickets and trying to help that way and just getting people to think about something positive if only for a couple hours and help them out that way.”

(On what WR Josh Reynolds brings to the table as a starter and also WR Pharoh Cooper if he’s able to play)

”I think the good thing about our receiver room is that we felt like we built some good depth with those guys and (WR) Josh (Reynolds) has gotten to play a good amount. When his number has been called he’s done an excellent job and stepped right up when those situations have presented themselves. We’ll see where (WR) Pharoh (Cooper) is this week. The great thing with him, he’s been working hard with (Senior Director of Sports Medicine and Performance) Reggie (Scott) and (Director of Strength Training and Performance) Ted (Rath) and those guys to continue his rehab process and also mentally being in the meetings and staying sharp. We’ll see how that one plays out. But like anything else with (WR) Cooper Kupp going down, never something you want to see, but we have a bunch of guys that I think can step up and a bunch of people will fill a role that he has really provided for us. Best of luck to him getting healthy and if there’s a guy that I bet will come back better than ever, Cooper Kupp is that guy that’s going to be back and ready to roll, sooner rather than later.”

(On if he’s noticed the altitude and the thin air in Colorado and if any of the players have spoken to him about the conditions)

”Well me personally, my office is upstairs and I’m pretty out of breath by the time I get up there. But I think our guys are in a little bit better of shape. Ted Rath and those guys have done a great job with getting those guys acclimated to the altitude and from everything I understand, it’s been nothing but positives as far as training and getting ready to go for a game where we’ll be going to play back at sea level and it will help our guys with their conditioning and their ability to play hard for four quarters.”

QB Jared Goff

(On his reaction when the Rams were going to be playing in Los Angeles instead of Mexico City)

”It’s kind of bitter sweet in ways. We wanted to get down to Mexico and see all those fans down there. I was excited to experience that culture and that international game, but with that being said, getting back in front of our home fans, especially with all that happened last week and being able to do some stuff for the first responders is pretty special.”

(On what this last week has been like)

”It’s been a little bit wild for sure, but with that being said, there’s a lot more people dealing with a lot worse than what we’re dealing with right now. We’re the lucky ones and we’re having a good time out here in Colorado.”

(On how they leave all of the past week’s events behind and start preparing for the Chiefs)

”It’s pretty easy. We’ve got a good group. We’ve got a good coaching staff. Just being able to focus in. We were able to do it last week in much harsher circumstances. Overcoming that adversity helps for this week.”

(On if he has watched the Chiefs on film and if he knows of any plays in the offense that originated in Kansas City)

”Every week you kind of look around the league at some of the best offenses and they’re definitely one of them. You look around – this more from the coaches’ side, but they’ll look and see, ‘What are these guys running? What are they doing to attack certain things?’ We’ll look at that as well as far as what have been big plays on certain teams. The Chiefs have had pretty good success on offense this year. Yeah, we’ve look at some of their stuff as I’m sure a lot of teams have looked at us and other teams that have done well on offense this year.”

(On if they look forward to playing on the big stage in prime-time games and if the team feels ready for those type of moments)

”Yeah, to us it’s just another game. I understand it’s two 9-1 teams, but to us it’s just another game. It’ll be a competitive game. It’ll be a fun one in L.A. in front of everyone, but it’s just another one to us. We’re excited to get out there.”

(On if Goff and Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes could be at the top of the league for the next 10 years or so)

”Who knows? You hope you keep having success, but who knows? He’s a great player and I have a lot of respect for him. Very happy for all of his success this year and everything he’s done. Hopefully, we both keep having success.”

(On if he knows Mahomes at all)

”I’ve met him a handful of times, yeah.”

(On if this quarterback matchup feels like the next generation of NFL stars in terms of the atmosphere around the game)

”It’s exciting, yeah. Like I spoke on, it’s two 9-1 teams coming to a head. It’s kind of been a game that kind of you’ve been looking at for a while now and finally here. Again, to us, it’s just another one. I’ve been watching mostly their defense and haven’t really been watching their offense. I understand they’ve done some good things over there, but it’ll be fun. It’ll be a good game and it’ll be fun for both sides.”

(On if he expects Sunday’s game to be a shootout)

”I don’t know. We’ll see.”

(On the Chiefs’ ability to rush the passer and cover on third down on defense)

”They’re good up front, really good up front with the two rush ends and what they can do in the secondary to match that is really good. It can give us some issues, but we’ve got a plan we’re putting together starting today and through the week.”

(On the challenge for WR Josh Reynolds stepping in for injured WR Cooper Kupp)

”Well it sucks losing (WR) Cooper (Kupp). Having to replace that is never easy. Really, with the way he was playing, it’s really close to impossible, but with what (WR) Josh (Reynolds) has been doing every time he has stepped in has been awesome. I’ve got a lot of faith in him, lot of trust in him and we’ve built a good rapport over the last two years. It seems like every time he plays he makes a big play and is always kind of in the right spot at the right time. I’m excited to see what he can do again this week.”

(On if growing up in a firefighting family has given him a different appreciation for what has gone on in their community this week and if he plans to interact with first responders more)

”Yeah, I think so. I think I understand – my dad has been in a couple of those where it’s all units brought in and he’s been in that. You kind of think about for the next few days, what could possibly happen and how it can be dangerous at times. So, you do have more of an appreciation I guess with having lived it a hand full of times in my life. Yeah, I hope to see those guys on Monday night and hope to say hi to a bunch of them. I hope to let them know how grateful we are.”

(On if he has heard from Halle Berry)

”I have not. Maybe I said the wrong thing. I don’t know (laughs).”