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TRANSCRIPT: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay, DC Wade Phillips, RB Todd Gurley November 16 press conference

Here’s what the trio had to say today.

Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay

(On if the team is ready to handle playing on the big stage and if some of the situations they have been through will help the team in that regard)

”Yeah, I think so. I think we always want to embrace the opportunity to be able to play in those types of games. It’s a blessing to even be a part of games like that. You don’t want to make it bigger than it is, but I certainly wouldn’t ever have our players shy away from enjoying the moment. But what we don’t want to do is press, do things that are out of the norm in terms of our weekly preparation, the way that we go about it. We have a whole lot of respect for the (Kansas City) Chiefs, but we want to be consistent with our process, with our approach. Hopefully, leads to a good performance. I think to be able to play in the NFL, to be able to coach in the NFL and get a chance to play in these types of games is something that you want to enjoy and cherish it and go compete to the best of our ability and see what happens.”

(On if the practice routine this week is the same as it would be if the team was back in L.A.)

”It is. Yeah, it’s just a little bit bumped back just because of some of the things that we tried to do as far as just the time slot, playing at 5:15 p.m. on L.A. time. So, we moved some things back and then there’s an element also just from a convenience standpoint of going out to Air Force (Academy) or staying here for the walk-thrus. It is as close to what would be normal at Cal Lu as possible.”

(On if WR Cooper Kupp had his surgery yet and how it went)

”He did. It went really well. He called right afterwards and he was in great spirits. I know if anybody is going to attack the rehab process the right way, it’s going to be (WR) Cooper Kupp. Fortunately, some of the things when you do get in there, none of the other things that sometimes can delay that rehab process were affected. It was a clean surgery, did a good job repairing that and we expect him to be able to make a good recovery. Looking forward to getting him back.”

(On if he saw something developing on the sideline at the end of Sunday’s game that he felt like he needed to go break it up)

”Do you mean the fight that broke out? Yes, I saw it (laughs).”

(On if he saw the fight developing)

”I took off after the fight, yeah. It wasn’t like I was ahead of it. I think the biggest thing is, is that you almost forget, you’ve got to wear that mic, but you forget in those types of settings. The biggest thing is, is that it’s an emotional game. There were some things that took place throughout the course of the game that we didn’t like at all – in terms of some of the things they were doing to him (DT Aaron Donald). There was some frustration that if you feel like you’re being put in a situation where you’re going to be hurt, those reactions are – we always want to support our players. I think it got to a point where Aaron was frustrated with the way that he was pushed out of bounds clearly after he was out of bounds. But anytime you see that, whether it’s Aaron or any player, you want to try to do the best you can to be able to break that up immediately and not let some of those emotional things affect the way that the game is played moving forward. That was just players and coaches trying to do what we felt like was right in that situation. It’s an emotional game. You don’t shy away from that, but that’s just – it’s reactionary. It’s nothing that you really plan on. I don’t think you ever plan on that. You’re just kind of going with what you feel like it best in the moment with how to handle those things.”

(On if Donald has been fined by the league or if he anticipates he will be for what happened after Sunday’s game)

”No. I don’t think really anything got – nothing got out of hand after the game. As far as the way that that’s looked at, that’s not for me to decide. We’ve talked about that. We’ve talked about some of the things we can do and use every opportunity that we have as a learning opportunity as a team. It’s not just for any sort of individual. We love Aaron. I love Aaron. And the best part about Aaron is like all of our players this year when you’ve had some situations that come up, they’re able to take the ownership, the accountability and know what they can do if something like this comes up in the future about how we want to try to handle it, or try to avoid having ourselves in those situations that lead to feeling some kind of way.”

(On how tackling is an issue at this point in the season and what they can do to shore that up)

”You always want to be mindful of that, using the eyes up, going through people, all 11 (defenders) to the football – the fundamentals, the techniques. It is a little bit more difficult to mimic and emulate some of those things that occur when you want to take care of guys, especially when you’re getting into Week 11 of the season. It’s a point of emphasis for us. I know we drill it and different things like that, but you’re not ever going live during the week. Then, you also have a respect and appreciation for some of the things that Seattle did. I thought – very impressed with just some of the – whether it was (Seahawks RB Rashaad) Penny or (Seahawks RB Mike) Davis – their ability to be able to make some short-space quickness moves, work edges on guys. You give some credit to them as well, but I think our guys will respond the right way. They’re intentional about figuring out how we can do a better job with regards to some of those things that Seattle had some success with. Hopefully, that’ll translate against Kansas City.”

(On what he has seen from WR Pharoh Cooper this week)

”He got out and did a little bit of a workout in terms of just running some routes with our medical staff that was not exclusive to practicing. Today will be a good gauge for us to see where he’s at, once we get out on the field, do some team settings. If he’s feeling good, we’re looking forward to having him potentially up this week and it’s good to have (WR) Pharoh (Cooper) back out there.”

(On if he feels like his message to the team about extracurricular actions has resonated and if he has re-visited the topic this week)

”Yeah, I think so. I trust that when we handle situations as a team, we all use it as an opportunity. These types of things aren’t just player driven either. These are things that I’ve got to be consistent with, the demeanor that I’m demonstrating in terms of how we want to respond, whether things are working out in our favor or not. We always do things together and I certainly hope that the message was heard. I think we’re all on the same page. If we do it the right way, then hopefully we can avoid those types of things that come up in the future. You can never envision, but I do full trust and confidence that we’re all on the same page with how we want to operate.”

DC Wade Phillips

(Opening statement)

”Obviously, Kansas City’s offense is one of the top in the league, probably the top right now. Got a lot of weapons. They give you a lot of problems like our offense does. Then, they’ve got talented players that play well. So, it’s a big challenge.”

(On where Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes ranks among the top young quarterbacks in the league and if he has seen a player quite like him)

”I don’t know who to compare him to, but obviously he’s an excellent player and is getting better and better - that’s the scary thing. He’s so athletic. Younger quarterbacks don’t normally read progressions well. He does that well. Even if he’s running around, sometimes he goes to his third progression. So, I think that sets him apart besides his talented arm and being able to run around and find people. He does do a good job going back and reading his reads and finding the guy that’s open. He’s impressive.”

(On if he likes to scheme against a new quarterback like Mahomes as opposed to veterans like Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Russell Wilson)

”Every game is a challenge no matter who you’re playing. What that team can do and what that quarterback can do is predicated on what you try to do. He’s shown enough already. They’ve won nine games and he’s thrown 31 touchdown passes. So, you’ve got a pretty good feel for what he can do.”

(On where he has seen Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid’s scheme evolve more over the years)

”Like any great coach, Andy Reid has progressed through the years. Obviously, his offense – we played against him in Philadelphia way back – it was innovative then and he’s still at the top as far as getting his best players to get the football in different ways and give the defense problems. Whether it’s formations or motions or those kind of things, Andy can scheme defenses. If he knows you’re in a certain defense, he can run the best play against it. That’s what he does well.”

(On what he has seen from OLB Dante Fowler so far and if he has been the edge presence that he was hoping for)

”Obviously, (OLB) Dante (Fowler Jr.) has done well. That sack-fumble recovery really was a game-winner against Seattle. Yeah, he’s rushed the passer well. That’s what he wanted him for. He’s done well there – we’ve worked him in – and some in our regular defense, but mostly in our third down package.”

(On what has been happening with the run defense in the last couple games)

”The quarterback had a lot to do with it. He had 92 yards rushing. They’re a good running team. They rushed for 170 (yards) last night. We played a good running team, we didn’t play them well enough. We beat them twice, but we didn’t play them well enough in the running game. But, we also won both those games.”

(On what challenges Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt presents)

”That’s what I said, they have so much talent. He led the NFL in rushing last year. So, you’ve got a quarterback that’s playing at the top level, the running back is a top-level guy, there’s a top tight end in the league and of course (Chiefs WR) Tyreek Hill is such an explosive player. Then, you’ve got other good players and they’ve got a good offensive line. Like I said, it’s going to be a challenge, but we’re looking forward to this one.”

(On his take on the personal foul penalties in last week’s game and if it is a concern for him)

”Any time retaliation is really the – and it’s not easy to do. I understand that, when you get fouled and somebody else didn’t. It’s part of being – composure. Thinking about your team in those situations to not get penalties. After the play penalties, we really don’t accept them. They can’t happen. Sometimes you hit a guy close out of bounds, that kind of thing, but any post-play penalties, you’ve got to think about your team and what it costs if those things happen.”

(On if it surprised him that it was DT Aaron Donald who was involved in the retaliation)

”I don’t know. You don’t know how people are going to react when they get hit five yards out of bounds in the back, you know? But, you just learn from those things.”

(On if he has had a chance to enjoy his time in Colorado)

”Yeah, the Broadmoor (Hotel) is great (laughs). Haven’t done anything else. We work, so I really haven’t seen – I’ve got a lot of friends here, but I haven’t really seen anybody because we’ve been working. It’s a work trip.”

(On if he has had a chance to see any of the people he knows)

”No, not really. We’ve got good friends that come to some of our ballgames, but I haven’t seen them either. We’re getting ready to play a game.”

(On how he thought CB Marcus Peters played in the last game and if he’s confident in him going forward)

”Yeah, I though he played – (Seahawks QB) Russell Wilson had 49 yards passing until the last two drives. They ran three two-minute drives against us, they scored on one of them, but we stopped them twice on the other two-minute drives and he was a big part of it. I think we’re progressing.”

(On if productive offenses are just the new trend in the NFL or if defenses can stop offenses the way that the game is designed and rules are made these days)

”Well, each game is different, obviously, but the passing is up, the scoring is up, points are up, all those things are up for a reason. Defenses have to adjust. It’s an ebb and flow. Certainly they changed the rules at one time to help the offenses. Now, I think penalties and so forth are hurting defenses some. They’re adding new things. We had the run-and-shoot for a while there way back. They had a run-and-shoot offense and nobody was stopping that and then all of a sudden that went away. So, I think defenses catch up, but it’s still hard to catch up. It’s hard to catch up with talent. Any time you have great talent throw the football, you’re going to score more points.”

(On if he can get a sense for how his players like being in Colorado and if it means anything to him at all)

”No, not really. This team adjusts real well. We went to Jacksonville and stayed a week last year. We’ve had some things happen that don’t normally happen to teams and they seem to adjust real well. Yeah, I’m sure they enjoy it here, but it’s still practice for them just like us for coaches. It’s still practice and getting ready to play a ball game.”

(On if everything is well back home for him with the wild fires)

”Yeah, we got evacuated, but it was nothing really. We didn’t have a problem. I think everything is okay. We’re glad for that, but sorry for all the other people and thinking about all of the things that have happened. It’s a real shame.”

RB Todd Gurley

(On if he saw DT Aaron Donald’s socks that have an image of Gurley on them)

”Yeah, I gave them to him.”

(On if it’s a sock campaign)

”No. Ya’ll are about three months late.”

(On how the week has been being away from home and going to the Denver Nuggets game)

”Yeah, that was pretty cool. It’s been cool. Been having a good time team bonding – same old stuff.”

(On if he enjoys being on the big stage during games that have a lot of national attention)

”Yeah, it’s cool. I guess it’s the game of the year – everybody’s excited, pumped up – fans, coaches, players. It’s the best of the best on the big stage Monday night. It’s time to go out there and showcase and put on.”

(On if he thinks this game could be a Super Bowl preview)

”I don’t know, potentially. Any game in the NFL could be a Super Bowl preview.”

(On what it means to have the game in L.A. with all the tragedies that have been going on in the local areas)

”It’ll be fun, man. That’s the only thing, the worst thing about it being back in L.A. is 30 people texting me trying to come to the game (laughs). No, it’s going to be fun. Like I said, it’s Monday night. Everybody thought this game was at the house anyway. So, for it to be able to get changed and go back to L.A., definitely looking forward to it. It’s going to be fun. Like I said, it’s the big stage. Going to be a good crowd for sure.”

(On what he sees from Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt and being the featured back with him)

”He’s a great running back. Obviously, he led the league in rushing last year. He’s been killing it ever since he’s been in the league. I don’t know. Two good running backs playing. Hopefully, we can both do our thing.”

(On if he thinks people are sleeping on him and Hunt because the passing game is expected to be showcased this game)

”No. I’m pretty sure there is nobody sleeping on us. If there’s anything, they’re going to be trying to stop us.”

(On if he thinks running backs can take the lead in the conversation for MVP after this game)

”We’re already in the conversation. It just depends on the voters. Who they want to vote for at the end of the year.”

(On the message Head Coach Sean McVay gave the team while they are away practicing in Colorado Springs)

”It’s kind of hard. When you take trips like this, it kind of throws everything off. You kind of get out of your weekly routine. But at the end of the day, you can’t really let that be an excuse or a distraction. He always does a great job of talking to us and trying to make sure we remain focused and focus in on the little things, not letting the little things slip.”

(On some ways McVay is able to keep the team dialed-in when there are significant changes made)

”He always does a great job and I feel like us, as a team, he knows us. Like I said, he takes care of us practice-wise – everything. He’s just such a great coach, that we want to go out there and play for him. Obviously, we have our days and he has his days. But that’s the beauty of being on this team, we all understand each other, we all are working towards one goal. We all get it. We all get it at the end of the day.”

(On Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid saying that they need to be ready for anything from him and if that feedback from another coach amps him up)

”He’s just a smart man. He knows. (Chiefs Head) Coach (Andy) Reid, he’s a great coach. He’s been in the league for a while. The things he does with his offense is incredible. So, it’s going to be two high-powered offenses. They’ve got a new quarterback this year in (Chiefs QB Patrick) Mahomes, who’s been killing it. All their receivers have been killing it. You can keep going on and on about their offense. They’ve got players all around the board. It’s going to be a fun game.”

(On if he recognizes any plays that they use from other teams while watching highlights)

”It’s a copycat league. Everybody takes everything from everybody. You see everybody doing jet sweeps now. Who do you think they got that from? That’s just how it goes, man, if you’re going to have success. If I was playing the Chiefs next week and (RB) Todd Gurley (II) ran for 150 yards on outside zones, the very next week with the team, I’m going to run outside zone. So, that’s just how it goes. Like I said, that’s just part of being in this league – great offenses. You can’t have too much pride to take a play from another coach. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t.”

(On the odds being over under at 64 points and it being the highest it has been since the 1980s and if he thinks it’ll be over or under)

”I don’t even know what you’re talking about right now. I don’t even gamble, so I don’t even know what that means.”