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TRANSCRIPT: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay Week 9 game recap November 5 press conference

Here’s what McBae had to say to the media today after the Week 9 loss to the Saints.

Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay

(On if there were any injuries from the game on Sunday)

”Yeah, I think we came out good. I didn’t realize it, I guess (OLB) Matt Longacre was checked for a concussion, but he cleared that. He was good to go and returned. Other than that, just the typical bumps and bruises, but everybody should be good.”

(On what he has seen from CB Marcus Peters)

”I think the biggest thing is, each situation based on the coverage, what is his responsibility within the framework of that call? What are we asking of him? He’s a guy that we have a lot of confidence in. In a lot of instances, he’s isolated one-on-one with the other team’s best receiver and that’s come up throughout various times this season. There’s going to be an element of, those great players will make some of their plays. I think the standards that (CB) Marcus (Peters) has for himself, that we have for him. We expect him to play and make some of those plays. But, the best part about him is the accountability that he took afterwards. The first thing he’s going to do is look inward and figure out what he can do to be better. We still have a lot of confidence in him. It’s a collaborative effort as coaches and as players for us all as a team to try to do things that are conducive for putting our players in good spots, from a coaching standpoint. Then, the players to be able to go execute it. Whether it’s Marcus or anybody – offense, defense, special teams – those are the expectations. With a good player and a productive player that’s had as much success as he has had and the confidence we have in him, we trust that he’ll improve.”

(On if he has identified with Peters specific areas he can improve in)

”I think the biggest think, especially with just defense in general, with a team like that, that does such a great job changing up their tempos, personnel groupings, putting different players in a variety of different spots, it’s just getting the call in, getting our cleats in the grass, being ready to go and lock in and play with the proper technique with our alignment, our assignment and just the fundamentals. When he does that, you can see there’s some great examples of being on the screws looking like an elite-type player and that’s really defense in general because it’s so reactionary driven. Just the overall urgency that we can consistently display, I think will help us play better as a unit.”

(On what was happening on Saints WR Michael Thomas’ 72-yard touchdown when Peters looked like he was trying to communicate to the defense)

”Yeah, that’s a combination coverage that we were in. There’s certain different things based on the personnel grouping that they were in and the specific people on the side that we wanted to be able to double. Then, they end up motioning out (Saints RB Mark) Ingram to an empty set and it leaves (Saints RB Alvin) Kamara and (Saints WR Michael) ‘Mike’ Thomas inside at the innermost players to a three-receiver surface, where you’re in a backside empty formation. There was just natural communication that those calls entailed based on what the Saints presented. In that instance, like you guys saw, we ended up doubling Alvin underneath and then, we ended up having an iso (isolation) down the field and Thomas did a good job on his release and (Saints QB) Drew (Brees) ended up throwing a perfect ball. That’s a route that they’ve had a lot of success on verse man-coverage principals and unfortunately, in that situation, they ended up making the play and ended up going up 10 in that spot.”

(On if they explored acquiring cornerbacks at the trade deadline or if they’re continuing to do that as players get released)

”We didn’t. We were mainly looking into just that pass rusher kind of that we had talked about, where we were able to acquire (OLB) Dante (Fowler Jr.). I know (General Manager) Les (Snead) and his staff do a great job of exploring all avenues if we feel like we can get better. But, in terms of something that we had identified as a staff and as an organization that we wanted to potentially go address, a corner wasn’t one of those spots.”

(On if they looked at that being a bad defensive game or if the Saints are just really good and that’s how the NFL works)

”Yeah, I think the expectations that our defense has and that we have for them, they would expect to be better. But, there’s a lot of credit that needs to go to the Saints because they’re one of the top offenses in the league for a reason. I think Drew does an excellent job. I though (Saints Head) Coach (Sean) Payton did a great job calling the game, mixing up tempos – they had some good runs and they’ve got playmakers. Mike Thomas made his plays. Kamara made his plays. You could see Ingram did a great job running the football. You saw (Saints TE) Ben Watson get involved on a couple different things. Certainly, you never concede, but you do have to give respect to where the respect is due. I thought they did a nice job in a lot of instances. It’s a great tape for us to be able to look at, figure out what we can do as a defensive group to be able to respond the right way, use it as a chance to learn from it. I know that’s the approach that our guys will take and that’s us as coaches and that’s our players. It’s going to be something that we’re excited about moving forward from this one.”

(On some of the other lessons learned from Sunday’s experience)

”I think the biggest thing that we take away is that we can fight back when you face a lot of adversity on the road. Any time that you go down 35-14 against a great football team like that in that type of atmosphere, a lot of teams end up folding. To our players’ credit, we ended up finding a way to get a field goal to cut it to 35-17 at the half, came out, ended up getting some big stops on defense. You end up getting, of your first three drives, two touchdowns and a field goal and you end up tying it up at 35 (points) a piece. I think to get back to that point says a lot, but that’s never our goal is to just get back into the game. We want to be able to finish it out. But I think in a lot of instances, you can draw on that to say, ‘You are mentally tough.’ We certainly are always striving to get the result that we want and that’s winning a football game. But, I think that you can look at these learning opportunities that each week provides and if you can use it as a positive example to move forward accordingly and everybody has that mindset and mentality, that’s something that we expect and that we will do as a team moving forward this week getting ready for Seattle.”

(On if he senses any of his players tightening up with the undefeated chatter in the media)

”I really didn’t, and I think our guys have been consistent with their approach. I can’t speak for (DL) Mike (Brockers) and our other players, but I certainly felt like these guys were consistent with the approach. Just so happens that we played against a really good football team yesterday and we didn’t make enough plays to be able to get it done. There’s a lot of things that everybody can do, starting with me, to be better moving forward and that’s what you love about football. Whether you win or you lose, we come in today, we correct the mistakes, we use it as a positive to move forward and now we get ready for Seattle, whether you end up winning or losing that game.”

(On not losing two games in a row since he arrived last season, if that’s something he talks about with the team and why he thinks they’ve had success in that area)

”Well, I think, really, we talk about just the ability to respond. Don’t let the (New Orleans) Saints beat us twice. We’ve got a great opponent that we’re playing against in the Seattle Seahawks. We know that they’re a great division team. Lot of familiarity on both sides of the football, really all three phases, just with the history that we have with these guys. It’s going to be a great challenge, but we like being back at home and we can’t wait to get back to work. I think our players have done a nice job when you do face small forms of adversity, of not allowing that to affect us moving forward. I think that’s a credit to both the coaching staff and the players. For us, it’s about moving forward in the right way, using this as a good tool and being consistent with our approach week-in and week-out. That’s what we expect to do this week.”

(On the decision to activate OLB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, what he expects from him for the rest of the season and OLB Dante Fowler Jr.’s performance on Sunday)

”Starting with (OLB) Dante (Fowler Jr.), I thought he did a nice job. Made some big-time plays in the run. You could feel he effected and influenced some of the pass rush. That’s a great offensive line and (Saints QB) Drew (Brees) does a great job getting it out, but you felt Dante. I thought he did a nice job. He played a handful of snaps. I think that’s a credit to him and to (Defensive Line Coach) Billy Johnson and to (Defensive Quality Control Coach) Thad (Bogardus) to be able to get him up to speed as quickly as he was to be able to play such a vital role on such short notice, both in our base (personnel package) and some of our sub-packages that we were playing against them. So, he did a nice job and we expect him to only continue to improve. With (OLB) ‘Obo’ (Ogbonnia Okoronwko), really it was a situation where you’ve got to make that decision at this point. He’s done some things that we’ve felt like were positive, were encouraging and made us want to make that decision to be able to get him up on the active roster. Whether he’s actually active on game day or not is still to be determined. Really, it was a result of some of the things he’s done and the intrigue that we have based on if he needs to play at some point that we feel like that versatility he provides coming off that edge will help us.”

(On if he anticipates any difficulty responding after the first loss of the season)

”I don’t think so. I think the sense that we got from our players yesterday and from our coaching staff is that, if anything, it creates an added sense of urgency. That feeling in your gut when you wake up and you’re kind of just sick because you didn’t get the result that you wanted is something that you can’t create unless you do end up losing. We try to be consistent whether you win or lose, but there is something that is created just based on not getting the result that you wanted. If you got the right mindset as far as looking at what can I do to be a part of the solution, getting better. Can’t wait to get back out and get another opportunity to compete and try to erase this feeling that you do have. I feel like our building shares that same feeling and we’re excited about getting to work on the Seahawks this week.”

(On if he’s still comfortable with the decision to go for the fake field goal in the first half)

”Yeah, I think we always make decisions that we feel like we want to be aggressive, but we want to be smart. That was something that we had a look that we felt confident in and have a lot of confidence in (P) Johnny Hekker. We feel like more times than not, he’s going to make that play for us and that’s not going to change our confidence in Johnny, in some of the things that we’re going to try to continue to do moving forward. We felt like going in to that game, if you go to New Orleans with the way that they’re playing, on the road, we wanted to make sure that we were doing things, whether it’s stealing a possession or being aggressive if the looks present themselves to try to go win a football game and attack. That kind of embodies the identity. I think that embodies the confidence we have in our players. As a result of that not working out for us, it doesn’t change the approach because that’s – we talk about the process over results and we feel like more times than not in those situations, that’ll work in our favor. Unfortunately, it didn’t there. It was a big point in the game and it was something that we’ve got to live with the decisions, but we wouldn’t change that. I wouldn’t change that because of the confidence that I have, not only in our special teams, but Johnny, (Special Teams Coordinator John Fassel) ‘Bones’ and everybody that is instrumental in being able to make more of those plays than we haven’t.”

(On if after reviewing the film he thinks P Johnny Hekker made the first down)

“Yes. But you know what, that’s not our job and unfortunately some of those things, if you don’t get enough clarity based on what the original call is, that’s what sticks. We can’t control that, but we’ve got to live with what the decisions are and move forward accordingly.”

(On LG Rodger Saffold III’s tweet about the perception of what happened between him and QB Jared Goff after Saffold got a personal foul penalty and if that is something he discusses with them)

“Oh yeah. (LG) Rodger’s (Saffold III) a great player for us. I think, really, both Rodger and (DT) Aaron (Donald) when you look at some of the situations, when you’ve got two special players like that, that are very accountable when things like that occur, and they’re some of your most productive players that are big time leaders for us. When they can be open about, ‘Aye, that’s my fault, I’ll make sure that I don’t allow that to affect my response in a situation where things can get testy and things aren’t always going our way. So, the one thing you appreciate about both Rodger and Aaron in those situations is the accountability that those guys demonstrate. I think it’s just two teammates, you know I’m not sure exactly what you’re referring to with regards to (QB) Jared (Goff) and Rodger, but I know that Rodger is extremely accountable. We have full confidence that if something like that presents itself moving forward, not only Rodger, but our team will use that as a chance to learn from. He’s a guy that we love and have a lot of confidence in.”

(On WR Pharoh Cooper’s status as he gets closer to the eight-week mark of being on IR)

“No updates on that. Really, I think he’s making good progress, but until I really get a chance to talk with (Senior Director, Sports Medicine and Performance) Reggie (Scott). There’s a lot of things going on, certainly that’s not something that you’re not aware of, but in terms of just having those conversations where I’d be able to give you a specific answer, no updates there.”

(On how the team looked offensively and what Goff’s performance against the Saints)

“I thought Jared did a nice job. I thought he made a lot of big time throws, thought the line protected really well. I thought they did a good job with some of the run. (RB) Todd (Gurley II) was able to get a couple good ones. On the first drive of the game that led to a touchdown, he had the one 24-yard run on the second down-and-longer situation that ended up leading to good points on that drive that we got. Ultimately, it’s about winning a football game as a team. I wish I had a couple of the plays back, where, not only when you go in the first half, and you end up having the one play where we’re kind of in the empty set. We get flushed, Jared runs it and then you end up running kind of the flip to Todd where we lose yards and it ends up leading to a long field goal that we didn’t capitalize on. Those are the plays that I’ve got to make sure that I’m better with just some of the spots I put our guys in. And then I thought the one three-play sequence when we got the ball back, we’re down, 38-35, we had a lot of good momentum right there. I thought our defense got a great stop. We expected to be able to go try to get points and a touchdown, hopefully where you use enough clock where maybe that ends up being the game-winning type deal. But I thought as a result of going incomplete first down, then second down we run it, weren’t able to be efficient there and then it leads to the third down-and-nine and we don’t convert. That was tough. Those are things that you as a play-caller want to make sure you do a better job for our players based on the circumstances, the situation. But I thought Jared’s poise throughout, his ability to stay even keeled. I thought that was a great pick by their linebacker that he made at the end of the two-minute. The thing you love about Jared is he’s unphased and finds a way to come right back, get us in a position to kick a field goal. I thought it was great management by our offense overall. When you get into the second-and-25, you hit (TE) Gerald Everett, he gets enough yards and then we’re able to take a timeout with two seconds left. There’s a lot of little things that Jared’s doing in terms of just his overall command that you really have an appreciation for. But the best part about Jared is that ultimately, it’s about trying to find a way to get wins and we didn’t do that and I know that he’s going to look at himself that same way.”

(On his first look at Seattle going into their second matchup this season)

“Yeah, it’s going to be a great challenge. They did some different things against us that was a little bit different than what we had seen. I haven’t gotten deep enough into it over the last four weeks to see if that’s something they’ve utilized on defense moving forward. But, I think they’ve got great personnel. I thought (Seahawks Defensive Coordinator) Coach (Ken) Norton and (Seahawks Head) Coach (Pete) Carroll do a great job putting those guys in excellent spots. I think, really, just from an offensive standpoint, we know what a great player, what a resilient competitor (Seahawks QB) Russell Wilson is. I think you’ve started to see them really run the football consistently well. (Seahawks RB Chris) Carson is a guy that’s shown up. I’ll be interested to see (Seahawks RB Mike) Davis, had some good production against us the last time, and then getting (Seahawks WR) Doug Baldwin back healthy I’m sure makes a big difference. (Seahawks WR Tyler) Lockett’s continued to improve as a receiver, so it’s going to be a great challenge. You talk about the back and forth, high-caliber game we had at their place. We expect the same thing this week and we’re looking forward to getting ready for them.”