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TRANSCRIPT: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay, Co-OC Aaron Kromer, QB Jared Goff November 7 press conference

Here’s what the trio had to say today.

Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay

(On CB Aqib Talib saying he is targeting Week 13 for his return and if that is what the team has planned for him)

”That’s a vet move right there. (CB) Aqib (Talib) putting a lot of pressure on (Senior Director of Sports Medicine and Performance) Reggie Scott and our training staff. So, we’ll see if they’re as good as they say they are, then Aqib should be ready to go (laughs). No, he is making great progress. I know he wants to be out there as soon as possible. We would want him to be out there as soon as possible, but we’re continuing to take it day-to-day. Certainly, he’s a guy that we anticipate using one of those designations on. When that is exactly, I don’t know. I love the fact that Aqib wants to get back as soon as possible, but we’ll see if Reggie earns his paycheck and he can make that thing happen.”

(On if he knows who else they anticipate using the injured reserve designation for return on)

”We haven’t decided yet. A lot of that is circumstantial, but when we did put Aqib on IR, he was always somebody that we anticipated using one of those two designations on. And you can never for certain kind of see exactly how it plays out just based on the way that our game is, but he’s a guy that we want to be able to do that with. That’s kind of the plan as of right now, but things can always adjust.”

(On the offense’s comeback effort on Sunday and if that was another sign of QB Jared Goff’s growth as a quarterback)

”Yeah, I thought he did a great job because in a lot of instances you feel like you’ve got to kind of make it all up in one play. He just took it one play at a time, made a lot of big-time throws – tight windows. Guys made plays, they protected really well up front. But ultimately, I’m really proud of our team to be able to get back in it, but we always strive to finish games. When we got it back to (tied at) 35 (points), those next two drives were great examples that we can learn from and figure out a way to try to prevent them from getting any points. I thought defense did a good job just holding them to a field goal and then we end up going three-and-out. I’ve got to put our guys in some better spots, but I think ultimately, for us as a team, we’ve got to find a way that when you get back into it, then you’ve got to find a way to finish those types of games as opposed to just making it competitive. That’s always our goal as a team, but we use every opportunity, whether you win or lose, as something that you can learn from. Definitely something that I know (QB) Jared (Goff) did an excellent job giving us a chance to get back in it just based on his play.”

(On if Goff’s 9-yard run against the Saints was a designed play)

”Yeah. That’s part of the option. It was a change of the launch point. Are you talking about when he ran for nine (yards) and should’ve got the first down? I’m just kidding. No, I gave him a tough time on that one, but we got the first down on the next play. But yes, that’s part of the option. Any time that you change the launch point, you try to get all your eligibles (receivers). Usually you’re only able to get four eligibles out in that route concept because the (running) back is faking hard run action away. So, really, he ends up becoming the fifth with his legs.”

(On if he’s holding his breath when Goff is exposed to hits like that or if it’s just the nature of the game today)

”We want him to be smart, but if you can go get nine yards and get out of bounds without getting hit, that’s something that we always want. But, being able to change the launch point so they can’t just see that you’re going to be static in that same exact spot is something that we try to do. We always talk about marrying the run with the pass. Some of the wide-zone actions that we utilize with our run schemes, that fits really well. There’s always a chance. We want him to avoid those. That’s designed to throw it, but if they take all those options away based on the way that the defense reacts, then his legs are an option. He’s had a handful of instances where he’s gotten us positive plays and it’s just a way of making the defense defend the whole field.”

(On if the increasing tight end usage the past few weeks is organic or if there’s anything there that the offense is trying to elevate)

”I think it’s a combination of some different teams that we’ve played and then you just want to continue to utilize all five eligibles. (TE) Tyler (Higbee) and (TE) Gerald (Everett) both have delivered on their opportunities and I think just kind of changing up the way that we do things – whether that’s early downs, whether that’s situationally driven. But you always want to make sure that you’re using all five eligibles, keeping teams – making sure that they have to honor that. A lot of that has more been a result of them kind of earning those targets and Jared doing a great job distributing them the football.”

(On if it was slow going for Everett earlier in the year to get back in rhythm)

”I wouldn’t say it was slow go for him. It was difficult for us to find a way to get him into it. I think Tyler has done an excellent job and just based on the nature of the way that we were kind of forced to adjust and adapt without Gerald being able to practice and do some different things. But, I think you’ve seen him earn the right to get on the field, make some plays. Obviously, huge two-point conversion, did a great job on a third-down situation, where they were really playing two-man (coverage). He ended up getting inside and winning on an in-breaking route where Jared found him on third-and-eight. So, he’s doing some good stuff, Tyler is making big plays and both of them continue to improve under (Pass Game Coordinator) Shane’s (Waldron) leadership.”

(On how much the performances of DB Blake Countess and WR JoJo Natson factors into their decision on potentially activating WR Pharoh Cooper from IR)

”(WR) Pharoh (Cooper) is a great player for us, but I think when you do look at the position that Pharoh’s done an excellent job being a Pro Bowl player at that, you always want to be smart about how you’re utilizing those spots when you do only have those two. We love Pharoh, but it does affect it. That’s something that you do take into account in terms of whether or not that means that we would or wouldn’t, we haven’t made that decision yet, but I think (WR) JoJo (Natson), having done a nice job as punt returner and (DB) Blake (Countess) as a kick returner, definitely does affect the conversation that you have with regards to Pharoh based on his contributions.”

(On if playing a division game helps the team forget about what happened against New Orleans and what the team has to do get ready for the Seahawks)

”I think whether you’re playing a great division opponent like Seattle or anybody, what you love about football is whether you win or lose, you don’t have too long to be able to dwell on that. You’ve got to be able to, in our situation, learn from it and you move forward and that’s what you love. You couldn’t wait to get back to work and kind of put it behind you, but make sure you don’t avoid some of things that we have to do better collectively as a team moving forward if we’re going to achieve the outcomes that we want to be able to consistently get. For us, it’s about playing sound in all three phases. This is a great team. Coach (Pete) Carroll has done an excellent job. They’ve played really good football since we’ve seen them in the last three weeks – or their three games because they had a bye in between. So, they’ve got a lot of issues that they do present, but we’re looking forward to the challenge. It started off today and guys have done a good job so far.”

(On if he likes that they’re seeing the Seahawks again so quickly on their schedule or if he’d rather have the second matchup towards the end of the schedule)

”That’s a good question. I think whether you like it or not, it’s just something that you have to adjust and adapt to. You’re going a lot off the inventory that you had going into that game. Then, you’ve got our game and the three games. Typically, you’re utilizing about a four-game breakdown, which is what it ends up being if you count our game as one of those things that you’re really looking at. At this point, you’re kind of looking at everything. Whether you play them a week later or play them Week 1 and finish up with them Week 17, we’ve got to get ready for a game. There are some things that just based on the amount of film that you have to study, is not as much because usually you’re accustomed to having a bigger break in between when you play division opponents. But, these are things that they’re adjusting to as well and we’ve got to do a great job with it.”

Run Game Coordinator/Co-OC Aaron Kromer

(On waiving OL Jamon Brown and if he has confidence in the two backup rookies C Brian Allen and T Joseph Noteboom)

”Yeah, very similar to the (OL) Austin Blythe situation last year. We have (C) John Sullivan and some of the elder statesmen on the line don’t practice as often as the younger guys. So, what it’s given us an opportunity to do is, get (C) Brian Allen and get (T) Joe Noteboom into multiple positions with the starting unit in practice throughout the week. That has allowed us to gain confidence in them in ability to sub in if they needed to.”

(On RB Malcolm Brown’s scoring play against the Saints and if it’s exciting for people to see him perform at the level they talk about)

”Yeah, we have a lot of confidence in (RB) Malcolm Brown, as I said in the past. When we need him and when he goes in, he’s been productive. That was very exciting to see him tiptoe that sideline the way he does and not one person in the building thought he couldn’t do it when he was doing it. Obviously, it was an amazing play. I think it was the No. 1 play on NFL Network this week. He’s a good football player, both in the run game and in passing situations. So, at any time we need him, we’re sure glad we have him.”

(On RB Todd Gurley II scoring in 12-consecutive games and if he expects that the Rams will try to continue his streak)

”We really focus more on the process than the result. So, we’ve had a lot of success in a lot of ways and I don’t think there’s a lot of people thinking about whether (RB) Todd Gurley (II) scores a touchdown or not. Just expect that with the process and as we go through it, whether it’s rushing or passing, that he touches the ball enough that he’ll have that opportunity. He usually does a great job when he does get the opportunity. So, I think it’s really the process that’s important to us and how we get to being a productive and efficient offense.”

(On if the sack totals given up against the Packers and the Broncos we’re something that they were doing schematically and something the Rams didn’t see on film)

”The most important thing that we, as an O-line and as an offense and as a team, we think that it’s more important that we keep the quarterback from getting hit than actually taking sacks. Sacks are a result of a lot of things – they could be from protection, they could be from not knowing who to protect, it might be not knowing who to protect, it might be a technique, it might be someone’s covered. There’s a lot of things that resolve in a sack, a lot of reasons. We don’t have a lot of concern as an offensive line on sacks, we’re just trying to keep him clean. So, there were some situations in those games that he did go down more often than not and more often than the other games that we’ve had. It’s unfortunate, but by no means do I think that that’s a trend.”

(On if there is any advantage at all to an offense or defense when a team plays another team twice within five weeks)

”A lot of times when you play a team, you know how it’s going to feel when you’re blocking a guy or how they’re going to respond or react to certain things because you play them often and you play them in a short period of time. But other than that, it’s still, whether you’re playing your brother or the kid down the street in a one-on-one basketball game, you’re going to compete, you’re going to go out and do whatever you can to win and you’re just fighting for that victory.”

(On G Rodger Saffold III having an incident on the field with QB Jared Goff and later tweeting an apology and how he handled that with Saffold)

”I didn’t see that per say on the field. At all times when you watch the Rams play, we’re a controlled emotinal group. Once in a million times, something like that will happen and we’ll get a little bit out of our minds and that happened to him. Right away, he snapped out of it on the sideline and was apologetic and realized that he could be better in that situation and he knows that. Within seconds after, he knew it. There’s absolutely no problem anywhere on this offense. This is a great, intelligent, intellectual group that is tight knit.”

(On if he has seen any differences in the vibe in the room and the way the guys are reacting coming back from a loss)

”Again, there’s a lot of reasons why you’re victorious or not in games. But, the process is what’s important and that’s what we live by. If there’s anything, there’s a little added work ethic this week. Although, it would be a small tick because these guys come to work every week. You never saw them slow down in the wins and you really don’t see a whole lot of change in attitude with the situation we’re in right now. So, mature group that follows the head coach’s lead.”

QB Jared Goff

(On his experience on The Ellen Show)

”Yeah, that was fun. We filmed it yesterday. It was really quick. Went down there and got to spend some time there. My family got to go and (T) Andrew (Whitworth) brought his family, his wife as well. It was really fun.”

(On if he felt like he was cheated because he didn’t win the throwing competition against Whitworth)

”I thought I hit it a couple times. It was so close. But, no, it was a little fun game. It was good. I’m glad Andrew won.”

(On his 9-yard run against the Saints and if he’s an avid running quarterback)

”Yeah, I’m getting really fast recently. So, I’ve been trying to really show off my legs a little bit (laughs). That play was one of those where it’s a designed pass, but if there’s room out in front I can tuck it down and run and that’s happened a couple times in the last few weeks. I don’t feel like I’m going to break any records, but can pick up some yards when I need to.”

(On Head Coach Sean McVay joking that Goff didn’t pick up the first down on that run)

”I know. I do. No, he’s right. I do. I was really trying to avoid a hit, but probably could’ve got a couple more yards there.”

(On what kind of athlete P Johnny Hekker is)

”He’s an amazing athlete. I think he’s honestly one of the better athletes on our team. I know that sounds weird coming from a punter, but he truly is. You see him do the stuff he does on the football field and the way he’s able to kick the ball, obviously. But, when he throws the ball around with us you go, ‘Okay, he can really throw it.’ Then, you see him run a little bit. He can run. I’ve heard stories about him on a basketball court and I’m sure he can play soccer if he wanted to as well. He’s a great athlete and a great weapon for us to have.”

(On if he ever kicked or punted)


(On what happened between G Rodger Saffold and him on Sunday)

”Yeah, it’s just part of the game. There was emotions flying and I went over to calm him down. It’s not a big deal. Stuff like that happens all the time and it just happened to get caught by the camera. Nothing came of it. I know he apologized. He didn’t have to. I know it was just part of the game.”

(On if there’s something to be gained from playing Seattle twice in a short span)

”Yes and no. I think when we played them last game they did some stuff that they hadn’t really shown on film much. So, this game may be the same, may be different. We don’t know yet. We’ll go off of what we’ve seen so far, but they could very well mix it up like they did last time. We’ll have to see on Sunday.”

(On if it’s better to play a division rival after coming off a loss)

”I think every game is the same. Getting through that loss and then moving on, happened pretty quickly. So, I don’t think we’re still dwelling on that by any means. It’s a big division game for us. Every division game is important, but no different than any other game. We’re going to come in and approach it the same way and try to put our best foot forward the whole week and get ready for Sunday.”

(On why he thinks WR Robert Woods has been effective on third down)

”He’s a great player. He’s a really, really great player. I’m very fortunate to have him. On third down, we do a lot of different things to get guys open and it just so happens, he’s been catching a lot of those balls and becoming a product of a lot of those plays. He does such a great job in feel and understanding the game, understanding the coverages. He’s so, so, so damn smart and can do so much with the football and without the football. It’s a very good weapon for me to have and someone, like I said, I’m very thankful to have on my side.”

(On if it’s exciting to be able to play at home again)

”Yeah, it’ll be great to get back and see all those fans again. Hopeful they come out and get loud for us and it’ll be fun. Last game, we had quite a few (Green Bay) Packers fans there and it’ll be nice to, hopefully, get away from that and have a stadium full of Rams fans.”

(On how he was able to avoid getting too far ahead of himself as he tried to come back against the Saints)

”Yeah, I think getting the field goal right before the half was huge. Then, the touchdown right after that was big as well to keep us kind of in the game and mentally still knowing that we’re grinding away. But, I think it’s just a testament to our team and our coaches and just the type of culture we’ve instilled. It’s really one play at a time, we’re never out of it, we know what our offense can do, we know what our defense can do and we’re confident in everyone. That never fades.”

(On handling the ball every play and having to deliver passes and if that’s something that he’s always been able to do or if that’s something he has developed since being in the NFL)

”Yeah, I think I’ve always been able to do it, but it’s always different at different levels. I think in the NFL, you have to understand how many drives you’re going to have. In the second half, you’re probably going to get the ball quite a bit and have a chance to really put some points on the board. So, don’t press too hard. It’s similar at every level, but can be different at times where, I had faith in the defense that they’re going to get us the ball back and we just had to go out and score. So, really, honestly, just like I said, one play at a time.”