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LA Rams transcript, 12/14: Head coach Sean McVay

NFL: Los Angeles Rams Press Conference Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Rams Head Coach Sean McVay – December 14, 2018

(On the Eagles linebackers and secondary)

”They are tough and (Eagles Defensive Coordinator) Coach (Jim) Schwartz does a great job. They’ve got speed on both levels when you really look at the second and third levels. They’ve had some different guys come in at the corner spot, but one of the consistent things that you’re seeing is an elite player in (Eagles S) Malcolm Jenkins – does a great job with the communication. (Eagles S) Corey Graham has played a lot of football. So, it’s a great challenge for our football team.”

(On if team is clean with injuries and if everything is okay with OLB Dante Fowler Jr.)

”Yeah, he’s good. He had a little personal, a family issue that we wanted to take care of and that’s exactly what he was able to do. Everything is okay with him and he was back, ready to go today.”

(On if he is still preparing for Eagles QB Carson Wentz)

”Like we said, when you listen, there were reports out there. It looks like that’s what’s going to be the case where (Eagles QB) Nick (Foles) is going to play, but like we said, in terms of our preparation, it doesn’t change. Getting ready for a great offense – the system, the scheme, a guy that’s played really good football for them when he’s had to come in and fill in for (Eagles QB) Carson (Wentz). So, some of the things – but it really doesn’t change our approach, but we are expecting it to be Nick, but you never say never.”

(On his evaluation of S John Johnson III’s development from year one to this season)

”I think he’s done a great job. Really, when he first came in, he had a setback, really, from the rookie minicamp where he had a leg injury and that kind of prevented him from being available for the offseason program, different things like that. But one of the things that you liked about him so much coming out of Boston College was his versatility where he’s playing corner, nickel, the safety position. Then, you get around him and you see the physical traits, the characteristics with the movement. He’s got elite ball skills. Then, what’s as impressive as anything is just his football IQ. He’s got great recognition. He’s at a position that requires a lot of communication and leadership traits that you’re looking for from somebody playing that safety position. I think, really, once he started to make a big impact, starting with the Dallas game last year, then he takes over in a full-time starting role, makes a pick in his first game against Seattle last season. Then, he’s just gotten better and better. I think (Safeties) Coach ‘E’ (Ejiro Evero) has done an outstanding job helping him develop and he’s just continuing to take steps in the right direction. So, he’s a great player, great leader that’s continuing to mature and has always focused on getting better. He’s been outstanding.”

(On OLB Matt Longacre not starting is still because of matchup related reasons)

”Yeah, we’re going to make those decisions later on today. A lot of that’s predicated on just kind of how we get through the week because sometimes injuries do occur. Then, we’ll figure out exactly how that 46 (active roster) is going to shape out for us.”

(On how he manages a versatile defensive line like the Eagles)

”You’ve got to play well and you’ve got to be smart with some of the things that we’re doing. You’ve got problems all across that line – great players. That’s one of the things that makes them go and why they’ve been a really good defense over the last handful of years. Whether it’s those guys coming off the edge, I think (Eagles DE) Michael Bennett’s playing really good football right now. Obviously, we know what a great player (Eagles DT) Fletcher Cox is. If (Eagles DE Timmy) Jernigan goes, he’s been extremely productive for them since he’s joined the eagles over the last couple years. Then, obviously, (Eagles DE) Brandon Graham is a powerful, stout rusher. So, it’s going to be a great challenge. (Eagles DE) Chris Long makes an impact when he comes in as well. So, we’ve got to do a good job mixing it up, keeping them off balance. But, it starts with the early down efficiency and that’s something that’s a big focus for us.”

(On why he thinks they haven’t lost consecutive games in a row)

”Yeah, I think it’s a credit to our players and our coaches – their ability to respond. I don’t necessarily know if there’s a reason why we’re going to lose and then we’ve always been fortunate enough to come away with the result we want the week after that. For us, it’s making sure that we are process oriented like we talk about. Whether we won or loss last week, our approach and focus would remain the same. But, you certainly don’t avoid the things that led to us not getting the outcome that we want. You address those, you flush it out and part of that DNA that we want our team to embody is being a mentally tough team, being unaffected by the circumstances and find a way to be our best regardless of what those circumstances are. This week provides a great challenge for us to try to be what we want to be in terms of responding after a little bit of a setback and making it a positive force with the way that we prepared this week. Guys have done a good job with that. Then, hopefully, it leads to a good performance on Sunday night.”