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Transcript: Sean McVay conference call, 12/24

What did the LA Rams head coach have to say on Christmas Eve?

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Chicago Bears Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

Rams Head Coach Sean McVay – Conference Call – December 24, 2018

(On RB Todd Gurley II’s status)

”It’s kind of the same place that we were at – he came was feeling good today. We’re just taking it a day at a time right now. (Senior Director of Sports Medicine and Performance) Reggie (Scott) and our medical staff is going to do every to progressively just get (RB) Todd (Gurley II) feeling back to normal. I know he’s done a nice job with his rehab. So, no real updates, but we’re just going to continue to take it day-to-day with Todd.”

(On RB C.J. Anderson’s performance against the Cardinals and if that influences the way they approach the final regular season game regarding whether they’ll utilize Gurley or if they’ll stick to their original plan)

”It’s going to be the same. We want to do what’s best for Todd most importantly and what’s best for Todd is also what’s best for our football team. We don’t want to do anything where we’re putting him in harm’s way, if we feel like it could be something where we’re putting him at risk. But if he’s getting back, if he’s feeling good, then the anticipation is getting him ready to go. But we’re just going to take this one day at a time right now. It was good to see what those guys did yesterday, but nothing changes with regards to our approach with Todd. If we can get him ready to go, then that’s what we’ll do and if not, then we’ll just kind of play that by ear.”

(On if Gurley is inactive against the 49ers and the team earns a bye week, would he feel comfortable with Gurley going into the first playoff game having not played in three weeks)

”Yes, we would feel comfortable with that. Guys come back from injuries all the time. It was a long break that we had before we started the season with those guys and Todd did a pretty good job against Oakland running the football and making a lot of big plays. So, if he’s able to go – I mean you’d obviously like to be able to get these guys as much work as possible, but most importantly is the health. If that’s a situation where we’re fortunate enough to come away with the win, if Todd isn’t able to go and that’s when he’s playing next, then that’s something, would it be ideal? No. But is it something you’re going to be concerned with, no. I think we have a lot of confidence in Todd and if he’s ready to go then he’ll be good to go and he’ll be sharp whenever that is.”

(On S Lamarcus Joyner’s status)

”Lamarcus, his ankle was good. It’s going to be a day-to-day deal but everything checked out pretty clean. Got that thing rolled up on a little bit but I think the way that he attacks his rehab this week, we’ll be day-to-day with him, but I expect him to be able to be in good shape. But we’ll see how he responds when these guys get back in here on Wednesday.”

(On if they will approach the game any differently to help DT Aaron Donald get the NFL single season sack record against the 49ers)

”Our job as coaches is to try to put our players in spots to be able to make plays in situations where they can have success. Certainly (DT) Aaron’s (Donald) done a phenomenal job throughout this year. But, our approach will remain the same as far as, you set up different rush plans. You certainly have him in a lot of instances as the focal point, but it’s most importantly about how can our defense can execute against a very, very good offensive system and some really good players. So, that’s what we’ll do. We’d certainly love to be able to have him achieve that, but the number one goal for us is to try to win the football game.”

(On what he expects from the 49ers)

”I expect a great football game. Just with my history and my background with (49ers Head Coach) Kyle (Shanahan), I know what a great coach he is and what great coaches they have on their offensive, defensive staff and then their Special Teams Coordinator Richard Hightower. Then, they’ve got players that are great competitors. It’s sound systems, great coaches. They’ve got some really, really good players that continue to compete hard and play for each other. So, this is something that we can’t afford to take lightly. It’s very important for us to come out ready to go. Continue to carry some momentum that we were able to establish from yesterday’s game into this week of preparation and then leading into our final home game of the regular season at the Coliseum. Also, our final division game. To be able to wrap up the division – try to stay unbeaten in the division this year would be a great accomplishment. But most importantly, it’s coming away and trying to go 1-0 this week. We know that if we’re able to do that, then that means that we get a first-round bye.”

(On 49ers TE George Kittle having a great season with yards and receptions this season and what it is about him that makes their offense so efficient)

”I think what he does a great job of is he just finds ways to extenuate player’s skill sets and whether that’s tight ends, running backs, receivers – he does a great job. I think (49ers TE) George Kittle’s a great football player who’s made a lot of big plays. Kyle does a good job of, you can see they move him around the formation. They get him in some situations where he’s getting some matchups that they feel like are premier for what they’re trying to get done. He does a great job attacking coverage with their contests and George has made plays. I think one of the things that has enabled him to have such a great, productive season, has been his ability to create after the catch as well. He’s catching some different things, but then to be able to finish some of those long plays where you see tight ends catch a seam or something like that – Kittle’s a threat to take it to the house every single time he touches the football – made a lot of explosives and I think it’s a credit to both their system, but then also, George’s talent and the production, I think they kind of go hand-in-hand.”

(On what he thought of RB John Kelly’s performance on Sunday)

”We were really pleased with (RB) John (Kelly). I thought he did a nice job. I thought when he came in, one of the best plays that he made was without the ball, when he wasn’t touching the ball when he ended up making a great blitz pickup with (Cardinals LB) Haason Reddick coming off the left edge on (WR) Robert Woods’ touchdown pass. He got tripped up a little bit at guard with (G Austin) Blythe and he did a great job securing the edge to enable (QB) Jared (Goff) to be able to get out and outflank the defense on the opposite side of the formation and be able to find Robert down the field. He had some really tough, hard runs. Thought he did a good job as a check down option. But, really, it was a great step in the right direction for John Kelly and I thought he got a bunch of great experience yesterday in a game that was very important for us. I think he can draw a lot of confidence. I think it’s a great representation of the job that (Running Backs Coach) Skip Peete did, not only with (RB) C.J. (Anderson), but also with John, getting him ready to go this week.”

(On if only allowing touchdowns on trick plays is a testament to how well the defense has been playing or if it’s something that needs to be shored up)

”I think, when you look at that trick play that they executed, it was a good job by them. That’s been a trick play that I’ve seen teams run over the last handful of years. Actually, the (New Orleans) Saints ran that on these guys – they ran it on the Rams a few years back. Then, the Rams tried to run it on the (Arizona) Cardinals and, actually, it ended up leading to an interception later on – I want to say it was the 2015 season. It was the first year before we got here as a coaching staff. That was good execution by them. I think it’s good plays by those offenses. If those are the things you’re talking about, certainly you never want to allow those types of plays. You want to do everything you can to prevent them, but I also think those are good execution plays by the offenses and things we can learn from as a defense, but I think the defense, like you mentioned, has played really well, specifically over the last handful of weeks. Really, coming off the bye, I think they’ve played really well and done a nice job of playing consistent, not giving up big plays and kind of doing an excellent job. All 11 (players) playing together and on the same page.”

(On how he will spend Christmas Day)

”My parents are coming in town today. Then, I’ll be at home with Veronica. It’ll be great. So, we’ll try to get ahead today. Fortunately, I’ve got good stuff set up at my house as far as kind of that I can do a couple extra things if need be, but we’re going to try to use today as a chance to really get ahead with our game planning and then allow the coaches and players to enjoy their families on Christmas and keep the priorities what are most important. We always value the family time and that’s something that we want to be able to enjoy and get ahead and make sure people can appreciate that, be there with their kids and do all that good stuff.”