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TRANSCRIPT: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay, DC Wade Phillips, Co-OC Shane Waldron August 21 press conference

Here’s what McBae and his staff had to say to the media today.

Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay

(On today’s practice)

”It was good. Like anything else, a little bit of back and forth. Would like to see us finish better with a little bit more juice from an offensive standpoint, but I thought defense did a great job. There’s always that balance. But, a lot of good situational work – really, kind of another training camp day that we had. Then, tomorrow it’ll be a little bit of both where you’re kind of getting ready for Houston – couple things with them. But, still staying in that training camp mode with some competitive work as well.”

(On the potential starting offensive line for Saturday’s game)

”We’re figuring it out, but we’ll most likely give some of those guys that have accumulated a lot of experience some rest and stuff like that. That’s a credit to the confidence that we have in some of those younger guys. But, as far as the final plans, our guys know, but we’re figuring that out.”

(On whether they game plan more this week to mimic something that might happen in the regular season)

”Yeah, we won’t game plan. We’ll look at some film and run some plays, but it’s going to be our base offense. It’s really just a chance to get the guys out there, get into a rhythm where some of our players that haven’t played in any live game action – really just going through that routine. It won’t be an extended amount of action that we expect to see those guys, but just more going through that routine, getting them out there where – especially for (QB) Jared (Goff) being able to potentially get tackled and manipulate a rush and different things like that. But as far as the game plan is concerned, we’ll look at the Houston film like you would anything, but it wouldn’t be similar to how we approach it in a normal game week.”

(On if he has to cross his fingers with QB Jared Goff playing in the preseason against a live pass rush without his entire starting offensive line)

”I think the biggest thing is, we’ve got confidence in our players. God forbid something were to happen to (T) Andrew Whitworth, he’s (T Joseph Noteboom) got to be ready to go in those regular season games. So, I think it’s something that you believe in your players, you have confidence in them and you hope they execute to the best of their ability. Then, also try to put them in good spots like we talk about.”

(On what WR KhaDarel Hodge is doing to catch his attention)

”Probably the same thing he’s done to catch your guys’ attention. He’s just making plays, maximizing his opportunities. He’s been a guy that we all know came in late, really, at the very beginning of training camp. Has had a really quick learning curve. I think (Wide Receivers Coach) Eric Yarber and (Assistant Wide Receivers Coach) Liam (Coen) have done an excellent job getting him up to speed. Also, (Senior Offensive Assistant) Coach (Jedd) Fisch has spent a lot of time with him. Then he’s just made the plays when his opportunities have presented themselves. Really, just looking for him to continue to grow one day at a time. These things kind of have a way of working themselves out. Unfortunately, or inevitably, you hope to avoid them, but if injuries come up, all you can really do is maximize your opportunities – whether it’s for us or somebody else. Certainly pleased with him and he’s done a nice job.”

(On if you can see how these next two weeks mean to players like Hodge)

”I think, really, it means a lot to everybody because we talk about maximizing every single opportunity to get better. All of our practice opportunities are extremely important, especially with just how we’re able to practice now. But, I think there’s a consistent hunger, really in that group as a whole, and I think it starts with the leadership at the top with (WR) Robert (Woods), (WR) Cooper (Kupp) and (WR) Brandin (Cooks) and then it trickles down really throughout the course of that room. You see those young guys compete. They’re continuing to learn. We put a lot of those receivers and I think they’ve all done a nice job as a group so far.”

(On if the team worked out free agent OLB Junior Galette yesterday and if a final determination was made)

”Yeah, we wish nothing but the best for him. It just didn’t work out for reasons that we’ll keep inside. But, we have a lot of respect for him. Obviously, you know the history and things like that, but it didn’t work out with us.”

(On if Galette worked out)

”He did not. No, he did not.”

(On if he took a physical)

”Yes. Yeah, and it wasn’t because he – he did not fail a physical. So, I don’t want to put that out there. That wasn’t it. There’s a lot of layers to it, but certainly have a lot of respect for him and wish him nothing but the best.”

(On if he’ll continue to look for a pass rusher)

”You know what, I think we’ve got a good opportunity to continue to evaluate guys. We’re hopeful that (OLB) Matt Longacre will be healthy. (OLB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo) ‘Obo’ is a guy that we’re monitoring. You see we took (DT) Dominique Easley off PUP (Physically Unable to Perform List). We feel very good about those guys. The thing that you’re – I don’t want to say concerned – but the thing that’s up in the air is just being able to keep those guys healthy and available. So, I think you’re always looking at, God forbid, some contingency plans if it doesn’t work out with those guys, but we do have a lot of confidence – if they’re able to stay healthy – in the group that we’ve got on our roster right now.”

(On what he saw out of WR Robert Woods last year and what he can add to his repertoire this year)

”With him, he’s a guy that I’ve always been impressed with going back to his early days at USC. Great body lean, has the ability to make all his routes look the same. Got great body control where he can open his stride up and be able to put it down which enables him to be able to create separation on the short, the intermediate and the routes down the field. I think that’s one thing people kind of didn’t think and certainly “we did, but I think he even surprised us with his speed – whether that’s what he could do creating after the catch or whether that’s making some plays down the field referenced by the (Houston) Texans game and then when he catches the long screen against the (New York) Giants and takes it for a 50-plus-yard touchdown. So, I think the one thing that we’ve talked about with him that he’s done an excellent job of being really intentional about getting better at is aggressive hands – attacking the football. He caught the ball last year, but in some of those tight windows or balls away from your body, aggressively attacking it, going and snatching that football and ripping it into your body. He’s caught the ball extremely consistently throughout the course of camp. He’s been outstanding. He’s a complete player, does everything and we’re really pleased with (WR) Robert (Woods) and he’s doing a great job.”

(On any updates on TE Gerald Everett, RB Justin Davis and WR Josh Reynolds)

”Yeah, so really, they’re making progress. They’re in the same boat as what they’ve been in. (TE) Gerald (Everett) is not wearing that sling so he’s able to move around a little bit and (WR) Josh (Reynolds) is doing some good rehab stuff. (RB) Justin (Davis), with the hamstring, is continuing to improve. So, if we’re able to see those guys in New Orleans that would be ideal, but we won’t expect to see those guys this week. We’re hopeful that we’ll be able to get those guys ready for New Orleans and if not, depending upon how everything shakes out, hopefully they’ll be ready to go for the Oakland game.”

(On if he has spoken with DT Aaron Donald lately)

”I haven’t. It’s been awhile since I’ve spoken with (DT) Aaron (Donald).”

(On if he plans on any conversations coming up soon)

”I’ll reach out to him, but these guys are doing such a good job that are here right now. Couldn’t be more impressed and pleased with these guys that are here.”

(On what about DT Dominique Easley’s skill set can translate from the inside to the outside edge)

”I think just a great pass rusher. He does a good job of being able to create pressure. Got great athleticism, turn and run. Whether he’s playing inside, whether he’s playing outside, he’s a guy that can influence and effect the quarterback in some of those pass-rush situations and that’s what we expect him to do. He’s slowly but surely coming along. Like we said yesterday, couldn’t be more impressed with him just getting back to this point and looking forward to seeing him continue to progress over these next couple weeks.”

DC Wade Phillips

(On how the defense is looking today after the last preseason game)

”We played a lot of guys that we needed to look at the last ball game and they did a good job overall. So, we’re looking forward to a lot more of our starters playing this week and get a look at them. We practiced hard. We had good competition against another team, even though we didn’t play in the game with some of the guys, but I look forward to seeing them on the field and the other players.”

(On how much he thinks the starters need in the preseason to get a feel)

”As long as you practice really hard. It depends on the player, if you know a guy can play and he’s practicing that way and he goes against Baltimore (Ravens) in practice and does well, you’ve got a feel he can play in a game. So, we kind of kept them out because of that, but they need some playing time, so we’ll have some this week.”

(On how much it has changed over the years having starters play in the preseason)

”Oh, it has changed since I’ve been in the league. Of course, they had leather helmets when I first came in (laughs). When I first started, the fourth preseason game was the game you got ready and you played your starters most of the game. Then over the years, it’s changed now to the third game you play them more in that ball game and kind of rest people. A lot of it is evaluation – if you’ve got guys who can really play, you’ve got to feel like they can play in the regular season, if they’re in shape and if they practiced really well. So, that’s kind of the theme that we’ve taken.”

(On where he is with his outside linebackers as far as edge guys)

”Well, we’ve got a lot of guys competing there and a lot of guys that have looked pretty good and then hopefully, we’ve got some guys coming back. So, (OLB Matt) Longacre and (DT Dominique) Easley both practiced today, so that adds two more guys to the guys we’ve had. We’ve got some good players there, we hope to see who makes it. It’s going to be a tough competition for whoever makes it.”

(On OLB Matt Longacre)

”Well, I mean he’s coming back, but his goal was to be able to be ready the first game and same thing with Easley, we took him off PUP, so we feel like he’s almost ready. (OLB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo) ‘Obo’ isn’t quite ready, yet. But, the other guys have been playing – (OLB) Samson (Ebukam) has played really well and overall, I think (DL Justin) Lawler has played well. We’ve got some guys, I think, are going to do a good job for us.”

(On if he sees Easley being more of an outside rush guy, more inside or if he plans on moving him around)

”Well, right now we’ve got him outside. I think because of his history, I think it’s easier outside. You’re not pounding against a 300 something pound guy every day – which he did normally – he played a lot of inside, but I think this gives him a little more freedom to utilize his ability. So, we even played (Former Texans DE) Mario Williams at outside backer. So, a real strong player, like that, can play that position and again, not have as much wear and tear.”

(On if there have ever been any tackle combinations through the years that he either saw or coached that had as much talent as DT Aaron Donald and DT Ndamukong Suh will have when they play together)

”I’ve had a quite a few over the years that were certainly really good ones.”

(On if he had two players of that caliber at the same time before)

”I had (Hall of Famer) Curley Culp and (Hall of Famer) Elvin Bethea in Houston. They’re both in the Hall of Fame. We’re playing three-four. But similar to us, Elvin played the three-technique and Curly played the nose guard, and they’re in the hall of fame. (Former DT) Jerome Brown and (Hall of Famer) Reggie White and that group. Reggie was playing inside some when I first had him, we moved him to outside. On and on, I’ve been around a lot of good ones.”

(On what he things Suh and Donald together will create for the Rams)

”Going to create a lot of problems for the offense hopefully (laughs). (DT) Aaron (Donald) already has and (DT Ndamukong) Suh already has so you got to expect both of them together will. That’s the way I see it.”

(On CB Marcus Peters’ ‘gambling’ and aggressive play style)

”I’m not sure it’s gambling. He’s kind of like the casino, he’s not the gambler. He makes the right decisions and has the percentage on his side. He has a great feel. He intercepted one against Baltimore in practice and he had a receiver on the other side of the field and he intercepted an out route. I still don’t know how he did that. He’s makes the right decisions and that’s what you do with really good players. If they make the right decisions and if a guy doesn’t cover his guy at all and they throw it to his guy. But he’s not that kind of guy, he can cover his man really well. He can actually help with other people. He’s special.”

(On if he has coached other guys like Peters that are risk takers)

”Normally the real good ones. (CB Aqib) Talib’s got almost the most interceptions for touchdowns in the league, ever. He does the same things and (Denver Broncos CB) Chris Harris (Jr.). We’ve had some good ones over the years. These two together (Peters and Talib) are probably the best I’ve had.”

TE Coach/Pass Game Coordinator Shane Waldron

(On how things are coming along with the offense)

”It’s been good. It’s nice to be back here at Cal Lu, but in the pass game, everything has been smooth, so far. (QB) Jared (Goff) has played well. All the receivers, like we’ve talked about a lot with them, they all work so hard, they all play so hard every single snap. I feel like we’re starting to get into a better rhythm as we are a couple weeks into training camp mode still, even though we’re in these preseason games.”

(On how he evaluates the preseason games knowing that things are vanilla on offense)

”Yeah, I still think at the end of the day, it’s football. So, it’s about guys winning one-on-one match-ups, can they get open against man coverage? Can they win at the line of scrimmage? Can you block and tackle and do all the fundamental things that we talk about from first grade on in the game of football.”

(On using the tight ends more this year than he has in the past)

”Yeah, I think a lot of that comes down to the weekly game plan and what our best match-ups that we feel like are that week. The way our system is built right now, we’ve got a lot of great players in skill positions, so whether it’s extra receivers, extra backs, extra tight ends, it’s going to be dictated based on the week.”

(On how he sees RB John Kelly fitting in with the passing game)

”With the passing game, he’s growing into it like every young player is. I think he’s doing a better job understanding the protections and some of those things that (RB) Todd (Gurley II) and (RB) Malcolm (Brown) have done such an unbelievable job and (RB) Justin (Davis), as far as learning and growing within a system. So, that’s where I think (RB) John (Kelly) is at right now and just as a developing player and getting better and better. The thing you love about him is that he plays so hard. He plays hard, runs hard and he’s shown that in the preseason games so far.”