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TRANSCRIPT: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay August 27 press conference

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

Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay

(On if he still feels that C Austin Blythe will fill in for G Jamon Brown during the first two weeks of the regular season or if there is still an ongoing competition)

“Yeah, I think (C) Austin (Blythe) has done a great job. Right now, you feel really good about him being able to step in at, really, any one of those three interior spots. As far as that position is concerned, we’re figuring those things out. But, he’s done a great job. We have so much confidence in Austin and we feel like he’s a starting-caliber player in this league.”

(On if Blythe is someone he would hold out on Thursday night)


(On DT Dominique Easley and OLB Matt Longacre playing on Thursday)

“Yeah, you know what, I think with those guys getting the work, where we felt like it was good that they got out there, kind of got their feet wet. Anticipating them being a big part of this thing moving forward, so those are guys that you probably won’t expect to see on Thursday either. I thought it was good, especially just kind of on a turf surface – really more for (DT) Dominique (Easley) than (OLB) Matt (Longacre) – being in the (Mercedes-Benz) Superdome and stuff like that. But, it was good for both those players to get some snaps and now we’ll kind of implement a program that we feel like is going to be sustainable throughout the course of the season, but we won’t expect to see them this week.”

(On if he has narrowed down the number of spots the team is really looking to evaluate for the roster)

“We talk about it all the time. There’s some specific positions that do have a little bit more competition in terms of just who’s going to be in that 53 (man roster) and then who ends up being guys that we anticipate being part of that 46 (man roster). Unfortunately, like we talked about, injuries are an inevitable part of this thing and we’ve always got to have those contingency plans in place. But, we feel good about a lot of the spots right now. Nothing is ever finalized, but this week will provide us a chance to really get those final evaluations to hopefully kind of solidify what we’re looking at with our 53 (man roster) and our 46 (man roster) on game day.”

(On how comfortable he is with DL Ethan Westbrooks in the absence of DT Aaron Donald)

“I feel really good. (DL) Ethan (Westbrooks) has done an excellent job. I think you see him show up, really all those preseason games. He’s doing a lot of great things in practice. I think he’s getting more and more comfortable with the scheme. (Defensive Line Coach) Billy Johnson and (Defensive Quality Control Coach) Thad (Bogardus) have done an excellent job and you see him just continue to make plays – whether that’s sacks, whether that’s making plays in the run with some different things that we’re doing specific to some pressures or just some of our base calls. Been really pleased with Ethan. He’s doing a good job.”

(On how TE Gerald Everett is recovering from his shoulder injury)

”He’s coming back good. He’s really getting out there, running around, being able to run some routes, things like that. It’s been unfortunate because he was doing such a great job before he had that shoulder injury. (Director of Strength Training and Performance) Ted (Rath) has done a nice job kind of keeping him in shape. We’ll get him up to speed as quickly as possible. Really the goal is to hopefully have him ready to go for that Oakland game.”

(On how OLB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo is recovering and the possibility of him coming off the PUP prior to the season opener)

”I think right now, probably not. But nothing is finalized with that yet. He’s working hard with that rehab. I would say not anything that he can control, but I think just the way that the foot’s responded hasn’t been ideal. It doesn’t have anything to do with the way that he’s worked. He’s doing everything he can to control that. (Senior Director, Sports Medicine and Performance) Reggie and his staff, you guys know what a great job those guys do. We’ll continue to monitor ‘Obo’ (Okoronkwo) one day at a time.”

(On if he has discussed with the team how this is the last week for players to show what they’re about)

”Yes, we’ll talk about that when we get a little bit closer to Thursday. Whether it’s with us or somebody else, you’re so appreciative. Unfortunately, so many of these guys won’t be with us as we move forward, but you have so much respect and appreciation for the work they put in. We as coaches want to do a good job, like you mentioned. Whether it’s with us in a practice squad role, whether it’s competing for one of those final spots, or whether it’s showcasing your skills for one of the other teams in this league – you want to try to do a good job of helping these guys out. Be positive with them, encouraging and that’s kind of really our goal as a coaching staff.”

(On if there’s anyone he’s worried about not being available Week 1 health-wise)

”We feel pretty good about it right now. I think that we’re right on track with guys like (LB) Mark Barron that we’ve talked about. Everybody else we anticipate that we’re kind of projecting as a starter is ready to go. Obviously the big question is will (No.) 99 (DT Aaron Donald) be apart of that thing or not. We’re in a good place right now. Certainly, we’ve got a lot of work to do in the meantime. I thought we did get better today. I thought the defense was excellent. Just the play energy, the way they’re communicating. They’re doing some really good stuff, making it really difficult on the offense and it’s exciting.”

(On if he has had an communication with Donald recently)

”I talked with him last week. Good dialogue. Nothing specific about the money, the contract. More just checking and seeing how he’s doing. He’s been working hard back at Pitt doing his thing, and hopefully we’ll see him sooner than later.”

(On what type of conversations he’s having with General Manager Les Snead in regard to roster construction)

”It’s constant dialogue. Right now really our focus is specific to our active roster with those 53 guys. We’ve talked about some guys that are potential practice squad candidates for sure, but that dialogue is ongoing. Les and his staff do a great job staying up-to-date on things but that’s every single day. Unfortunately, you look at some of the injuries that occur and just have a pulse around the league. There might be some players that could be potentially available where if they end up hitting the waiver wire, do they end up giving us an upgrade or do we feel good about the spots. Fortunately most of the spots and situations and positions that we’re in, we feel good about the guys that we have in our building. Hopefully, we’ll stay healthy and be able to work with those guys.”