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TRANSCRIPT: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay, RB Todd Gurley, CB Aqib Talib August 7 training camp press conference

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

Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay

(On if he’s happy with how practice went over the last two days)

“Yeah, it was good. Like anything else, we’ll go back and look at the film and see but thought there was some good energy. Got competitive today and got a lot of different situations. As much as this is good for the players, these are great learning opportunities for us as coaches – how to handle when you have to play in a two minute for a touchdown. Just different things situationally that come up. They do a great job defensively. They present a variety of different things offensively and its different systems then what we’ve been accustomed to going against. So, I think it’s great work and challenging to make sure the rules and different things that you have in place within the framework of your structures and your schemes are sound and have answers, so you don’t just get caught up in the lull of going against yourself all the time. I thought it was a good, productive two days.”

(On if there is any update on DT Aaron Donald)

“No update on (DT) Aaron (Donald), kind of same as yesterday.”

(On if he carries the practice into the game or if it’s two different situations knowing that a lot of the guys that practiced today might not be involved in the game on Thursday)

“Yeah, that’s exactly right. We’ll talk amongst our staff about exactly the plan. But the thing that enables you to feel good about being able to get some of this work in is you’re able to practice in a way of doing some things that maybe you wouldn’t want to do in the preseason. You get a lot of snaps when you kind of eliminate the risk of injury where you’re getting some good-on-good going against those guys and that’s what the benefit of this is. It’s definitely going to be a different approach in the first preseason game. Get a lot of guys out there and just get them comfortable, run some standard plays and get them a chance to just go compete and us to be able to evaluate them.”

(On if he can explain Donald’s mindset after being in contact with him)

“You know, really, our conversations have been good. We’ve kind of stayed away from just the contract stuff. It’s more just about checking in – how’s his family doing? – things like that. I think when we are able to get in touch with each other face-to-face is when you want to be able to have that kind of dialogue. That’s kind of where it’s at right now.”

(On how valuable it is to have the joint practices)

“I think it’s really valuable. It was a good two days’ worth of work. Really, we’ve got so much tape to evaluate from yesterday, I haven’t even gotten a chance to see all the individual drills, things like that. So, you get caught up tonight. It’ll serve us well moving forward. You’ve really got a few weeks left. We’re all geared towards that September 10 date, but I think it was a great opportunity to get out and compete against somebody else today.”

(On if the new guys blend in well)

“Yeah, the guys that we’ve added have been really smart, conscientious football players. Been really pleased with what they’ve brought to our team. We’re looking forward to seeing it show up when these games start counting eventually.”

(On what the next steps are after the progression from last year)

“Yeah, I think just like anything else, we always talk about that daily improvement and there’s so many different things you can talk about. But ultimately, it’s about being efficient, running the ball, passing the football, being great situationally, taking great care of it. So, there’s a lot of things that we emphasize. But, it’s just about being a sharper, more crisp unit that’s able to do a variety of different things and that’s kind of where we’re at and everybody’s focusing on what they can do to improve the unit.”

(On how he feels about the backup quarterback situation with QB Sean Mannion and how important August is to sort out that situation)

“Yeah, it’s really interesting and I think that (QB) Sean’s (Mannion) done a really nice job. The thing that’s tricky about, especially some of the starters, is ‘Okay, now when you’re talking about a guy like a (T) Andrew Whitworth who’s going into year 13. If you don’t play him then how comfortable do you feel putting (QB) Jared (Goff) out there?’ It’s a lot of layers to it where when you try to rest somebody else then it affects how do you want to operate and I don’t think we’re ever complacent or content and take the opportunities to get those valuable reps for granted. I’m really having a tough time, we’ve talked about this as a staff, how do you balance the dynamic between getting those preseason reps and then what the risk potentially could happen as a result of if something happens. You can’t do that, you can’t be scared but you also want to be smart and mindful of those couple snaps, does it make a difference between how sharp you can be, or can you try to mimic and emulate those game-like situations while minimizing the risk. Those are things that, I’ll be honest, that I struggle with and you continue to learn, and I think as you get more experience you maybe have a little bit more clear-cut philosophy. That’s where you feel good about leaning on the assistants and we’ll do what we think’s best with that.”

(On how important it is for the backup quarterbacks to get work with the potential of injury to the starting quarterback)

“Yeah, we hope that we’ll just find a way to get better and give ourselves a chance to eventually get back to that after a lot of work. But I think with (QB) Sean (Mannion), he got a lot of good work last year, thought it was a really good opportunity for us to evaluate him in the system and it’s going to be a lot of the same. I think he’s really taken a lot of steps in the right direction. (QB) Brandon (Allen) and (QB) Luis (Perez) have done a nice job, but you can really see Sean has played well this offseason. Extremely conscientious, got a good grasp of what we’re trying to do offensively and we’ve been really pleased with him and (Quarterbacks Coach) Zac Taylor’s done a great job in that room.”

(On if the Ravens are coming out to L.A. and if it was a two-year agreement)

“You know what, it really depends on how the preseason schedule shakes out, it just ended up being fortunate for us that being an AFC team where we don’t play them this year, you feel comfortable to get that practice opportunity and it kind of put itself in a position where that break served us well where we were kind of ready to go against somebody else. I think it will depend on how things shake out, but it was a good two days’ worth of work for us.

(On if he remembers the first time he saw a RPO play and how he has seen that concept spread up from the college to NFL games)

“Yeah know, really the first exposure that I had, as a coach being involved in it was actually when we had (QB) Robert (Griffin III) as our quarterback in Washington, did a couple different things off the off-set gun where sending guys on verticals and different things like that. Like anything else, it’s definitely a way of trying to conflict a defense but there’s some different things that they can do where it doesn’t force those backers to void their gaps if you accompany it with movement and different things. It’s a nice tool and it’s a phase of offenses that you’ve got to be ready for and it definitely conflicts their gap fits and different things like that in terms of keeping the run integrity and if you don’t do that then you give off the run. Some teams have done a nice job utilizing it, it’s something we had but it’s not a huge phase of our offense.

RB Todd Gurley

(On how he feels being back in his hometown of Baltimore)

“It’s cool. It’s whatever, we’re out here.”

(On if it feels special being back or if it feels like any other town)

“It’s training camp, so it’s just another town honestly, but it’s cool. I got my family out here. I get to see them and stuff and play some football.”

(On describing Los Angeles as a sports town)

“Pretty fun town. It’s the best city anyway so you get Lebron there, get the Dodgers, got the Angels, Chargers, Rams, Kings, Mike Trout. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

(On what the past two days have been like)

“Definitely ready to go. But like I said, we out here, get some good work. It’s good to go against other people and come out here and compete. The heat is different for sure, so you get to train in some different heat. But just come out here, get some work done. See how the preseason game goes and get back to Cali and get back to it again.”

(On if he is accustomed to these types of weather conditions)

“Nope, not no more, not no more. Yeah, I didn’t know it was so bad here.”

(On how he doesn’t remember what the weather was like even though he’s from there)

“That’s what happens, you forget.”

(On if it was exciting to see Manny Machado go from the Orioles to the Dodgers)

“Oh man, it was exciting for me. All we need is Adam Jones to come on over there and I’ll be completely fine. Always been a big fan of Manny, I’m glad New York didn’t get him. So I mean he’s over there with the Dodgers, so I’m excited to see what he does in L.A.”

(On if he goes to a lot of Los Angeles Dodgers games)

“Not really, but I need to. I actually went to my first Dodgers game this past offseason and it was pretty fun, man. I definitely need to get to some.”

(On how much of a relief it was to get his new contract and setting the bar for running backs in the league)

“I mean it wasn’t nothing that I was too worried about. Like I said, I just come to work, work hard and let the rest take care of itself. But definitely a relief, just getting it out of the way. Like I said, the rest is ball and I’ve been playing it my whole life. So, thankful to have that situation happen and move on and go on to the next thing.”

(On how valuable the running back position really is)

“The people that knows, knows. But, it’s all good. They under value us, but we’re out there doing our job - catching the ball, blocking and receiving. So, we try to do it all.”

(On how many carries he would prefer to have this preseason)

“Oh, for me? I definitely wouldn’t want to play in it. But like I said, it is what it is. It’s football – you go out there, you play ball. I’d probably rather do the preseason honestly because they try to make you do like 12, 100s instead, which is crazy. So, sometimes it’s better to just play in the game honestly.”

CB Aqib Talib

(On what he feels like he got out of the two joint practices with the Ravens)

“I think we got some great work versus a different offense. We got a lot of different looks – lot of quad looks, a lot of looks we haven’t seen thus far in camp – and we had to make our checks on the fly. They hit us with a little tempo. So, it was us having to communicate as a new defense and I think it was good work for us.”

(On what sticks out about having Sean McVay as a Head Coach and influencing plays)

“Oh, man. Just a great leader. As a Head Coach, man, you want the guys to follow his message. Whatever he’s preaching you want the guys to follow it, and guys definitely follow (Head Coach) Sean (McVay), man. He’s a great leader.”

(On what makes him a great leader)

“I don’t know. Either you’ve got it or you don’t. Some people are just leaders and some people are just not. You know what I’m saying? He’s definitely a leader.”

(On how he’s blending with the new players on defense)

“Great. I think today was a real challenge as far as communicating and a little noise, a lot of different looks. We had to communicate on the fly, fast. So, I think it was like a quiz. Not really like a test – it wasn’t a game. It’s like a quiz for us. I think we did a hell of a job.”

(On if it’s helpful having a joint practice)

“I think it is. As long as everybody stays cool and we can really get our work. I think it’s really helpful. You go against somebody else, you get a bunch of different looks, you do some unscripted periods verse different offenses. So, you’ve really got to communicate and you really see where you’re at as a team.”

(On his interception in practice today and if that’s a result of the defense coming together)

“Yeah, we had like five today. It’s how they come, man. You know how those interceptions – that’s how they come. They come in bunches. So, we got one early and they kept on coming. They kept on rolling.”

(On his history with Ravens WR Michael Crabtree)

“Yeah, that (expletive) is dead. That (expletive) is dead, bro.”

(On what’s unique about Rams Cornerback Coach Aubrey Pleasant)

“Super vocal. Super hands-on. His knowledge, his football IQ is high. Super high football IQ. He tells us stuff in the classroom – he can come out here and demonstrate it for us. A lot of coaches can’t do that. He can come out here and demonstrate it for us. So, super hands-on coach, man. I think it’s good for DBs (defensive backs) to have a coach like that.”

(On how Coach Pleasant gets pumped up during practice)

“Definitely. He stays on us too. He holds everybody accountable. He stays on us, man – no matter who you are. We need that.”

(On if he thinks he will play during the first preseason game on Thursday night)

“I don’t know. He (Head Coach Sean McVay) hasn’t told us the plan yet. But, whatever Sean says goes.”

(On how he has seen RPO plays spread through the league and whether they will stick around for a while)

“Yeah, I think it’ll be here for a while. Philly (Philadelphia Eagles) won a championship doing it and they averaged a bunch of points doing it. I think those quarterbacks like (Eagles QB) Carson (Wentz) are becoming a hot commodity in the league. If you can really sit in there and throw it and you can run it, you’re probably going to be a No. 1 pick. You know what I’m saying? I think it’s trendy in the league right now. I think it’ll be around for a while.”

(On how he and CB Marcus Peters are clicking together)

“We’re good. That’s my homie. We good.”

(On what it has been like getting comfortable with Peters)

“It’s been cool. It’s been real cool. He’s learning the defense, I know the defense, man. But at the same time, we’re just helping each other through seeing the game a certain way. So, it’s been real good.”

(On what makes Los Angeles a unique sports town)

“I don’t know. It’s just – it’s LA. You always want to smile in LA. It’s always sunny. You always wake up happy. You don’t do that everywhere. So, it’s just a good overall city to live in. They’ve got good food, good shopping. You’ll love it.”

(On LA Laker LeBron James being in Los Angeles)

“I’m trying to get some season tickets on the floor. I’m still hoping. I think they sold out, but I’m breaking the bank for them, man. So, LeBron (James), ‘King James’ – help me out, baby (laughs).”

(On if the team will have a chance to go enjoy some crab or the city of Baltimore)

“We get a little time after meetings. We can probably go eat dinner and stuff. You know what I’m saying? I went and ate dinner yesterday, but I didn’t eat any crabs or nothing like that. I went to a little hood spot. You know what I’m saying? Soul food. But, I think I’m going to go tonight though. I think me and (CB) ‘MP’ (Marcus Peters) will probably go try the crab cakes and get some real Baltimore food tonight.”

(On if it’s his first time eating Baltimore food)