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TRANSCRIPT: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay, QB Jared Goff, Co-OC Shane Waldron September 19 press conference

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

Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay

(On an update on LB Mark Barron and if he is making progress to play this week)

”I think he is making progress. As far as him playing this week, I don’t think that’s looking very likely for us. We’ll continue to take it a day at a time, but I think just kind of having a big-picture perspective with the amount of games we have in a short period of time, it might be something that maybe next – I’m not ready to rule him out, but I think more than likely he probably will miss again this week.”

(On how difficult it is to get his players refocused after such a dominating win)

”We have the right guys, it’s not hard at all. They flip the tape on, they see what is real and what’s real is this is a really good football team we’re playing. When you look at the Chargers in all three phases, they present a variety of challenges, they’ve got great players, they’re very well coached. So, I don’t think we need to look any further for motivation that we’ve got to be at our best if we’re going to compete with these guys starting right now. That’s something that our players, because we’ve got the right guys in that locker room with the right mindset and mentality, what we did last week doesn’t do anything for us moving forward this week. We’ve got a great challenge ahead of us and we’ve got to have a great week of preparation and be ready to go for a great team on Sunday.”

(On an update on K Greg Zuerlein following his MRI)

”I think, really, it gave us the severity of the strain. Whether it’s four or six weeks is something that is hard to say just based on his recovery. But, it’s going to be a few weeks like we mentioned. What does a few weeks mean? Does that mean three? Does it mean six? Those are things that we were hoping we’d get some clarity, but more than anything it’s going to be a result of how (K) Greg (Zuerlein) responds over the course of time. Hopefully, sooner than later he’s ready to go, but in the meantime we’re glad to have (K) Sam (Ficken) back with us.”

(On how much of the next eight days becomes a two-game situation rather than focusing on the usual one game)

”I mean you have a plan after this game, but right now our focus and mentality is solely on the Chargers and that’s all we can worry about right now is taking it one day at a time, one game at a time. I think that’s served us well up to this point. We’ve got a great challenge ahead of us and like I said, these guys present a variety of issues based on their personnel, some of their scheme, different things that they do and really, we’re focused on that. Now, how we approach that week next week will be a little bit different being a short week, but right now our focus is solely on the Chargers.”

(On what it’s meant to a part of the NFL’s resurgence in L.A. with the Rams and Chargers playing this week)

”I think it means a lot just to be part of – being able to be part of a team in L.A. This is a great city. I love it here. Love the weather. There’s so many different things to do and I think there’s a lot of opportunities because of the fans and because of all the different resources at our disposal that there’s enough room for two good football teams. Clearly, they’re a very good football team. That’s what we want to try to do – continue to try to put out a product that our fans can be proud of and something that they want to come out and support. It’s going to be a great game on Sunday and a great challenge.”

(On anything QB Jared Goff did particularly well and anything that he’d like to see Goff improve on going forward)

”I think just the overall command of the game. I thought he made some unbelievable tight window throws – a couple to (WR) Robert Woods down the sideline on the crossing route, the third down to (WR) Brandin (Cooks) where he went up and he trusted that he was going to get it right in front of the middle safety versus a man coverage look. Threw the deep ball about 65 yards down the field to Cooks. Those are throws that not a lot of guys can make, but he continues to just demonstrate a good overall command. We’re asking him to do a lot of different things, but he’s getting better and better. I thought he played a pretty good game. Really, he’ll be the first to tell you (that) you want to try to avoid those decisions where he did a great job getting flushed right there and now it’s, ‘Let’s not give (Cardinals CB) Patrick Peterson a chance to make a great play like he did.’ That would be the one that I think he would want back, but his overall command, his understanding of what we were trying to get done, served us well and was instrumental for us to be able to get that win.”

(On some people calling Goff a product of his system and how much having Goff allows him to do within his system)

”Yeah, I mean (QB) Jared (Goff) is the one making the plays. It’s our job as coaches to try to put him in position and our players make the plays. I think that’s a total discredit to him and all the different things that he’s doing. I mean he’s making the throws, he’s making the calls at the line of scrimmage, he’s making the calls in the huddle. So, I think it’s our job as a coaching staff to collaborate and try to put together plans on a weekly basis that give our players a chance to have success. But, ultimately I know this, you’re a lot better coach when you’re working with players like Jared Goff and I feel really fortunate to work with him. His growth over the last couple years, his ability to be able to be unphased by things – whether they be good or bad throughout the course of a game – his ability to make all the throws, you can change the launch point with him. He recognizes – I think he’s got a great feel for the game. So, the possibilities, you’re not limited in a way that you can utilize him in any way and because of his just overall poise and confidence in his demeanor, it helps me too. I’m a little wired if you guys didn’t know that. So, I think his even-keeled demeanor during the game is actually helpful for me and I think it’s a nice complement. He’s done a great job and I feel lucky to work with players like him.”

(On how Goff is developing with his adjustments at the line of scrimmage and how he manages that aspect)

”Yeah, he’s come along great. He has an understanding of the intent of what we’re trying to get done on a lot of different things and because of our players as a whole – how smart they are – it enables us to operate with a couple different tempos, whether that’s at the line of scrimmage, whether that’s in the huddle. His command is where it all starts. But, I think he’s done a great job with that. In terms of how we operate game-to-game, week-to-week with personnel groupings we are presenting, that’s really predicated on the opponent and really our health overall as a team, specific to the offense. Really, it’s just kind of, ‘What is our overall philosophy offensively?’ and he’s continuing to do an excellent job of grasping that and really leading the way.”

(On what roster moves were behind the decision to waive two of their quarterbacks and if the team is looking to bring back QB Brandon Allen)

”Yeah, it was roster decisions more than anything and it’s never fun. That’s the one part of this job that you say you really don’t like is having to make those tough decisions where it effects guys in a potentially negative way. But, as a result of bringing (G) Jamon (Brown) back off of the reserve list or the suspension list, then you end up having to create a spot for him. We ended up adding – then you also had to find a spot where you put (WR) Mike Thomas on IR (injured reserve) as a result of signing (K) Sam Ficken. So, a couple things were a result of that and we would like to bring (QB) Brandon (Allen) back on the practice squad, yes.”

(On Chargers DE Joey Bosa being out this week and how much it changes what he will be doing on offense)

”Well, (DE) Joey (Bosa) is a great player. He’s one of the best rushers in this league, but so is (Chargers DE Melvin) Ingram (III). They’ve got a lot of different guys that present some issues up front. I think (Chargers Defensive Coordinator) Coach (Gus) Bradley does a great job – and (Defensive Line Coach) Giff Smith – really mixing it up, especially situationally when they get you in those known passing situations. They’ve got a variety of different pressure packages that they can present. But, he is a premier player in this league, but they’ve had guys that have done an excellent job stepping up. They played a really good game against Buffalo and did an excellent job against the (Kansas City) Chiefs where there’s a couple plays here and there, but you’re talking about a tough defense. Very sound, do an excellent job of understanding. You can see a clear-cut identity when you watch that tape. Guys play hard, they tackle well, they make you earn every single yard and I think that’s one of the things that’s kind of a staple of a really good defense and that’s exactly what this is that we’re going against this week.”

(On if the decision to roster only two quarterbacks changes his mind set to potentially pull Goff out of a game early with a large lead)

”Honestly, when you go back and you look at it, you always try to be considerate of what’s the best decision. It never felt like what the score indicated was really what that game was. Those were hard-earned yards. Those guys were committed to stopping the run. They were doing a couple different things. They’ve got really good players so even though we did have a lead, I can honestly tell you, just the way that the game unfolded, you never really felt like, ‘Alright it’s time to get him out of there.’ Now, could you say that maybe there is a different approach based on what the score was in that last drive? Did he need to go or not? I think you could, but I also think as a result of (Patrick) Peterson making the good play, you want to get him (Goff) into a rhythm and let him feel like he’s ending the day on a good note. He was able to do that hitting (TE Tyler) Higbee for the touchdown. I think you always do want to be considerate of getting guys out, but you never want to lose perspective of how competitive and how quickly things can change in this league. Those are positive problems, but that wasn’t something that I ever really thought about just because even though the score was what it was, that was a tough game and I thought they did a good job defensively giving us a lot of issues and things that gave us problems.”

(On if that changes his mindset now having gone from four quarterbacks to two quarterbacks on roster)

”I don’t think so, really, because you still have two up on game day. I think you always want to do a good job of – if it’s the right thing for the team – getting guys out that are obviously as important as Jared is. But, these games are tough and every single week you’re presented with a variety of challenges. So, now you guys will kill me for leaving him in and I get killed for not playing him in the preseason. I’m just kidding (laughs).”

(On what WR KhaDarel Hodge brings to the active roster after being promoted from the practice squad)

”I think you guys saw it in the preseason. He did a great job making plays. He’s gotten more and more comfortable. (Wide Receivers Coach) Eric Yarber and (Assistant Wide Receivers Coach) Liam (Coen) have done a good job getting him up to speed. If he does have to get into a game and play where you want to give some guys a blow and not feel like they have to play every single snap, you feel confident if the ball goes his way or if he’s got to compete at the point of attack in the run game that he’s ready to do that. He’s demonstrated that he kind of was a quick study based on when he came into camp. He’s got the athleticism and we’re looking to see how he steps up. He’ll provide a role for (Special Teams Coordinator John Fassel) ‘Bones’ as well.”

QB Jared Goff

(On if he watched Chargers QB Philip Rivers while growing up and his impressions of him)

”Yeah, of course. The majority of my childhood he was playing. Fantastic player, Hall of Fame player and a guy that I’ve definitely watched and tried to steal things from for sure. The way he plays the game and the way he works. I’ve heard nothing but great things from people who’ve played with him.

(On he can do better going into Week 3)

”I’d like to not have that turnover. Just continue to take care of the ball and be smart with it. Be as accurate as I can be, continue to keep the ball where we want to keep it and really, like I just said, take care of it and continue to get it to our play makers. I think the completion percentage is where we like it – high – and just try to get the ball out. Get it to guys and let them make plays.”

(On Head Coach Sean McVay saying that Goff’s even-keeled demeanor helps him because he’s so wired)

”Yeah, and I think vice versa. He helps me at times. Gets me going sometimes, for sure. I think we play off each other really well and have a great relationship. I’ve enjoyed the last few years with him, as I believe he has with me. It’s been fun growing with him and continuing to learn and continuing to learn from him and get better under his coaching.”

(On how he would describe the dynamic between he and McVay)

”It’s great. Like I just said, I think we have a great relationship and have grown together. I’m starting to learn more of what his philosophies are and habits and what he likes, and I think vice versa. He’s starting to learn more about me as well. We’re starting to know each other better as the years go on.”

(On if his connection with WR Brandin Cooks is ahead of where he hoped it would be at this point)

”Yeah, I think we’re in a good spot. I think if you’re always working to improve, always trying to get as good as you can, with a guy like that it makes it easy. He’s always working super hard, always wanting feedback – it’s awesome – from him. He gives me feedback, I give him feedback and we kind of can talk about things in that way. He’s been awesome for me as a guy to grow with and a guy that we want to hit those deep, down the field balls with that you saw last week and try to be consistent with that.”

(On if there was anything about Cooks’ game that surprised him)

”No, I don’t think so. I’ve played against him in college, so I have a little bit of feeling his game. I obviously know his speed. But, I think maybe his strength over the middle is a lot stronger than maybe anticipated. He’s got really strong hands. He’s a strong player in general, just very, very wired and extremely strong.”

(On if his play is a product of the system and how he views he has been able to develop over the last two years)

”Yeah, I’ll be a product of the system if we win games, as much as I want. We just continue to go out there and keep playing, keep putting up 30 points and call me whatever you want. I feel like I’m just continuing to develop and continuing to get better. As time goes on, I hope to continue to get better and keep learning from (Head Coach) Sean (McVay) and keep trying to be the best leader and quarterback I can be.”

(On the challenge with the Chargers defense he’ll face this weekend)

”Yeah, they’re a great defense. You see what they have with (Chargers Defensive Coordinator) Gus (Bradley) and everyone over there – they’re very well-coached. In the secondary, they’re very good. They have the rookie (Chargers S) Derwin James – who’s a great player, as well, that they’ve added. (Chargers CB) Casey Hayward you’ve got to be aware of. All of them, they’re all really good. Then, obviously up front, the first guy you see is (Chargers DE Melvin) Ingram and all the stuff he has done over the last few years. This week, (Chargers DE) Joey (Bosa) is not playing, but that doesn’t take away from all the other guys that we’ve got to prepare for up front. They’re a good team. Going to be a challenge for us, for sure.”

(On if it’s ever in the back of his mind that he needs to get the tight ends involved)

”No, it’s not. It’s based on the play. Like you saw, (TE) Gerald (Everett) got a ball. Went through the progression, got it to him. Lot of times, we don’t have to go that far through the progression. Lot of times, we throw an incomplete pass on the first or second read. Lot of times, it’s a complete pass in the first or second read. Sometimes they are the first or second read. So, it’s all based on the play. We want to continue to involve them, but in my head, I’m not thinking about that. I’m just going through the progression in each play.”

Pass Game Coordinator/Tight Ends Coach Shane Waldron

(On what the state of the passing game is)

”Well, I thought, as usual, our guys did a great job being unselfish. The ball was spread around to multiple players in our previous game there. Got the tight ends a couple touches, which I know was a topic. But, it’s just such a great group of guys that the ball is really going to go where the read takes us. It showed up again last week and obviously, (WR Brandin) Cooks was a huge beneficiary of it. (QB) Jared (Goff) is doing a good job spreading the ball around and holding defenses accountable to all the parts of the field.”

(On if there was a conscious effort as a pass game coordinator and tight ends coach to get the tight ends some targets and some touches)

”Yeah, you’d love to, but again, each game plays out so differently. You’d love to say, ‘Hey, we want to target one particular position or one particular player.’ But, I think the beauty of our offense right now is the ball is going to go where the read takes it. We feel like we’ve got good players at each of the skill positions and they handle it each week and are very unselfish with it. The other great thing about it is the excitement our guys have for their fellow teammates when they find some success on the field. I think that’s the key to our team right now.”

(On if Cooks coming in and picking up the offense was quicker than he expected and how the process went)

”I think he came in as a true professional and studied his plays. He’s been in multiple systems already, which I think helped him because he has done a little bit of everything. But, he was able to come in right away and just his attitude and his desire to improve every day is a very smooth transition into our offensive system. He’s been able to line-up all over the field and run all types of routes. He’s been nothing but a positive addition to our team.”

(On where he sees WR Cooper Kupp making a jump from his rookie year to year two)

”Well, he came in pretty smart year one. He’s just continued to make improvements as far as his big picture understanding and it’s like having another quarterback out on the field as far as the way he sees the field, the way he sees coverages in the run game. He knows who to block. He can direct traffic. All of our guys are doing a great job with the understanding, but (WR) Cooper (Kupp) really has taken it to the next level in year two with his understanding of the defense.”

(On the ball going to where the play takes it and how much of it involves the way the quarterback thinks and sees the field)

”Yeah, I think one of Jared’s biggest strengths is he does have big field vision. So, you can design all the great plays you want, but at the end of the day, he’s got to be the one executing them. It doesn’t always go perfectly as planned, like you drew it up on a piece of paper or the way it went down in practice. It’s great to have a quarterback that’s able to improvise or if someone does come free out of the normal rhythm of the play, he’s able to find them.”

(On the difference of the mood in the tight end room from the first game to the second game)

”Yeah, I think in this league, if you win the game, your mood is always one way. It’s hard to win in the NFL. Whether you got the ball or you didn’t and you’re a good person, a good teammate – like, I think we have a locker room full of those type of people - you win the game and that’s the most important aspect of the day. Hey, it was nice – (TE Tyler Higbee) ‘Higs’ gets his one touch and makes it count. So, you get those opportunities, they come your way, you make them count. But, the ultimate goal is to get that win.”

(On how he has seen Higbee come along as a blocker)

”Yeah, I think his big improvement since I’ve been around him is just his ability to use the techniques on a consistent basis, understand what he’s got to do because at that position, you’re blocking guys that are either rush-ends or they’re bigger body guys, longer arm guys. So, you’ve got to be a technician, you’ve got to be tough. He’s really displayed his improvement in all aspects of the run game as far as being a backside cutoff or a point of attack guy or sifting across. We ask those guys to do a lot of different things. I’ve been very proud of the way he’s improved throughout his tenure here.”

(On if TE Gerald Everett is playing catch up or if he’s fitting right in)

”Yeah, he’s fitting right in. It’s never easy when you’re a younger player and the unlucky part of getting injured in training camp, so you miss some of those valuable reps. But, he did all the right things as far as rehab went and came back in there. The hard part is when you’re rolling and you’ve got to find your niche back in the offense. He’s going, like I said, every day he’s getting better and getting closer to where he was. I think he’s right there. So, each game will present a new challenge for him as far as what his role in the game is and how much more he can provide for us. I know he did look nice and twitchy on the catch. He had that 17-yard reception last week. Feel good about him, feel good about how he handled being injured as a younger player and then having to step back up early in the season and work your way back into the system.”