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TRANSCRIPT: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay, RB Todd Gurley September 2 press conference

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

NFL: Los Angeles Rams Training Camp Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay

(On if today was the start of a typical game week)

“Basically, what we’ve got is we’ve got really two bonus days before we get into what would be the equivalent of a normal week. Like if we were playing on a Sunday – like a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday – that’ll be on Thursday, Friday and Saturday for us this week. So, we had today then we’ll have an additional day on Tuesday that basically will be kind of a walk-thru with – we’ll get one or two periods of work on Oakland and then some walk-thru stuff for about 45 minutes to an hour. Players will be off on Wednesday and then we’ll come back for those three days’ worth of work.”

(On if it gets the juices flowing to come out on the field with the team he’s going to go into a regular season game with)

“Yeah, it’s exciting. Really, having a team meeting today with the guys that made the active roster, then our practice squad guys. We had nine guys on the practice squad that were with us today. First, it’s congratulations to these guys. Really, excited about this group and now we’ve got to go do it one day at a time and today represented the first day of that preparation really for the Oakland (Raiders) game. Guys did a good job. I think we got some good work in. I want to continue to try to keep these guys fresh and crisp so that we’re peaking at the right time and today we felt like we had a good day’s worth of work.”

(On how DT Aaron Donald has looked for the first couple days)

“He’s looked good. I haven’t had a chance to go back and watch the film from today, but the other day was just a couple periods. But, you just see the movement, you see the twitch. Just getting him back out here moving around. He’ll be the first to tell you, just feeling how you’re fitting blocks and some of the pass rush moves and things like that. That’s why it’s great to get him in here for a couple weeks’ worth of work. Really, about five days, six days total. He’ll just get better and better one day at a time.”

(On how early he knew the team would keep three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster and if there is still some competition at the backup position)

“Yeah, we’re going to continue to evaluate that. That was something that we had felt good about. There’s a lot of things that go into it, but just like anything else, we’ll try to continue to create ways – even though it’s a little bit more difficult when you get into the game-planning phase and stuff like that – of evaluating guys and feeling like, ‘Who are the guys that give us the best ability to win games moving forward?’ Right now, that was the approach we took and that’s something that we’ll always continue to monitor.”

(On if keeping four running backs was a product of what they showed during camp)

“It was. Really, I thought (RB) John (Kelly) did an excellent job. He continued to demonstrate what you’re excited about watching him run with the football. He’s getting better and better. Then, really, it was unfortunate for (RB) Justin (Davis), but I think it’s also a credit to how well he played in the limited opportunities that he got before he ended up tweaking his hamstring – that he showed so well. That goes back to the offseason program. Really, what a great job (Running Backs Coach) Skip (Peete) has done with that room as a whole. But we felt like he definitely was deserving of being on this active roster. We’re hopeful to get him back out here practicing and competing with the guys. But, he wasn’t able to compete, but just in terms of just evaluating what we felt like was our best 53 (man roster) – or really in this situation, because of where we’re at we have 55 – Justin was definitely deserving of that and we’re excited to hopefully get him back sooner than later.”

(On how difficult studying the Oakland Raiders is due to the lack of film and Jon Gruden’s extended absence from coaching)

“It does. Really, it’s about specifically from a defensive standpoint, doing a good job of playing your rules, playing your keys and adjusting because you know they’re probably going to throw out a bunch of different personnel groupings. Might mix in some different tempos and we’ve got to be ready to adjust accordingly. That’s where defense is so reactionary driven, but if we play sound with our run fits, we’re sound in our matches with whatever the formations or different things based on the coverage concepts we’re running, guys should be able to play confident. But, he’s (Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden) always done such a good job of mixing it up. I’m sure he’s got a bunch of new wrinkles that he’s added to his arsenal. It’s going to be exciting, but it is a great challenge, really kind of that element of uncertainty and that does make it very difficult.”

(On his impression of Donald with DT Ndamukong Suh and DL Michael Brockers)

“Yeah, he looked good and today really represented some carded work. So, you go back and watch the film and some things specific to the game plan that we’ll expect to run against these guys on Monday night. Then, the other day really just represented a chance for him to get out here. We had some passing situations – we didn’t have any real pads on, but you see the movement, you see the twitch – I think it’ll be great to be able to get him a few days’ worth of work, especially with some pads on and being able to fit blocks in the run game, use some of his pass-rush moves or some of the things that we might do to complement working in unison, whether it be with some interior guys who are outside guys based on what we’re doing. So, it was good to get him back out here.”

(On if the Oakland Raiders trading DE Khalil Mack changes his plan for Week 1)

“He’s a player that’s such a good football player that sometimes you’ve got to be more cognizant of others, but we’ve got a lot of respect. They’ve gotten some young players that they drafted and some veteran guys that have done a lot of good things in this league or shown some exciting things, whether going back to college or just what they flash in the preseason. So, we’ve got a lot of respect for this front, but when you’re talking about a player of (DE) Khalil’s (Mack) caliber, there’s always an element of you do some different things maybe to just be mindful and aware of where he’s lined up. But, they’ve got some guys that are going to pose a great challenge for us and that’s something that we’ll kind of continue to evaluate and see how our protection plan, our run game plan and the specifics of what we want to do kind of evolves as the week progresses.”

(On if he wasn’t upset that Mack was traded)

“I would say I’m not upset about that. But, that being said, you still have a lot of respect for the guys that they will put out there and (Raiders Defensive Coordinator) Coach (Paul) Guenther does a great job mixing it up. They’ve got a variety of different players and different front structures that they can create, so it’s going to be a great challenge for us.”

(On how healthy he expects the veterans to stay and how much trust he has in the rookies)

“Yeah, I think it’s a combination of both. We try to do a good job of taking care of those guys. We felt like, really, when you take into account that (G) Jamon (Brown) doesn’t count initially, so you’ve got nine guys – three of those being rookies that are in those roles behind it, when you’re expecting (C) Austin Blythe to step in and do a great job at that right guard spot. I think it represents a great job by (Run Game Coordinator) Coach (Aaron) Kromer, it represents a great job by those guys. Then, we do fully anticipate those guys to stay healthy, hopefully, and if that’s something that doesn’t happen, then we’ve got to be ready to adjust accordingly. But, that eight was something that we felt like fit, knowing that when Jamon comes back, you’re really talking about nine guys after that Week 2.”

(On if it’s unusual to have as many rookies as they have to make the final 53-man roster)

“It is and I think it’s a credit to being able to identify the guys that fit. I think it was great collaboration on (General Manager) Les (Snead) and his staff’s part working in unison with our coaching staff and then the ability to develop guys. There’s still so much time and so, so far that we have to go with these guys. But, when you’re talking about specifically those offensive lineman, really been impressed when you watch the way (T) Joe Noteboom has progressed, watching (C) Brian Allen and I think Coach Kromer does a great job of moving them around where initially, you’re exposing them to so many different things, but then once you can kind of settle them in, I think it helps create a better big-picture understanding what some of the concepts – whether it be in protection or in the run game and then moving all around, I think gives them a better appreciation and understanding of how they fit as a whole. Now, being able to settle back in at the center, at that tackle spot, you should be able to feel more confident and a little bit more settled as well.”

RB Todd Gurley

(On how eager he is to play in the season opener on Monday Night Football after not playing in the preseason)

“I’m just waiting my time, enjoying my last couple of days before not being hit. It will be fun. Almost a week to go and can’t believe it’s here.”

(On how much he has embraced his role in fantasy football and if there’s something he wants his fans to know as he goes into this season)

“I just appreciate all the fans that took me in the first round or even better, No. 1 overall. So try to show them some support and hopefully we can get the MVP for fantasy football again this year. They help me out, I help them out.”

(On if he wins MVP for fantasy football again this year does he have a specific charity he would like his fans to donate to like they did last year)

“Oh yeah, I’ll give them my Cash App a little later on and then I’ll figure out the charity (laughs).”

(On how he feels physically going into this season compared to the two previous ones)

“I honestly, that’s what I was trying to figure that out today. I honestly don’t remember how I was feeling. I know like two years ago, I think, my back was hurting and then last year I was feel pretty good. It’s been good. I’ve been feeling pretty good and just try to work my way into football shape. Obviously, that first game, it’s going to be the first game for a lot of people so hopefully we can just go out there and play each snap hard and just keep working.”

(On if he likes that the season opener is on Monday Night Football)

“No, because we have to play Sunday. I don’t really care about a Monday or a Thursday night game too much.”

(On if it’s not a big deal that the season opener is a prime time game that everyone will watch)

“No. I’m more worried about recovery time from Sunday to Sunday, not Monday to Sunday. But it will be cool. I mean everybody on the East Coast is going to be asleep anyways, so it will just be the West Coast people watching the game (laughs).”

(On what his reaction was to DT Aaron Donald getting his deal and if he said anything to him when he arrived)

“I think my reaction, I think I called my brother. I was like, ‘Oh!’ and I texted my dad, ‘We got (No.) 99 back.’ I was just super excited. I started calling a couple a people telling them we got him back. I was just super excited to just see him in the building and just have him back. I knew he was going to come back but just didn’t know when. Just to see all that ‘pay that man’ stuff, and just to see everything work out in his favor. I was super excited for him.”

(On if it resonates in the locker room that with WR Brandin Cooks, T Rob Havenstein, Donald and himself all getting paid that the organization is putting money into the product of the team)

“Yeah man, it means a lot for us and for us as a team. A lot of the guys we came in together and it’s just like – not saying we were broke, but it’s just like I can sit up here and have good conversations with four or five people that got a payday. There’s really no better feeling. You’re always happy to get yours but there’s no better feeling seeing your friends, your teammates and other people from other teams. It’s just been a lot of fun and I’m just happy that I’m able to enjoy this experience with a lot of guys. We’re all happy. We’re all out here having fun. We have a great coaching staff. (Head) Coach (Sean) McVay makes it great for us, (Director of Strength Training and Performance) Ted (Rath), (Senior Director, Sports Medicine and Performance) Reggie (Scott), everybody around here. It’s been fun.”

(On the expectations for the team a year ago versus today and if it feels different)

“I haven’t really been thinking about half of that stuff honestly. I’m just glad (DE) Khalil Mack got traded to the Bears and I don’t have to worry about him Week 1.”

(On QB Jared Goff going into year three and what gives him confidence that Goff is ready to take the next step)

“He’s just been doing a good job this offseason. Obviously, he’s been in the system and this is his second year in the system. Just little stuff, like him telling me stuff when he doesn’t need to. You just see his progression. Just going through his routes, going through the first receiver all the way down to his check down and to me. He’s just been getting better each day, just taking those little steps. Doesn’t like when he’s out there messing up and that’s what you love in a quarterback. Just always out there putting in extra work with (WR) Cooper Kupp or (WR Robert Woods) ‘Woody’ or (WR Brandin) Cooks. I’m just happy to have him as my quarterback and be able to play alongside him.”

(On how tough it is to try to study the Raiders defense when they don’t have film on them)

“It’s very hard, but at the end of the day that’s why we’re here. We’ve been here since OTAs and camp. There’s only so many defenses you can run and so many offensive plays you can run. It’s a copycat league. We just try to do what we do. Make sure we know our system and then let everything fall in place after that.”

(On if he sees any resemblance between Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden and Head Coach Sean McVay and if McVay reminds him of a young Gruden)

“No, not that I know of. I don’t watch too much (Raiders Head Coach) Jon Gruden, just the quarterback camps where he takes the guys out of college. None that I know of.”

(On if he ever watched the wildcard playoff game against the Falcons or if he just let it go)

”I did not watch it.”

(On if it was a conscious choice to not watch the wildcard playoff game)

“I think I was just off. Just off of it. I was excited for the season, excited for what we did but I didn’t want to take that pain and just watch the film. I just didn’t watch it.”