clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

TRANSCRIPT: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay, DC Wade Phillips, Co-OC Aaron Kromer September 25 press conference

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

Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay

(On an update on CBs Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib and if he is having surgery)

”Yeah, so (CB) Aqib (Talib) I think I just got an alert on my phone that he’s going to have surgery scheduled for Thursday – from (Senior Director of Sports Medicine and Performance) Reggie (Scott). He obviously let me know. It’s not like I’m getting alerts from – you guys would probably know that before me. But, he got that second opinion. We’ll find out the specifics once we get in there. It’s unfortunate, but it is kind of what we had thought. So, I believe that’s going to be scheduled for Thursday.”

(On how long of a recovery that could require)

”It depends on once you get in there because of the specifics of what the severity is once you actually see what needs to be totally fixed. If there’s something going on with his deltoid (ligament), then it ends up being a little bit longer, but we’ll find out once that surgery takes place.”

(On going against the Vikings secondary)

”Yeah, they’re a great defense. I think you go back to last year when we played against them. You look at the production that they’ve had this year. Excellent coach in Mike Zimmer that does a great job presenting a variety of different looks. They play really sound on the early downs. They make you earn every single yard. Then when you talk about the secondary, you’re looking at guys like (CB Xavier) Rhodes – we’ll see if (CB Trae) Waynes is able to go – and then I think their two safeties in (S Andrew) Sendejo and (S) Harrison Smith do an excellent job. They’ve got some young guys with (CB Mike) Hughes, who’s made some plays. He had a pick to the house against San Francisco. Then, (CB) Mackensie Alexander has been a guy out of Clemson that’s had some good production for them and can play that nickel spot. So, they’re really tough and they’ve got great players all over the defense.”

(On Talib’s deltoid ligament)

”In his ankle. I think it’s deltoid. I’ll get the specifics – well, I know your deltoid is your shoulder too. I think there’s something in his ankle – (Senior Director of Communications) Artis (Twyman), we’ll find out exactly what the heck we’re calling that. Okay?”

(On if Talib also had a potential shoulder issue)

”Not that deltoid. I’m hopeful that there is an ankle, that there’s a deltoid thing so I can come back and give you a hard time. If not, I’ll say, ‘You know what, I was wrong.’ But, when you open it up I think the severity of what goes on, what needs to be fixed. If there’s something else going on – I hope it’s a deltoid, alright (laughs)? Whatever it might be, I hope it’s not, because if it’s something that we’re anticipating then it’ll be a little bit quicker recovery.”

(On the fact that there is a deltoid ligament in the ankle)

”Doctor McVay.”

(On Peters’ recovery)

”Marcus is day-to-day right now. I think he’s feeling good. I think it’s a great representation of his toughness to even still have it be a chance that he’s going to play. When you look at what occurred and you talk about what that position requires and entails in terms of the movement. So, he’s taking steps in the right direction. I would imagine it will be a game day decision for us just based on the nature of the way that we’re going to practice this week. If we get him, we’ll be extremely excited and that’s a big boost to us. If not, like we said, have a whole lot of confidence in (CB) Sam Shields and (CB) Troy Hill and (CB) Nickell Robey (-Coleman) is going to be a guy we continue to lean on as well.”

(On the recovery of OLB Dominique Easley)

”Same thing. He’s day-to-day. It’s a little bit more difficult because we’re walking-thru. So, in terms of the physical toll where you can get a little bit better gauge, it’s a little bit different in this short week. But, he’s day-to-day right now as well.”

(On if he’s concerned at all about putting WR Cooper Kupp back to return punts and if he’ll be conservative with that)

”Well, I think sometimes this week requires a little bit different approach. I think because it is a short week because of the consistency that you feel that Cooper (Kupp) will be able to field that ball. If he gets an opportunity, we’ll always try to compete to do the best that we can from a production standpoint. I think our punt return unit, specifically, has done an excellent job of creating good field position. It’s a big loss with (WR) Pharoh (Cooper), big loss for (WR) JoJo (Natson). Hopefully we’ll get him back sooner than later, but you do feel good about having somebody that’s able to consistently field it like that. You see when the ball is in Cooper’s hands, he’s able to create and get vertical and he knows how to naturally work edges on people as well.”

(On where his team is at as they approach the quarter-season mark and how they get better at making in-game adjustments throughout all four quarters)

”Yeah, I think really you just take it one day at a time. Whether we were 3-0 or 0-3, our approach this week would remain the same. You look at the tape from last week, you figure out what can you do to continue to improve, continue to try to set standards for the things that we deem important. This week provides a great challenge going against an excellent team – really sound in all three phases. They have great players, they’re very well coached, a team that went deep into the playoffs last year. They’re going to be ready to go and certainly we have to as well. It’s just like anything else. I thought our guys did some good things, but as coaches, first and foremost, and then as players, there’s things that we can look at and see if we can improve upon on a short week.”

(On how he’s seen Vikings QB Kirk Cousins grow and change since he last worked with him)

”I think anytime that you’re able to get experience at the quarterback position when you’re as conscientious as he is, you’re going to naturally get better. You take those mental reps, you bank them. Feel fortunate to have worked with Kirk (Cousins). I think he’s somebody that the game of football is so important to him with the way that he consistently approaches it. Wants to know all the little nuances, the details. Does a great job with his communication with his teammates. He’s able to change the launch point, making any throw. They’re able to utilize him in a variety of ways and he’s done an excellent job. You’re really happy for, obviously the contract, but I think he’s in a good place with his family and feeling good about the situation there. I’ll be rooting and always pulling for Kirk after Thursday.”

(On if he’s noticed if the Vikings are doing anything different this year and what he took away from last season’s matchup)

”You take away that it was a humbling day for us, specifically offensively I thought they did a great job. Really, after our first drive they regulated us. I put us in some bad down-and-distance situations, didn’t make very good calls and Coach Zimmer did and those guys made plays. Really for us, those previous experiences against other opponents or against the similar opponents – or the same opponents in this instance – definitely provides an opportunity to look back. But, there’s always going to be things situationally that a team or that a coaching staff will implement. You’re still seeing a really sound defense. You’re seeing a very sound offense. It’s a different play caller with (Vikings Offensive Coordinator) John DeFilippo calling it, but some of the things that they try to utilize their personnel to put them in good spots. They’ve got the right players to do it and they’ve got the schemes. So, it’s going to be a great challenge for us and we’ve got to be ready.”

(On the things he’s done differently as a young coach in the league)

”I don’t know that it’s really we’re doing anything too differently. I think it’s that I’m leaning on a lot of people that have more experience than I do. We really, truly try to collaborate as an organization here where – whether it’s Reggie and (Director of Strength Training and Performance) Ted (Rath), our strength coach and our head of athletic training, whether it’s leaning on Artis or from a coaching standpoint having (Defensive Coordinator) Wade Phillips and (Special Teams Coordinator) John Fassel, guys like (Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers) Joe Barry, (Run Game Coordinator) Aaron Kromer. So, I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by great people that have had a lot more experience in a lot of these situations than I have. That’s where you lean on them and you try to make decisions that are best for our players and for our team. That’s what we try to do, like I think probably most places, and you use those experiences to try to learn, but it’s all about the people that you have around you and that’s where I feel lucky to be in that spot.”

(On what he takes away from the Vikings’ tape against the Bills last Sunday)

”I think the score is a little bit misleading. You don’t want to take away from the Bills’ performance, but I think there were some off-schedule plays, there were some short fields. You don’t take anything for granted. This is a great football team coming in here and it doesn’t really matter what they did the previous week. You know they’ll be ready to go. They’ve consistently played well. They have veteran players that have played at a high-caliber, All-Pro level, year after year and they’ve got those key players at the key spots. That’s something that you don’t ever take for granted. They’re extremely well coached. They’re sound, both from a fundamental standpoint and a schematic standpoint. It’s something that we’ve got to be ready to go for. That game is one of them that you look at, but by no means do you think that’s indicative of the caliber of football team that’s coming in here. Even when you look at the tape, they still did, really, a lot of really good things that provide a lot of issues and present a lot of issues for us. From an offensive standpoint, they’ve got some great stuff that they can do offensively to give us problems defensively and same thing with our special team.”

(On if they feel rushed with the short turnaround this week)

”You mean squeezing six, seven days’ worth of work into three? Rushed? Yes. It’s a little bit different. The one thing is everybody has to do it. So, it’s something that you don’t make any excuses. You just handle it because it’s something that everybody has to deal with. The Vikings are dealing with it this week and so are we. It’s a great opportunity for us to say, ‘Let’s figure out a way after a good win, gather ourselves together, move forward, get ready to go mentally and see if we can put together another good physical performance against a tough football team.’ Then, that’ll enable you to have a little bit more of an enjoyable weekend if you can do that.”

(On how many hours of sleep he’s averaging this week)

”Well, what does it look like? Maybe two? Don’t answer that question (laughs). No, I’ve gotten a little bit less sleep. So, I got a few hours last night.”

(On his get-out-of-work-early memo for the fans for Thursday)

”We did. Hopefully we can continue to create those atmospheres and those environments that we’ve had the last couple weeks. Our fans have done a great job creating a good atmosphere and environment at the Coliseum. Hopefully that’ll be the same at 5:20 (p.m.) on Thursday and people will be there ready to go in what will hopefully be a great game that they can be proud of our product that we’ll put out there.”

(On Wade Phillips wondering if he can also get out of work early on Thursday)

”I feel like I answer to Wade, so whatever Wade wants.”

Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips

(Opening remarks)

”Thursday night comes quick. We just had Wednesday’s practice and this afternoon we’ll have Thursday’s practice. Minnesota (Vikings) had a tough game last game, but we know (Vikings QB) Kirk Cousins, he’s thrown seven touchdown passes and only thrown two interceptions in two games. He can throw the football. Then, we expect them, obviously, to go back to the running game. They weren’t able to because they got behind last game, but we expect the running game against us. We didn’t play very well the second half against the run, so we expect them to come after us in the running game. Then, they’ve got a quarterback that can make plays. (Vikings WR) Adam Thielen, he may have caught the most passes of all-time here in the last three games. I think he has 32 receptions and 380 yards. They’ve got some real good players on their team, we know that.”

(On how much his game plan changes without CB Aqib Talib and CB Marcus Peters)

”Well, we played without those two guys against (Chargers QB) Philip Rivers last game. It was good that (CB) Sam (Shields) and (CB) Troy (Hill) were ready to play. It says a lot for those two guys. They were ready to come in the game even though they weren’t starting. Yeah, it’s a challenge any time your second team people are in there, but we have a lot of confidence in those guys. We can call the same calls with those guys. In fact, we did in the ball game. We just have to, really, stop them down there at the end of the game in fourth down – those kind of plays. So, I feel confident in our guys. It doesn’t take away from our calls. Both those corners that we have can really run. They’re really fast and athletic. It’s good to have them even though we don’t have our starters.”

(On what he has had to do as a coach to emphasize how to hit quarterbacks with the new roughing the passer rules)

”Well, we’ve worked drills with it. With our D-lineman, we work drills where you tackle and roll – basically alligator tackle where you tackle and roll. We’ve emphasized to the players what the rule is. I don’t know that it’s completely clear overall, but we’re going to go by whatever the rule is. That’s what we’re trying to teach.”

(On if he knows what a sack is now)

”Yeah, I think that’s obviously a little bit of a controversy now. But, I think somebody is going to work it out where we know exactly what it is. I know if you literally put all of your weight on the guy, that’s obviously a penalty and it’s always been a penalty. The difference, I don’t know for sure. But, we’re teaching to not fall on the quarterback when we sack the quarterback. That’s what we worked on and we feel like that’s adequate.”

(On how he would evaluate the defensive line coming together)

”Yeah, we’ve got a strong group. I think we put a lot of pressure on the quarterback. We don’t have as many sacks, but we do have a lot of pressures. We’ve got good coverage and pressure, so they’re not throwing the ball. Even Philip Rivers, he had 200 and something yards, not 300 or 400. Our pass defense is pretty strong and the up front is part of it. We didn’t play well enough in the run game last week and we’ve got to play better there. We’ve got to shore up better. Most of the plays were not much, but those three big runs really hurt us as far as them moving the ball, number one, and then, number two, us playing good run defense.”

(On if he’s comfortable with the number of sacks not being high if they’re getting consistent pressure)

”Yeah, I think as long as we’re 3-0, I’m pretty comfortable. You always want to try and be better in everything you do and we’re striving for that. Winning games the way we’re winning games, I think when you’re ahead, the stats look a little different too because they’re going to throw the ball more when they’re behind – those kinds of things. We like to be in those situations.”

(On if there is something he can take away from playing QB Cousins last year)

”Last year, we played him, (Head Coach) Sean (McVay) had coached him before. We took about all that we could take, last year. He’s in a different offense this year. I don’t know if it’s an advantage, certainly, to have played him before except he’s in a different offense and they’ve got different reads and so forth. We’re going to have to adjust to whatever quarterback we play and what we think he’s going to do. He’s got different receivers. They run different routes than the guys he’s thrown to before. They’ve got some big-play receivers with (WR Stefon) Diggs, obviously, and Thielen and they’ve got a good tight end. He’s got all the pieces he needs. He’s a very accurate thrower. He’s got real arm talent and that’s why they paid him what they paid him, I’m sure.”

(On if he was able to take much from the Vikings tape of their game last Sunday and his approach when he sees a team that talented)

”I think some of their players said it, but they’ve had a game like that almost every year and then come back and played really well. I don’t expect to see that team, although, credit to Buffalo (Bills). Obviously, they played really well. Any time you get ahead 27-0 real early, it changes the whole game – how an offense plays, how a defense plays, all those things.”

(On what he loses when he has to play Shields and Hill and doesn’t have guys like Talib and Peters on the field)

”Well, they’re still elite players. Hopefully, these guys will step up and come close to what those guys can do, but those two are great players. Hopefully, these guys will play great and I have confidence they’ll play really well.”

(On if he heard about the online petition to have him dress as his father did for the games and if he’ll do it)

”I’m not the head coach, so they’re not going to let me dress in anything but Nike. So, if they have a Nike cowboy hat, maybe then I’ll do that (laughs). Also, I just read that I can get off Thursday afternoon (laughs). I can get off work early, so I’m looking forward to that.”

Run Game Coordinator/Co-Offensive Coordinator Aaron Kromer

(On how he has evaluated OL Austin Blythe in recent weeks and what he sees in him)

”As far as the offensive line goes, I think we’ve had a very productive first three games and there’s always room for improvement. But, I think the five guys that have been playing have shown consistency in their play and have been solid throughout the three games. I think that (OL) Austin (Blythe) has been a big part of that. We’re lucky to be in this situation because we have two starters at the guard position that we could play and it just happens that Austin got the opportunity first this year. With the success we’ve been having, we want to keep the continuity and I think that has helped out. But at any time if (OL) Jamon Brown is needed, I can guarantee you that he’ll be ready. He’s had a wonderful attitude about it. He’s a team guy. He’s always been a team guy. He’s always been an upbeat person. He’s smart enough to see what’s going on on tape. Obviously, he wants his opportunity to get back in there like anybody would, but there’s no one happier for the Rams right now and the success we’re having up front than Jamon Brown, even though he’s not in the lineup.”

(On what he recalls from the running game when they played the Vikings last year)

”We didn’t run the ball as well as we had in other games against this defense. They’re a stout defense. They’re built to stop the run. That’s their number one goal, you can see it on tape. They talk about it. They do it. They live it. We’re built to run the ball. So, we have to do a much better job this year with this game and running the football. I think we’re more in tune with what we’re doing in the running game as a whole, as a unit – whether you’re talking a receiver blocking, tight end blocking, line blocking, running backs understanding the scheme that we’re trying to get done and how the defense is fit compared to the blocking schemes that we’re using. I think we’re a lot smarter football team than we were in the past, so I hope that shows on Thursday night.”

(On how much he has been able to tell that the defenses keying in on stopping the run game)

”There’s a motto in most defenses that say, ‘Listen, we’re going to stop the run first and we’re going to make this team pass.’ Then, there’s a couple theories on defense that they’re not going to give up the big run and they’re going to try to stop the run with the defensive line and keep the linebackers back and make sure that they don’t get a play-action deep over their head, so they’re going to play the play-action first and then the run. So, each week’s a little bit different. But, this team definitely would like to stop the run first, so they’ll be up and geared up for it.”

(On what he attributes to saying that the Rams are smarter than last year)

”Well, what happens is when you’re a new coaching staff and not only the combination of us, the staff, trying to learn the players, but the players trying to learn us. I think we’re at a point now where when we start a sentence, they can finish it. That’s where you want to be in an offense. They solve their own problems and then we add on to what they could even fix more. That’s the difference between last year and this year. We were still trying to figure out who we were and how we were doing it throughout the year and we continued to get better through the year. But, I think we started this year with an identity and a thought process in how we were going to approach these games. I think it benefited us so far.”

(On if he notices the Vikings are doing anything different on defense)

”They’re a talented bunch that continues to do the same thing over and over. They have the same mentality as we do as far as – this is our identity, this is the way we play defense, this is the techniques that we’re going to use and we’re going to be better than you. We’re going to out technique you. So, we have to go into this game and take advantage of their techniques with our techniques.”