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TRANSCRIPT: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay, Co-OC Aaron Kromer September 6 press conference

Here’s what McBae and one of his primary offensive deputies had to say to the media today.

Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay

(On what the vibe is like having regular season about to begin)

”Yeah, guys are excited. Really, today, represents what would be a normal in season Wednesday for us – we bumped things back a little bit just to get acclimated to kicking off at night. But, there’s a focus, concentration right now. I think the guys are getting locked in, getting ready to go and we got to have, really, three more good days of preparation - getting ready for a great team on Monday night.”

(On if there is anything he’s seen off the field about QB Jared Goff that shows he has matured)

”I think he’s just growing up as a person. I think he’s just more comfortable. He’s more familiar with the settings – different things like that – but, like anything else, he’s mature beyond his years already. But, I think just the comfort level, being around his teammates, I think it’s a real credit to him where he’s voted a captain by his guys and I think that’s something that he earned by just being himself. Just like anybody else, you get to grow through your experiences and that’s how you get a chance to learn and get better and I think he’s done that and he’s been intentional about it. It’s him just being himself though, which is the best part about it.”

(On if he can express what it meant to him when Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden hired him as a 22-year-old and what he learned under him)

”Yeah, really, I feel so fortunate for the relationship that my grandfather and Jim Gruden had because that goes back a long time and the Gruden-McVay family connections – there’s a bunch of different kind of interconnections that we do have. But, what that family has meant to me specifically, you can’t really express. Jon has been great – everybody knows how highly I think of Jon. Really, teaching me the foundation of what I know about this game. (Redskins Head Coach) Jay (Gruden) gave me an opportunity to be a coordinator for him in Washington. So, really, that family as whole has been as influential for the opportunities that I’ve gotten in this league as anybody and I couldn’t be more grateful and appreciative for what they’ve done. Looking forward to playing against the Raiders on Monday night. It’ll be the Raiders versus the Rams and it certainly is a humbling experience. You would never have a chance to be in an opportunity like what we’re at here in L.A. if it wasn’t for what the Gruden family’s done for me.”

(On if he goes into this week knowing anyone won’t be available and if there is an update on how DT Aaron Donald has looked these last few days and how confident he is with him going into Monday)

”Yeah, as far as that’s going in terms of – we have an idea of what our active roster’s going to be like. But, in terms of eliminating anybody yet, we’re not at that point. With (DT) Aaron (Donald), Aaron looks good. I think he’s getting more and more comfortable – just in terms of being able to just see the player, the way that he’s locked in – it’s good. I think he’s probably better served to be able to answer that question with how he feels. He looks good to us as coaches and we’re excited to have him back.”

(On if he’s conscious about some people questioning his decision not to play Goff in the preseason and what does he think of them)

”Well, conscious because you ask me about it. No, I’ll tell you what, I understand and I think the biggest thing is that, just like anything else – it might not be for everybody. In an ideal world, you would like to be able to have him get that experience and things like that. But, at the risk for what we though could potentially occur, that was a decision that we made and I totally respect and understand that people might disagree with that. It wasn’t just my decision – we make decisions as an organization, in terms of what we feel like is best with all things considered. We stand behind our decision. I stand behind that decision because everything that we try to do – and what I’ll always try to do – is make decisions that are for the best interest of our football team. Am I always going to be right? No and that’s where you can’t be afraid to say when you look back at some of the decisions, if it didn’t work out, why wasn’t that the case? Why didn’t it work out? And can’t be afraid to say, ‘You know what, that’s my fault, I’ve got to be able to take the accountability and get it fixed.’ Specifically, with this situation, with the amount of work that he’s got and with the continuity that we do have and kind of the way that we approach some of the practices – being able to go against Baltimore (Ravens) - that was what we felt like it was. But, at the end of the day, the results are going to predicate kind of what that final thing is and I’m okay with those consequences knowing that you’ve got to take ownership of your decisions.”

(On if his decision to rest the starters works out well, he thinks it’ll be a trend where quarterbacks aren’t playing in the preseason)

”I don’t know because I think the thing about it, too, is really, you want to keep your entire team healthy. The reason that we felt like it was important to get our defense some of the snaps was because there were some new pieces – different things like that. So, a large part of it was because of the continuity that we had returning on offense. I think each year will present a new approach based on how many things are involved in those types of decisions. But, what we try to do is what we think is best for our team and that’s really all I can speak to.”

(On if he prepares any differently knowing they’ll be playing against their former quarterbacks coach Raiders Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson)

”(Raiders Offensive Coordinator) Greg (Olson) is a great coach and they’re lucky to have Greg there and he certainly does know a lot of different things about our offense and I’m sure he could help out in a variety of ways of just certain things that we like. You try to be cognizant of it, but you also don’t want to try to outsmart yourself and create things for the players that might not be something that does affect the outcome. But, you have a lot of respect for what Greg can tell their defensive coaches, in terms of some of those types of things. Your mindful of it, but you don’t want to give it too much credit to where it kind of paralyzes you from putting together a plant that is best for our players, most importantly.”

(On how he feels that ticket sales start September 16 for the new stadium)

”I think it’s incredible that you have an owner that’s committed to developing such an incredible project. For us, we’re excited about that, but that’s a long way away. We’re focused on doing everything we can right now to try to get ready for a game on September 10. It’s exciting, but I think what’s important for us is to focus on doing a good job in the moment and that’s having a great day of practice today and doing a good job of trying to prepare ourselves for Monday night.”

(On if he’s satisfied with the offseason acquisitions in stopping the run defensively)

”Well, I think there’s a lot of things on any football team – offensively, defensively, special teams, that the offseason provides a great opportunity for you to look at yourself critically as coaches, figure out what can we do to be better? That’s situationally, schematically. Then, if you want to try to address some personnel needs that you might feel like fixes some of those problems. But, good players make you a lot better coach, we know that. We looked at a lot of those different things. Not necessarily exclusively to the run game, but what can we do to try to improve on all three phases? And one of the things that we identified was being able to acquire some special players and now it’s about us putting them together, having them play together as a unit and do some of those things the right way. But, there was a lot of different variations and reasons – each play is kind of its own entity – there were certainly some things offensively, I know we can do a lot better and some special teams things. So, as a team, we’re always looking to improve and that’s definitely going to be an area that we are looking to improve, but there’s a variety of things on all three phases.”

(On if he thinks about his relationship with Jon Gruden or if it’s just X’s and O’s now)

”Yeah, what you talk about is, I think everybody knows the appreciation you have for what Jon has meant to my family and to me personally, as a coach. But, this is about the Rams versus the Raiders. What we try to do a great job of as coaches, is really focusing on getting ready for that opponent and once you get into the stadium, it’s going to be about the Raiders versus the Rams and that’s exactly what it’s about. Regardless of the relationships that you have, the coaching profession is such a small one, but it’s about doing everything in our power to try to come away with a win and I know he would say the same exact thing. We’ve got a whole lot of respect for what they’re going to present and a lot of different problems in all three phases and it’s a challenge that we’re excited about.”

(On what he’s trying to achieve by having a late practice and how much is involved when they have a late game)

”Yeah, I think you continue to learn and really, when you talk about the sports science approach with taking (Senior Director, Sports Medicine and Performance) Reggie Scott’s advice, taking (Director of Strength Training and Performance) Ted Rath’s advice and how the body just gets acclimated and adjusts it to peaking at the right time when you are kicking off at 7:20 – those are why the decisions are made because typically, you’re practicing earlier in the day or when you’re kicking off at one o’clock out here. There’s just a different element of just what your natural body rhythm goes through – the circadian rhythm is what I’ve learned. So, that’s something that you do try to be mindful of and everything that we do is geared towards trying to help our players as best we can, for a lot of different reasons, but that was the approach. Then, you’re also fighting the elements where we don’t have any lights here, so we moved it back as late as we could without having to throw in the dark.”

(On if he considered renting lights)

”We went over to (California Lutheran University) Cal Lu the other day. But, I think all things considered, we felt like we would be able to get out of it what we wanted with the time constraints that we have. If that was something we were playing at night a lot, then I’d probably call (Owner/Chairman) Mr. (E. Stanley) Kroenke and see if we could get some lights.”

(On CB Marcus Peters heading to his hometown this weekend and what he heard consistently from all the people he’s talked to and how it comes to fruition now that he’s been around him all this time)

”Yeah, incredibly passionate person about the community of Oakland and giving back in a variety of ways. I think he’s the epitome of somebody that’s used his platform to really give back and do a lot of positive things with the success and some of the financial rewards that his success has enabled him to be able to do. Really impressed, just with him as a person. He’s been a joy to be around. Obviously, he’s an incredible talent, but he’s got a great personality, consistent demeanor and somebody that really cares a lot about the Oakland community and doing things that he can to give back. That’s something that I know is special to him and he’s always doing things – whether it’s going back there and having charity events. So, really impressed with just the commitment that he has to that, but you can see it’s coming from a genuine, authentic place and really, it’s a neat experience and a cool opportunity just to be able to see.”

Co-OC/Run Game Coordinator/OL Coach Aaron Kromer

(On C Austin Blythe being listed a starter for G Jamon Brown and how much confidence they have in Blythe)

“We have the ultimate confidence in Austin Blythe. When he’s had to fill in in the past, it’s been at guard. He’s been training at center and he’s been doing a good job training in a multi-position situation where he’s left guard, center and right guard. This is going to give him the opportunity to play at right guard and we expect a lot of good things out of Austin. We think he can run and pass protect.”

(On if he’s concerned about any potential communication problems during the season opener since the starting offensive line didn’t play as a unit during the preseason)

“That’s a good question. What we’ve done in practice is this, we’ve amped up the volume to a point where it’s louder than most stadiums. Where we can’t hear the call next to us and we can’t communicate verbally, but we can communicate visually. I think with all that work that we are hardened to a point like we’ve played in games due to the practice style that we’ve had.”

(On the three rookie offensive lineman that made the 53-man roster)

“Yeah, we were fortunate that (T) Joe Noteboom was there in the third round when we had the chance to pick him. Quite honestly, in our evaluations we didn’t feel like he would be there so we were jumping for joy when he was there in the third, and he’s performed at a higher level than that. He’s already shown his ability. You saw him in the time when we played Oakland in the preseason, jumped in there at tackle and did a nice job protecting the quarterback as well as in the run game. So, we’re excited about his size and his athleticism and he’s a smart guy. We tried to bring in three intelligent player with football intelligence that correlates to the field and we think we found those three.”

(On what he saw in Blythe that made him think they needed to claim him off waivers)

“Blythe started at guard when he was playing in Indianapolis, he started against the Jacksonville Jaguars. In that one game, he showed he could run block, that he had the quickness to get on guys and that he also had the ability to pass protect as a guard. We actually are looking forward to seeing him play center someday, hopefully not in the near future, hopefully in the long future. But, we feel like he has the ability to play both. We don’t feel like we’re dropping off. We feel like we’ve set this team up to have back-ups that can come in and start.”

(On how difficult it is to evaluate players like tackles in college due to the spread offense and what does he look for to make up for the things he can’t see on film)

“I think if you’re speaking specifically about Joe, because he was in the spread offense, he played left tackle and he showed a lot of athleticism and could cover a lot of ground. But – he didn’t have his feet in the ground and wasn’t playing as strong as he really was. As soon as he showed up here and started learning some techniques and some traits that could help him become more powerful he showed the strength that he really has. Part of that strength showed up at the Combine, some of it showed up at his workout. You could see it was in there, he just wasn’t using it to the level he is now. He was using it, but not to the level he is now.”

(On if he sees the rookies as players he can mold to fit multiple positions or if he sees them fitting in at specific positions right now or if he waits until the future to decide)

“I think that we continue to train all three of them to play as many spots as they can, and I also think that we get them ready to get in these games. We’re going to dress seven on game day and we have to have them ready to go in. They obviously need extra training. They haven’t seen everything that a (C) John Sullivan or a (T Andrew) Whitworth has seen. So, they need extra training, they need extra meetings, they need things that a veteran might not need. But like I said, I think they have a good feel for football and I think they’re smart guys that are picking it up.”