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TRANSCRIPT: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay, DC Wade Phillips September 7 press conference

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

Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay

(On how much of a distraction it is to switch up their routine having a game on Monday night)

”Yeah, I think we’re creatures of habit, certainly. But with it being the first game, it’s always a little bit different with the schedule and I think the guys have done a great job adjusting. We try to do everything that we can to put ourselves in position to be at our best by the time kickoff rolls around and that’s most importantly for the players feeling fresh. So, we’ve altered the schedule a little bit, but these are things the Raiders are dealing with as well. We’re looking forward to the game.”

(On how comfortable the conversation will be with Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden moments before kickoff)

”Yeah, I think you wish him nothing but the best. You’re appreciative of what he’s done, but it’s about the Rams versus the Raiders. We’re going to do everything in our power to try to go win a football game and be at our best and I know they’re going to do the same. But, there’s certainly a lot of respect on our end for what the Raiders players and coaches present. We know that it’s going to be a great challenge going to their place where their fans will be wild and it’ll be a great atmosphere.”

(On LB Mark Barron’s status at and if he’s confident he’ll play in the game)

”Yeah, it’s kind of one of those things that’s day-to-day. It was similar to last year – where dealing with a couple different things – the main issue right now is his achilles. It’s something that sometimes you feel really good and then out of nowhere it might flare up. So, what we’re doing is we’re just taking it a day at a time. He wasn’t able to do anything yesterday. But, I think that’s something that will be determined later on in the week. But, to say it’s a concern, is fair for sure.”

(On if Barron had a setback)

”I don’t know if you could say he’s really had a setback. I think maybe just with some of the workouts and some of the things that he’s taking part in – just maybe not feeling as good as we’d like right now. Really, most importantly, as good as Mark would like to feel. So, we’re taking it a day at a time. Fortunately, if it is something where he’s not able to go – which that certainly isn’t something we’ve determined yet – then, we will have guys that have had a lot of reps in his absence just based on the way that he hasn’t practice at all, so far.”

(On how different it feels now starting off the season compared to last year after his successes)

”Well, I think like anything else, you get a little bit of experience, you kind of try to learn from it. But, it’s all about the people that you’re around, doing the best job that you can and everyday provides a learning opportunity. Like you’ve heard us say over and over again, you feel so fortunate to be surrounded by great coaches, great players and great people in our organization. I think you learn, but it feels the same in terms of, we’re doing the best that we can to put together a game plan and have a weekly rhythm that gives ourselves a chance to peak on September 10, at 7:20 (p.m.), or whenever we kickoff. So, in terms of going into that Indianapolis (Colts) game and going into the Raiders game, our focus is solely on doing the best that we can and preparing to the best of our ability.”

(On how important it is to win the first game)

”Yeah, I think to be able to start off in the right direction is very important. Just like you’ve said, every game counts the same, but for us, we know we’ve got a tough road atmosphere that we’re going to play against an excellent team and they’re a very well-coached team. We know that they’re going to be that. But, it is important for us to try to come away with a win and we’re doing everything that we can to get ready for that.”

(On how different the Rams’ defense looks with all of the new additions)

”I think until you get into those games, it’s always tough to say. I think they did a good job, really nice job in the Houston (Texans) game when they played a few snaps together. I know that there’s a lot of great players that have done some really good things on this practice field that get you excited. Like we’ve talked about over and over again, it’s about putting it together when these games count, being able to play for four quarters, play in alignment, making sure that we’re communicating whatever those adjustments might be and whatever personnel groupings that they present us. I think they’ve done an excellent job. There’s a lot of confidence on our end, but also a lot of respect for the Raiders and what they can present offensively with the variety of personnel groupings in the scheme that we know is going to be a difficult challenge.”

(On what it takes to get a coach in the rhythm of the game)

”I think, really, when you talk about it from a play caller standpoint, it’s just getting more opportunities. Any time that you’re able to get into a rhythm where you’re getting a lot of plays off with the continuity of a drive or being able to stack first downs together and you can kind of change up the way that you’re presenting different things – whether that be tempo, formations, things like that – that’s when you feel like you get into a rhythm as a coaching staff, ultimately, for our players. The gameday rhythm, really, is predicated on usually when kickoff is. I try to sleep as much as I can and make sure that I’m as rested as possible. Then, you get up and you kind of go through your priority calls and kind of try to play the game within the game –making sure that you do any last-minute reviews as far as watching some tapes situationally. Just making sure that when those situations inevitably will arise during a game, you kind of have them off the top of your head instead of feeling like you want to look down at that call sheet, so that you can be timely for your players.”

(On if DT Aaron Donald is going to be on a snap count or if he’s just going to play for as long as he can)

”Yeah, he’s going to go. He’s ready to go. He’s not going to be on any limited snap count. I think he’s doing everything in his power to get himself ready. It’s been a short time, but this is something he has been through before. There’s not going to be any limit on his snap count.”

(On his most vivid memory on how big the stage is on Monday night)

”Well, I think just growing up, you always enjoyed watching Monday Night Football. Those games that are on and you’re sitting there when you get home from school or whatnot. I remember just watching the games with my dad. Those were things that – I’ve always loved the game of football. I’ve always been a fan of it. Feel fortunate, I think you realize now, when you look back on some of the things that you’re so lucky to have been exposed to that you subconsciously pick up on. But, I think just to be able to be coaching in this league – where you’re working with the caliber of players that we are, the caliber of coaches, the types of people – it’s a real blessing and that’s something that you certainly don’t ever take for granted. I’ve been very fortunate to have been doing this for a few years, but it’s never something that you ever take for granted. You love what you do and you feel so lucky to do it.”

(On how Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips is still so excited after 41 years)

”Yeah, I think he’s got an authentic passion for the game and I think that he’s got some guys that it’s exciting to work with. But, one of the things about Wade that I think makes Wade special, is he’s so consistent in his approach. To be able to approach the game the way that he does, you can just feel he really loves it. He’s got such a great way about himself with the way that he relates to players and it’s just Wade being himself. I think he’s one of those people that when you’re around Wade, you can’t help but be in a good mood. But then when you really see the way he is as a coach and the intricate knowledge based on all that experience, but also, I think he’s got an innate feel for the game. There’s certain people that you’re around where they just kind of have a great feel for the game and he certainly is one of those people. Feel really lucky to be working with Wade because I know I’ve learned a lot from him in this short amount of time. You also pick up a couple good jokes as well.”

(On if there are any changes to their anthem policy)

”Yeah, we’ll proceed the way that we have been. We didn’t have any issues in terms of following standard operating procedure with how we’ve operated and going back to the way (Former Rams Head) Coach Fisher did it. So, that’s something that all of our players seem to feel good about and haven’t heard anything otherwise. So, unless that was the case, we’re going to operate as we have been throughout the preseason.”

DC Wade Phillips

(On if he’s getting on Instagram, per his appearance on RB Todd Gurley’s story)

“I was on with him, I guess. I didn’t know I was until he pointed the phone at me, but no. I’m still on twitter @sonofbum. I don’t have an auto pilot or whatever you call that.”

(On what he thought of DT Aaron Donald signing his deal and how it is to have him back out there)

“Obviously it’s great to have (DT) Aaron (Donald) back. He’s a tremendous player. Our club obviously did the right thing by getting him signed. He’s a great addition, there’s no doubt about that. He came back, he’s in tremendous shape. He’s ready to go, he’s ready to play. We’re excited about it. I’m excited about it. Anytime you have a great player like that you try to utilize what he can do, but he can do about anything so we just let him go.”

(On if the defense reminds him of any other really great defenses he’s coached in the past)

“Yeah, I mean when we get on the field we’ll find out. But that Denver defense we had that won the Super Bowl, Houston defense, when I was in Houston, was really good. Philadelphia was great when I was there, Buffalo was great when I was there. I’ve been around some really good defenses. Been around some really good players. We were good in San Diego as a matter of fact, when we were there. I think they’re going to be really good, you know, but it’s meshing together and playing the right way. I have a lot of confidence in them, we have a lot of confidence in ourselves going into this game. But, we’re playing a very tough team with a really good quarterback, really good offensive team, great offensive line, so it will be a big challenge for us.”

(On his enthusiasm and the team being excited to play too)

“They better be (laughs). All the offseason, going through training camp and the grind at training camp and all that. Preseason games are great, they didn’t play much in preseason so. That’s why they play football, I know they get a lot of money, in some cases, but they play because they like football. They like to play the game. Practices aren’t that great, but they love to play the game. They get through practice to be able to play games. That’s what it’s all about is playing the game. We have a group that really likes football. Some teams or players that I’ve been with they play because they were good at it or whatever. This group they like football, they like playing football. Some of them even like practicing, which is a little different. But especially football. I enjoy that about them.”

(On LB Mark Barron’s status and if he’s concerned)

“Concerned, yes. We’ll see. Obviously, we don’t play till Monday. He’s coming off of two surgeries in the offseason, so obviously we’re concerned about him being ready”

(On how much fun he’s having putting the pieces together, implementing the game plan and how much of his game plan is he adjusting for the new players on the team)

“Well, most of the game plan and the defense overall is adjusting to the players we have. There’s a lot of defenses you can think of and a lot of things, but it’s the players that are playing the defenses. We’re trying to utilize what they do well and we got some guys that do a lot of things well, so it gives you a lot of versatility. We’ll throw some things at them that they haven’t seen, but they’ll also throw some things at us that we haven’t seen so that will be the first part of it. Being really sound, especially in the first game, with a new coach that hadn’t shown anything offensively in the preseason games. (Raiders Head Coach Jon) Gruden’s going to do a lot of things – he did a lot of shifts when he was in the league before so we’ve got to be real sound in what we do.”

(On if he’s concerned that he only had the starting defense on the field for seven plays during the preseason)

“No. We have great competition in practice. We don’t tackle but it’s full speed. Full speed for our offensive people, they’re fast. (RB) Todd Gurley II runs fast and those lineman come off the ball, so we’ve had a lot of game type situations in practice offensively and defensively. I think the smart thing to do is make sure we don’t get anybody hurt in a game that didn’t count for us. We’re going in to the season real healthy.”

(On how far back they went when studying film of teams that Gruden coached and is there a fine line between preparation and gathering too much information)

“(Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson) ‘Olly’ was here. The offensive coordinator was here, so they’re up-to-date on everything and he’s up-to-date on everything, even though he’s been out of football. They’ll have a complicated offense that’ll try to take advantage of defenses. He’ll audible, I mean that’s what he did before. He’s a quarterback guru. He’ll have the quarterback all over the place that he feels like are good against whatever looks we give him so. I expect all that from him. I had one experience with him, I was coaching at Buffalo and they beat us. At the last play of the game they intercepted or something and he ran out on the field and jumped in the dogpile with the players. I’m walking out to shake hands and say congratulations and so forth. I get out to the middle of the field and I’m looking for him, and then all of a sudden he runs over from the pile. He runs over to me and he says, ‘Congratulations Coach, Congratulations!’ And I said, ‘I don’t think it was a congratulation for me.’ So he’s an excitable guy and he’ll have his team playing hard, I know that.”

(On if he has a fondest memory from Monday Night Football)

“Well, Monday Night Football when we played the Miami Dolphins when I was at Houston. They had the pom poms in the stands and – if you ever see, I guess it’s on YouTube or whatever – (Former Dolphins QB) Bob Griese was quarterback, it was a tremendous game back and forth. (Former Houston Oilers RB) Earl Campbell on his 35th carry of the game – we needed a first down to win the game, he went about 70 (yards) to win the game and it was bedlam. It was unbelievable, that was a great memory for me.”

(On his confidence level in LB Ramik Wilson)

“Yeah, (LB) Ramik (Wilson) has played in preseason and did some good things. We needed to look at him because we hadn’t had him before. He’s a smart player. He’s started before in the league and he’s played well when he’s been in there. And, he knows what to do. He’s a real smart player, so I have confidence in him.”