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TRANSCRIPT: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay, DC Wade Phillips, RB Todd Gurley January 26 press conference

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Here’s what the trio had to say yesterday.

Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay

(On his reaction to the league fining CB Nickell Robey-Coleman, if he has talked to him and if he’s worried about this becoming a distraction at the Super Bowl)

”No, these are things that come up every week where in a lot of instances, sometimes it goes unreported if a player gets fined based on the way that the league office sees some of the things that take place during the course of the game. Unfortunately, sometimes that’s just kind of common nature that you go through week-in and week-out. But, no, we’re certainly not going to allow that to be a distraction.”

(On if Robey-Coleman received any further discipline besides the fine)

”No, nothing like that.”

(On what he can do to help RB Todd Gurley II get going for the Super Bowl)

”Well, I think a lot of it is predicated on giving him some opportunities based on some of the play selections, different ways to get him involved. That’s not exclusive to the running game, but we’ll see how the gameplan plays out. We’ve still got some time. I think the point is, is that you want to be able to give (RB) Todd (Gurley II) more opportunities. He can only do so much when you get four attempts carrying the football and a couple opportunities where it’s just not real clean looks. So, that’s where you feel like you have an obligation. Then, like we did the week before, when we’re able to have some continuity, sustain some drives, that’s when you get more opportunities to get a variety of different people involved, not necessarily just the running backs. Any time that you have a player like Todd Gurley on your team, I’ve got to do a better job of getting him involved and getting him into the flow of the game. That’s something that I have to be accountable for.”

(On what kind of luxury it was to have Gurley when he first arrived in Los Angeles and developing the offense)

”When you’ve got a player like Todd, you’re not limited in any way that you can use him. Any time that you have somebody that’s as versatile as he is that can really play all over the formation – he can run, he can protect, he can win individual route isolations whether he’s coming out of the backfield or he’s lined up detached from the core in the slot outside. So, it’s fun to be able to have great players, but what we’ve also talked about is not only is he a great player, he’s extremely smart, works hard. He represents what’s right about how you handle yourself as a teammate, as a leader. You love being around guys like that. I think guys like Todd are part of the reason – because we’ve got a handful of players like that – why we’re getting the chance to play in this game.”

(On the level of confidence it creates in him as a coach having a special teams unit that can make plays to dramatically impact or win games)

”It’s huge. Really, you have such confidence in (Special Teams Coordinator) John Fassel and (Assistant Special Teams Coach) Matt Daniels to do a great job leading our special teams. Then, the guys play so hard. We’ve got really good football players in all of our phases of special teams, but then when you talk about the core guys with (P) Johnny (Hekker), (K) Greg (Zuerlein) and (LS) Jake (McQuaide) that have been here, they’ve had continuity over their last seven years, I want to say. It’s a big boost. It enables us to be more aggressive because of the confidence that you have where you can do some different things, really specific to kind of what (ESPN reporter) Lindsey (Thiry) was asking about Todd. What Johnny enables you to be able to do because he can throw, because he can run, that’s one of the things that, in a lot of instances, you can present a lot of things when you’re punting the football or when you’re kicking a field goal with him being the holder.”

(On what point in his preparation he gets into the game day operations, such as the extended halftime period and staying on the field longer for the National Anthem)

”That’s something that our guys have already started to talk about in terms of how we handle getting warmed up. I was actually talking with (Senior Director of Sports Medicine and Performance) Reggie (Scott) and (Director of Strength Training and Performance) Ted (Rath) about that. Just making sure that we get everything in alignment, in order to be able to handle that accordingly. So, we’ve kind of gotten ahead on that, but in terms of delivering that information to the players, that’ll be something that we’ll hit on next week.”

(On how he has prepared his offensive skill players for the Patriots’ tendency to play physical against receivers and running backs)

”That’s definitely something that’s different. You can see, there’s a clear-cut philosophy – whether it’s their edge rushers with a peel mentality wanting to disrupt the backs releasing out of the backfield, any time you’re in reduced splits. They’ll a lot of times substitute some of the edge rush to disrupt the integrity of the way that you try to space the field in the pass game. When they play a lot of their zone principles, it’s the same thing. Typically, you see these vision zones where they’re QB key ‘ball out, break’ and a lot of their stuff, it’s predicated on disrupting the timing and rhythm, even with some underneath zoning defenders. That’s something that’s kind of been a staple of the way that they’ve operated defensively. There’s a clear-cut philosophy. That’s what you respect so much about these guys, is you can see how sound their principles are, you can see their identities and how their players have an ownership on that and that enables them to be able to execute at a high level – that’s defense, that’s offense, that’s special teams. When you have that, there’s different ways to do it. But, when there’s a clear-cut philosophy, the players have that clarity and I think a lot of times the best thing you can provide from a coaching standpoint is the clarity where the players can go play without any uncertainty and just go react, specifically on defense when so much of that reactionary. It’s definitely an issue and it’s something that we’ve got to be aware of, for sure.”

(On the team saw in TE Gerald Everett and how he has developed during his couple seasons with the team)

”When you flipped his tape on, unbelievable athlete. Got a chance to spend a little bit of time with him at the (NFL Scouting) Combine. When you watched some film, he’s able to echo and articulate what’s going on. A smart player. But, I think the run after the catch. That athleticism – very rarely can I think of any time I’ve time I’ve seen the first player take him down in the open field. He’s got great aggressive hands. He’s from Atlanta, we went and worked him out as part of the pre-draft process. You could just see, a player of his size, his physicality, but to have the body control, the catch radius and then the ability to separate and work edges on people. That was something that was really intriguing to us. He’s gotten better and better. I think he’s done an excellent job. (Pass Game Coordinator) Coach (Shane) Waldron is a great coach and, really, you’ve seen the tight end group as a whole continue to develop under his leadership and guidance. Gerald is a special talent. You look at the play that he made against Kansas City, made a couple big-time catches last week. I thought the little option route where he catches it on a second-and-10, breaks inside and is able to finish lowering his pads on people for a first down. Then, obviously, the third-down-and-3 off-schedule play where he comes back to the ball and then runs for a 30-plus-yard gain. He’s a great player. He’s getting better and better and he’s only going to become more important to us as he gains that experience.”

(On what he has seen from S John Johnson III, how he has been able to utilize his versatility and what CB Aqib Talib brings to the team)

”Really, when you talk about both (S) John Johnson (III) and (CB) Aqib (Talib) – starting with John – one of the things that’s enabled him to be such a good player is the versatility he had at Boston College. He’s playing cornerback, he’s playing nickel, he’s playing safety. He’s got great ball skills, good body control. I think he’s a great wrap-tackler. He’s got a good feel to negotiate through space and traffic and be able to make some of those types of plays. Certain guys just have a knack for being in the right place at the right time and that’s kind of what John’s been. Really, when he first got his opportunity, he had a little bit of a – he had a quad or a hamstring (injury) when he first got here in a minicamp. That kind of delayed him getting a chance to compete in the offseason program his rookie year and then he just got more and more comfortable. You start noticing it more and more throughout the course of camp. Then, really, he makes a big-time play in his first year against Dallas in the two-minute drive to be able to, in essence, win the game. Then, he started his first game against Seattle, makes a big-time pick based on his preparation, his recognition with what Seattle was doing on some of their quick-snap concepts. He read it and then ended up doing a great job flipping the field for us, getting a turnover. But, he’s just gotten better and better. I think his communication, his understanding, the way that he prepares, the concept recognition and then the situational awareness matched up with his athleticism is what has enabled John to be such a successful player. He’s only going to get better and better, similar to what we’re talking about with Gerald. And a lot of those things that you love about John Johnson is why Aqib Talib has been able to sustain at such a high level for such a long period of time. Incredibly smart player. Just got a knack and a feel for the game. He’s got a lot of experience in this system, some of the coverage contours, some of the principles and how he understands how to use help or communicate to his teammates – whether that be a safety, a linebacker – with whatever coverage we’re in and how that offensive set dictates what those calls and communications are. Just that situational awareness again. Certain guys, like John – Aqib’s the same way – have a knack for making plays. You look at the play that he made in Philly, when we’re playing Philly. That play enabled us to get back in that game even though we didn’t end up pulling it out. Aqib is just refreshingly himself, too. He doesn’t have to – I think the best thing about Aqib, he’s not trying to be somebody that is a charismatic presence where people are drawn to him. He’s just that because of who he is. I think what resonates with players is somebody that’s themselves, that’s secure enough in themselves to not try to be anybody other than themselves, where they’re comfortable enough in their own skin just to go about their business. He loves football. He likes being in these atmospheres and I think that’s why people like being around him and I’m sure glad that he’s with us.”

(On if he has or will reach out to his coaching colleagues who have won Super Bowls – such as Mike Shanahan or Jon Gruden – to discuss some of the intangibles of the process)

”Absolutely. Those guys, they’re so great to me – when you talk about (former Redskins Head Coach) Mike (Shanahan) and (Raiders Head Coach) Jon (Gruden). They both reached out to just congratulate you. My grandpa’s a great reference as well. He’ll be at the game. What he’s meant to me and to our family and just the way that he’s handled himself and the perspective that he has, where he’s seen it from both ends of the spectrum where he’s been a coach. He’s also had an intricate role from a front office standpoint and he’s been a part of a championship organization that was able to sustain for a long period of time. Certainly, you rely on those people, but you also rely heavily on the coaching staff that we do have in place or even some of our players that have gone through this. So, I think it’s a balance of making sure you utilize those people that have been great mentors to you, but you want to be careful overloading information and then not being afraid of the fact that you’ve got great people in this building that can help us put together a plan, handle the situation accordingly that we’re confident that hopefully we’ll perform well and it will lead to a win for us.”

(On how DT Aaron Donald has performed in the playoffs, if he expects a breakout performance by him in the Super Bowl and if he will have to go to training camp next season)

”He better with all that money we’re paying him (laughs). Jeez. Maybe he wouldn’t have had to wait to really get into a flow. But, no, (DT) Aaron (Donald) has been unbelievable. I think when you really look at it, the stats can be misleading with regards to the production and the influence that a defensive player is having on the game. In a lot of instances, if it’s a six-man protection where the (offensive) line has got to determine in a four-man front which way they’re sliding, he’s often times occupying a double that enables (DT) Ndamukong (Suh) and (OLB) Dante Fowler (Jr.) to be singled up on the man side of the protection. So, he might split a double or he might occupy those guys and then that’s where you see those other people really show up. But, Aaron still has made those splash plays. Really, if (Saints RB Alvin) Kamara doesn’t fall back on that fumble, he gets into the backfield quicker than you can realize what’s going on. So, Aaron has played really good football and he has impacted and influenced the game against Dallas and really against New Orleans in a variety of different ways. It’s not exclusive to just the things you see on the stat sheet, but if you just watch play-in and play-out, how is he – whether it’s moving (Saints QB Drew) Brees off of his spot, whether it’s forcing (Cowboys QB) Dak (Prescott) to get flushed, whether it’s making (Cowboys RB) Ezekiel (Elliott), at the point of attack in the run game, bounce in another gap to where now they’re out-leveraged. So, he’s done a lot of those things. Ndamukong has been great and, really, I think our defense as a whole has been outstanding. Our coaching staff has put together plans that we feel like have put us in a position to go win football games and stop two very productive offenses. This week is going to be a very, very great challenge for us, but we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to finish this season off with another outstanding performance from our defense and from those guys.”

(On what he has learned from Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips throughout this preparation process)

”I think just to be consistent. Then, he was able to draw on some of the experiences that he had , whether it be in Denver with how they handled kind of having that two-week build up where in a lot of times – especially for somebody like me – you can have a little bit too much time where you overthink things. I think being able to kind of give that perspective of how do we want to set up the first week of preparation, what are some of the things that we can expect in that second week with regards to the distractions, but also making sure you keep the main thing the main thing with getting ready for the football game. There’s so many different things. Then, just the way that he goes about his daily business, how much he enjoys this. Sometimes I can have a tendency to forget how much fun and what a blessing it is to be doing this. Seeing the way that (Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Phillips) handles himself is a great representation of what it looks like to enjoy what a blessing it is to be coaching in this league and to make sure you maximize every day.”

(On how important WR Robert Woods’ versatility has been after WR Cooper Kupp got hurt)

”It’s incredible. I even go back to when we lost (WR) Brandin (Cooks) and (WR) Cooper (Kupp) in the first half of the Seattle (Seahawks) game in Week 5. The leadership that he had for that group, to be able to help (WR) Josh (Reynolds) and both, (WR) KhaDarel Hodge step in and seamlessly transition, his ability to communicate. He’s been incredible. When you talk about, there’s some really great receivers in this league and there’s a lot of great players all over, but with regards to what we ask (WR) Robert Woods to do, whether that’s being an outstanding receiver that can run all the route tree, separating verse man, going down the field catching deep balls, carrying the ball in jet sweeps – we even give him the ball in some of the gap-and-trap type concepts, where he’s playing like a running back. Then, he’s short-motion and he’s inserting like a lead fullback. So, the amount of things that he does, I can’t put into words how valuable Robert Woods is. The way that he comes to work every single day has been impressive and we’re so thankful to have him and he means a whole lot to our football team. He’s done such a great job this year in so many ways that don’t show up, even though he’s had great production with 1,200-plus yards receiving and all that. But, his contribution to our offense is outstanding.”

(On if he ever studied Patriots QB Tom Brady while growing up and if he ever put himself in Brady’s in-game situations when he was playing as a youth)

”I think, you’re just such a fan of the game – that (Patriots QB) Tom’s (Brady) been doing it for so long, he’s certainly one of those guys when you watch – I think the type of competitor that he was. I don’t know that I probably had the perspective back then to really think about it from that standpoint. But, what you did respect, was a guy that no moment was too big for him. You talk about the mental toughness that you want to display. Whether, they were behind or whether it was in those crunch-time moments, he seemed to always be at his best. You can remember the run where, he ends up stepping in when (former Patriots QB Drew) Bledsoe had gotten hurt earlier in the year when (former Jets linebacker) Mo Lewis had knocked him out. He just did a great job sustaining. Did a great job distributing the ball, taking care of it and he’s only gotten better and better. His career speaks for itself. But, I’m so much a fan of this game and what Tom’s done is unbelievable.”

DC Wade Phillips

(On how he was able to get so much pressure on Patriots QB Tom Brady in the AFC Championship game when he was the defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos)

”Each team and each year is different. That was one of the great teams, really, the great defensive teams of all time. After they talked about comparing them to the ‘85 (Chicago) Bears, you know how good they were. Each game is different. Had teams that played against him and didn’t do very well and that team did really well. You can’t fool the great quarterbacks anyway. You have to outplay them. That’s what that team was able to do. Let me tell you one thing about – I’ve been in the league a long time, I really think it starts at the top and I don’t know how much people are talking about it, but (Owner/Chairman) Mr. (E. Stanley) Kroenke’s done a great job with us. He’s a tremendous owner. I know (Patriots Chairman and CEO) Mr. (Robert) Kraft is the same way. I think it starts at the top with class people like that, turn out great organizations. So, I just wanted to say something about both those guys because they’ve done – they’re a part of the reason, certainly, that the teams are there.”

(On if he’s starting to feel like the Rams’ defense is starting to anticipate what Brady and the Patriots can do on offense and how he expects and prepares for the unexpected)

”Yeah, they’re really efficient in what they do. In the playoffs, they’ve got the leading quarterback, the leading receiver and the leading the running back in the playoffs so far. So, they’ve been tremendously efficient. They’ve got great Super Bowl experience. A quarterback – certainly, I think, the greatest playoff quarterback in history. He’s got four MVPs. It’s a tremendous challenge to play this offensive team that they have and their whole team, but especially their offense. It’s a challenge, but we’ve started our process. We try to give them a gameplan, but it’s a real challenge to fool a quarterback. I’ve said that about Brady the same way. You’re not going to really fool those guys, you’ve got to play tremendous technique and play really well in what you do.”

(On what it means for him and CB Aqib Talib to have this experience going to the Super Bowl again)

”You’re close to a lot of your players, but I’m really close to (CB) Aqib (Talib). He’s certainly helped me get a ring, which is important. But, the friendship part has been really special to me. I think, maybe, and it’s not all money, but I think he came partly because I was here. That really means a lot to you as a coach – that somebody would like to play for you, or at least does to me.”

(On if he expects any more ‘drippin’ scenes with him)

”(Laughs) I didn’t know what that was last time until he put all his stuff on. So, I started buying all that. I’ll get it all out when we get to the Super Bowl.”

(On how difficult it makes a play to diagnose when offenses run the jetsweep, especially with how much Head Coach Sean McVay uses it)

”Yeah, he’s utilized that with a lot of other subtle things that he does. That’s why he’s a great coach. He’s able to give the defense problems and we saw it all in the OTAs and practices the last couple years because we compete against each other in practice. Anything you do, he’s going to counter with something better. He’s a tremendous coach. But, he’s not only just an offensive coach, he’s put this team together. They follow his lead and we’re where we are because of him.”

(On if he remembers when he started seeing the jet motion more)

”(Hall of Famer Harold Edward) ‘Red’ Grange didn’t run much of them when he was playing. There’s always something that kind of recycles. I don’t know when it first came in, but I wish it hadn’t – sometimes (laughs). Of course the (New England) Patriots utilize it also and every team now is going to copy the good teams.”

(On DT Ndamukong Suh having good back-to-back games and why he seems to be peaking at this point)

”Yeah, (DT) Ndamukong (Suh) has not only had two good games, he’s had two great back-to-back games. We’re used to seeing him play well and have some big games. But, I think these last two have been his best and when he’s at his best, he’s hard to stop. I think just me getting used to what he needs to do and him getting used to what we want him to do has worked out and he’s finally put it all together. I think he’s a great talent and he’s certainly showed it.”

(On DT Aaron Donald not necessarily putting up the stats but influencing some of the things that other teams aren’t ready for)

”Well, you look at the two teams we’ve played, who were great – well, I say great – but, they were great running teams, that neither one of them made 50 yards rushing. Suh and (DT Aaron) Donald and (DL Michael) Brockers are, really, responsible for that. Playing more of the running game when they needed to rather than rushing the passer every play and they were able to do that well.”

(On how he has seen S John Johnson III grow and him bringing a lot of personality to the defense)

”Yeah, we’ve got a lot of personalities on our team, especially on our defense. But, (S) John Johnson (III), again, he makes a big play in the game and he’s made a lot of tackles in the open field. He’s a great tackler, I’ve said all along. I said it earlier in the year that he’s going to get better and better and he did. He’s gotten better and better in his coverage, gotten better and better in his feel for when to get tighter on zone coverage, when not to, when to time things on blitzes and so forth. So, he’s gotten better and better this year. He’s a really good football player.”

(On having Super Bowl experience and what he likes about the two weeks prior to the game and also what he doesn’t like)

”Well, he knows I don’t think a whole lot, so that’s why (laughs). I think any time you have two weeks off, you sometimes want to do so many things that the players – it’s whatever the players can do and whatever you can teach them to do in a certain amount of time. Now, what we’ve done is – and he’s done offensively – he’s taught these things all the way through the season and so forth and able to just dial-up plays. The same thing defensively, we’ve taught these things throughout the season. We repeat things that we play during the season. Now, which things we play this game, will be a lot of some of the things we did, but we’ve done a whole lot of things throughout the year. So, it’s up to us to hone in on what we need done and how we want the players to do it.”

(On how much Donald has enabled Suh to shine in the playoffs and make big plays)

”You know, the last few games, certainly, all the protections have gone to Aaron. But, like I said, I think he’s played tremendous run defense in this stretch, too. They haven’t thrown it every down. He still puts pressure on the quarterback. He still had one of the greatest years – well, he had the greatest year of any defensive tackle in the league ever. I think he’s really playing well. Whether he gets a sack or not every play, that doesn’t define him, it’s how he plays. Nobody can run the ball on his side and they have a tough time blocking him, so they try to get two or three guys on him, so that helps everybody. It helped (OLB) Dante Folwer (Jr.) too because he was one-on-one.”

(On what he remembers from being an interim head coach with the Atlanta Falcons from 2002-2003)

”Yeah, I was with (Former Falcons Head) Coach (Dan) Reeves, which was one of the all-time – won over 200 games. So, I mean one of the great coaches. We went to Atlanta the first year. We went to the playoffs. We went to Green Bay and beat the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs – the first time in history Green Bay lost at home in the playoffs. The Green Bay Packers history, we beat them. That was a tremendous experience for us and (Former Falcons QB) Michael Vick ran a touchdown against the (Philadelphia) Eagles, but they called it back and we got beat the next game. The officials missed a call (laughs).”

(On what he sees from his perspective that makes it seem like Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick can create teams that are so formidable year after year)

”He’s a great coach. He’s adapted with the times really well. He’s changed with the times. I think you said it about me, I kept the same scheme over the years, but what he’s been able to do – and he’s a lot smarter than I am, so he’s able to run a lot of different defenses and get those stops and stop what the other team does. That’s what he does and that’s what he’s done for a long time. He’s obviously a Hall of Fame coach and maybe the best coach of all time. Same with Brady – a Hall of Fame player, but he might be the best quarterback of all time. Those guys are certainly in those arguments. I can’t say enough good things about him. He gets his team to play well. They change personnel a lot. You say Tom Brady, but they’ve had a lot of different players, a whole different offensive line, almost, than what we’ve played with Denver three years ago. They’re still efficient. They play really well and don’t make mistakes.”

(On critics saying that Brady is out of his prime and after looking at film of Brady, what differences he’s seen in Brady this season compared to when he’s faced him in the past)

”Well, unfortunately for me, I get older, but Tom Brady doesn’t (laughs). Besides the guy being a great player, I just have so much respect for him. He seems like such – now, I don’t know him well – but, he has so much class, he says all the right things all the time – the right kind of guy. He’s leading the league in passing in the playoffs and he’s already won four MVP’s, so I don’t know if there’s any critics of him. If there are, I’d like to critique them.”

(On how much the game has changed since his first Super Bowl appearance 29 years ago)

”Well, yeah, my first Super Bowl – it wasn’t leather helmets, now. But, we played against (Hall of Fame QB) Joe Montana and (Hall of Fame WR) Jerry Rice and that group, so we had a tough time in that ball game (laughs). They had a great team and they played really well. But, they were on the west coast offense, which is really, all these teams now are playing some form of (Former Head Coach) Bill Walsh’s west coast stuff. So, some of that stuff is similar and when you play against Joe Montana, it’s like playing against Tom Brady. I mean jeez, those guys were great. You know in the Super Bowl you’re going to be playing against a great quarterback and a great team and we expect that.”

(On his impressions of the play involving CB Nickell Robey-Coleman against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship game and how he thinks Robey-Coleman has handled the aftermath)

”I think he’s going to the Super Bowl, I know that, with me on the plane (laughs). He’s handling it all right. All we do coaching-wise is, if a play is called, we usually get mad if it’s against us, if we didn’t think it was interference or we thought it was this or it was that. If a play is not called – we thought they were holding Aaron Donald, but they don’t call it and you go the next play. So, that’s the way the game has been played for a long time and that’s the way it’s played.”

RB Todd Gurley

(On how frustrated he’s been the last couple of weeks and his health)

”I’m fine, bro. We’ve been winning. I’m going to my first Super Bowl. I’m good.”

(On the relationship he has with RB C.J. Anderson)

”That’s my teammate. We’re in the room all day together. That’s my teammate. That’s my boy. We help each other out. We’re all in there together. Just like I’ve got the same relationship – I mean, obviously, I’m not as close with him as I am with (RB) Malcolm (Brown) and (RB Justin Davis) ‘JD’, I’ve been with those guys a long time. Whoever comes on the team, we embrace them, whether if it’s a dude that just got signed yesterday. We’re family – everybody. We’re all together.”

(On how special it is to meet up with Patriots RB Sony Michel after spending a year together at Georgia in 2014)

”It’s cool. It’s cool. He’s on the other side though, so we aren’t talking about him (laughs).”

(On what it’s been like the past four days going from the high of winning the NFC Championship game to now going back to the region where he played collegiately and being a part of his first Super Bowl)

”It’s been fantastic. It’s a great feeling. You just sit back and you’re just like, ‘Damn, we’re going to the Super Bowl’. You just say it randomly. It ain’t (like) no (other) feeling. It’s different. It’s like, we’re going to the Super Bowl. I’m used to going to the Super Bowl, being with my boys, hanging out. But, we actually get a chance to play in it this year. So, it’s cool, man. It’s a great feeling. We’re all happy. I’m happy. It’s no better feeling than how we’re feeling right now.”

(On if there is any issue with his knee because some people are speculating)

”No, I’m good. If there was an issue on my knee, it would be on the injury report. Come on now. I’m at practice. I’m playing.”

(On how hard it was to be on the sidelines and not get a lot of touches on Sunday and if he understands why he didn’t get more touches)

”I don’t ask no questions. I just do my job. We got the win, that’s all that matters. I can not play one snap. I don’t care if (LS) Jake McQuaide is the Super Bowl MVP (laughs). I’ve got one more game left. I don’t care what nobody’s talking about. Y’all can call me hurt. Y’all can call me whatever, but we’re going to the Super Bowl. What do y’all not understand? It’s not about me. This sport has never been about me. It’s never been about one player. (RB) Todd’s (Gurley II) only going to be with the Rams so much longer. It’s going to be another dude that comes in just like me. This whole game is bigger than me. It’s not just about me. Why is Todd not getting the ball? Why is that? Because there’s only one football and there’s 11 guys. Only one guy can touch the ball each time. It’s way bigger than me.”

(On if practice felt any different since they are practicing for the Super Bowl)

”We talkin’ about practice? (Laughs). It’s football. It’s just another day. Football is literally the only sport where you literally practice more than you play. There’s like 100 practices. So, it’s like, it’s another day. It’s literally like it’s another day.”

(On the Los Angeles Dodgers stopping by the facility today)

“We appreciate those guys coming through. I didn’t know who was coming, so it was just like, trying to figure out who was there and stuff like that. I just saw ‘Freese’ on the back and I’m like, ‘Oh (explicit)! That’s David Freese.’ I remember him when he was with the (St. Louis) Cardinals. I saw (Justin) Turner, (Cody) Bellinger. Yeah, it was like a surprise though, but we appreciate those guys coming and supporting.”

(On his relationship with RB Sony Michel and the impressions he has of him from this season)

”Oh, that’s my little bro. I taught him everything. So, everything he’s doing, I taught him that (laughs). Obviously, he had a little talent, but we’ve got a good relationship. Like I said, I kind of taught him the ropes and he just took off from there (laughs).”

(On what he learned from the NFC Championship that he can apply to the Super Bowl)

”That’s just a part of the game. That’s just a part of the sport, no matter what sport you play – and life, period. You know what I’m saying? We’re all going to have our downs, but you enjoy it even more when you do you do something great or you have that success. I know who I am. I’m comfortable with myself. I’m the best. I’m the best at my position. I’ve been that way all my whole life, so it’s like I’m going to keep striving. I know what I can do. I know what I’m capable of and my teammates know what I’m capable of. We’re all in this together, you know what I’m saying? So, it’s just like – 24-hour rule. You know how it goes – 24-hour rule, leave it in the past. ‘Hey, let’s go. We’ve got another game.’ Going against the GOAT. It’s a good feeling, great feeling.”

(On if attending previous Super Bowls was even more of a motivator to eventually play in the game)

”Yeah. I’d be in the chair – I’d be so happy because I always have friends. Like last year, I had (Eagles WR) Nelson (Agholor) playing in it, I had (Eagles DE) Chris Long. Then, the year before that like (former Patriots WR) Malcolm Mitchell. So it’s just like, I’m just so happy, so happy for my friends. That’s what I care about is just other people having success and I can be able to just live through them guys. Just being at those games, man, it’s crazy. It’s like you get the chills. You’re mad, but you’re so excited for your friends. I just remember, just like each I’m just like, ‘I’m going to be there. I’m going to be there’ and it’s like, I’m here. It’s crazy, but it’s a great feeling. It’s a great feeling. Then like I said, all those guys I just named, they’re calling me now. They’re like, ‘Yeah, let’s go, man. We going to be there. I’m going to be at the game.’ It’s a good feeling when you can just enjoy this with your family, your teammates, your friends. It’s a dream. They got to live their dream and now I’m doing the exact same thing they (were) doing. It’s just a good feeling overall.”

(On how much it would mean to him to play his best game on the biggest stage in the Super Bowl)

”That’s a good feeling. You don’t really look at it…this is the biggest game of your career. It’s the most-watched game. You live for moments like that, but like I said, you live, you learn. I don’t give a damn what I do, honestly. I just want to win, so I don’t really care. But, you always want to do good, but you just want to win. I’ve just got one more game. I’m in the ‘A’ (Atlanta), going back to Georgia, super excited. You just want to win.”

(On what makes Head Coach Sean McVay unique as a coach)

”He’s the best. He’s the best at what he do. It speaks for itself. Last year he came in here, we did what we did. Led us to the playoffs, lost first round. This year, come back, do the exact same thing and some more. Add some new additions. Working with him, man, it’s a good feeling just to have him as our coach. He’s a players’ coach. He’s a great guy. You can talk to him, you can understand and he does everything for a reason. He does everything for us, for the team. So, you love playing for a guy like that.”

(On if the past two years have gone by quickly from a 4-12 season to playing in the Super Bowl)

”Yeah, but that’s what I’m saying. It goes back to what we were just asking, like you’re saying about a game or something. That’s why I’m so happy. I’ve been 4-12, you know what I’m saying? Like, I’ve been broke. I got money (laughs). I’ve done had terrible seasons. I’m in the Super Bowl. It’s a blessing. It’s a blessing from God. It’s like no better feeling than to be able to be at the bottom and you’re at the top because you always wanted to be in that position and to be in that position is a great feeling. It’s a motivator. You don’t want to go back. It’s just a stepping stone of where we’re heading to.”