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Transcripts, 1/3: LA Rams HC Sean McVay and RB Todd Gurley

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The Rams star running back is “feeling good this week”

Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Sean McVay – Media Availability – January 3, 2019

(On the status of RB Todd Gurley II going into today and into the break)

”Same as yesterday. Really, these were extra days for us. So for him, it’s just a chance to continue to really work with (Senior Director, Sports Medicine and Performance) Reggie (Scott) and his staff. Then once we get into more of the game-planning mode, then that’s when we’ll see him get more involved.”

(On if RB C.J. Anderson has proved he’s earned a bigger role even once Gurley is fully healthy)

”There’s a chance. He’s done a great job. Certainly, we’ll see exactly when (RB) Todd’s (Gurley II) ready to go – if that’s the case. That’s what we’re fully anticipating – Todd’s our starting running back, but I think, definitely, over the last couple weeks (RB) C.J.’s (Anderson) earned the right to be on the field. How much or what we end up doing is kind of to be determined and a lot of that is predicated on our opponent. But, he’s certainly earned the right to be on the field. He’s done a great job these last couple weeks.”

(On how he approaches this week from a coaching standpoint and if most of it is just mental preparation considering the Rams’ opponent is currently unknown)

”Yeah, a lot of it is really just focusing on ourselves – a lot of individual work, fundamentals, techniques, just kind of getting these guys up, moving around. For a handful of guys, it’s getting them as healthy as possible. (Director of Strength Training and Performance) Ted (Rath) and Reggie (Scott) are spending a lot of time with these guys. You compete against yourself a little bit, but there’s a lot of individual emphasis that’s going to be placed on today, as was yesterday, and I think that’s helpful for us.”

(On how well he expects Gurley to perform if he gets activated)

”I think we expect him to be ready to go. I think he’ll be able to tell you exactly how he’s feeling. But the anticipation is, if he’s going to go, he’s feeling really good. Obviously, like we’ve talked about, you’d like him to not have to miss any time, but we’ve seen him where, if you have to take a little bit of time off and your first time playing isn’t for a while, he’s shown that he can play at a really high level even if he’s coming off a little bit of a break. So, that’s kind of what we’re hoping, but I think he does a great job communicating how he’s feeling. I think he has a really good understanding of where he needs to feel, just for his overall body to be able to play at the elite level that we’ve been accustomed to seeing him play at. That’s what we’re hoping for and that’s what it’s going to take for us to be able to go get it done and for him to play at his best is very important for us.”

(On how unique this week is because of the bye and how he has prepared to coach for it)

”It’s something that I’ve never gone through before. It certainly is something that you appreciate. You talk to some guys that have been through this and really, a lot of it is predicated on the feedback we get from Reggie and Ted. But then also, you rely on (Defensive Coordinator) Wade Phillips. He’s been through these situations. A lot of coaches on our staff have been on teams where they’ve had that bye and you ask them, how did they handle that? Did they feel like that was the right way? I think it’s a good balance of getting something out of having that bye where you allow the players to get away – coaches as well. But, then you’re also kind of staying sharp, not getting too far removed from it where you let that rust set in. So, it is a little bit different than what you’re accustomed to seeing within the normal bye during a regular season. But, I think we’ll still be able to get a couple days where you’re getting a little bit more rest – players are coming in a little bit later and I think that’s going to serve us well when we play next Saturday.

(On how he will watch and react to the Wild Card games this weekend)

”I’ll watch it just because you’re a fan of the game, but no matter how you cut it, one of the three teams we’re playing and they’re all really good football teams. It’s not like we have a preference on who we play. We know that a good football team is going to be coming here in the (NFC) Divisional Round that’s earned the right to be there. All three of them present a variety of different challenges. We’ve played two of them and then Dallas has done a great job this year. If that’s the case, then I think being able to see what that result is, then you can narrow it down until two until that game between Chicago and Philly is finished up on Sunday afternoon. But, you’ll watch it just because I’d be watching it whether we were in or not. Then, we’ll go start getting ready for whichever one of those three we’re playing based on the results.”

(On if any new interview requests have come in from other organizations to talk to any assistant coaches)

”I don’t think so. I think those guys are all set for this weekend. Really, what’s kind of been a new experience as well is when you are in this situation, we’ve been able to outline a couple days that they can talk to those teams, but then after that, then it’s about focusing on the Rams and doing a great job getting ready for our upcoming game. I think those guys have done a great job of not allowing this to be a distraction, but they’ll also be prepared to handle themselves in the best way possible to present something that demonstrates somebody that you want leading your organization if that’s the case.”

(On the best piece of advice he could give Quarterbacks Coach Zac Taylor and Pass Game Coordinator Shane Waldron having been through this experience himself)

”I think just be yourself. Be confident. Don’t try to force the issue. I think just make it more of a dialogue than anything else – it is a conversation. You’re interviewing for a job, but you also want to be able to find out some answers to help gain a perspective on the type of situation that you would be going in to. Just relax and enjoy it. It’s a great opportunity to be able to do this. All you can do is compete to the best of your ability like we talk about all the time. That’s really all I’ve said.”

(On if he’s concerned about teams using these head coaching interviews to come back for Taylor or Waldron for coordinator jobs)

”I think last year was pretty unique situation. Really, each situation we deal with as its own individual entity. I think there’s specific criteria and circumstances that are surrounded based on the individual, what’s best for their family and some of the options that are presented. Some of that is exclusive to the teams that they might be going to. So, I don’t think so because – I don’t think you ever want to handle one situation with, ‘This is exactly how we do it.’ You always want to be able to show that support for people. Like I said, you don’t want to make a habit of losing great coaches, but you also want to do right by people. I think that goes back to the dialogue that exists between our organization and the individuals that are affected by it. If it’s something that we can provide a better opportunity or something that makes it enticing to want to stay, then that’s what you look into. But, I don’t think you worry about that. I think these are positive problems that guys are getting great chances and usually it’s a reflection of our team’s success.”

Todd Gurley II – Media Availability – January 3, 2019

(On how he is feeling this week)

”I’m feeling better. I’m feeling good this week. Just me and my boy (Director of Rehabilitation/Assistant Athletic Trainer) Byron (Cunningham) been in the training room just getting right. Just trying to get back on the field next week.”

(On if he’s just doing rehab at this point and what that entails)

”Yeah, just mostly the morning sessions. Trying to knock out my like rehab stuff. Then, the stuff that I do with the team, as far as like weight room-wise and then when those guys are at practice, we’re trying to do cardio on the bike. That was my biggest emphasis this week was just – since I wasn’t able to play the last two weeks – was trying to get my cardio back.”

(On if his knee is still sore at all or if it’s just a matter of getting his cardio back and feeling in football shape)

”Both. Just still doing stuff for my knee. I’ve been able to do a lot more this week. It’s been reacting pretty good. But that’s going to be the main thing, obviously, that cardio since I haven’t been able to do much the last two or three weeks. Then, just seeing how my knee responds in the game.”

(On how RB C.J. Anderson has performed during his absence)

”He’s done a great job. He just came in and he’s been doing better than me (laughs). So, he’s been killing it, man. Not sure if he got FedEx (Ground) Player of the Week again, but to be in the mention twice, just from coming not on a team. So, he’s been doing a great job. He’s been a Pro Bowl running back, Super Bowl player. He’s a great player, man.”

(On how his relationship with QB Jared Goff has grown off the field)

”Me and (QB Jared) Goff don’t hang out off the field (laughs). No, he actually invited me to his house Saturday. I’m considering going (laughs). No, that’s my boy. He’s cool. He’s a cool dude. Yeah, we’ve just been – you know, in the offseason we may go out here and there. He doesn’t go out, but I might catch him every once in a blue moon. But yeah, J.G. is my boy, for sure.”

(On if he got Goff to come to his Halloween or Christmas party)

”He came to the Halloween, but I was disappointed he didn’t come to the Christmas one. It’s cool.”

(On what it was like to be on the sideline and not play in the last two games)

”I hate watching football games. I love watching my team and stuff, but just being at football games, it’s just – I mean I’m always playing, you know? But, no, it’s different. It’s definitely different. I knew those guys was going to take care of business, so I just kind of was up there and just try to be the hype man every now and then. Just try to stay out of the way. It’s definitely different on the sideline looking. But, we’ve been getting the wins, so that makes everything much better because if we didn’t win, I would feel like it would be my fault.”

(On what he took from the experience of playing in the playoffs last season and how long the loss lingered with him)

”It just doesn’t really matter what you’ve done, everybody’s starting over, everybody’s getting a fresh start. I just remember it being real fast. I mean, not much room for error, not much room to make moves. Guys are just running around reacting. Obviously, last year we were playing the (2016) runner-ups in the Super Bowl and those guys came out ready to play. Hopefully, we’ll be on our P’s and Q’s this year and to be able to go out there and execute and get the win. Definitely looking forward to it. It’s definitely a lot faster than – you’ve got preseason, regular season, December and then playoff speed. So, definitely looking forward to it.”

(On how the speed of the playoffs is a little faster paced in other sports as well and if that was a surprise to him last year and if he feels like he knows what it takes to get to that level having experienced it before)

”I would hope that we know. Every guy feels a different way, but we just came out there, had a home-field game and didn’t get it done. That just wasn’t an excuse. So, hopefully this year, we just know what to do – go out there and try to attack that team – whoever we’re playing.”

(On the appearance of his profile growing in L.A. more this season and if he feels like it has grown)

”I guess so. Yeah, we’ve been able to win – been on a winning team. We’ve been having a lot of success here in L.A. Obviously, offensive guys get all the attention. I guess it’s been growing quite a bit.”

(On if he’ll follow the playoff games this weekend)

”Oh, yeah. I love watching them at the house. I’m talking about actually at the game, like in the stands or something like that. But yeah, I’ll definitely watch it.”

(On if he’ll be looking for anything in particular while watching the games or if he plans to just watch to enjoy it)

”Usually I watch games just to show my friends support. Got like (Seattle) Seahawks – watch (RB) Mike Davis. Then, the (Houston) Texans – watch (WR) DeAndre (Hopkins) and (RB D’onta Foreman) ‘D-Fore’. Definitely studying those teams. But, obviously, the teams that’s in the playoffs is every team we’ve played except for what? Dallas (Cowboys). So, kind of got a good reminder of every other team. But, I’ll definitely be just watching as a fan and supporting my friends. Then also, just looking at defenses.”

(On if he anticipates that he’ll be able to practice next week before the game or if he’s just day-to-day and going to see how it goes)

”Yeah, I hope so. That’s the plan. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get on the ground and then just see how I feel. But, I definitely don’t want to just go straight into the game – at least be able to get two good days under my belt just to see how I’m feeling and stuff, but we’ll see. I’ll talk to (Senior Director, Sports Medicine and Training) Reggie (Scott) and (Head) Coach (Sean) McVay and just kind of get a plan and just see how I’m feeling from there.”