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WATCH: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay, RB Todd Gurley, QB Jared Goff, DT Aaron Donald, DT Michael Brockers address media as offseason program begins

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As Phase I of the offseason program opens, here are the various Rams’ comments today.

As you can see in the tweet embedded above, Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley was the first to speak to the assembled media today as the Rams begin the official offseason program.

Todd was, predictably, cryptic about the status of his knee. When asked if he could confirm any of the reports about his knee, Gurley said:

All I can focus on is just how I’m doing right now. Feeling pretty good. Like I said, taking it day by day and just trying to get better. Get ready for the next season.

As I type this, QB Jared Goff has just taken the podium:

Here’s Rams Head Coach Sean McVay:

DT Aaron Donald:

DT Michael Brockers:

I’ll add any transcripts provided by the team.

Today begins Phase I which is limited to “strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only,” so there won’t be a ton to cover. Good for social though with guys working out and getting back to 100%.


Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay

(On what the attendance was for the first day of voluntary workouts)

“It is voluntary. There were a couple guys that had communicated well ahead of time. We just like to be in communication with our players. Certainly, it is voluntary and we understand that. But as long as we just know they’re in a good place or what’s going on with them. There were a couple guys that had some other things going on that they had communicated to us, so everybody was accounted for in that manner.”

(On which players were not in attendance today)

“There were a couple guys that just had some different things going on. (OLB) Dante (Fowler) and (CB) Marcus (Peters) both communicated well in advance. Those are guys that they’ll be here once they get some of those things taken care of that they had to do.”

(On if CB Troy Hill and LB Cory Littleton are able to participate in the workouts or if they have to wait until the team official resigns them)

“I think once they come in, you’d like to be able to get those guys to sign. That’s something that we’re navigating through right now. (LB) Cory (Littleton) was the other guy that he communicated to us that he had something going on. We don’t expect anything to be different. Those are guys that we hope to be on our team and looking forward to working with. As far as anything specific, there’s really no news on that front.”

(On what the offseason plan is for DT Aaron Donald considering how well he’s done the past two offseasons conducting his own offseason program)

“Aaron (Donald) and I are going to meet today and we’re going to talk specifically about just laying out a plan for him. We do that, really, with all of our players but it is a little bit of a unique situation that’s presented itself. Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about him holding out or anything like that. But I do think we want to be mindful of, ‘Like you to be here, but understanding of some of the other things going on.’ So really, that’s a conversation that Aaron and I are actually going to have later today and kind of really lay out those things. I want to be able to hear, because he’s got a plan. He’s so well thought out. He’s got some things that have worked for him. I think within the framework of being around your teammates, but also if you’re doing some things – you don’t worry about Aaron working on his own and getting things done that are all geared towards getting us ready to play football whenever our opener is. Those are things that you always want to be understanding of and, really, each situation kind of brings out its own individual approach with our players, and that’s something that Aaron and I will talk about later.”

(On if there are any players that are coming off offseason procedures aside from WR Cooper Kupp and OLB Samson Ebukam, and how the team will navigate that during the offseason program)

“Really, there’s a handful of guys right now. As far as the specifics, we’re really just taking it a day at a time. There will be some guys, once we get closer to OTAs, that you might take a little bit more of a lenient approach. But, we’re going to try to figure that out. That’s something that, really, right now we’re so far away from those things. But, there were some guys that had different things done. Those are things that we don’t really need to talk about right now.”

(On his reluctance to offer more details on players who had medical procedures this offseason)

“Really, I think because those are things that we just haven’t had a chance to really dive in too deep. It’s not anything specifically about – really, I’m probably not in a position to give you an educated answer to that question more than anything else. As far as how we want to handle the OTAs, I don’t have all those things right in front of me right now. Those are things that we haven’t covered.”

(On monitoring RB Todd Gurley II’s workload leading up to the regular season and if Gurley will have a light preseason again)

“I think so. For us, it’s about, let’s make sure that we take an intentional approach, that’s specific to each player, kind of like we talked about and (RB) Todd (Gurley II) is no different. Our goal is over the elongated period of time, really until the first game, that’s really the timetable that we’re operating with. How does that specifically affect his workload thought OTAs, into training camp? Those are things that we’re going to continue to monitor his progress, see how he’s feeling – communication from both sides. He’s in a good place right now. He’s feeling good. I know it was good to get back in the building. He’s been here doing some things. That’s really something that as the offseason progresses and then as we get into training camp, he’s a guy that we will continue to monitor, but it’s like that with all of our players.”

(On RB Malcolm Brown’s usage this season and if it will be a two-back approach with him and Gurley)

“I think Todd has shown that he is capable of carrying the workload. We have a lot of confidence in (RB) Malcolm (Brown). For us, you want to be smart about that, but I think, like we talked about the other day, Todd is a guy that’s been a focal point of this offense. He’s going to continue to be. Really, what resulted in (a two-back approach at the end of last year), was because (Gurley) was forced to miss some games at the end of the year and we wanted to be smart about managing that load. Todd has shown that he can handle that. How we navigate through a season, it’s hard to say, but we anticipate like we said the other day, (Gurley) being the focal point of our offense. Unless I’m told otherwise, he’s a pretty versatile back and we’re going to continue to utilize all of his skillsets.”

(On the team’s mood today and any messaging of putting last season behind them and if that needs to be addressed to the team)

“Yeah, I think so. I think last year was a great year for us, we had a lot of good things that took place. There’s all 32 teams feeling good right now, they all have the same goals. You have got to wipe the slate clean. I think you want to learn from the past, you want to be able to take some of the things that we learned that help us sustain a certain level of success. Not lose sight of those things, but understand that you have to earn it every single day. I think our players will take that approach. We’ve got to produce right now. That’s the biggest thing – we can only control what we do today. Because there’s a tendency, ‘Okay, you’ll be right back,’ all of those different things. I think our players and our coaches are all smart enough to know that this league is too competitive. Too many good players and coaches for us not to continue to focus on getting better – look at the things that we can clean up from last year and then continue to try to do the things that we did at a high level and do them even better this year.”

(On how the potential of the starters not playing in the preseason shapes the offseason approach)

“We might do that. A lot of that is going to be predicated on some of the opportunities we can have to practice against other teams. I think it is important to create those competitive atmospheres and environments, especially against other teams, while trying to limit the risk of injury. I think there’s a very likely chance that we’ll approach the preseason very similar to what we did last year. A lot of that ended up being a result of some guys got hurt, so then it was kind of that trickle-down effect where we were anticipating doing a little bit of work. I would say this, a lot that is going to be predicated on what are some of the teams that we can try to get some practice opportunities with and if we feel like we can create enough competitive atmospheres while limiting the risk for injury. I think you will see us take a very similar approach. Really, I talked to (Chargers Head) Coach (Anthony) Lynn, I’ve talk to some of the other coaches. We don’t even play the Chargers, but some of the teams that we do play to see if we can work it out for our schedules to try and get some good practice opportunities.”

(On what he learned in his first two drafts that will help him this time)

“I think the good thing is (General Manager) Les (Snead) and his staff do such a great job of being so thorough. I think we’re so much on the same page in terms of some of the guys that, the types of players, the caliber of people that we’re looking for to try to add into our building. I think really the last two years have served as an opportunity for us to continue to get on the same page. They’ve done a great job of really filtering through some of the things that we’ve identified as our needs. Really, this will be the first year that we have a first-round pick. It’ll be fun. They’ve done a great job. We’re going to continue to trim that focus as we get closer and closer to that draft date. It’s been good. I think like anything else, the more experience you have with something, the better served you are to handle the inevitable things that do come up. But, Les and his group and our coaches working in unison has been a really smooth process so far.”

(On if he anticipates trading out of the first round)

“You never know.”

(On what he wants to accomplish and improve upon in the offseason program)

“I think you can take a specific approach for the offense and the defense, but really it’s a new year, it’s a new team. You want to continue to try to establish what this year’s culture will be. Get some of these guys that are newer to the building comfortable with their surroundings and really figure out that identity. Everything that we try to do is built around our players strengths. As this thing continues to progress, we get a better feel for what those strengths are. With some of the continuity that we do have, I think, we have a better idea of anticipating but we’ve got some new bodies that we’re really counting on; expecting big things from on the defensive side. There’s going to be an adaption. We’re going to try to evolve and improve and a lot of that is specific to situations or just executing at a higher level.”

(On how anxious he is to some of 2018’s draft picks on the field this season)

“Yes, it will be exciting. You’ll see a couple of those younger linemen, we saw some really good things in. Coach ‘Krom’ (Run Game Coordinator Aaron Kromer) and the scouting staff feel really optimistic, and we feel the same way as coaches. Looking forward to seeing (C) Brian Allen and (OL) Joe Noteboom, (OL) Jamil Demby getting a chance to really compete. (LB) Micah Kiser, who did a lot of good things and just continued to ascend in terms of making an impression on this football team. There’s going to be a lot of guys that, it’s going to be good to get there and see these guys go from year one to year two. Some of these guys that we’re expecting big roles from. And then a lot of guys will have an opportunity to earn their chance to see the field. It’s going to be good. We’re looking forward to seeing last year’s draft class getting an opportunity to take another step in the right direction in year two.”

(On the consistency on the offensive line in his first two years and now bringing in two new linemen)

“I think the rapport that these guys play with up front – I know it’s not underappreciated in our building – but, I think the continuity that we’ve been able to sustain has been really instrumental in a lot of the success that we’ve had. You look at a Brian Allen and Joe Noteboom potentially playing at a different spot – and Coach Kromer does a great job moving guys around – but, it’s getting a feel if it’s playing that left guard spot, the rapport with (T) Andrew Whitworth. It’s Joe getting a feel for playing next to Brian Allen or whatever it is. It’s (OL) Austin Blythe and Brian getting comfortable playing with one another, the communication the way that they work in unison. Those five guys are really a unit and their ability to work in coordination, to understand the calls, the different things that take place, really, outside of what we’re exposed to as coaches is something that’s going to be fun watching it evolve. I think what’s been special about that group up front is really the ownership that they’ve taken in terms of what we’re trying to get done offensively and then taking it to whole level. So just the experience factor is going to be big. It’s going to be something that we’ll get a feel for as it progresses. We have a foundational outline of what we want it to look like, but then really the players take it to the heights or the levels that you want it to, hopefully, when they take that ownership on.”

(On WR Cooper Kupp’s progress)

“He’s doing great. He’s right on track. The goal for us is to have him ready for Week 1. I think he’ll be able to do some different things. He’s a guy that’s attacked his rehab the right way. But, for us, it’s let’s make sure we put him in the right position to be ready for whenever that opening date is. He’ll do some things individually, but as far as the specific plan and exactly where he’s at - the goal is to have him ready to return to performance, not necessarily competition, but performance where he’s playing at a high level, the level that we’re accustomed to seeing Cooper Kupp at for Week 1. I know that will be sometimes we’ll probably have to pull him back because he’s so excited to get going. But, that’s kind of the goal with where we’re at with him.”