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TRANSCRIPT: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay, QB Jared Goff August 14 press conference

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Here’s what coach and the System QB had to say yesterday.

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Sean McVay looks on during a preseason game against the Oakland Raiders, Aug. 10, 2019.
Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Sean McVay looks on during a preseason game against the Oakland Raiders, Aug. 10, 2019.
Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay

(On how QB Blake Bortles has developed since arriving)

“I think he’s been making great decisions. I think he’s getting a great command on what we’re trying to do offensively. Then I think some of the things that show up that’s been really one of his great traits is just his overall athleticism. In some of these practice settings you can’t tackle the quarterback, and I think his ability to use his legs and be able to create off schedule whether it’s throwing the football or running it, using him in some instances as a runner, those are things that the athleticism enables you to be able to do a couple more things. I just think he’s continued to improve. We’ve been really pleased with him and I think he adds a great dynamic to that quarterback room with the rapport that he and (QB) Jared (Goff) have. We’ve been really pleased with Blake.”

(On how Bortles’ experience in his career translates in his current role with the Rams)

“It does. There’s been a lot of things in some of the systems that he’s played and there’s a lot of crossover in terms of some of the foundational principles with how we call formations. He’s worked with coaches that we’ve worked with whether it be (Raiders Offensive Coordinator) Greg Olson, (Packers Offensive Coordinator) Nathaniel Hackett – I have a good relationship with and know him well – (Assistant Coordinator/Offense) Jedd Fisch who’s on our staff now was his offensive coordinator at one point in Jacksonville, so there’s been a lot of crossover. You can feel he’s got a lot of experience, he’s been able to learn. I think a lot of the things that you appreciate as much as anything is some of the dialogue that exists – not necessarily that the coaches have exposure to – but you can just see amongst his teammates, watching he and (QB) Jared (Goff), their interaction. I think it’s been great for that quarterback room being able to have Blake.”

(On if he’s had conversations with Bortles about how he is using this upcoming season with the Rams)

“I think the biggest thing is talking to him, getting to know him. I’ve had a lot of respect for him from afar, and he and (QB) Jared (Goff) have a great relationship. Ryan Tollner is both of their agents and they’ve known each other for a while. They’ve always been good buddies and then, I think when you spend a little bit of time with him, you want to get to know the human being and you could feel like, ‘Hey, this is going to be a great fit for the way that we like to operate within our organization, some of the cultural things that you hear us talk about.’ Like anything else, the evaluation with every one of our players is something that, ‘Hey, here’s the things that we feel like you do great, here’s the things that we can improve on, and here’s where our focus is going to be in terms of improving those things while not losing sight of what has enabled you to play in this league at a high level.’”

(On if he’s determined who is going to Hawaii)

“We’re working through that right now and we’ll have the finality before we end up getting on that flight tomorrow.”

(On what he has seen from RB Malcolm Brown)

“I think just the (RB) Malcolm (Brown), the being the consistent player that he’s always been. (I) think the more you’re around Malcolm, the more you appreciate him. We talked about it last year, when we lost him in that Detroit game, that was a huge blow. He did a great job being able to come in for (RB) Todd (Gurley II) in really any down-and-distance, any different situation where he can play on all three downs. He can compete well in really all three phases. That’s as a runner, as a receiver and then if he’s asked to be involved in the protection element. He does a great job for (Special Teams Coordinator, John Fassel) ‘Bones’ as well. His value, he’s really just continued to demonstrate his value. I think because of the way he approaches it, he’s getting better as a football player, but we’ve always held him in such high regard. That’s why when Detroit tried to get him, we made sure to make sure that he stayed here with us.”

(On seeing where Brown will give more playing time on the offense)

“I think that’s to be determined. I think that’s a product of some of the other things that end up happening. If he is a guy that plays more, we certainly have a lot of confidence when Malcolm Brown is in there. That’s something that if that had to be the case, then a lot of confidence in Malcom and what he’s been able to do.”

(On what Tight Ends Coach Wes Phillips, Defensive Line Coach Eric Henderson and Assistant Quarterbacks Coach Zac Robinson has added to the staff)

“Three great coaches. (Tight Ends Coach) Wes (Phillips) is somebody that I had worked with before. I think he’s a great communicator, has a great feel for the big picture of the game, a really good teacher. Then I think one of the things that I’ve always really appreciated about Wes is he’s got a great way of being able to give you his opinion. Sometimes, even when you’re in a coordinator role or a head coach, you need to have people that’ll be able to challenge you in a good way. Wes has always done that where we’ve been able to kind of positively push each other. Had a great relationship, but ultimately he’s committed to helping his players develop and a great teacher. (Assistant Quarterbacks Coach) Zac (Robinson), a guy that played the position. Having had some experience, whether it be breaking down coverages with P.F.F. (Pro Football Focus) or doing some different things where he was training guys, getting ready for the combine with the fundamentals, the techniques of the position. Really impressed with him where I got a chance to meet him in really the interview. You just listen to the way that he can talk the game, got a great way about himself. I think he’s a future star in this league, as far as a coach. His ability to just understand the big picture, but then having played the quarterback position and the natural respect that comes with having been in some of the player’s shoes, especially with that role in particular. He’s got a great understanding of the nuances of the timing, the rhythm, the fundamentals and the techniques of the way that you want to deliver the ball consistently. He’s been a big benefit to that room. Then with (Defensive Line Coach) Eric Henderson, heard great things about him from Giff Smith who’s the D-Line (Defensive) Coach with the Chargers, who I’ve known for a long time, going back to when I was even in college and he was coaching at Tulane. He spoke the world about Coach Henderson. Then you get in front of him, you interview him, you get out on the field where you’re demonstrating some different things with him and you talk about an unbelievably high level of competency with the defensive line position. A great passion, a good juice and energy that makes guys want to compete for him. Then the ability to work in unison with the staff. Those three guys have been outstanding and I think one of the things I feel so fortunate about is the staff comradery [sic]. Those three guys have definitely helped us improve. They’ve done an outstanding job with their players and they’ve made us better and they’ve made me better as a coach. For that, I’m grateful for those guys.”

(On how important he thinks it is that QB Jared Goff makes the team his team this year and takes the next step)

“I think that’s kind of already happened. I think he has seamlessly and naturally become a leader because of the way that he goes about his business just being (QB) Jared Goff. I think that’s what resonates with his teammates. I mention it all the time, when you go back to watching when he was drafted no. 1 overall, the way that his teammates responded, then when you just watch the genuine appreciation and love that they have for Jared, as one of our leaders. It’s just kind of Jared, being Jared. I think that’s the best part about him. He’s so authentic, he’s refreshingly secure in himself, he’s naturally just getting better because of the way that he intentionally goes about his days. I think for him, it has seamlessly become his team just by Jared, being Jared. Clearly, there is an element of production that breeds a respect from his teammates and he’s been great over the last couple of years.”

(On if he’s doing more on his own and if he has seen his maturation)

“I think so. I think we are able to do a lot more because of his comfort level, his ownership with the operation, with what the intent of each of these calls that we are trying to activate is. When you have a player that in essence an extension of the coaching staff, you can operate in a lot of special ways, that’s what Jared, hopefully, going to continue to enable us to do as we move forward.”

(On If he thinks it is fair that QB Jared Goff is not in the top-10 quarterbacks in rankings, and if he thinks it is fair people aligning him as a system quarterback)

“I mean, I think the world of him. I think everybody wants to talk about that. He makes the system what it is. We are able to do the things we are because we have the right ‘trigger man’ that can really do anything that we ask – in terms of changing the launch point, what types of concepts we want to activate, whether it be play action, the drop-back game, quick, intermediate, or down the field. He’s a special player, I think his production speaks for itself. I know I don’t want anybody else to be our quarterback. I feel really good about him leading the way for us. I think the most important thing is he knows he got the full support and belief of his teammates, coaches and we couldn’t be happier that he is our guy.”

(On if QB Jared Goff will have to do more this year)

“I think he’s got to continue to play the way that he has played. I think he’s going to naturally take on more just based on his experience. There was a lot of games last year where I think the idea is, you want to be able to have a balance of being able to run the football or throw it. Ultimately, people talk about the being balanced, it’s being able to execute if the defense is committed to taking one thing away or the other, you’ve got to be able to execute in that other phase. We feel really good about having efficiency in both phases over the last couple of years. Certainly we have to prove it again this year. This year, we expect him to take a step in the right direction and he has certainly done all of those things that we ask. He is showing signs of the progression that we want throughout the course of offseason and training camp right now.”

Rams QB Jared Goff

(On if he’s looking forward to the upcoming trip to Hawaii)

“Yeah. It’ll be great. I think they’re still going through how they want to go about who’s going to stay, who’s going to go and whatnot. I think that’s still being discussed. It’s going to be great.”

(On if he has a preference to stay home or make the trip to Hawaii)

“I don’t. Whatever (Head Coach) Sean (McVay) decides and the team decides, we’re good with.”

(On him taking more ownership of the offense)

“It’s been great. As time goes on, you just continue to grow and you continue to learn. I think this offseason in particular, I feel like I’ve taken a big jump in that regard. Just continuing to understand the intricacies of our offense and just trying to become more and more an extension of (Head Coach) Sean (McVay). The better I can do that, the better we’re going to be.”

(On if he is seeing things on the field that Head Coach Sean McVay does not see)

“Yeah at times. I’m in a different position than him. He does a great job seeing some stuff from the sideline, but he’s very open to coming to the sideline, asking me what I saw, explaining it to him. We have an open dialogue – such a great dialogue at this point in my third year with him. I feel good.”

(On his relationship with WR Cooper Kupp and if he immediately responds to his text messages like Kupp mentioned)

“I don’t know about that (laughs). I try to text most of my teammates back as soon as I can. I have a great relationship with (WR) Cooper (Kupp). I think it’s been a good growing experience over the last few years. Me and him have really, really become more and more on the same page and having him out in the spring was a little tough trying to get back on that chemistry. Through training camp now it’s been back to where it was and we feel good. He looks great.”

(On if having Kupp on the field makes him more confident)

“No doubt. All our guys do. I think he’s just the same as anyone else that’s a starter with us and even some of the twos and threes we have that step in like (WR) Josh (Reynolds) last year and (TE) Gerald (Everett) and those guys. Cooper’s a special player and a special talent and a guy that I really like having on my side. We’ve been growing together and become more on that same page, as time goes on it’ll continue to grow.”

(On what he’s seen from RB Malcolm Brown)

“Malcolm’s been just ‘Mr. Consistent’ ever since I’ve been here and has always filled in that role and that void if (RB) Todd (Gurley II) is ever not able to go. It’s really been seamless and me and him have such a great relationship on and off the field. I feel as comfortable with him and everything as I do with Todd. He knows what he’s doing -- is very reliable, does everything right, super smart, just a reliable guy and does a great job in his role.”

(On how he became more of a leader on the team and if he feels pressure because of it)

“No, I think that’s just the natural progression of a quarterback. Especially in my fourth year now and in my third year with this staff, I think that just tends to happen. I’ve been in this position before in previous teams in college and high school where you grow into that role and I think it’s starting to become that even more every day as I continue to get more comfortable and my leadership continues to grow and I continue to try and be the best teammate I can be. I enjoy it, I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be and something that I don’t take lightly.”

(On if a leadership role is more of a burden on him)

“No. I don’t think so. I think it’s just a part of the progression. Part of what goes on, as a quarterback gets older, it should become their team. I’m hoping I’m putting the right foot forward every day to make that happen.”

(On if he it bothers him that ‘pundits’ largely do not consider him a top-10 quarterback in the NFL and if he thinks it is because people consider him a ‘system quarterback’)

“I don’t have a feeling on it. I understand where that narrative started from and it doesn’t bother me because I know what these people in this building think. The only opinions I’m concerned about are my teammates, coaches and close family and friends. Anyone else, it doesn’t matter to me and they can say that all they want. As long as we keep winning games, I’ll be happy.”

(On what he’s learned from veterans like S Eric Weddle and LB Clay Matthews)

“They’ve been great. I think (S Eric) Weddle in particular, just mine and his dialogue throughout practice and throughout the week. Just trying to get a better understanding of what they are doing. Asking him ‘What did he see?’ and there will be situations where he’ll ask me, ‘What did you see?’ and ‘How did you know we were coming there? How did you see that?’ The dialogue that I can have with him is so huge for my development especially. I know he’s been so established, but my development has grown so much. Understanding defenses and understanding what they’re doing through talking to him weekly.”

(On if those conversations with Weddle happen after series)

“It’ll happen in between plays. We’ll do something – we have an idea of what each other are trying to do – and I’ll be like, ‘Hey, how’d you see that?’ and he’ll say something or vice versa, it’s very open. In between series as well, walking in the hallway, whenever.”

(On if he is aware of the reports regarding Cowboys QB Dak Prescott’s contract negotiations)

“I’ve got nothing to say about that. That’s (Cowboys QB) Dak (Prescott’s) situation and I wish him the best.”

(On if he’s seen the reported salary Prescott is asking for)

“Of course.”

(On how he processes Prescott’s reported salary increasing)

“It’s great. I hope Dak gets as much as he can and good for him. I’m a friend of Dak’s and wish him nothing but the best.”

(On if there have been changes in his own contact negotiations)

“Nope. Nothing. Nope.”

(On if he saw his upcoming bobblehead that will be given away at a University of California-Berkley football game and how he thought it looked)

“Yeah. I thought it looked great. I heard some people were giving Cal some backlash about it. I thought it looked great and I’m excited for it. It’s going to be a bad day for the Trojans, hopefully.”

(On if they sent him any bobbleheads)

“I haven’t gotten them yet, no. They said they will. I won’t be able to make it to that game. I wish I could, but I’m looking forward to it.”

(On if he’s going to distribute them to anyone)

“Yeah, sure. Do you want one? (Laughs).”

(On WR Michael Thomas)

“(WR) Mike (Thomas) looks great. Mike has had an incredible camp and I’ve seen him grow every day. His contribution on special teams is awesome, but his contribution on offense right now has been incredible. He’s always been a guy since my first year we came in together that when healthy is a tremendous player and a guy that can help us. I know it’s been great to see him finally get healthy and get his chance and he looks great.”

(On what he has seen from QB Blake Bortles)

“(QB) Blake (Bortles) looked great. I thought he did a good job. He moved the ball around, and got off the spot well, made completions and moved the ball down the field. It was good.”

(On how he evaluates players such as WR KhaDarel Hodge and what advice he would give to the staff on what he sees)

“I don’t have much input on it, honestly to the staff. They make their own decisions on what their final roster’s going to be. (WR) KhaDarel (Hodge) has done a great job as well. KhaDarel was a huge contributor to us last year. Especially in that Seattle game when both (WR) Brandin (Cooks) and Cooper went down and we needed somebody to step up. KhaDarel had never really played up to that point and stepped in perfectly and made a few catches and did a great job. He’s got that experience, got that exposure and he’s done a great job.”