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TRANSCRIPT: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay, QB Blake Bortles August 16 press conference

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

Los Angeles Rams QB Blake Bortles during minicamp, Jun. 11, 2019.
Los Angeles Rams QB Blake Bortles during minicamp, Jun. 11, 2019.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay

(On how practice went today)

“It’s great to be out here, what beautiful weather. They’ve taken great care of us. We are very excited to be here as an organization. Really, just kind of putting the final touches on the game plan. Guys are excited and hopefully guys just compete to the best of their ability and make it a good experience for everybody and a fun game for a lot of the great people here to be able to see.”

(On if S Eric Weddle is running the practice for the guys that are back in Los Angeles)

“Yeah, he probably is. They had a good workout today. It sounds like everybody did a good job of getting what we wanted out of it. After we play the game tomorrow, we will get back early Sunday and be able to get some good work in with those guys. Those guys have done a great job. You always try to find the best way to handle it for your club and that’s what we kind of felt like was going to be best for our players.”

(On what he is looking for from some of the players looking to make the roster)

“I think you’re really looking to just continue to find those guys that will separate themselves from the pack. The guys that are not here, with the exception of the guys that are injured, are guys that have played a lot of snaps in this league, have proven they are more than capable of competing at a high level for us. Now, as we continue to find our best 53 (man roster), ultimately the guys that are going to be playing with your best 46 (man roster) on game day, that is something that is an ongoing evaluation. It’s a really great opportunity for a lot of guys and it is our job as coaches to try to put them in good spots and then see how they do. We are looking forward to tomorrow against a great Dallas Cowboys football team.”

(On how much game film play into his roster decision making)

“A lot. It does play into it a lot, especially in these preseason opportunities. We try to create those competitive scenarios in practice as well. Part of our evaluation tool and process is absolutely these preseason games and how you see guys play live football. There is a different element, whether it be playing the quarterback position, sometimes with the running back – when you are getting tackled and different things like that or whether you’re actually taking guys to the ground on defense. There is a lot of things where you can feel guys ability to play real football where guys are going to the ground, that you just can’t really mimic and emulate in some of these practice situations.”

(On how excited he was when it was announced the game was sold out and to bring an NFL game to Hawaii the first time in 40 years)

“It’s been awesome. I think it’s a really credit to the people that immediately bought tickets and it shows the excitement. You can just feel there is a buzz around here that you can’t help but be enthusiastic about and we want to make sure that we put on a good game that these people deserve. I think it’s a great representation of The Rams organization, the Cowboys organization and also the NFL – to just try to broaden the horizon for the amount of people that you can just get exposed to this game and the support has been outstanding and makes you certainly feel special.”

(On what he expects from DT Aaron Donald as an actor)

“I think he’s probably pretty good at whatever he wants to do. I’ll have to see if you guys give him some good lines, how smooth he looks on camera. I know he looks pretty good with a helmet on on camera, but it will be fun. It’s a good experience for him and it’s something that he is deserving of.”

(On what he thinks of the Cooke practice facility and did it fill his needs)

“Yeah, it was great. (University of) Hawaii couldn’t be more accommodating for us. Whether its talking to some of the coaches, them opening up their weight room, their practice fields, it’s been first class in every way. We’re very appreciative of that. They’ve made it a really smooth process for us traveling out here and we are looking forward to hopefully putting on a good show tomorrow.”

(On what kind of stories did he swap with University of Hawaii, Manoa Head Coach Nicholas Rolovich)

“Really just getting a chance to talk to coach a little bit about his background and really thanking him for enabling us to use the facilities. I know he knows a couple our coaches, but we are pulling for you guys it’s been fun to be able to get to meet another football coach and hear a little bit about how things are going here, talking about the recruiting things. It was great to be able to chat with Coach for a little bit.”

(On if he comes to Hawaii in the offseason)

“I have not been to Honolulu, but we have been to Maui – stayed over at the Four Seasons over there and had a great time. It certainly is a beautiful island, it’s a beautiful place over here and it’s been a great experience so far and definitely something I think you can definitely expect to see us back outside the season.”

(On if the players back home will be watching Saturday’s game together)

“I’m sure they’ll be supporting their teammates, that’s exactly what I expect. Coach (Eric) Weddle will probably have them together and watching some stuff.”

(On if the players back in Los Angeles worked out today)

“They did.”

(On who oversaw the workout)

“We had a couple coaches. (Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach) Eddie Grayer, one of our strength coaches, stayed back to supervise that. Then some of (Senior Director, Sports Medicine and Performance) Reggie’s (Scott) people have stayed back as well. We had a couple people behind, but the nice thing is, when you’ve got the ownership from your players, I think, in a lot of ways, they were kind of run it themselves and that’s what you always want.”

(On if there will be any team bonding events while the team is in Hawaii)

“Absolutely. Tonight, we’ve got a luau over at the Four Seasons. Anytime you travel and you just get a chance to get away, it always helps. Whether it be going away for training camp or traveling to a beautiful destination like this, to be able to kind of just increase the team bond, the camaraderie, where you’re just naturally and organically spending time with one another. Tonight will represent another chance to be able to do that, so we’re looking forward to that.”

QB Blake Bortles

(On if there’s anything he’s going to focus on against the Cowboys on Saturday)

“I think for me personally, it would be the operational part of it. How quickly can we get in and out of the huddle? How can we eliminate some of the penalties that we had last week? Obviously, some of those are hard to deal with, but the pre-snap stuff, getting the line right and doing all that. How can I help us stay away from getting in trouble there? Then just making good, quick decisions and getting the ball in the right place.”

(On if he expects to play more than a couple of series)

“I have no idea. Nobody’s said anything yet. I’ll play as long as they let me play, until they tell me not to. Looking forward to it. It’s obviously a good opportunity, a good opportunity, good chance to come over here and play in a different environment, in front of different people. I know we’re all excited about it.”

(On his thoughts coming into a game at Aloha Stadium and the expected atmosphere for a preseason game)

“It’s definitely awesome. They told us this morning that they sold out the stadium and I think it’s cool. I know personally I had never been to Hawaii, this is my first time. I’m sure it’s a lot of the guys first time on the team, so to come over here, even though just for a couple days and get a feel for it, get to walk around, get to walk around, get to talk to people is extremely cool. Like you said, to get a chance to play in front of a sold-out crowd in Hawaii where I don’t know if there’s been a whole lot of NFL games here outside of Pro Bowl games and stuff like that. It’s a cool chance for all of us and I think it’s pretty awesome for the NFL to mix it up and come over here and do it.”

(On if this trip gives a chance for new players on the team to bond)

“Definitely. We obviously get more time to go do stuff, you get time around dinner and in the afternoon you get a couple hours off to go hangout, go get dinner, go walk around, go see the things that are close to the hotel.”

(On how he’s experienced Hawaii after hearing about it from former teammates who played in Pro Bowls at Aloha Stadium)

“I think it’s awesome. Obviously, I never came to the Pro Bowl out here – or in Orlando – but I’m from Orlando, so for me Hawaii’s way cooler than Orlando. I think this definitely should have been the spot, but I’m sure they moved it for whatever reasons they had.”