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TRANSCRIPT: Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Sean McVay recaps preseason Week 2 game against Dallas Cowboys

Here’s what McVay had to say following the Rams’ 14-10 loss to the Cowboys on Saturday — still plenty of positives and (unfortunately) a noteworthy injury

Dallas Cowboys v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

Rams Head Coach Sean McVay

(Opening Remarks)

“I really think starting out, what a great atmosphere and environment it was. The fans were awesome from the start to finish. Being here in general over the last couple of days has been a great experience for our organization and they certainly have made us feel welcome. It’s a real credit to the fans, the people here and we’re very thankful for the opportunity. Again, like anything else, it was a great learning opportunity. We’ll look at this tape, we’ll clean it up and we’ll move forward.”

(On LB Natrez Patrick and OLB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo making their presence felt)

“They have. (LB) Natrez (Patrick) has done a nice job. Really, we just transitioned him to outside linebacker a couple weeks ago almost by necessity as a result of (DL) Justin Lawler’s injury and (OLB Trevon Young) ‘T-Young’ being banged up. He’s really done a good job. I think (Outside Linebackers Coach) Chris Shula’s been outstanding, in terms of helping him develop and progress quickly. Then, getting ‘Obo’ (OLB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo) out there, it’s been great to see him. You see some of the flashes of why we liked him so much, why he was such a productive player at Oklahoma. He drew a couple holdings tonight and made his presence felt. Like we said, we’ll look back at the film, but you definitely felt those guys and that was a positive for sure.”

(On RB Darrell Henderson Jr.)

“I thought he did a good job. I thought, for the most part, he made some big-time catches, you could feel him in the pass game. Not a whole lot of space in the run game, but I think overall, good ball security. I thought it was a step in the right direction where he was on the screws with his assignments. You could feel some of the things that we liked so much about him coming out of Memphis. You see the aggressive hands and you see some of the production as a receiver. It was an encouraging night. I thought (RB) John Kelly did a really nice job as well. He had some big time catches that he ended up creating afterwards to get us in some third-and-manageables on a second-and-long. He had some tough runs early on where he bounced it out on the perimeter on some of our downhill, direct runs. Both of those guys did a nice job tonight.”

(On if he could see the Rams coming back to Hawaii in the future)

“What I would say is the experience was outstanding just based on the reception from the people in Hawaii and how they made us feel. It’s always a product of, ‘Ok, how much would we be able to practice against the opponent?’ Us playing Dallas in the regular season poses some challenges, but we certainly feel like it was a great experience for our team, we loved being here, and the people certainly made us feel great. It was certainly a great experience.”

(On LB Dakota Allen’s performance)

“He did a great job. I think he’s another guy – he was injured in the offseason, you see just the play-making ability, the physicality when he was at Texas Tech, and those are some of the reasons we like him. I think (Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers Coach) Joe Barry does a really great job with him and he’s getting more and more comfortable with what we’re asking him to do, some of the adjustments that he’s got to do within the framework of our system, and it has been good to see (LB) Dakota (Allen). You see the physicality. When he arrives, he arrives violently, and he did a good job tonight.”

(On LB Micah Kiser not playing in the second half)

“He got banged up. He had something with his pec (pectoral muscle). We’ll have a little more information later on and we’ll figure that out and we’ll give you an update tomorrow for sure.”

(On if Kiser’s injury makes him more hesitant to play players in the preseason)

“Yeah. Part of the reason that you want to be careful, but you can’t go so overboard. With guys that have shown and established the fact that they can play significant snaps, we just felt with our team that was the approach we wanted to take. Football is a violent, physical game where injuries are inevitable, and you always have to be able to adjust and adapt accordingly. We’re hopeful that we’ll get some good information back on Micah. When you look at one of the guys that’s projected as a starter that’s actually participated, if you end up losing him, certainly I think you’d say, ‘Man, I wish I had handled that differently.’ But you’ve got to trust the decisions and everything that we do is for a reason and what we think is in the best interest of the players. Sometimes these unfortunate things happen and if that is the case with him, we’ll put our arms around him, we’ll support him and he’ll come back stronger. But we’ll figure out exactly what’s going on with him tomorrow.”

(On S Marqui Christian)

“Playing the safety position, he’s always had the athleticism, really, since we got here a couple of years ago. (He) made a big impact when he missed (former Rams LB) Mark Baron for the first few games of last year, and he did a nice job playing, really, an underneath dime linebacker. I think he’s really done a great job under (Safeties) Coach (Ejiro) Evero’s leadership of ascending as a safety. Getting more and more confident in the scheme, understands the nuances of the calls and the different things based on what an offense presents. I think his suddenness, his physicality and just an overall good football player that plays with a passion that ends up being contagious to his teammates. Marqui has been a really good bright spot for us.”

(On how he would rate todays performance from his quarterbacks)

“I think (QB) Blake Bortles did a really good job tonight. I think he made some good throws in that first drive. I think the second drive when we ended up getting the sudden change, got the short field, he did a great job getting us down the field, then being able to finish with a touchdown pass. Blake (Bortles) did a great job got us in and out of the right run calls. I thought it was exactly what we wanted to accomplish for him. I thought when QB Brandon (Allen) came in, he had some really great bright spots. I thought the two-minute drive the end of the half, we made the third and six, off-schedule play he flush to his left he keeps the drive alive and we give ourselves a chance to kick a field goal. Brandon did a nice job with his opportunities and there is a couple things that I think you want back from a decision making stand-point. Really with John, did have a whole lot of opportunities. We kind of got ourselves in some bad down and distances as a result in self-inflicted wounds. You see the athleticism when we didn’t move the spot with him a little bit, but I think its hard to say really. He didn’t have much of a chance to make anything happen just based on the way things played out. Like anything else we will go back and look at the tape. I think there is some things positively, that you can take away from all three of those guys and there is always going to be things that we can get better with.”

(On what he liked with the offensive execution from tonight compared to last week’s game)

“First half was good. The second half was really sloppy and not even close to the standard we expect to operate at. I’m not talking about whether you end up scoring points, I’m talking about not beating yourself with things that take no talent. You’ve heard us talk about that before. Those are things that we’ve just got to do a better job with. You can say what you want with some younger players but we expect them to ascend quickly. They’ve got to do a good job of making sure that we get those things cleaned up and that’s both coaches and players, collectively. In the first half I was really pleased with the touchdown, scoring drive, giving ourselves a chance to kick a field goal and I thought the two-minute at the end, when you get the ball back, number one thing, you don’t want to put your defense back on to the field. To get ourselves in a position where we have a lot of confidence in (K) Greg (Zuerlein) that he’s going to hit that kick more times than not. Those were the positive take-aways. We got a couple of runs going but most part the second half we have to get a lot better in all phases of the offense.”

(On if the referees explained the result of his challenges on two pass interferences)

“A lot of it, really, we’re trying to educate ourselves. I don’t want anybody to think that I’m totally going crazy. The first two that we’ve thrown out, I would not have challenged those in a normal season if you’re really thinking that. The third one that we actually threw out was the only one that if you said, ‘It’s a real game that counts, you’re going to really put the flag on the field.’ A lot of it is for educational purposes. On a bang bang-type play, how are they seeing it? I think they’ve done a good job of communicating to us the clear and obvious, the egregious plays. I thought the one that they overturned was a good example of that, based on when the defender arrived, different things like that. I think the one in Oakland last week and the first one (tonight), if they had overturned the first one I challenged tonight, I would have been mad at them. Those are more educational things than anything else and we’re just using these opportunities to really gain that knowledge so then we can develop a plan that’s smart for our team when these games count.”