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TRANSCRIPT: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay, QB Jared Goff August 21 press conference

Here’s what coach & Goff had to say today.

Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff addresses the media at a press conference, Aug. 7, 2019.
Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff addresses the media at a press conference, Aug. 7, 2019.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay

(On what roster cut-down day like for him)

“I think it’s never a fun day. I think it’s something that you know is inevitably around the corner, but, when you’re around these 90 guys right after you spent the time building and developing relationships and then you end up having to cut it down to 53 (man rosters). Fortunately, a good amount of those guys that you end up letting go are part of the practice squad, but, it’s never a fun thing. What I’ve always learned from the great coaches or people that have kind of been through it, is all you can do is be clear, open and honest and appr eciative of what these guys have done, even if it doesn’t work out. That’s why for us, the thing that we want to make sure that we’re doing is, if it doesn’t work out with the Rams, we’re helping these guys put good stuff on tape, trying to help put them in positions. I think that’s where, in a lot of instances, some of the guys that maybe have already established themselves as guys we’re counting on, it does help because you get a chance to play more and compete a little bit more in some of these preseason games than maybe you would at some of the other clubs.”

(On if his first-team defense played in Week 3 of the preseason last year and if that will be the case again against the Broncos on Saturday)

“They did, yeah. They played about that one series. We got the turnover and then they were out of there. That’ll be off the table (for this season). The reason we did that last year – and really we kind of fell into it – because we were planning on playing our offense last year, if you guys remember. But we had some injuries up front and it kind of had that snowball effect, where as a result of having some guys out, and then especially when you were playing -- we were playing the Houston Texans and they were going to play (DE Jadeveon) Clowney and (DE J.J.) Watt and some of those guys and we didn’t feel like that was going to be the smartest approach for us. We had some new people on defense that we were counting on – the two new corners, (DT Ndamukong) Suh inside and some different continuity. (LB) Cory (Littleton) starting at the MIKE linebacker spot, so there were a lot of changes that we had that we felt like it was necessary. Then, real quickly, you see those guys, you said, ‘Alright, those few plays were enough.’ Not that we have it figured out by any stretch, but that’s just the approach that we think is best for us and we feel good about having gotten a chance to have those four practice opportunities against the (Los Angeles) Chargers and the (Oakland) Raiders, combined. We’ll get a chance to have some inter-squad scrimmages over the next week and a half or so.”

(On if a 16-game season plays into not rushing to play starters in the preseason)

“Yeah, I think you’d like to think that. I think the main part about it is it’s not something – and you kind of continue to learn as you go -- that’s really just what we felt like has organically taken place. That’s not to say that there’s not an appreciation for what the preseason entails and playing real football. I think there is a lot of merit to that. But when you look at some of the continuity now that we have on both sides of the ball coming back, and you say, ‘Okay, if something were to happen, is it really worth that risk in our mind?’ We just felt like that answer is no. That’s the approach that we’re taking. I totally understand if people don’t agree with that, but we always make decisions that we feel like are in the best interest of our team and that’s really just for this unit. Now, does that mean we’ll always be able to have that luxury? I think if you have a different amount of continuity and returning players, then the narrative and the conversation we’re having is a little bit different.”

(On if he has an update on LB Micah Kiser’s surgery)

“It went really well. He’s going to be out for a long period of time. As far as what that means for him – IR (injured reserve), things of that nature – we haven’t gone down that road. Everything went well and that’s an unfortunate thing that’s happened to a great player and a guy that’s handled himself in the right way. If there’s anybody that you know is going to handle it the right way in terms of attacking the rehab, like we talk about, letting these setbacks be setups for comebacks, it’s going to be (LB) Micah Kiser. Hate it for him, but looking forward to that time when we get him back and I know he’s going to attack this process the right way.”

(On what went into the compass design displayed on various shirts and in the team locker room)

“I think as a coaching staff, you’re always trying to just learn a little bit more and figure out different ways to really give messages. But, you in essence are saying the same things. I think we felt like as a coaching staff and then with some of the feedback from our players, a compass is something that is relevant for us. Always use the core values and characteristics that we want to operate with on a daily basis to help us stay the course. Inevitably there’s a lot of different distractions, different adversities, staying humble in some of the success that we’ve been fortunate enough to have. I think this really kind of represents, ‘Hey, how do we stay the course through a 16-game season?’ Hopefully you give yourself a chance to play after that. A compass is kind of something that we felt like was relevant, especially coming off a good season, but making sure that we understand that we have to produce in the present, be where our feet are planted and what we did last year won’t do anything for us this year. It is something we can draw on, as long as we learn from it, both the good and the bad.”

(On how much time he spent developing the compass after previously developing the pyramid)

“None of these are really my original ideas. These are all things that, as a coaching staff, and then whether it be reading books or acquiring different insight on very similar topics from a variety of things that I happen to enjoy, it’s kind of a collaboration of things. I saw the compass and kind of got the idea about that from Kevin Eastman. (He) wrote a book ‘Why the Best are the Best’ and he had something in there and I felt like it was relevant and resonated with our football team. Then you say, ‘Okay, how can we put that in Rams language and some of the things that we value based on what our players and our coaches deem important?’”

(On what he has seen out of WR Nsibma Webster)

“I think it’s the same thing you’ve probably noticed, he’s just made plays. There are certain guys that you can’t always appreciate in some of these things practice settings, but when you get out there and you’re playing real football and where it’s tackle, There’s a real crowd in the stands and the lights come on, certain guys just have a good way about themselves, where no moment is too big. What I would say, what he’s shown is he’s a baller. Whether it be doing different things and able to adjust on the fly for (Special Teams Coordinator John Fassel) ‘Bones’ in a variety of spots with whatever phase (of special teams) that we are in. Offensively, whether it’s blocking the point of attack, making big catches, having a feel for finding a soft spot off-schedule with (QB) Brandon Allen the other day, running after the catch on a screen. He’s just done a really nice job. I think more than anything, you just kind of feel his presence as a player in these first two preseason games. He’s a guy I’ve been very encouraged with. I think (Wide Receivers Coach) Eric Yarber and (Assistant Wide Receivers Coach) Liam Coen our receiving coaches have done an outstanding job really developing that group as a whole. But (WR) Nsimba (Webster) is certainly somebody that’s stepped up, made his presence known and you can’t help but see what a good job he’s done in these first couple games.”

(On the difficulty of making decisions at the linebacker position for his 53-man roster)

“It will and those are good things. The goal is for these guys to make our decisions difficult because there are so many people that you feel like are NFL caliber players and deserving of winning a shot to be on that 53 (man roster). Those are good problems. Again, I think these guys have done an outstanding job and you can’t say enough about what our coaches have done in terms of developing these guys. Whether it be (Outside Linebackers Coach) Chris Shula and those outside linebackers, (Defensive Line Coach) Eric Henderson and (Assistant Defensive Line/Defensive Quality Control Coach) Thad Bogardus with those inside players. Then you look at (Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers/Front Coordinator) Joe Barry with the inside linebackers and what he’s done and what he means to us as an assistant head coach, but then also a great defensive coach. I think it’s a big reason why you see these guys like (LB) Dakota (Allen), (LB) Bryce (Hager) steps up in a big way last week You look at (LB) Natrez (Patrick) being able to play inside linebacker when he started here, then being able to transition to the outside where you feel him. Getting (OLB) Obo (Okoronkwo) back, so there has been a lot of positives and definitely going to be some difficult decisions, but those are champagne problems.”

(On if there are things he can’t evaluate QB Jared Goff with him no playing the preseason)

“I think it’s the risk, reward. There is nothing like being able to evaluate a quarterback and seeing a live rush when they can actually get tackled. There is no way you can ever mimic and emulate that until you get into a real game setting. I think we try to create as much stress as possible in some of those more controlled environments and atmospheres. That is the most difficult thing in terms of the translating of when you see a real pass rush, because that’s really what separates it. There’s an element of when you know, all right, I’m protected, I can’t truly get hit. I think he’s done an outstanding job. We always talk about and I know (Pass Game Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach) Shane (Waldron) and (Assistant Quarterbacks Coach) Zac (Robinson) are echoing the same thing - let’s move, let’s play within the rhythm and timing of the play, lets legitimately play these out as if you could get tackled. But, there’s a certain thing and I think he would be able to articulate it a little bit better than me, having been in the line of fire. When you actually see a live rush, there is no way you can simulate that in practice unless you are letting guys tackle him.”

(On if when situations come up around the league with other teams if he ever thinks how he would handle the situation)

“I think you always try to use the other examples that you have as a chance to say, ‘What would the way that we would handle it be.’ Having a plan in place. I think everything goes back to communication and a mutual respect that exists and everybody being on the same page. What I respect about that specific situation, you see (Raiders Head Coach) Coach (Jon) Gruden and he has his player’s backs and that is what we want to make sure our guys understand here and that’s very important to us. Absolutely, the things that go on outside of our organization are great learning opps for us and I definitely look at those things as a chance to really ask yourself how would you handle it? Some of the situations, not exclusive to that makes you appreciative of the guys and the communication that we’d like to be able to have here.”

(On if he’s sat down and had conversations with the players about social issues since Jay-Z’s partnership with the NFL)

“I think the biggest thing is that we always emphasize is the development of real relationships from a foundational aspect. I think that naturally and organically occurs, where you can have those authentic and genuine conversations. I’d like to think that there is an open platform where if a guy feels a certain kind of way or has a problem with the way that we want to be able to operate organizationally. I’m not worried about who is right, I’m worried about what is right. I always want to be somebody that is learning and listening. I think that gives you the best chance to lead after that. I think it’s more about, let’s develop the relationships and have a clear-cut understanding on where guys are coming from, why they might have a certain perspective or value certain things. Fortunate for us, those have been things where I think we are always on the same page and you’re continuing to learn every single day.”

QB Jared Goff

(On what roster cut-down day is like for him)

“It’s never fun. You build relationships with a lot of these guys that unfortunately won’t make the team. It’s never fun. But, on the flip side, there is a galvanizing part of it where you find out who the final guys are and really come together from there.”

(On if he is going to have to make an adjustment to live action once the regular season begins)

“I don’t think it will be any different than last year. I think it’s just the same. I think obviously there’s no substitute for it, but with the way that we approach things in the preseason, that’s the way we do it and I think it will be just fine. I’m not worried about it. I’m excited to get hit, I guess. Kind of get that first one out of the way, but no, I’ll be fine.”

(On what the compass in the locker room means to him)

“They’re all over the facility. Last year it was the pyramid and this year it’s a compass. It just has a lot of our core values of our team and a lot of the stuff we try to hold ourselves to. It involves accountability, dependability, communication, both verbal and visual. There’s a lot of little nuances that I’m sure he (Head Coach Sean McVay) could do a little better of articulating than me, but it’s a good reminder everyday for us to be who we say we are and just continue to hold that standard high.”

(On if those visuals around the facility help keep everyone moving in one direction)

“No doubt. I think so. I think the compass – again, I think he (Head Coach Sean McVay) could articulate it better – but, the compass for us is navigating and it’s kind of a metaphor in a way for us to move forward in the right direction.”

(On how Head Coach Sean McVay presents the compass)

“Like I mentioned, last year was a pyramid, so there was the idea of building blocks into a pyramid and what it does. This year is the compass, and this happened our first day back in April was the idea of the compass and everything it stands for.”

(On returning home to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for Saturday’s game against the Broncos)

“Excited to see it. Last year was tough with that construction. It changed some of our parking situations and I know a lot of the fans were dealing with some different stuff parking-wise. Now that it’s done – I haven’t seen it yet, but I heard it’s beautiful and I’m really excited to see it and excited to see my suite I have this year.”

(On him having a suite)

“I do. For my family. Me and (WR) Cooper (Kupp) actually split one, so we have one shared. I’m excited to go up there and see it.”

(On if he’s purchased a suite at the new stadium in Hollywood Park)

“No. The new stadium is not finished yet. They did sell those big ones but I didn’t buy one of those (laughs).”

(On what it’s like playing in front of the crowd in his home stadium)

“It will feel good, it will definitely feel good. Like I mentioned the last time we were there was the Dallas game, and all the excitement around that. Coming back in front of the home crowd, it will be fun.”

(On the atmosphere for the preseason game)

“it will be fun, it will be a really good atmosphere and I know they are as excited to see us, as we are excited to see them.”

(On if he see’s a difference in WR Josh Reynolds compared to last year in terms of his confidence)

“I think he’s really taken a huge step from April to now, just with the way he’s been playing and the standard he holds himself to. When you’re in the room with those three guys that are starters, with (WR) Robert (Woods), (WR) Brandin (Cooks) and (WR) Cooper (Kupp), you have to be at that standard and I think Josh understands that. Josh easily fills in does everything that they can do and he knows that. I have just as much faith and trust in him as I do the other three, so he’s a fourth starter for us. I know we’ve mentioned that. Truly a fourth starter and a guy that we can put in there at any position and anytime, and does a great job. Just seeing him progress over the last year has been awesome. like I said, I have so much faith in him now.”

(On if he watched any of the preseason games in any particular way)

“I’m sure we will watch some of it for Carolina. There’s obviously stuff that they are not showing on there, just like we aren’t and every team in the league does. There are just different things that you can pick up, as far as personnel goes and base structures go. For the most part, it’s all just people kind of throwing stuff out there and trying to see what works.”

(On If fashion or clothing something that comes from his personality)

“No I don’t think so. I’ve become interested in it in the past year or so, but growing up I was never really truly into it. As I got to the NFL and started to live in L.A and be around it more, I think you are influenced by it and do get to express yourself in different ways that you wouldn’t be able to in other cities. I think with Banana Republic, it’s exciting and it’s a California brand and something that’s close to home for me, and it’s been fun. Really, looking forward to what we can do with them and it’s been really cool. With the thing I started, me and my friends honestly the ‘JG16’ thing with just a cool logo idea and put it on some hats and t-shirts and decided to sell it. Hopefully partner with a charity here soon and get to donate some of those proceeds.”

(On if he’s looking to advance with Banana Republic with his own Jared Goff Line)

“Oh no, I don’t think so. That’s a long ways away.”