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TRANSCRIPT: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay August 22 press conference

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Here’s what coach had to say today.

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay addresses the media at a press conference during a training camp joint practice against the Oakland Raiders, Aug. 7, 2019.
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay addresses the media at a press conference during a training camp joint practice against the Oakland Raiders, Aug. 7, 2019.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay

(On what took place during today’s practice)

“It was just a scrimmage. We tried to simulate what would be equivalent to a game where we ended up getting about 60 plays for offense and defense. Had some normal stoppages that would occur where you did some stuff for some of the younger guys with the Denver cards. It was good. We got a bunch of different stuff and really tried to kind of take us through where we simulated halftime and kind of an inter-squad scrimmage, if you will, that really is very similar to how we play games for those guys that haven’t participated.”

(On if it was for the starters)

“Yeah.”

(On what has been WR Josh Reynold’s biggest jump from last season)

“I just think the confidence. I think he’s getting better, really, in all phases. He’s got great body control for a player of his size, he’s got excellent hands, he’s got a great catch radius just because of the length that he has and I think he’s getting more and more comfortable as he continues to play. I thought last year was great where you could see no moment is too big for him. Making big time plays – the catch that he had in the two-minute drive where I called a bad play in a quarters coverage where he’s running an in-breaking route and he aggressively crosses face and steps through it, goes basically through a gauntlet of guys aggressively trying to rip at the ball and gets extra yardage. That play was instrumental in us getting into scoring position and continue to extend that game and ultimately end up winning it. He’s gotten better and better and I think (QB) Jared (Goff) mentioned the other day, we look at him as a starting player and he’s going to continue to play a lot for us.”

(On RB Todd Gurley II’s progress)

“He’s feeling good. He’s right on the track that we’ve had. We’ve kind of kept consistent with that every other day format as far as he’s concerned and he’s feeling good.”

(On QB Blake Bortles and if he feels confident with Bortles should he need to play during the regular season)

“He (QB Blake Bortles) does a great job. He’s gotten better and better. He’s played a lot of football in this league so he’s an experienced player. I think he sees the field really well and he’s got a comfort level with a lot of the things that we’re asking of him just because he’s run a lot of very similar, if not the same concepts in a lot of the same situations. He’s done a really good job. Certainly, we feel great about where (QB) Jared (Goff) is at right now and god forbid if something were to happen, that’s why you go get Blake Bortles because you do have confidence that if he had to, he could step in and lead the team and guys have confidence and belief in him. I think he’s demonstrated that over the course of his career and like you’ve heard us say, he’s got a great way about him, I think he’s picked things up really well and he really solidifies that backup quarterback spot for us. Especially with how well Jared’s playing, the comfort that those two have with one another, we’re in a good place there.”

(On WR Robert Woods)

“I think just like any other player that you’ve been around that’s great, there’s no complacency that sets in. I think what (WR) Robert (Woods) has done such a great job of is he’s demonstrated that he’s a true, versatile, complete receiver. You joke with him, but when you watch the way he competes without the ball, it’s almost as impressive as some of the stuff he’s doing whether it’s carrying the football, route in the route tree whether it be short, intermediate, down the field, he’s a big-time competitor. He’s got a great demeanor about himself, too. He’s an elite competitor and when he steps in between those lines, for such a nice, even-keeled guy off the field, he’s an elite competitor and he’s gotten better and better. He was able to stay healthy for the entire year last year. I think everybody saw the production and he’s only gotten better this offseason. We expect big things from Robert again leading the way.”

(On if Gurley participated in Thursday’s scrimmage)

“Not today, no. It was part of the format that we had set out and that was kind of the plan going into today.”

(On how confident he feels about the linebacker position and who steps in with Kiser’s injury)

“I think it’s to be determined. I think you feel good about (LB) Bryce (Hager) stepping into that role because he and (LB) Micah (Kiser) were competing for that. Bryce is a guy that’s played a lot of football and he’s done a nice job for us. He’s got some familiarity with our system having played in it now for the last couple years. He’s a great communicator, so I think he’s done a really good job. Then, you look at the production when he’s gotten his opportunities – you feel his presence. I think he’s going to do a nice job. You hate it for Micah, but both those guys were players that we had a lot of confidence in. Unfortunately, as a result of the injury that occurred to Micah, it kind of naturally brings Bryce into that role. But, those guys were competing for that role as is and now Bryce will have that role because of the injury.”

(On if there is a play or moment with LB Clay Matthews that illustrates what he hopes to see from Matthews this season)

“He’s (LB Clay Matthews) made a lot of plays. If you’re talking over the course of his career, there’s a handful. Even just since he’s been with us, in a lot of the crunch time situations that you try and create in these practice settings, he’s got a knack for the ball. The other day, it was a fourth-down situation, we tried a certain play and he bats the ball down. Whether it’s coming clean on a rush, he’s got a great feel for some of the different things movement-wise and he’s one of those moveable pieces on the defense. I don’t know how many guys have ever been an outside linebacker rusher All-Pro and then also an inside linebacker All-Pro, which I think is a credit to his versatility. He looks healthy, he’s moving around great and then I just think the accumulation of experience when you’re a smart, conscientious player like Clay is, that accumulation of reps you just put them in the memory bank. Then, in a lot of ways, you’re just seeing repeated scenarios and situations that play out. I’ve heard (Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Phillips) say this and other people say it, ‘Smart players get better.’ Clay is the epitome of one of those guys and he’s been doing it for a long time and we’re glad that he’s here with us.”

(On returning to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Saturday)

“It’ll be great. We’re looking forward to it. Excited to see the upgrades that they’ve made. The last time we were there, it was a really positive night being able to play the Cowboys in the divisional round. We’re looking forward to getting back there at the Coliseum and hopefully having a lot of good memories that we can create this season and Denver starts that process for us.”

(On how the young offensive linemen are performing)

“I think they’ve done a good job. The games end up being a good chance to truly evaluate those guys. Some of the settings that they’re in, it’s hard to look good blocking (DT) Aaron Donald. I don’t care who you are. Sometimes they’re in some pressure situations, but they’ve continued to get more and more comfortable with the fundamentals, the techniques, some of the things that (Run Game Coordinator) Coach (Aaron) Kromer, (Offensive Quality Control Coach) Zak (Kromer) and (Assistant Offensive Line Coach) Andy (Dickerson) are coaching in that room. Like we’ve said, been really pleased with (T) David Edwards. I think he’s done a nice job continuing to ascend and hopefully those other guys will continue to follow that lead.”

(On C Brian Allen and T Joe Noteboom)

“(C) Brian (Allen) and (OL) Joe (Noteboom) have been great. I’ve been really pleased with them. I was more alluding to the rookies and those younger guys but when you talk about Brian and Joe, I’m kind of looking at those guys – even though they’re second-year players – as veterans with how youthful we can be outside those starting guys. Brian and Joe have really done well. I think they’re continuing to get more comfortable, really, in a similar manner to what I was saying with David Edwards. I’ve just been really impressed with the rapport that exists right now between Brian and Jared. Their ability to communicate, Brian’s ability to confidently get out the calls, whether it be running it or if we’re throwing the football and some of the protections. I think there’s been some settings where you try and create some stressful looks for him that we really hadn’t really been able to do in years past. I think as a result of some of the things that we’re doing on both sides of the ball, it’s great work for both our guys. I think Brian’s really benefitted from all the different things he’s seeing from our defensive structures. Then Joe, in the same manner, has done a nice job being able to play next to (T) Andrew Whitworth, with that communication that’s a great guy to be able to learn from. I think both those guys are in a good position and we’re very confident in them.”

(On Brian Allen’s confidence and the importance of that in his position)

“I think it’s vital. Really, other than the quarterback, you could argue that the quarterback and the center are naturally thrust into roles where the communication is vital. It’s got to occur and you’re got to be great at it to be able to be efficient at that spot. Especially when you look at how we’re structurally set up from an offensive standpoint. You can’t emphasize enough how important that communication is. I think the rapport between the center and the quarterback, their ownership, whether it be the cadence, the calls and protections, the targets in the run game, all the different nuances that occur with what we want to try to present to defenses, the different tempos, all that kind of stuff. You can’t do it unless you have really smart players at the center and quarterback spot. Fortunately for us, we do and both those guys have a command and a presence about themselves, where you’re naturally thrust into that role of communication. You can’t play if you don’t do it and those guys have done a really nice job.”

(On DT Sebastian Joseph-Day’s development and what he wants to see in the final preseason game)

“You just want to see him continue to improve. You want to see him make plays, do what he’s asked to do based on whatever that call is that we’re running defensively. He’s getting more and more comfortable and I think it’s a credit to (Defensive Line) Coach (Eric) Henderson, he’s done an excellent job with these guys. You really see some of these younger players continuing to develop and Sebastian is definitely one that stood out. I think you just want to see him play good, productive football. What does that look like? Depends on what the defensive call is. He’s played good, efficient football to this point. We expect a lot of the same as we finish up the preseason.”