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TRANSCRIPT: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay, RB Todd Gurley August 26 press conference

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

Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay

(On if everyone other than the players requiring surgery will practice on Monday)

“As far as I know, everybody’s good to go. We just had a good walk-thru right there and other than the guys that we talked about that were injured as a result of playing in the game the other night, we’re pretty healthy. I think (T) Bobby Evans we’ll be smart with, with the bone bruise that we talked about. He would be the only guy outside of the players that are going to require surgery that will be out today.”

(On CB Aqib Talib’s status)

“We’re building him (CB Aqib Talib) back in. He’s done some stuff. To say that he’s fully back in it – we’re not at that point yet, but he worked out before the game. He’s feeling good and we anticipate him resuming truly full participation at some point this week. He’s been a participant and just hasn’t been a full participant yet.”

(On if there is progress on contract extensions for QB Jared Goff and CB Marcus Peters)

“I think right now we’ve been so busy just kind of handling training camp, things like that. Those are two very important players to us as we move forward this season. That’s kind of where we’re at right now with that.”

(On if he is preparing for the Carolina Panthers as the team ends the preseason)

“It’s a little bit of that, and then it’s also focusing on continuing to establish our identity, some of the things we want to do offensively, defensively and on special teams. We’ll start to tailor and trim our focus towards the Panthers as we get closer and closer. We’re kind of still in the mode of, ‘Alright, let’s really get good with the finer details,’ and then we have some different things on both sides of the football that I think we would anticipate utilizing against Carolina, but to say that we’ve truly put ourselves in the game plan mode for them, that wouldn’t be accurate yet. There is a little bit of eyes looking towards them coming to a theatre near you.”

(On LB Dakota Allen being in the middle of everything during the preseason games)

“He’s done a great job. He certainly has made his presence felt and I think you feel what a physical football player he is, the instincts. Made a lot of good plays in the run game and then he showed up the other night in some other opportunities that he had coverage-wise. Been really pleased with him, it’s been good to just have him out there healthy and get a chance to compete. You see some of the things that we like so much. He’s definitely making a case for himself.”

(On DL John Franklin-Myers getting a chance to play)

“I thought it was his best. I thought he did a really nice job. He had a sack in our four-man, rush where we’re playing three-deep behind that. It thought he was able to push the pocket consistently, played physical against he run. I thought both (DL) John Franklin(-Myers) and I thought (DE) Morgan Fox was outstanding. I think from the interior defensive line, those two guys and then (DT) Tanzel Smart continued to show up consistently. Really, it was good to see John out there, feeling healthy, feeling ready to go. I thought also that was Morgan Fox’s best performance of the preseason as well.”

(On the short week and his philosophy of not playing starters in the preseason)

“You never like to see guys get injured. Like I said, there is a lot of merit to playing in these games, where you’re actually playing real football. You have the ability to play tackle football. For quarterbacks to get rushed, for running backs to get tackled to the ground, but that was the decision that we felt like was best. You never want to see guys get injured, whether it be our team or anybody else, that’s always the worst parts about it. But where we’re at, we feel good. We’re healthy, unfortunately we had some injuries that were sustained that other night in that action, but that’s part of the game. You always want to try to keep players as healthy as possible, especially going into Week 1. For the most part, I think we’re in a pretty good place.”

(On how much roster evaluation goes into games versus practice)

“It’s really all of it. We use all of the ways we are trying to evaluate guys in those competitive situations to really try to project who are the best 53 (players). Certainly, there are some positions that I think you have a better chance to evaluate in the live action. But, we try to do as good of a job as we can creating those competitive scenarios, situations, but it is all part of the evaluation process. Even how they handle themselves in meetings, how they retain information, how they handle the above-the-neck walk-thrus, that’s a big part of what we do. So, everything that these guys are asked to do, they are being evaluated in that phase and really trying to carve out a role for themselves. Whether it be establishing themselves as a starter on offense or defense or starter in some of our special teams phases, it’s all part of the process. I think it’s a little bit easier depending upon the certain positions, to say, ‘all right, you can put a little bit more weight on one or the other’, but it is all a collaboration of all those.”

(On if LB Travin Howard can play safety in addition to linebacker)

“He’s a guy that has the athleticism you would think just based on the way he moves around. He’s been exclusively a linebacker playing at that inside spot. Some of the things that we ask those guys to do, when we get into our dime-personnel defense, he’s doing lot of the things that we ask of some of our underneath defenders that are playing from the secondary position. I thought he did a great job. We mention Dakota Allen, but you also recognize (LB Travin Howard) ‘T-Howard’ a lot the other night. Pass to the flat, you can just feel him uncoil on that, playing the quarters as a zone-match two player, he did a really nice job the other night. That was one of the things (General Manager) Les (Snead) and his group and our coaches like so much about him – was the athleticism, the speed and the ability to go sideline to sideline. I think he’s showing that. But haven’t done that with him, but I wouldn’t ever, say never, I guess.”

RB Todd Gurley

(On the Utah Jazz Donovan Mitchell jersey he was wearing)

“Oh yeah, I like it. I just opened it. Had to support my boy (Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell).”

(On if Mitchell sent him the jersey)

“No, I got it off the Nike site.”

(On if he bought the jersey to support Mitchell)

“Yeah. I wouldn’t ask him to send me one when I can get one myself.”

(On if he will have Mitchell sign the jersey for him)

“I’ll get that. I’m thinking this is the one I’m going to wear and then I’ll get another one for him to sign.”

(On how long he has been friends with Mitchell)

“Recent friends. Good dude, man. Good dude. I like his game, just thought I’d support him and wear the jersey.”

(On if many of his friends wear Gurley jerseys)

“Oh yeah. You don’t see it all the time? (Laughs) I know the baseball guys do. I think usually each team will do a jersey day or something like that. I’ll get some former (University of) Georgia guys and then (San Diego Padres third baseman) Manny Machado wore it last year. You get it every now and then.”

(On if Mitchell has ever tweeted support of Gurley)

“He keeps me updated a lot. You see him always being active on Twitter and stuff like that. Whether it’s social stuff, things in the community. I’ll see stuff he might have re-tweeted or replied to and then kind of get aware on that situation. He does a pretty good job of just staying active.”

(On if he’s looking forward to the final week of the preseason)

“Yeah. There’s only like 13 days left, so it’s coming up pretty shortly and just getting ready for the season, really.”

(On if he likes not playing in the preseason)

“It’s good. There’s pros and cons. I honestly like it especially that we changed the rule from the 53(-man roster) and just keeping everybody and making that roster cuts after the final preseason game. It kind of felt like guys had to play back in the day because of numbers. I feel like it gives the younger guys a lot more opportunities to make plays, go out there. Kind of excited to see (RB) Matt (Colburn), Matt didn’t get a chance to get in last game, but a game like this, he will be able to get in and get a lot of work. J.D. (RB Justin Davis) as well and then J.K. (RB John Kelly).”

(On if he hears from friends on other teams that they wish they had a preseason like him)

“Yeah, I call them all the time and tell them I had an off-day and they’re like, ‘Man, we just practiced for three hours.’ I got a lot of friends that play in the preseason, so I’ll check up on them and see how they’re doing, how their preseason goes. They definitely wish they weren’t playing, for sure.”

(On what it feels like to play a Week 1 game)

“For football, I feel like NFL-wise, it’s a lot different. It’s when you really start prepping, start preparing. I feel like just growing up, it was just like another game. Now, it’s more just like the preparation, looking at tips, or what (Panthers LB Luke) Kuechley does. Just little stuff like that, see what their defense does. What they do against 11 or 12 personnel. It’s just really like flip the switch to kind of just lock in and just pay attention on every little detail.”

(On if he’s got a chance to know QB Blake Bortles since he’s been here)

“Yeah, I was just talking to (QB) Blake (Bortles) – cool guy, laid back, chill. He’s a cool guy, super cool.”

(On if he’s conscious of what S Eric Weddle does on the defensive side)

“I got a chance to know him a lot, just from this past offseason. He’s the last guy that leaves here every day. Just seeing his work ethic and seeing what he’s done. Now I see why he’s the player he is, why he’s in his 13th year in the league. He’s a good guy, a family man and a guy that just loves football. I kind of asked him, ‘What are you still playing for?’ He gave me the answer, he still loves the game, still playing at a high level. A guy like that deserves the best.”

(On if notices S Eric Weddle disguises on the defense)

“Yeah, he does a good job, he does a great job, just little stuff, like I said, he’s down in the box a lot. Even if there is protection, even though I know he’s not coming, it doesn’t matter, I still have to be good with my eyes and that might just take me off my route or my release just a half of second, by just checking him. He does a good job of getting everybody lined up. He’s a work horse back there. He’s getting guys – DB’s, linemen, linebackers – he really, really, controls and demands a lot out of the defense.’”