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TRANSCRIPT: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay, Quarterbacks Coach/Pass Game Coordinator/Co-Offensive Coordinator Shane Waldron, Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator/Co-Offensive Coordinator Aaron Kromer, QB Jared Goff, August 3 press conference

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Here’s what the quartet had to say as the Rams get ready to wrap up training camp.

Los Angeles Rams LB Troy Reeder during training camp, Jul. 30, 2019.
Los Angeles Rams LB Troy Reeder during training camp, Jul. 30, 2019.
Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images

Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay

(On how things went at practice today)

“It was okay. We were sluggish. I thought it seemed like the defense had good energy, offensively not even close to good enough. I thought they finished the day strong which is what’s important and our guys kept it together. I think you’ve got to give credit to the Chargers, they came out, they had some good juice, specifically their defense. It’s always a good learning opportunity for us. That’s really what this is. You get a chance to try some things that maybe you wouldn’t do against your defense and you get it in a full speed setting against a really good team where you’re playing against their good players. I thought it was excellent work really for the two days by both teams to be able to get something out of it. It’s going to be great tape for us to be able to look at, learn from and then be able to move on. Just the overall energy that I expect, specifically from our offense, we got to start better than that and I trust that we will. We’ll use it as a good learning opportunity.”

(On how much it helps to play against the same team back-to-back)

“I think it’s great for both teams. However you want to look at it, we’ve got to be ready to adjust and adapt just like they did. I thought it was good work for both teams and really, it’s different than when you’re in a game where you’re actually game planning. You’re using some plays that you feel like you would want to activate our defensive calls against their offense and our offense vs. their defensive calls. It was great work for us and they’re a good team. Got a lot of respect for their coaches and their players. I thought it was two days of really good work that will benefit us both.”

(On how he reacts when another team comes here)

“I think naturally just the competitive level raises because you’re going against guys you’re not accustomed too. There’s a level of competition, I should say, that you just can’t really mimic and emulate in some of your own team settings. It was great work for us. I can’t wait to dive into this tape and see what we learn from it.”

(On what he saw from WR Cooper Kupp at practice today)

“I thought he did a good job. He’s been really playing full speed in practice and I think it was more than anything just precautionary, but for him to be able to get out here in these types of settings, I think it’s only going to continue to make him more and more comfortable so that hopefully he’s peaking by the time we play Carolina because he’s not a guy you’re going to see during the preseason.”

(On RB Todd Gurley II being a focal point of the offense)

“Oh yeah. He’s a very important part of our offense. I think we’ve got a lot of players, our running game and things he’s able to do off of that, he’s an all-purpose back. I think since we’ve started camp, I think you guys have been out here, you see he looks like (RB) Todd (Gurley II). That’s been good and he’s feeling good and we want to continue to be smart with his work load. Happy Birthday to Todd and (OLB) Dante (Fowler Jr.) today. I think they both did some good things.”

(On WR Michael Thomas re-emerging)

“He really has. You see, he’s made some plays over the last couple days. He’s got great explosiveness, he’s catching the ball really well. He’s obviously been a great contributor for ‘Bones’ (Special Teams Coordinator John Fassel), had his opportunities when he’s been healthy. He’s got great speed down the field, he’s a physical football player and he’s really been a guy – I’m sure you ask because you’ve seen it – he’s done a really nice job and we’ve been really pleased with Mike over the last couple days.”

(On if not having a great day of practice comes back to the quarterback)

“I don’t think so. What I think says as much about him (QB Jared Goff) as anything is that I’m talking more of myself, the reflection of the entire unit. But what says as much about Jared is that in the midst of things not going great, he finds a way to settle in, in a situation where we’ve got to have a two-minute drive to score a touchdown, he made some great throws, recognized coverage, got the ball where it should’ve gone, and really, to be able to just stay that even keeled demeanor like we talk about all the time says as much about him as anything. I just think the expectations we have are high, but to our players’ credit, they finished the day the right way. This game isn’t perfect and they’re a very good football team. But, that being said, loved the way that we finished in spite of the fact that maybe it didn’t go as well as we’d like early on. And I’m specifically talking about the offense.”

(On what stood out defensively today)

“I didn’t get a chance (to see the defense) because we were going at the same time. I really kind of was just peeking over there, really seeing, so I can’t wait to dive into the tape and see how our defense did. It sounds like they did a lot of really good things, but I thought the Chargers’ defense came out ready to go and it was a good, competitive day again, just like it was on Thursday, so we were pleased with the effort today.”

Quarterbacks Coach/Pass Game Coordinator/Co-Offensive Coordinator Shane Waldron

(Opening Remarks)

“It’s great to be (here) on our final day of full practice here at UC Irvine. Another tough weather training camp, per usual, here in Southern California (laughs). Trust me, I have to wear this long sleeve shirt because of my Irish skin, not because of the sun.”

(On how training camp has gone from a passing game perspective)

“The good thing this year – or this training camp, I should say, and in OTAs is (QB) Jared’s (Goff) ability to pick off as if this was the start of the next OTA practice. It didn’t feel like there was that approach where you need to start totally from scratch and work your way up like you do most years. It’s been a credit to him and a credit to all of the returning guys, and then the few guys who are new to the system being able to jump right in and execute everything at a high level.”

(On if he’s noticed schemes opponents used last season that he’ll look to combat this season)

“Yeah. I think a major part of every offseason is those weeks that maybe you didn’t execute at the highest level that you were planning on, ‘Hey, what were those few wrinkles that teams did?’ Obviously, we’re going to work those things and have an answer and have a plan. And then, as far as all 11 that are on the field, really giving them that capability to adjust and adapt on the fly and execute against things that might not have been the perfect looks in practice leading up to that week. I think as you grow as a team and as an offense in this system, we feel comfortable about our guys really getting to that point.”

(On if there were common traits in games last season that slowed down the offense)

“Yeah. Tough, physical defenses that prevented big plays and really bottled up the run. Obviously, the rest of it, we’ll wait and see for this 2019 season to see what happens this year. Like you said, the league it’s an ebb and flow every year – defense, offense – it’s a cat and mouse game. You’ve always got to be ready to adjust and adapt on the fly.”

(On what he gets out of joint practices as opposed to a preseason game)

“I think, really, the controlled situations. In a preseason game you may or may not get the exact red zone look that you’re looking to get or you may or may not get that third-and-whatever distance you’re looking to accomplish or improve on. Just being able to really control those situations. And another thing that rarely comes up is a two-minute drive in the preseason. Being able to structure those the way you want them, especially for the quarterback position so he’s hit most of those things before they come up. There’s too many situations in football to hit everything, but at least you can have that plan of attack and the general parameters around which situations could come up and what our go-to plays would be or answers might be in those things.”

(On if putting the team in that game situation is still important and something they cannot replicate in practice)

“Absolutely. I think so much of that depends on years accrued in the league and how many reps guys have accumulated themselves. It makes us feel pretty good as a staff of the way we’ve handled it last year and that same approach we’ll take this year. Because those guys have accumulated some of those reps and those veterans have brought along some of those guys who haven’t accumulated quite as many, we feel really good about these high-level joint practices. The other day against the (Los Angeles) Chargers, that was what a good, pro practice with a joint session should look like. They’re making plays, we’re making some plays, but everyone’s playing hard and has that good understanding of, ‘Man, that’s as fast of a tempo as you can get.’ But, then also taking care of each other at the end of the plays and having an understanding of what both teams are looking to get out of each drill.”

(On how QB Jared Goff has grown in their three training camps together and what assistant quarterbacks coach Zac Robinson has brought to the quarterback room)

“Talking about Jared first. Look, we’ve talked about it in the past, that first year is just really getting a knowledge base of the system. Then that second year, really understanding the system and being able to execute it at a higher level. Now this third year, I think when (Head Coach) Sean (McVay) gets a play in, Jared knows exactly the intent of every call. He’s got a mastery of the system from the receivers to the running back, to the offensive line, so he’s really been able to grow every single year and he’s just continued to show improvements every single day, which has been a great positive impact on our team. Specifically with Zac – there’s a lot of Zac’s – but Zac Robinson coming into the mix now. Obviously, (Former Quarterbacks Coach) Zac Taylor was a great part of our organization. But, Zac Robinson’s been able to come in - a guy that’s played the position, has that comfort level and a great technician with footwork and with the mechanics of the throwing motion. So, he’s added a tremendous help in the room where those guys can really bounce things off of him and he can be great with the minute corrections within the motions and things like that. And then also, like any good quarterback, he’s picked up the system right away and gives a great general overview and has a great coverage understanding, so he’ll be a great asset to us this year.”

(On how satisfied he was with the process and what he saw at the Chargers joint practice)

“I think it’s the old cliché of it was good, but there were things that could be better. Going back to the point about the joint practices versus the preseason, there’s such a huge emphasis on eliminating all those pre-snap penalties, pre-snap mistakes, so that we can get the snap off in a clean look and not hurting ourselves. I think once get out of the environment of going against each other, now you’re going against someone else and where, hey, these guys are still elite competitors. You go against someone else, there might be those nerves, there might be those little butterflies. You got to block (DE Joey) Bosa and (DE Melvin) Ingram (III) flying off the edge, that’s something a little bit different every week - even though we’ve got a situation within our own practices that’s pretty hard to handle every day, anyways. I think just getting those things really cleaned up and being crisp and being sharp and really living up to the standards that we hold offensively within our own rooms.”

(On if anybody on the Rams’ offense stood out in the first joint practice)

“As far as that goes, (WR) Mike (Thomas) had a heck of a day. Showed aggressive hands, went up and snatched the ball, good overall understanding of all the plays that he was in. (WR) JoJo Natson really did the same thing. (QB) Blake (Bortles) hit him on a great throw on the corner where he accelerated underneath the ball and made a tremendous catch. Then even some of the ones where it’s a route, where maybe it’s a coverage read, JoJo showed that good understanding of what to run the route like versus that particular look. Those two guys, I think, definitely stood out. Then can’t go understated how well I think Blake has picked up this system. He’s been in a few different systems and he’s come in and done nothing but be that perfect backup quarterback in the situation that he’s in right now. Great for (QB) Jared (Goff), but not just great for Jared, but on the field executing at a high level and he’s one of those new guys where you say, man, you walk in the door and there’s a system that’s been in place for a couple years and he’s been able to pick it up right away and execute it.’”

(What RB Darrell Henderson brings to the table that is different than the other running backs)

“All those guys have done such a good job and they all have great individual traits. I know we’re getting to the talks of third-down backs or change of pace backs, all those different things. I think Darrell’s just a great overall running back. One thing he does show is he does have aggressive hands, does a great job of catching the ball in front of his face, running through catches, staying grounded. To get some of those YAC (Yards After Catch) yards that you’re always looking to get in the pass game. But then, and he’s like every other rookie, where he’s picking up the system. First practice against the Chargers for him where he’s seeing a lot of different looks and really getting comfortable with it. It’ll be fun to watch him grow as this preseason goes on.”

(On Henderson’s pass protection)

“He has a great overall understanding of the mechanics of what the pass pro entails. He’s honing in on, now what are all the intricacies of the different calls that we might make within a particular look.”

(On what can be expected from WR Cooper Kupp today)

“He’s going, man. Talk about a guy that’s come back and looking fast and everything you love about (WR) Cooper (Kupp) shows up right away. The first day he was out here, I know he didn’t get a chance to go the other day and I know this, if it was up to Cooper, he’d be out here doing every single thing and then staying after for another hour or every single day. He’ll be good.”

(On the biggest thing about this training camp that stands out)

“Really going back to the point of the continuity and being able to come in from an OTA and really pick up where we left off. That and the fact of having (DT) Aaron Donald over there every single snap, it gets a little interesting from time to time. But no, it’s been fun, it’s been great to watch these guys and how hard they work. Like we’ve said in the past, I don’t know if there’s a harder working receiver group down-in, down-out in a practice atmosphere that really sets the tone along with the offensive line, running backs, and tight ends. You just set that tempo where it’s just understood how hard we go every single play and get the most out of it.”

Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator/Co-Offensive Coordinator Aaron Kromer

(On how T Joe Noteboom and C Brian Allen are coming along with the first unit)

“Both Joe and Brian are coming along very well. They had a lot of experience last year, like I already said in practice, so that gave them the opportunity to make calls, to be in charge at center, to play guard and play tackle, like Joe Noteboom has done. So with that experience it’s shown up here at training camp. We were all a little rusty coming in. You can see now, more and more production that we’re having up front as a unit. I think they’re really starting to come together with the leadership of (T Andrew) Whitworth and (T) Rob Havenstein and Austin Blythe, even being a one-year starter. Those guys have really taken the other two under their wing. Really, not only technique but thought process, where your eyes should be - those kinds of things. I think it’s helped them grow pretty quickly.”

(On if training camp is enough to fully evaluate players)

“I think that the most important thing is not for us coaches to feel good, it’s for them to feel good. Not only for those two individuals, young players to feel good, but the line as a group and the offense as a group with them in there. I think by the day and by the hour and by the play, really, everyone around them is gaining more and more confidence in those two. You can see it coming together more and more. So, how much they’ll play, or if they’ll play in a game, is yet to be determined. (Head Coach) Sean (McVay) and I are talking about it, and the offensive staff, prior to each game to see where we’re at. I think they’ve shown a lot of good production already.”

(On how difficult DT Aaron Donald makes evaluating the offense)

“You have to temper your expectations when you’re trying to block Aaron Donald, whether you have a single blocker or a double team. He’s so good that he can make you lose confidence. That’s the one thing that everybody has worked together to say, ‘Listen, people try to double team this guy and they don’t get it done.’ So, if you don’t block him every time, if you block him once, you feel good about it.”

(On how important and valuable the joint practices are to be able to evaluate guys)

“Football is, you know, everybody has a gap and everybody has an assignment and a responsibility, but what it does is our style of defense, the style that our defensive line uses compared to the style that the Chargers use and their scheme is different. Even though you’re blocking the guy over you or the guy next to you or it’s a double team - they’re different in technique and they’re different in approach. All of our blocking schemes are by the intent of the defense, you’re trying to change the way you do it. So, it’s given us an opportunity to go against a different style and it’s really helping us grow.”

(On if the joint practice help the offensive line with adjustments)

“Well, you’re going to see both styles during the year, so what it’s doing is giving you that exposure to it and not just going against the same guy all the time.”

(On how RB Darrell Henderson Jr. is in the run game and what he brings to the table)

“Darrell was so explosive and productive in college and he’s shown the same kind of running style here in our practices. Hopefully, that carries over to the games because he’s been very explosive and really understands and has a feel for how a run should be, where the hole will be, and kind of feeling his way to the hole without losing any speed or explosion. It’s really exciting to see.”

(On if he has taken notice of any younger players after the starting five that could be back-ups )

“Yeah, I think, we are still working through who those guys will be, but there’s some guys stepping up. All the guys that we expect to step up right now are doing it and then, we’ll see how they do in the game. You just go back to, we drafted these guys for them to be backups and work their way in to starting positions. No different from, we planned on (T) Joe Noteboom playing left tackle and now he’s playing left guard. We plan on Brian Allen taking over at center when his opportunity came. We drafted (OL Jamil) Demby the same way, we expect him to be a back-up guard/tackle. (C/G) Aaron Neary has done a nice job at center. You look at (T) David Edwards, we even put him in with the 1s against the Chargers the other day because he’s shown the ability to learn very quickly and understand what we’re trying to get done. (T) Bobby Evans as well, a little bit further behind but that’s not saying he won’t break through as time goes. Some guys take a little bit longer to learn and attempt the techniques that we’re trying.”

(On what he liked and didn’t like about the last Rams-Chargers scrimmage)

“Like any football game, practice, anything that you get into with football, you’re going to have some good things and bad things happen. You hope that the good overrides the bad. I thought there were times we did really well and times they did well, and so, you’re just trying to be more consistent throughout a practice. But the one thing, it is practice. We want the offense to really attempt to not play it safe, but really make the play. Whether it’s making the block, just go for that block and that’s what these guys are doing. Sometimes you miss your block because of it or you miss your play because of it - because you’re attempting things that you haven’t attempted in the past. That’s how guys get better.”

QB Jared Goff

(On how the second practice with the Chargers went)

“Today was okay, it was a rocky start. I think the Chargers did a good job bringing some different stuff to us and showing some different looks. I was happy the way we finished, and happy the way we responded and that last drive right there, scoring two touchdowns was good. I felt good about it. A lot of good stuff to see and get to improve on.”

(On WR Coopers Kupp’s performance today)

“Good. Good. (WR) Cooper (Kupp) is always doing good. He’s done a great job the whole camp and he looked good.”

(On Kupp going full speed and if he is worried about him in full contact)

“No. I think I’ve seen him full speed a few more times than you guys, so I’m pretty use to it by now. He looked good and did a good job. I’m excited for him to continue to improve and continue to get on the same page.”

(On connecting with WR Robert Woods on a long pass)

“Yeah it feels good. I think, you know, we might have been sacked there. But it feels good to connect on those and we wish would have connected on a couple more. When it’s truly a live setting and you’re not against your own guys, kind of helping each other out a little bit with contact – it’s truly full contact for the most part. It feels good, feels really good.”

(On what he likes most about the joint workouts)

“It just gives us looks we haven’t seen. Like I just said, when we’re practicing against our own guys, we’re really cognizant of taking care of each other, but when we’re practicing against another team, it’s a little bit more contact, a little bit more physical and a little bit more real football. That gives us a chance to see where we’re at and try some different things out. Today was just kind of one of those opportunities.”

(On if it’s more competitive)

“Definitely a little bit more competitive. You know, they want to beat us and we want to beat them. It’s just fun. It’s good. I prefer them over preseason games, honestly, because we’re able to get the work in a controlled environment. For example, today our O-Line got 40 or 50 reps against (DE) Joey (Bosa) and (DE) Melvin (Ingram) and that defensive line. Where as in in a preseason game the defensive line they might get five to 10. It’s all controlled and makes us feel good.”

(On if he sees a competitive nature carry over due to the practices being back-to-back)

“No doubt. I mean they want to beat us. The first day we got them on some stuff, they got us on some stuff, so we want to respond in the same way that they want to respond. They did a good job today. They brought some good stuff for us and had us on our heels for a little bit, but I think we responded well.”

(On what impressed him most today vs. the first scrimmage against the Chargers)

“Like I said, just the response we had, I thought that was good. It’s not always going to be perfect. Today it certainly wasn’t just with some of stuff they were doing, getting us off balance. But, we responded at the end and did a good job. There’s going to be games like that where you’re not doing exactly what you want, you’re struggling but at the end of the game you make it work. A ‘W’ is a ‘W,’ but today was good work.”

(On if he’s expecting something completely different from the Oakland Raiders)

“Well, they run a different defense. So, it’ll be a good opportunity for us to see something different. We know this system fairly well, but again they did some stuff we hadn’t seen before, which is good. You get so used to practicing against your own defense and knowing what their blitzes look like and knowing what their rush patterns look like. Then, you get a defense that you’ve never seen before and it’s good to do, because that’s real ball.”

(On WR Robert Woods calling his receiving corps a four-headed monster)

“I think that’s about right. (WR) Josh (Reynolds) has really come into his own in the past year. I think, him being one of the younger guys, I guess he’s the same year as (WR) Cooper (Kupp) but, coming along in a way that is special and truly can fill in at any time. Those other three, obviously, speak for themselves. It’s a lot of fun to have those guys. Then, don’t forget about (RB) Todd Gurley and (TE) Tyler Higbee and (TE) Gerald Everett, and all those other guys that do such a great job.”

(On the change between having a veteran center and a young center this year and if he assumes more of a role in terms of that relationship)

“No doubt. I’m continuing to grow, he’s continuing to grow and get on the same page and understand each other and understand our thought processes. With (former C) John (Sullivan) I was very reliant on them, as I should be, with the way he’s played the game and what he knows. But, with Brian, we work together and it’s been good so far. We feel good.”

(On if they’re doing anything for Todd Gurley’s birthday)

“I told him happy birthday, that’s about it. I’m sure they have a birthday cake for him somewhere.”