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TRANSCRIPT: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay, Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator/Co-Offensive Coordinator Aaron Kromer, QB Jared Goff September 4 press conference

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Here’s what the three had to say today.

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Sean McVay during press availability, Sep. 4, 2019.
Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Sean McVay during press availability, Sep. 4, 2019.

Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay

(On the decision to make QB Jared Goff the highest paid quarterback in the NFL)

“Really the same thing that you’ve heard us say all along – I think it’s great for him (QB Jared Goff), I think it’s something that demonstrates a commitment that we’ve always felt to him. I thought it was a great job by, really, (Vice President, Football & Business Administration) Tony Pastoors and (Goff’s Agent) Ryan Tollner, working it out and really, gets our quarterback, who we’ve been committed to all along. I think for Jared, too, it wouldn’t have been a distraction for him. I think anytime you start to get into those conversations, you can’t help but let your mind wander there. But, to put that to bed, to be able to know that he’s going to be able to take care of his family for a long time and maybe take me to dinner is a good thing (laughs). Really happy for him, but I think, more than anything, it just represents the start of hopefully something special this season and him continuing to grow and lead the way. I know it’s not going to change his approach at all, but I think it’s great for him and I think it’s an awesome representation, too, of (Owner/Chairman) Mr. (E. Stanley) Kroenke and how committed he is to taking care of our own, giving us all the necessary resources to be a competitive team. It makes you want to work that much harder for him and for this organization when you can do the things that we believe in, that help us take steps in the right direction and make commitments to the people we want to do this with for a while.”

(On what he saw during his interview process with the Rams that made him realize Goff was a quarterback he wanted to align his future with)

“I don’t know that you look at it like that, but, I think when you get a chance to spend a little bit of time with him (Goff) through the interview process, then you look at the tape, you see all the intangibles, the things that you’re looking for – the toughness where he’s taking shots, keeping his eyes down the field. I’ve referenced it when we’ve talked before, but the New Orleans game, I thought, really showed a lot of the things that you look at and you say, ‘That’s what a No. 1 overall pick looks like.’ Making big-time throws, moving, doesn’t necessarily need a clean platform to throw from – he was making checks in that game. And then, when you talk to him, what I loved more than anything is even though the season didn’t go the way they wanted it to as a team, all he did was look inward and took accountability for what he can do to be better. Everything that he’s done from an action standpoint from that point on has been indicative of why he earned the contract that he did. It’s just the start. This isn’t a finality, this is just the start of him continuing to grow, continuing to lead us. What he’s done over the last couple years, it’s been a blessing for me to be able to work with him and I think all of his teammates are excited about that. Our focus is solely on Carolina now and I know he feels the same way.”

(On what Goff took away from the Super Bowl and what his response has been from then until now)

“It’s really just been about everything you hear us talk about – let’s learn from the past. It’s really just another game. It was a big game, no doubt about it, but there were things that I think both he (Goff) and I would definitely say we expect to be better if those opportunities present themselves again. I think it mainly starts with me, but, for him, that mental fortitude is a great trait that he has. That mental toughness and that ability to say, ‘I’m going to learn from the past, but I’m not going to let it hinder my ability to move forward.’ I mentioned it the other day, but, we face it, we fix it and then, hopefully, when those opportunities present themselves again – really just in a game situation – we do it better next time. That’s what we’re excited about starting these games and starting this season in Carolina on Sunday.”

(On if he is concerned the financial commitments to DT Aaron Donald, RB Todd Gurley II and Goff will hinder the organization’s ability to surround them with talented players)

“No. I’ll tell you why – it’s because this decision is a reflection of the confidence we have in Jared, but it’s also a big picture perspective. How you take into account of all our resources and really, what does that mean in terms of you have to do a great job drafting and developing. You have to continue to bring guys in from the outside that want to be here. This was something that not only took into consideration taking care of Jared the way that we felt like he deserved to be taken care of, but then, also, what’s in the best interest and how that might potentially affect our ability to re-sign other guys, as crazy as that sounds. Every decision we make is always in the best interest of the team and we feel like this was one of those as well.”

(On his personal relationship with Goff)

“We have a great relationship. I think it’s like anything else – the more time you spend, the more that you get to know each other and it’s not exclusive to just football. His family, his friends, same thing with me – and I think, No. 1, he’s a great person. You can’t help but be excited about somebody like him leading the way and he’s also extremely talented. Our foundational thing – everything that it starts with – is with that relationship and we’ve got a great relationship that continues to grow as we continue to gain that experience with one another.”

(On where Goff is in terms of turning into a quarterback who can win games where things are not going as well as he would like)

“Well, I thought he did it in the Conference Championship game and we never say one game is really the determining factor. The Super Bowl is obviously a big game, it’s the only game and it’s the last game of the season, so it tends to be talked about – rightfully so. But, I think for him (Goff), when you talk about, ‘Is he capable of handling the big-time moments?’ Being able to carry his team, being able to make things right if they’re not always in alignment with what we want, I thought last year he demonstrated that. Now, the challenge is, ‘Can we consistently do it?’ Hopefully, it’s a collaboration of coaches, players, his teammates, himself – just continuing to play at a higher level, consistently make good decisions. We’re very confident in Jared’s ability to make big-time plays in big games and he’s done that.”

(On if he can remember the moment, he knew Goff was his guy)

“I would say it’s been an ongoing thing. I felt very confident and excited about the opportunity to work with him (Goff) from when I just met him the first time. For a lot of the things that I was mentioning, when you’re mentally tough like that, when you have the natural inclination to look inward, before you look to blame anybody else, I think that sets you up for success. You show me anybody that’s been successful, it’s somebody that’s persevered, that’s overcome some adversity and been able to stay the course and not let some of those adverse times alter your confidence. I think he’s got a steady confidence, he’s got a refreshing security about himself. I wouldn’t say there was really that, ‘Aha moment’. I think there is a bunch I could go to. I think it’s been a continued growth process as we’ve got to know each other over the last couple of years. He made an impact on me as soon as I met him, before we even played a snap together.”

(On if adversity is something a quarterback needs to have to mature)

“I don’t necessarily know you have to have it. I think it’s a great way of measuring the mental toughness that we talk about. I think he’s continued to demonstrate that and display that really when you go back to his college career, what he’s done so far in a short pro career. I think that inevitable, this game is so competitive that naturally those things are going to occur. Your ability to respond, in a lot of instances, is more important than staying humbled through the success. I think he’s handled it really well, so far.”

(On if the time QB Jared Goff has offered him more flexibility and ownership on play calling)

“It has, it’s like anything else. I know we’ve become monotonous, but the more that your quarterback can become an extension of the coaching staff, the more ownership he has, the better off you are. I think you always want to strive to have a situation where the players have the true ownership over what’s getting done, and the coaches work in unison with them to figure out the best ways to operate. That’s not exclusive to offense, that goes both ways. Naturally, the quarterback position is thrust into that leadership role where you’re running the communication, based on your command of the huddle and all those things. To really make a simple answer in what you asked, he does have a lot more control based on his ownership as he continues to gain confidence, and really, ownership of the system.”

(On If RB Todd Gurley II is where he wants him to be going into week one)

“Yeah, he is. This is the plan we had set out. I think (RB) Todd (Gurley II) would tell you, he’s feeling good, He’s ready to go. We are excited to play live football. It’s not exclusive to Todd, I know there is a lot of our starters that you’ve guys have talk to that haven’t played yet. I think they’re just chomping at the bit to get to play real football. When you’re playing tackle football and it’s not mimic and emulating these situations. It’s actually going and playing and competing against a really tough team in a tough road atmosphere.”

(On what are some examples of coaches and quarterbacks that have work together for a long time and what that allows you to do)

Patriots are a great example when you look at the rapport that (Patriots Head Coach) Bill (Belichick) and (Patriots Quarteback) Tom (Brady) have. In some instances, you can look at how long (Patriots Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach) Josh McDaniels has been there and the continuity and comfort with what they do. I think you look at (Saints Quarterback) Drew Brees and (Saints Head Coach) Sean Payton and the success that they’ve be able to have over time. Unless you’re actually involved in the intricacies of their building, it’s hard for me to answer that question. I do know, over the last couple of years, there has been a lot of growth, a lot of good conversations and dialogue that can exist. between myself, our coaches and Jared, more and more, he gets more comfortable to be able to provide feedback to us. That’s the most important thing – is the ownership from him and I can only image if we continue on this pace. Hopefully, we’re having those conversations where we can be one of those groups that has that kind of continuity. But, you only do that by being able to sustain a level of success, which is easier said than done.”

(On what kind of challenges come to mind after having success on his previous two season openers)

“In a lot of instances, going on the road last year, starting out in Oakland, it’s kind of the same deal. We started out our first year against the Colts, but I think It’s really just getting off to a fast start. Being able to weather the storm. Inevitably, some good things are going to happen, some bad things are going to happen. Our ability to just stay even-keeled, stay the course, be elite with our communication. All those key things that you talk about to your team all the time, those are going to be the consistent themes. I think it’s making sure that starting today, that we have a great week of preparation. Really, it started already. We’ve got to stack three great days on top of one another, before we travel on Friday. Most importantly, I think that enables the players to go into competition against a great team with a quieted mind and let’s go play the best of our ability and then see what happens.”

(On if he has a restaurant, he wants QB Jared Goff to take him too)

“I’ve got a couple (laughs). A nice expensive one, that’s what I would say.”

(On being involved developing players that received big contracts like Vikings QBs Kirk Cousins and how he feels about it)

“I look at it as, (Vikings QB) Kirk (Cousins) was instrumental in me getting an opportunity to be sitting here as a head coach. Same instance, a lot of the success we’ve had is a reflection of Jared Goff’s leadership. I got rewarded with that this offseason as well. It’s been great. I think what it demonstrates is when you’ve got good players, you’re a lot better coach. Also, it’s about working together in unison to try to ultimately to achieve as much success as possible and everybody can benefit. I’ve been fortunate to work with two great quarterbacks.”

OL Coach/Run Game Coordinator/Co-OC Aaron Kromer

(On where OL Joseph Noteboom and C Brian Allen are at going into Week 1 with no preseason snaps)

“I think they’re ready to go. It’s going to be a work in progress throughout the year, I’m sure, like any offense. Even when we had veterans last year, it was still a work in progress from game one to the end. I’m sure that’ll be the same situation here, but I think (OL) Joe (Noteboom) and (C) Brian (Allen) working against our defense is very game-like. The players they have to play against, the intensity that our defense plays with, as well as practicing against the Chargers, practicing against Oakland gave them two different schemes and two different techniques they could work against. I think they got a lot of work and we’re looking forward to the game.”

(On how important it is for Allen to be confident and not be shy about speaking up)

“It’s no different from the quarterback or any leader in any organization. That person has to have confidence in himself and in what he’s doing. He studied enough and worked hard enough that he has confidence in what he’s seeing and what he’s calling. No one’s going to be 100 percent in exactly what happens out there, but that’s football. There’s mistakes, you learn, you move on and you make the next play or else we’d score every play. I think they’re in a good place. They’re in a good place mentally, both of them. Brian especially making the calls. He appears to be in a spot where he has confidence, he did it in college, he did it last year with the 1s all year during practice when (Former Rams C John) Sullivan wasn’t practicing, and that was quite often because we had our vet (veteran) days. So, he’s had a lot of work with the quarterback. Him and (QB) Jared (Goff) worked a ton last year in practice and so hopefully that pays off.”

(On if the Rams’ offseason/preseason plan for RB Todd Gurley II has impacted the offensive line)

“Everything affects something, but I don’t know that our exact work with him in the backfield, you know, he’s had a ton of reps with us the past two years. He knows how we’re trying to hit runs and where we’re trying to hit them and we continue to meet on that. So, we hope he’s ready and we think he’s ready. He’s looked good the last couple of days.”

(On foreseeing a day when an offensive linemen gets $110 million guaranteed)

“We sure hope so. All the lineman are hoping so (laughs). They are hoping for that guarantee.”

(On if there’s going to be a role for RB Darrell Henderson Jr.)

“There is going to be a role for all three of them to be quite honest. We feel like with three talented running backs including (RB) Malcolm (Brown) with the other two. All three of them are talented runners and talented receivers. In our offense they need to be able to do it all. But definitely (RB) Darrell (Henderson), you know, coming out of college averaging almost 10-yards a carry. Obviously, we are not playing those same teams, but he’s a very talented runner and we look forward to seeing what he can do this year.”

(On what he expects from the Panthers defense)

“Well, the first thing that you notice about their defense is how big they are. They have three starters inside including (DT Gerald) McCoy at the end, their nose and their two tackles let’s say. Those three guys are big. They’re over 300 pounds plus. Then (DT) Vernon Butler’s backing him up and they have a lot of size and a lot of talent. I think they brought those guys in to keep people off of (LB Luke) Keuchly as much as they can and let (LB Luke) Keuchly run. No matter where that ball goes you know one things for sure, is (LB Luke) Keuchly’s going to be there, and whether it’s his gap or not his gap he’ll pass guys if he has to make the tackle.”

QB Jared Goff

(Opening Remarks)

“Just want to thank (Owner/Chairman) Mr. (E. Stanley) Kroenke and the whole Kroenke family, first off and foremost. I think just his generosity and everything he’s meant to our franchise can’t be understated. I think when you look at our whole franchise and any business in general, it starts at the top and it truly does here. The way that they go about their business trickles on through (Chief Operating Officer) Kevin (Demoff), through the front office, through (Head Coach) Sean (McVay), the team and through the leaders. It always starts there, so I want to thank Mr. Kroenke first and everything that he’s been for me since they drafted me. Next, want to thank Kevin, (General Manager) Les (Snead), (Vice President, Football & Business Administration) Tony (Pastoors) – everything they’ve put into this and all the hard work. I know it wasn’t easy for them and I know it took a lot of time and effort. More so than anything, I think the belief that they’ve shown in me since they drafted me has meant more than anything. It’s something that I’ll be forever grateful for and forever appreciative of, and hopefully, I can return some wins for them and make them happy. I’d like to thank my agents with Ryan Tollner and Chase Callahan and all the work that they put in. Again, I know it wasn’t an easy process for them, either. Just daily, working on it and putting in the time and effort and I’m so thankful for them. Then, I’d like to thank Sean. I think I can’t overstate what he’s meant to me and my career. You guys obviously know how it went the first year and then how it’s gone since he got here. I owe him a lot and am forever thankful for him and he understands that. I hope he feels the same way about me.”

(On if he’s surprised with the speed and quietness surrounding getting his deal done)

“Yeah, I think so. First, to answer your first question – it’s been a long process. Like I said before I walked in here, ‘I’m sorry for lying to you guys for so long.’ It was in the works for a few months now. I’m just so happy to be done with it. It’s such a relief and I’m so grateful.”

(If his new contract will make him work harder)

“Definitely. It definitely increases your urgency a little bit when you know that type of commitment, but I don’t feel like it will change my process or anything. But, I do understand the responsibility of it and all that stuff that goes with it.”

(On what it has been like knowing negotiations were ongoing but not speaking about it with the media)

“It’s been fun. I’ve enjoyed watching the media circus around the league and understanding that here we had something going on that was between us and wasn’t involved with people outside of this building. I’ve enjoyed that and I appreciate them for that. I think you guys know, I’m not somebody that ever wants to make anything about myself and this was no different. I go back to my original statement – I need to continue and thank my teammates and thank everyone that’s been in my football life since I was young. I’m just very grateful.”

(On if he wanted to reach an agreement going into his fourth season or if Philadelphia QB Carson Wentz’s deal expedited the process)

“I’m very happy we got it done. I think that’s the best way to put it. I think (Philadelphia QB) Carson (Wentz) getting his done did accelerate the process a bit, but I am very happy that we are done and I can now go out there and just play football and not worry about it.”

(On if he is worried his extension will prevent the organization from spending money in other areas)

“I’m not. I think that is part of the reason why getting it done earlier is beneficial – I do. I’m not the type of guy that ever wants to do that to a team. I think that’s definitely calculated by them and I don’t think it’s something that will hinder us tremendously.”

(On if the various ups and downs of his career since playing collegiately at California have helped shape who he is today)

“Yeah. I think there’s different moments in your career that do, do that. I think getting drafted and winning your first game and winning games last year and getting to the Super Bowl – there’s different things like that that do validate some of that. This is one of those moments for sure. I think it’s definitely something that you think about your whole life. Obviously, the numbers you never dream about, but getting a contract that establishes you as somebody who is a franchise quarterback in this league and somebody who is going to play in this league for a long time – it’s something you dream about. I think everything that you do go through leading up to that point can have an impact on that. To answer your question – yes, I do believe a lot of the stuff that has gone on my freshman year (at California) and my rookie year has led to a lot of good moments.”

(On what he took out of his Super Bowl experience and if it influenced him moving forward)

“A lot of things. I think I’ve talked about this at length – but a million things. I think just understanding that there are going to be times in games where you need to do different things that you weren’t expecting to do. That’s specific to that game and many games last year, it’s not just one. I think ‘Xs-and-Os, it would take me a little bit longer with you. I think overall, just appreciating the moment and understanding that you did go through that and that is part of your career and that it is part of your career and part of your legacy. Hopefully you get a chance to go back and a chance to win it.”

(On how far he thinks he is from being a quarterback that can win a Super Bowl game)

“Hopefully not very far at all.”

(On what he thinks of the idea of him and Coach McVay working together the next couple of years)

“I’m excited about it, I hope he is too. We’ve talked back and forth as this has gone on. He’s joked that I’m stuck with him, I told him, ‘I think I’m okay with that’. It will be a good marriage and I’m happy he is being rewarded like he should be. I’m happy to be with him for a long time. I know he joked with you guys about me owing him dinner, I probably owe him a few dinners at this point. Again, I’m just so appreciative for him and everyone in this building.”

(On why it works so well with him and Head Coach Sean McVay)

“I think I do my best, but I think it starts with him (Head Coach Sean McVay) and just the way he is as a leader and communicator. Obviously, his football mind is special, but I think beyond that his communication and leadership skills are second to none. I try to mimic him in some of those ways. Then I think we do balance each other out at times where he is high energy and I’m relatively even-keeled. I think that can blend together well at times.”

(On if it’s been overwhelming with all the attention with Sunday’s game approaching against the Panthers)

“No, I feel good. When the talks initially happened, I think you go through different emotions of being happy and excited. I think that’s when you kind of are overwhelmed at that point. I think at this point, the talks and the numbers have been in my head for so long it’s more of, now you can just relax and play. I think today was a good feeling. I’m so appreciative and happy to be able to play without thinking about it.”

(On if he will relax completely or if there is a new level of pressure)

“I’m relaxed now, yeah. I’ve been through, I think, living up to stuff. I understand that and think I have a good perspective on that, as far as there is a reason why I was the No. 1 pick. When I was going through early on in my career, if you go back to understanding that what you did prior to that is why you are there and it’s no different with this. What I’ve done up to this point is why this happened, so don’t try to be something that hasn’t got you there.”

(On if his ability as a leader to take full responsibility something he’s developed in college or at home)

“I think it’s just part of who I am, but I think again, it goes back to Sean, honestly. When I see him able to take full responsibility being the type of coach he is and always being in the limelight. Him taking responsibility in front of you guys, it makes it a lot easier for me to do it. I think we both do have that type of personality trait, but he makes it easier.”

(On if his contract is signed)

“No.”

(On if he knows when he will sign his contract)

“No, you have to ask them.”

(On if he’s celebrated his contract extension yet)

“I had some friends over last night, briefly, just for an hour or so just hanging out.”