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TRANSCRIPT: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay September 9 Week 1 @ Carolina Panthers game review

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Here’s what McBae had to say today.

Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay

(On if he has an injury update on S Eric Weddle)

(On if the team will gameplan for Weddle to play this Sunday and then adjust if they need to)

“I think we’re hopeful. You respect the process that this concussion protocol entails. It’s always a positive sign when a player is asymptomatic, but there’s a lot of tests that he has to go through to get the thumbs up to go. You always have to have those contingency plans in place. I think we’re hopeful he’ll be able to check out, but he has to go through all that.”

(On what needs to happen to get more out of QB Jared Goff in the passing game)

“I think it starts with some of the play selections. To Carolina’s credit, they did a good job. Really, at the end of the day, we were trying to win the football game and we felt like that approach was conducive for winning the game as a team. I thought he (QB Jared Goff) made good decisions, he took what the defense gave him – they played a lot of coverages where they were topping down some things. The biggest culprit I would say – as far as if you look from strictly a yard standpoint – it was more just the play selection than anything else. He executed fairly well with the stuff that he had a chance to activate based on the play selection and this week will provide another opportunity for us to hopefully all get better and it starts with me.”

(On what the phrase ‘topping down’ means)

“They (Carolina) played some split-safety coverages where they had guys topping us. Playing from deep to short would be the best way to put that.”

(On if that limited the offense from completing deep passes)

“Correct.”

(On if there were any additional injuries following Sunday’s game at Carolina)

“I think we’re fairly clean. I think guys are feeling pretty good and that’s always a positive thing.”

(On how he feels the rookies performed in the season opener)

“I think they did a good job. There were some things that we can clean up schematically that led to some breakdowns from a special teams standpoint. But, I think in a lot of instances, what it looks like isn’t always exactly what players are being asked. I think, in a lot of instances – whether that’s punt protection – when you’re evaluating offensive line play, it’s all a product of, ‘All right, what are these players being asked based on the defensive punt structure, the punt rush that we’re seeing.’ I thought (S) Nick Scott did some good stuff, (LB) Troy Reeder did some good stuff. I think when you look at the extended snaps that (S) Taylor Rapp played, he was outstanding. I think – even though they’re not rookies – when you look at the contributions that our two young offensive linemen made (C Brian Allen and T Joe Noteboom), I thought those guys played really well. They were consistent, I thought they competed in both phases. It was a positive day for the most part for those guys.”

(On if he was happy with the run defense against Carolina)

“I think there were some good plays. I thought (Panthers Offensive Coordinator) Norv (Turner) and the players for the Panthers did a good job executing. You could see why (Panthers RB) Christian McCaffrey is as special of a player as he is. Really impressed by some of the things that he was able to do. We always want to be consistent in terms of just being able to stop the run, getting them into some of those second down and long situations and the third down and long plays. I thought being able to prevent some of the big plays – and then some of the stuff that did occur came in some second-and-longs. They popped a couple traps, he had a great 18-yard run in the two-minute drive. Some of those were not necessarily a result of anything execution-wise as much as just getting our wind underneath us, playing in the humidity and the heat. You could really feel both teams as the game wore on. That’s a different deal when you’re playing 70-plus snaps, 65, 70 snaps in those elements, especially with the type of tempo that both offenses were activating.”

(On DT Sebastian Joseph-Day’s first start)

“Solid, I thought he was solid. I think there is some things that he can certainly do at a higher level. For the most part, with his assignments and what he was asked to do within each call that we were running on defense, he did a fairly good job.”

(On second half gains on short passes)

“We came out of the second half and we hit the same play twice in a row to (WR) Brandin Cooks, on kind of a short in-breaking route. Jared did a good job, we had good protection and then Brandin ended up separating, versus basically what was equivalent to a man-covered structure. To be able to go for, I think it was 25 (yards) and 15 (yards) on those on those plays, enable us to get down the field, that ended up in a field goal. I thought, to get points coming out of the half, to go up to 16-3 at that point was big for our team. To create some of those explosives. I think the thing we always want to try to do is stress defenses horizontally and vertically. I didn’t think I did a good enough job of enabling us to stretch people vertically and that’s something we will make an emphasis on.”

(On what the though process was going into short passes)

“Just some standard plays that we like coming out of the half. It was more of the players executing than anything else there.”

(On how Allen handled calling protections)

“I thought he did a great job. For us to not have any pre-snap issues, on the road, in a hostile environment with us being able to mix up the cadence, we got a couple things where we got them to jump off sides on a big third-and-seven, that got us to a third down and two. I thought he did a really nice job. He and Jared, their rapport continues to grow. To be able to do it in a game that actually counts and being able to evaluate him, especially against caliber of players and structure of defenses that (Panthers Head) coach (Ron) Rivera was activating, we were really pleased with Brian. I would say we are proud of the performance, excited about it, but not surprised.”

(On the Saints personnel that they lost and that they had in comparison to previous seasons)

“I think a lot of that, I’ll be able to better answer after you at least see one game of real inventory from them. They’ve had an incredible amount of success over time. I thought their defense was outstanding down the stretch. They played as good as anybody when you go from, I want to say the halfway point through the end of last year. They’re going to be a great challenge. Their offense has consistently been one of the best units in the league over the last handful of years since (Saints Head Coach) Sean (Payton) and (Saints QB) Drew (Brees) have been there. It’s a great challenge, they did a great job on special teams. They’ve got some different variations and some specialty-type players that make it problematic for you. They’re a great football team. You see why they were the No. 1 seed in the NFC last year. We’re looking forward to a great challenge and hopefully a great week of preparation.”

(On being prepared to challenge a non-call on a pass interference this year)

“We will be, yeah. We’ll be ready for the new changes from the rules.”

(On if they practice making calls with the defense for in the event if a player goes down)

“It’s something that you want to make sure that if whoever, if in the instance that (S) Eric (Weddle) goes down, ‘Who’s the next guy that would have the mic?’ and that was (LB) Cory Littleton. That was something that he had done all of last year. Absolutely, that’s something that you work and you make sure that you have those plans in place. If you have to get to a situation just based on the amount of mics that each specific player can have, and you can only have one guy with a mic on the field at a time. You do have to work some of your visual communication if some of those emergency or contingency-planned situations come up.”

(On his assessment after watching the film of C Brian Allen and OL Joseph Noteboom on the offensive line)

“I thought they were really productive. I think, for the most part, when you look at it, it took us a little bit to get going offensively. But, once we settled in, I thought the removal that we got in the run game, I thought the way they protected, for the most part, was really a great job by those guys. It’s a formable front. You look at the guys all across the board, they’ve got some really good players. For the guys to play the way that they did in both phases, we were very pleased with that. Looking forward to see if we can carry it on against another great front coming up against the Saints.”

(On the impact that OLB Dante Fowler Jr. and RB Malcolm Brown made and how they were so effective)

“(OLB) Dante (Fowler Jr.) made a lot of plays. I think when you look at the two sacks that he had, it was a great little two-man game that he and (DT) Aaron (Donald) had on the man-side of the protection. Aaron did a great job of getting vertical removal on the guard and the tackle and then Dante came underneath and you can see the explosion to be able to close and finish that play. They had a little bit of miscommunication on the second sack that he had and to his credit, he played all the way through the whistle. (Panthers RB Christian) McCaffrey kind of tried to block him, he went right through him. He made impact plays all day. I thought (LB) Cory Littleton was outstanding too. Really, it was very pleasing to see Dante play at that kind of level, but those are things that we expect from Dante. It was encouraging. I think that (Outside Linebackers Coach) Chris Shula has done a great job with him. (RB) Malcolm Brown, he’s been a guy that every single opportunity he’s gotten, you forget how good he was playing early on in the year when he was spelling (RB) Todd (Gurley II). He happened to have 11 carries and you talk about 53 tough earned yards, some physical runs, especially down in the tight red area where he gets two touchdowns. Then, he had some good efficient runs that enabled us to get tighter and tighter, and we were really pleased with Malcolm yesterday.”