Sean McVay provided his midweek press conference. Last week’s presser was right after his first child was born, and he was obviously distracted and so much more. This week the head coach seemed grounded after an embarrassing loss to the Dallas Cowboys. McVay talks about the Los Angeles Rams current quarterback situation. He offers real hope that the team has found some players through the most recent draft. He expresses he believes this team has the pieces to improve throughout the year and beyond.
Directly after a loss like last week it is is hard not to jump to the conclusion that this team is broken or that the season is fried. At 3-5, with plenty of games left, there is a lot that can change for the better or worse. Unless someone has a crystal ball we are going to have to wait and see how this season falls together. In a week to week league teams rise and fall rather quickly.
This week on the Coach McVay Show he said something that has been sticking with me when he discussed LA’s most recent loss.
“That wasn’t the team that we’ve been. That was an outlier performance and people that follow us know that, and our players know that too.”
For those who have been following the Rams, they haven’t been as dominant recently as many grew accustomed to since McVay arrived. The possibility of this team having a losing record is real. That wasn’t fathomable a couple seasons ago. What’s changed since then? LA won a Super Bowl. McVay lost excellent staff and the roster has had major turnover. LA won the Super Bowl.
Even if this season doesn’t go as well as it seemed after the Week One win, it’s been a successful few years. McVay has talked in the past about giving his players grace, and Rams fans can be patient too while giving LA’s head coach the time to figure this out. One of the immediate things the Rams need to figure out is how Matthew Stafford is doing. Is his thumb progressing?
“Just taking it a day at a time.”
Has the head coach ruled Stafford out for the upcoming game against the Green Bay Packers.
“No. I have not.”
There was moment where it looked like John Wolford was going to sign with the Rams. That ultimately did not happen and instead the Rams signed Dresser Winn. What happened with the Wolford signing and why did it fall through?
“Well he ended up signing with Tampa. You know he’s been there, they ended up putting him on their active roster and so that’s usually kinda what occurs when a player’s already at another place.”
Seam McVay is asked if the Rams considered trading for a quarterback and he says one simple word:
I don’t know what LA could have offered or who they could’ve traded for, but I am pretty surprised that the Rams apparently didn’t consider trading for a QB. In a league where every call is fielded and no stone is unturned, this franchise didn’t considered trading for any QB? Not one? Is LA ready to go with Brett Rypien this Sunday if he has to play? The coach doesn’t seem to have much to say other than Brett’s a professional and he’s seemingly the best option for LA if Stafford can’t go.
“He’s a done a great job just in general, Jordan. I think really he’s one those guys that you can see he’s a pro’s pro. He’s always preparing himself as if he understands that there’s one situation, or he’s one snap away from having to go into the game and that came to fruition on last Sunday, and so he does a really good job, and I think, you know, whether he was preparing to start or whether he was preparing to be the backup...I think his consistent approach is something that, you know, a good thing for him. I don’t really see much change. I see a guy that came in, handled the walk-through excellent, just like he’s kinda done from the jump and been really pleased with Brett.”
What does practice look like with Stafford out and Rypien and Winns on the field?
“Today because Matthew is not going, he (Rypien) ends up taking the reps with the starters. Dresser will end up giving the looks for the scout team and so that’s really the biggest change.,.with Matthew being out, Matthew will basically serve as an extension of the coaching staff.”
Going into the year it wasn’t expected that this team could make a deep playoff run, and so far that very much seems true. However the team has seemed to hit on a few recent draft picks and seemed to have made some savvy signings coming into the season. LA has some players to be proud of. If the Rams can keep hitting on some draft picks, then this team really could see vast improvement into next season. Excitingly this season still has plenty of time left to see the current squad impress too.
“I feel really good about a lot of the things that are going on...it takes two parties to be involved in things like that, but you know the nature of some of the situations with us in general that you’re familiar with limited terms of alright going out and actually bringing people in. Feel good about this, I feel good about lot of the things I think we’re capable of doing. Obviously we’re not pleased with where we’re at through eight games, but I can see through and I see a lot of light...you’re not just saying it’s a false hope, You can see tangible evidence on the film that’s reflective of ‘I know we can be better’ in some of these areas, and I know I’ve said that to guys before, but that’s where you feel really excited about this opportunity this week, get the bye and then you come back for the last eight games and see what we can do with it where there’s a lot of football left to be played.”
McVay is asked if the Rams took any trade calls or inquiries from other teams about players on LA’s roster? The head coach gives the classic response that he is too engrossed in the season this time of year to be overly involved in that process right now.
“You’ll have to wait to talk to Les about that one.”
Mcvay smiled after delivering that line. Certainly the coach is aware of those calls but it doesn’t really matter now. Nothing happened so no real reason to get into it. The Rams have their roster and for the most part it’s looked competitive. Again, it will be exciting to see what players can get added in the offseason to compliment the newer faces like Puka Nacua, Byron Young, Kobie Turner, Ernest Jones has been filling big shoes, Steve Avilla seems solid for the offense line. There’s a lot to be excited about now and potentially later.
“I think we found some guys that can be kinda cornerstones or guys that are gonna continue to be building blocks for years to come, and I’m sure you kinda know who those guys are that I’m talking about.”
McVay is asked if the team has learned anything from the Stetson Bennett situation. Drafted in the most recent fourth round and apparently not playing this season.
“I think you wanna learn from everything...some situations create a little bit more urgency based on unforeseen things that can come down the pipe, but I think what you’re always trying to do is say ‘have a plan’ but more importantly plan for the unexpected.”
The team did try to address their quarterback situation when they drafted Stetson. Clearly they wanted to try and update the position or give Bennett a chance to be a backup or more. That plan does not seem to be working out.
“There’s no excuses but we gotta do a better job.”
It will be intriguing if LA makes any moves this upcoming draft for a QB. Especially since their most recent QB drafted has been a bust (up to this point) as far as NFL production is concerned. In the meantime is LA’s offense handcuffed at all if Brett starts in place of Matthew Stafford? Are there things this offense will not be able to do and will McVay have to limit the offense if Rypien gets the nod?
“Ya, you know, I don’t think that’s fair to say to Brett that you would do that, but Matthew is a unique player that can do so many special things that’s why he’s got the resume throughout the course of career, that’s why he is who he is...So to say that you can operate exactly the same way, I think that’d be a little silly, but we do have confidence in Brett to be able to operate our offense. The normal downs and the pass downs, that’s been reflected from what’ he’s done with us...we’ll see exactly how this week unfolds but I think you do have to have a plan for either or.”
Going into the bye week at 4-5 or 3-6 are two totally different worlds. What is consistent regardless their record is that the Rams can continue to learn week in and week out, and build on it. This team could still have a mighty fine season, but even if not they have the trophy in the case, and who says this team can’t make another run in a couple seasons? Maybe sooner. In McVay Rams fans trust.