Los Angeles Rams head coach, Sean McVay, gave his routine Wednesday press conference. As usual he covers a number of topics, but early on McVay addresses the “unique opportunity” that the team has by having Lucas Havrisik and Mason Crosby (who the team just added) as potential options at the kicking position. Interestingly enough the coach is noncommittal about which kicker will be given a go this week, and he alludes that the team plans to hang on to both of them for as long as he can. What is this team doing at the kicking position?
You can watch the entire press conference below and or read what I was able to capure, but either way please feel free to let us know what you think in the comments below! Did anything stand out to you that I may have missed?
Before the coach gets into talking about Crosby and Havrisik the head coach address how Puka Nacua is doing. The phenom rookie receiver was banged up in the last game, but was able to play through it. It sounds like he is good to go for this week.
“Puka was limited in the walk through, but I don’t know what the hell that means because he just did everything.”
Rams’ HC Sean McVay on WR Puka Nacua’s participation status during today’s practice: “Puka was limited in the walkthrough but I don't know what the hell that means because he just did everything.”— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 7, 2023
After making his slight joke about how injury designations work in the NFL, the coach goes on to talk about the kicking situation. Clearly the head coach is having some concerns or doubts with envisioning Lucas Havrisik as the solution going forward, but at the same time the coach does not seem interested in letting another team have the opportunity to sign him.
“It’s kind of a unique opportunity,,.still end up having Lucas, feel like he’s a guy that we want to be able to contnue to work with, but to have a veteran that has his experience some of the success, some of the crunch time moments that he’s had, and the unique opportunity to be able to bring somebody in on the practice squad and potentially flex them up...those are thing that, you know, we felt like we wanted to be able to explore...so that what we’re doing.”
McVay is asked if there is a possibilty that Crosby, the veteran presense, could be brought up this week? The head coach seems to say that is a possibility. The coach is then asked if he anticipates releasing Lucas and McVay gives this seemingly straight forward reply.
“Do not. Do not anticipate doing that.”
As LA tries to figure out their kicking situation in Week 14, they need to prepare for one of the most dangerous active quarterbacks in the league. Maybe one of the most versatile and dangerous quarterbacks ever. Lamar Jackson.
“He’s a great player, explosive playmaker, he’s doing a lot of really good things this year...that was not a fond memory for the Rams in 2019...he did his thing...when you look at it it was like clockwork...it was his MVP year, but he’s consistently played great throughout the course of his career. They’re a great team. They’re a complete a team as there is in this league, when you’ve got the right guy at the switch, which they certainly do, they make you...it’s that much more difficult to try to come away with the result that you’re hunting up, but...what you love about the NFL. Great challenge.”
It’s a team game, but Jackson is as much a reason as any (maybe the most important reason) that the Baltimore Ravens are currently sitting pretty with a 9-3 record.
“He can make you pay with arms, he can make you pay with his legs, he can make you pay with his mind.”
LA has an iffy kicking game. The Ravens have Lamar Jackson at QB. Is there any more reason to watch this game?
Well there is the fact that Odell Beckam Jr. (Super Bowl Champion with the Rams) is gearing up to take on his former team.
“Overall, it’s one of the best things that happened in my life.” - OBJ on his time with the Rams. The culture that exists because of Sean McVay is real. https://t.co/uivFWJjN1x— Rams Talk (@realLARamsTalk) December 6, 2023
McVay gives a glowing endorsement of Beckam Jr, but at the end of the day he plays for the other team this week, and McVay wants to win. Again, that doesn’t mean McVay can’t praise the heck out of the former first round receiver.
“I always root for him except for this week...he’s on the bad guys this week, so we’ll root for him after that.”
Last week McVay gave some inspired answers. He does it again this week. LA’s head coach is asked about keeping a positive attitude even during tough stretches. In fact, the head coach has more or less been the same this year after wins or losses. The wins can be more exciting, and there really isn’t always much to say after losses, but the coach has seemed as steady as ever. Right now the team appears on the right track, but when things are tough how is McVay able to keep a confident demeanor?
The head coach talks about not needing to be perfect and he’s open that parts of this season have not gone well. It’s exciting as a fan to see how LA’s head coach has navigated last year’s losing season and how he’s been navgating this current season which still has so much potential.
“It’s hard for me to say, other than the people that I’m around. I think perspective is everything, you know, being in the seventh year there’s been a lot of different experiences that you’ve accumulated in a short amount of time, but I’m not gonna sit her and pretend that like I’ve had all the answers and that it’s been a perfect road...even though we’ve had a lot of good success. I think it’s being able to measure those things, have the values and principles that you want to operate with to kind of guide the way that you move while also still being a human being, and so...I do believe that it is, you know, very difficult to develop grit and resilience without setbacks...you can read about it, you can talk about it, but until you go through it, it’s a lot of just, you know, coach speak and words. So, while I’ve mentioned it before...I didn’t love a lot of the things that we went through...I think it was really neccessary for me personally...a lot of things we’ve gone through this year. It hasn’t been all smooth sailing in terms of getting the results, but what I do think that guys would tell you is there’s been a consistent energy with the way that they’ve approached every single day, and I think that consistent approach and that mental and physical toughness, that grit that’s been established by our team, has served us well. Especially coming off of the bye we got some guys back healthy...I think it’s just being able to remember the values and principles that kinda guide the way that you want to move and no neccessarily let external circumstances, and in a lot of instances some of the previous things that, you know, were deemed successful...allow you to lose perspective...I think that’s been something has allowed us to enjoy more and have the perspective that we want to be able to have.”
The head coach is then asked if he ever wants to keep some feelings internal. I think the question is getting at will the coach act like the team is on the right track when he knows they aren’t, or can the head coach share his true feelings and emotions about the Rams with the Rams? I am speculating a bit here but either way the head coach talks about growing up since becoming a Rams coach and more or less growing up in front of all the cameras and all of our eyes.
“I wear my emotions on my sleeve...you drop of the narrative of feeling like you have to be this...you have to be perfect in terms of whatever this narrative is or whatever you think you should be for other people...words are one thing, but your actions, you know, modeling the way the most important thing and it’s never perfect you know...I love this game, I love coaching, I love being around these players, that doesn’t mean that...I’m just always joyful...there’s things where you go through real emotions because you care, and you work hard and sometimes you’re a little bit more irritable because you’re not sleeping whether it’s because of the little man or not, but I think these are just neccessary steps as you continue to grow into, you know, the man you want to be,..I’ve kind of grown up in front of your guys’s eyes...and I’m not afraid to be human, but I do want to make sure that I’m correct in the things that I think I can control and that’s one of the things that I want to keep doing.”
Keep putting it all into action, Coach. LA could take a HUGE step this Sunday if they can somehow find a way to beat the Ravens. The Rams may have to prepare for some weather conditions in this one. I know it was Brett Rypien starting for LA against the Green Bay Packers, but I think it’s fair to say the whole team (mostly the offense) struggled in that one.
The head coach talks about preparing his team and he expresses that proper footing is something he wants to make sure the team is working on. He also makes a joke about LA not being as windy this week and it’s making it hard to simulate what could be adverse weather conditions.
If you haven’t already, do check out at least the last couple minutes of the press conference, I can’t do it justice in writing.
“You defintetly want to work with a wet ball and those types of things, cause it is different, Now fortunately maybe, you know, the one week that we won’t get the winds out here when we actually could use ‘em...we might not get that so...it deffinetely affects the way you need to anticipate some things, you know but the.,,the footing...those tpes of things let’s get ahead of that...we’ll follow that weather as we go.”
McVay is then asked about Ravens head coach, John Harbaugh. Harbaugh has been the head coach of Baltimore since the 2008 season. He’s won a Super Bowl, the Ravens are typically contenders in historically what might be the toughest division in football, and he’s still doing it in 2023.
Not to mention McVay and Harbaugh went to the same college (apparently they both have statues there), Miami Univserity. There’s a lot of admiration from McVay for Harbaugh.
“He’s been awesome to me...the Miami of Ohio connection is real...the more that I do this and the longer that you are fortunate enough to be in this role you realize how hard it is to sustain a certain level of the way that they operate in Baltimore, and that’s such a credit to him and the leadership there, but he’s been great to me and I do have a good relatoinship with Coach.”
So here the Rams are, in the thick of the NFC playoff picture about to take on one of the best teams in all of football. What better way to say that you belong than win this one?