Sean McVay spoke with the media for his usual Wednesday presser. He discussed topics like Jared Goff, the Detroit Lions, Pete Carroll, and more. It was a lengthy one, but enjoy these pressers while they last because these McVay press conferences could be done for the season sooner than later. As long LA can keep winning we can expect LA’s head coach to continue addressing plenty of topics. In the meantime the Rams need to prepare to play the Lions before McVay can really start prepping for what next week looks like. Let’s see some of what the head coach had to say.
McVay has been asked about Jared Goff throughout the Los Angeles head coach’s career. Goff was his quarterback, then he was traded to Detroit for Matthew Stafford. Now McVay will be coaching against his former Rams QB in a playoff game. The coach is being asked about Jared as much as ever this week, and McVay has stayed positive in his responses. That does not change here as the head coach praises Detroit’s offense and Goff, who led his team to a divion title this season.
“Kinda like I’ve said, he’s done a great job for them. I mean, they’re one of the top offenses the last couple years, he’s a really good player, he did a lot of really good things here, you know, for the four years that we were together and so that’s why they won their division and their hosting a playoff game. So it’s gonna be an excellent challenge for us.”
McVay has said in the past that he could’ve handled the Goff trade better. There’s been some facts but mostly rumors and I certainly don’t know how exactly the trade went down. Do you? Does anyone? LA’s head coach gives a detailed response as he talks about learning as a coach and person, and expresses that his appreciation for Goff grows as time goes on.
“Growing as a person, handling every situation in they way that you want to...the thing that I’ll never run away from are mistakes that I’ve made in previous instances, but when you look back on it the gratitude for those four years, all the good memories that we had, you know and then when you end up making a change that ended up being difficult and could it have been handled better on my end? Absolutely, and I’ll never run away from that, but the further you get away from it, the more that you try to grow as man, as a person, as the leader that you want to become. He deserved better than the way that it all went down. I’ll acknowledge that and I think he knows that too, and I’m not afraid to admit to those things but I think we’re all better being able to look back on those things and I do have more appreciation for him as time goes on.”
The Rams will have to prepare to take on Goff and his Lions offense, but they are also going to have to prepare for an away game in what is expected to be a lively atmosphere in Detroit. Is LA preparing to have to use a silent count or any other similar tactics?
“That’s absolutely something we’re gonna be working on all week and we got to be able to handle that.”
McVay is asked about his relationship, if any, with Detroit’s head coach, Dan Campbell. McVay says that he and Campbell do not know each other on a personal level, but their seems to be a mutual respect between them.
“I’m a fan of coaching, so we have interactions at league meetings and things like that, but no pre-existing relationship.”
McVay gets asked about Stafford and specifically how much Stafford may have appreciation for his time in Detroit, and also the appreciation that Detroit may have for their former number one quarterback. For over a decade Stafford was the starting QB for the Lions. That amount of time certainly had an impact on Stafford, and he left his mark in Detroit as well.
“A lot of appreciation on both ends...it’s be where they saying ‘Hey, we appreciate everything, and then we’re rooting for the Lions to try and beat the Rams’ but...it’s a real credit to just what a special person and player Matthew’s been over the course of his career.”
Will Stafford have any emotions going into this game? To McVay’s credit, I think plenty of coaches would shove this question away but McVay embraces the question and gives a transparent answer.
“I think it would be not be a human being to not feel a lot of different emotions, but he’s put our team in a position to play a meaningful game, and he’s got a lot of history there. I think it’s real to feel those types of things, but you know, once you get into the game let’s be totally immersed in the moment. We got a lot of confidence in him and I want just to be able to cut it loose and play well with his teammates.”
Stafford probably does have emotions about this game (don’t you think Goff does too?) and it’s good to acknolwedge those emotions, but come game time these players are on the clock, and they have a job to do.
“You acknowledge and I think you got to be honest about all those feelings that exists whether it’s you’re going against previous players, previous coaches, but once the game is kicked off it’s about the Rams versus the Lions. That’s where our focus is and concentration is this week and while I totally respect and understand the outside narratives, you know, I gotta believe that’s the same thing for them in regards to how do we go win this game as a team? How do we play complimentary football? And what does each person need to do within the framework of their roles to help us go be successful and enjoy it.”
Mcvay is asked about Pete Carroll reportedly stepping away as head coach in Seattle. It’s not toally clear if the organiziation asked Carroll to step down, but it does semi seem that way considering that earlier this week Carroll was saying he wanted to keep coaching. We may learn more as time marches on. Either way McVay expresses the utmost respect for the Super Bowl winning head coach of the Seattle Seahawks.
“Yeah. What a great coach. What an amazing just leader of people the consistency at which he’s operated with. You know I got tremendous respect for him, just especially going against him the division for the last seven years, but I think a lot of the values and the principles...in terms of the energy, the competetiveness, the way that he pours into his players where you’re uplifting...I think what great coaches do is they make people they’re around and situations they’re a part of better, and Pete Carrol is one of those guys that comes to mind when I mention that...man did they have an identity with the teams that he’s coached...coach Carroll is a stud, and...if I’m sitting up here being able to do that as long as he did...holy shit would that be impressive.”
LA’s head coach seems to be asked about the team preparing for a playoff game as opposed to gearing up for a regular season contest. McVay points out that this is a win or go home game, but otherwise it’s football and the team should more or less continue to prepare the same way that they have been.
Whatever this team has been doing got them here. Why stop that now?
“I think you acknowledge it, it’s a great opportunity, but I think we want to be consistent in our approach...let’s attack this thing with an opportunity, an unrgency, but an enjoyment while we’re doing it, and I think that’s the way that this team has played...it’s a more important game in terms of ‘hey if you win you advance, if not your season ends’ but I dont think you want to press. I think you know the atmossphere and envirnment is going to be outstanding, but I don’t think you want to get too far outside the framework of the things that allowed us to be in this position.”
This year the Rams weren’t expected to do much whereas the last few seasons LA was expected to compete for the Super Bowl. What is the coach’s mentality regarding this season knowing that outside expecations for the Rams were low.
“My mentality is enjoying every single day and the chance to be able to do it for people that you really appreciate, care about...really attack the opportunity that these guys have earned.”
Goff’s former head coach and offensive coordinator, McVay, is asked if he has any advantage because he may know what Goffs strengths and weaknesses are. If McVay has any advantage he certainly downplays it.
“Nah, I don’t think so. I mean it’s been a coupe years they’ve been one of the top upper echelon offenses. He’s been part of some really offenses here that he’s led the way, so his resume...it’s speaks for itsself...he’s a great quarteback and we gotta do a good job of trying to slow their offense down with him at the switch.”
McVay is asked specifically if preparing for this game is anything like when the Rams prepared to play the New Orleans Saints during the 2018 season. The head coach says that he expects this game to be loud, and that he has been thinking about that specific comparison.
“You know what’s funny...is I think this will probably be the closest thing to that and that was...that was wild.”
LA is going to have to prepare to play in what could be a very hostile enviornment. This is the first playoff game at Ford Field (the Lions home stadium). The Rams are going to have to prepare for it to be noisy early, often and they should prepare for it to stay at high decibels throughout the length of the game.
“There’s a premium on the nonverbal communication...we always try to do that but this is a different level of it.”
A different level indeed. LA has plenty of players who will be playing in their first ever NFL playoff game. They also have veteran leaders who been there and won that Super Bowl. Rams fans we’ll want this win, the Rams will want this win, but win or lose this has been a terrifc season for LA. How many more midweek press conferences from McVay do we have left? I don’t know, but I am hoping we get at least one more post game victory speech.
Let’s see how far the Rams can take this thing.