Sean McVay gave his usual post game press conference after the Los Angeles Rams defeated the San Francisco 49ers in the final week of the regular season. Sean McVay talks about a few topics, and he points out early that he doesn’t know when the Rams will be playing next, but he does know they will be playing the Detroit Lions. I am thinking that after the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins game we’ll know what Super Wild Card Weekend will look like, but for right now McVay and the rest of us have to wait to see when exactly LA plays next.
Update: We do now know that LA will be playing on Sunday night. We will be waiting all day for Sunday night, as they say.
In the meantime, let’s see what the head coach had to say following his team’s latest victory.
LIVE: Rams Postgame Press Conferences with HC Sean McVay, QB Carson Wentz, + WR Puka Nacua following our victory over the 49ers. https://t.co/mWZHoJt3KL— x - Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) January 8, 2024
This week was a bit different as both the Rams and 49ers rested some key players (like their starting quarterbacks) as both teams wanted to start preparing and resting for the playoffs. Today’s game didn’t have the usual implications of most NFL games. McVay was proud of his team’s overall effort and the result.
“It was a little bit different approach that we both took...really proud of the way that our finished the game.”
LA’s head coach acknowledges what the 49ers have accomplished and understands that there is a chance these teams see each other again in the postseason.
“They’re the one seed for a reason...we’ll see where this thing leads...”
McVay knows who his team will be playing, but he doesn’t know when and it seems like that is informaion that the coach cannot wait to have. He also does credit Puka Nacua for breaking the rookie receptions and yardage record. It’s a great moment for the rookie receiver who’s season and story is still being written.
“...But we know that we’re going to Detroit next week, we’re really excited about that opportunity, really happy for Puka Nacua...that was frustrating to try to figure that out...after the first drive thought we would be able to do that...I thought our guys just did a great job but for him to be able to break both of those records is such a credit to this team, but also his consistency and his body of work over 17 a game season. I’m really happy for him.”
McVay is thrilled with the win and the accomplishments, but he and the team should have a new focus now.
“Excited to be able to figure out whether we play Saturday or Sunday and...you know, get to work on Detroit.”
Sean McVay is asked about Matthew Stafford’s history with the Lions since Stafford was the franchise quarterback there for so long. McVay is asked about the Jared Goff narrative because Goff was the franchise QB for the Rams for a bit before being traded for Stafford. McVay comments that all of the narraitves and stories are fun, but what really matters is the upcoming football game. Simple as that.
“All those narratives are fun but it’s gonna be about the Lions vs. the Rams. They’ve done a great job earning a home playoff game, winning their division, their excellent in all three phases...I’m really excited about Matthew leading us, he’s done a great job this year, proud of this football team, and let’s see if we can put together our best gameplan...put together a great week of preperation and then...let’s see if we can go put it together for all four quarter, let is all hang out and see what the hell happens.”
McVay reflects on his appreciation for Goff and the overall job that the Lions have done. Detroit has had one of the best seasons in the NFL this year.
“I have more appreciation for him, you know, as time goes on...he’s nothing but a class act, and man did he do a lot of really good things here for us, and he’s done great stuff for them. There’s a reason why they’re in this position, we’re gonna go do the best that we can...to go try to a play a good clean game and try to be able to come away with the win, but they’ve been an excellent offense, and he’s done a great job orchestrating it.”
The head coach downplays any of the drama that may have taken place between Goff, McVay and the Rams. McVay says that it’s all good vibes on his end and why wouldn’t it be? McVay and LA traded Goff for Stafford and went on to win a Super Bowl.
“You guys know there’s different things that occurred, but you know there’s nothing but good vibes on my end...we know we’re going against an excellent football team.”
McVay pushes again that his and the team’s focus should be on the game and playing four complete quarters of football so that LA’s season can go on even further. LA’s coach does admit that the playoff game should be very exciting for the players and viewers. It’s the NFL playoffs, of course it should be exciting. That’s what it’s all about.
“I don’t get too caught in that. I think it’s really about our team vs their team...I think there’s gonna be a lot of fun external narratives, but it really is gonna be about us as a football team going there and trying to play good clean complimentary football and put it all together. This is whay you do it. There are awesome opporunitites. The atmoshere and enviornment is gonna be great...and that’s what NFL playoff football is about...I’m just excited to figure out whether we’re playing on Saturday or Sunday.”
Rams offensive coorinator, Mike LaFleur, was able to call the plays today. That’s something that McVay normally does. McVay says that LaFleur did a great job and he praises LaFleur as being a big part of the Rams success this season.
“Mike LaFleur did a great job calling it today...he’s a stud and I’m really graetful for him and he did an awesome job today.”
The Rams special teams unit continues to be a concern as Brett Maher missed at least one extra point in this game showing that LA is still having some issues at the kicking position. The head coach says that they’ll look at the tape and try to make the needed adjustments, whatever those may be.
“Those are things that we want to be more consistent with, as we know that’s been a challenge for us.”
Let’s say for the sake of argument that LA ends up playing the 49ers in the postseason. Did the Rams show anything today that they would also run in their next matchup? McVay saiys that he and the team were very cognisant of that possibility, and kept the gameplan fairly simple for that reason. LA didn’t want to show all it’s cards in this one.
“We were very vanilla in our approach...that’s why some of the operational things we adjusted.”
McVay has expressed his love for the team several times this year and he does it again as the presser gets close to the end. He expects that his team’s toughness should help them hopefully achieve their goal of victory next week.
“I love this football team. I love the mental and physical toughness that they display week in and week out...it’s gonna be a key and ciritcal factor for us next week.”
The head coach one more time expresses congratulations for Nacua and his record breaking performance, but expresses that it’s time to get ready for LA’s next challenge.
“Happy for all those guys and now here we go.”
Earlier in the press conference McVay made a comment about “letting it all hang out.” LA gets the chance to do just that in the upcoming wild card weekend. This Rams team proved they could navigate the regular season. Now they get their first chance to show if they can navigate the postseason. Super Wild Card Weekend here we come.