Rams HC Sean McVay conference call (9.18.19)

LA Rams Head Coach Sean McVay:

On his grandfather’s impact on his life and coaching career:

“My grandpa has had an unbelievably big influence on my coaching career and really my life. You talk about a guy who has handled things the right way, treats people the right way and works hard. The opportunities that I have been given in the league are a result of the reputation that he was able to establish. Right when I got done playing at Miami of Ohio, I got in with the Bucs only because of my grandfather, what he had done and the relationship he had formed with the Gruden family. He was really the epitome of class. I feel so fortunate to have him as my grandfather as a great mentor and his influence on me. A lot of the opportunities that I am almost embarrassed to admit that I have been given are a result of just having the same last name as him.”


On if he attended the San Francisco 49ers’ Super Bowl appearance when he was nine years old:

“No, I am still mad they wouldn’t bring me to that. The 49ers beat the Chargers. That was Steve Young’s Super Bowl. That was a great win for them. I remember rooting for them. I was wearing my Deion Sanders jersey because that was the year he was there. He won Defensive Player of the Year and they won the Super Bowl. That was fun to watch, but they didn’t think I was old enough to go to that game.”


On the significance of playing the Browns on Sunday Night Football with his ties to Ohio:

“It means that it is a great football team that presents a great challenge for our team. We want to have a great week of preparation, and hopefully, it leads to a good performance. We know that we have to play great in all three phases to come away with a win.”


On if it seems like the Browns offense is still trying to find its way with new personnel:

“I wouldn’t say that. What you see is explosiveness. I think you see the ability to be efficient in the run and the pass and can strike at any time. Then you have a quarterback that can create on schedule and off schedule and elite playmakers around him. You can see when you get (RB Nick) Chubb going and you get that balance. They are difficult. You can see why they were one of the more productive offenses in the league, especially under (Head) Coach (Freddie) Kitchens’ leadership, last year. Starting off, you just saw how quickly they can strike the other night.”


On the Rams’ travel plans for East Coast games:

“Being a West Coast team, we have had a lot of these trips. Really, it depends what time kickoff is. Because it is a Sunday night kickoff, we will travel the night before instead of two days out. If it was a 1 p.m. kickoff, we would go two days out just because it is 10 a.m. in our players’ and our coaches’ heads. A lot of that is a result of being educated from a performance staff from a sports-science standpoint and what is going to be the best way for our players to be peaking at the right time. Because we kick off later, we will travel the day before.”


On Rams LB Clay Matthews’ contribution to the team and his father, Clay Matthews, being inducted into the Browns Ring of Honor this weekend:

“We had a chance to talk about that last week. First of all, it is an incredible demonstration of what a special family they are and what a talented family they are. I know it means a lot to him to be able to be there. He has meant a lot to our football team – a great leader, a great player. I have had a chance to learn from him, as well as all the experience. I know he is certainly proud of his dad, and hopefully, this induction will lead to the induction into the NFL Hall of Fame, as well.”


On DE Myles Garrett, Garrett’s goal to be Defensive Player of the Year, Garrett’s recent roughing the passer penalties and if he has any concerns about those on Sunday:

“I think you always want to be smart. I think he is a great player. I have been really impressed with just watching him continue to grow. He can beat you in a variety of ways. He can rush off both sides – the left side or the right side. He has a repertoire of moves, and you can see that he is at his best in those most important moments. He has made a huge impact. Even just watching when you have the game on in a TV setting, you just feel what an impact he makes on the game. He looks like what the No. 1 overall pick is supposed to look like, and he continues to get better as his career has progressed.”


On what makes Rams WR Cooper Kupp so affective and what characteristics a slot WR needs to have:

“In a lot of instances, it is dependent upon the type of offense. We have a special one like you mentioned in Cooper, but we have a bunch of receivers that can play in the slot where typically you want guys that are wired to separate, work two-way go’s on people and also have a feel for finding some soft spots if you have some option-type routes where they can work off a defender or they find a soft zone in between a hook and a flat player or whatever the defense ends up playing. I think those are some of the elite traits. Aggressive hands to catch the ball in traffic. Fearlessness. A lot of the same things that we love so much about Cooper Kupp are what make a lot of your receivers so special, as well.”


On if he felt a little self-conscious about being hired as a head coach at the young age of 30:

“Only when a lot of people mistake me for an intern (laughter)”


On if he learned anything from Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ experience, who the Rams faced in last year’s Super Bowl:

“Yeah, I got a chance to talk to Josh a little bit. That is what is nice about this league is that it is a small group of people that are always willing to share and have been really good to me. The things that have worked out in my favor are a result of I have been around great people that have been willing to put their arm around me and be able to teach me, whether it be people I have worked with, whether it be other guys around this league and then in a lot of instances people on our staff. I am certainly still young. I feel a lot older than what I am I think, but I am still young and trying to learn every single day.”


On WR Odell Beckham Jr. and Beckham referring to him a guru:

“I have a whole lot of respect for Odell – the type of competitor he is and what type of talent. He is so unique. There are no limitations in his game. He can catch a short pass and take it all the way. He can track the ball down the field as well as anybody. You can put him anywhere and he can run any sort of route. Obviously, the impressive hands. I have been a fan of his for a long time and just watching the way that he plays the game, it really is just special. I had a chance to cross paths with him a couple times out here in L.A., and he is also a fun guy and has a great personality. I have nothing but positives on Odell, and hopefully, he does his thing after we play him.”


On Rams KR/PR JoJo Natson and how he can earn more time on the field at WR:
“I think he is capable of doing it. We have some depth like you mentioned, but he is one of those guys that he is just a tough competitor. He has great short-space quickness. He consistently tracks the ball well. He had a big return that set up a touchdown for us last week. I think he makes pretty consistent, good decisions in terms of when to field it and when not to. Really since he got here, he has just done an outstanding job of making progress and contributions for us. He has improved as a receiver. Even though he has not gotten some opportunities, God forbid if something were to happen to some of our guys, he is certainly somebody that we would feel confident in to step in and do a nice job.”


On if Garrett is potentially on track to ultimately winning a Defensive Player of the Year and have a career like Donald:

“I do not think there is any question. I think the truest measurement of performance is consistency, and he has consistently played well week in and week out. If he continues on this trajectory, I think there is nothing but positives in the future for Myles.”


On if things he did not know about Donald before working with him that make Donald a special player: 

“I think one of the things that is so unique about Aaron is that he is such a special talent, but the work ethic is unmatched by anyone I have been around and then the drive to never let complacency set in. No matter how well he has played, he is always looking for improvement. I do not think anybody is a harder critic on Aaron Donald than Aaron Donald is on himself and nobody expects more. He loves the drive. You hear him say it all the time and his phrase is hard work pays off. He certainly epitomizes that day in and day out. I think also what is so refreshing is that he wants to be coached. I have heard all the great ones want to be coached. He wants feedback. He wants to be told truth, and he wants to have high standards and expectations. I do not think anybody has higher standards or expectations for himself than Aaron does.”


On how the Rams DL and Donald help the Rams OL prepare for opponents:

“You are blocking the most disruptive or one of the most disruptive defensive lineman in the league that can really move up and all over the place. Really our defensive line and our group as a whole, we have a bunch of guys that could do some good things, but I think anytime you get a chance to matchup against a special player like that, it can be a really good challenge. It can be something that you can draw some experience on as long as you do not let it take away your confidence.”


On QB Baker Mayfield:

“I think he is a great challenge to defend. There are no limitations in what you can ask him to do. He does a great job when things are there in rhythm of being able to deliver accurate balls with guys having a chance to create afterward. He sees the field well, and then when things break down, he has big eyes down the field. He is able to make some unique plays off schedule. Even just going back, you watch some of the stuff and the touchdown pass he makes to (WR Jarvis) Landry against Carolina last year and you just see some of the plays he makes the other night, he is a playmaker. He is a great competitor, and he is an incredible challenge to defend.”


On his familiarity with Kitchens:

“I know him just from a couple of the interactions that we have naturally as coaches. He has been nothing but first class, and I think he has done a great job.”


On if he has familiarity with members of the Browns coaching staff:

“We study the film and you have an idea of what a lot of these coaches backgrounds have been, things like that. (Defensive coordinator Steve) Coach Wilks is somebody that I am a huge admirer of just from coaching against him in this division and even going back to when he was in Carolina. Obviously, (Offensive coordinator Todd) Coach Monken did a great job last year with Tampa. Coach Kitchens, you can just see it is a great challenge for us and it is something that we certainly have to be ready for against  a very, very good coaching staff.”


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