Between coaches and players, the Rams had plenty to say from the first three OTA practices. Here are a few of the best press conference soundbites.
GENERAL MANAGER LES SNEAD
Is Aaron Donald's absence from OTAs contract related? “Here’s what I’ll tell you — we were aware that he was not going to be here. So at the end of the day, it has something to do with the contract. I can tell you this, we’re definitely at the serious stages of renegotiating — going to keep all of the details in-house. But respect Aaron as a player, a person, respect his representation, and respect the process. … We’ll keep [the contract discussions] intimate, but we’re at the serious part of the discussions."
HEAD COACH SEAN McVAY
Do you envision tight ends Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett being on the field at the same time? “Anytime that you get into some of those 12 personnel sets or however many times you want to play with more than one tight end, it does give you some flexibility. And we’ve seen good things from Temarrick Hemingway as well. I think we’re always just looking to find, what are the best ways we can create personnels? When you have some depth at the tight end position it gives you that ability.”
QUARTERBACK JARED GOFF
How would you describe this offense in comparison to last year? “It’s way different. It’s a way different offense. Personally, from my brief experience with it. I’ve had a quicker time learning it, easier time learning it. I don’t know whether that’s scheme or the way it’s taught or whatnot, but I’ve enjoyed spending time with the coaches and picking it up pretty quickly.”
Do you feel like the culture has changed?** “Absolutely. It’s been a great change so far. I think Coach McVay and his staff have implemented that and I think everyone has bought in. Honestly, I think from the leaders on the offensive side and the leaders on the defensive side have raised expectations and raised the standard. With that everyone seems to follow and so far I believe it’s been a really good change.”
ASSISTANT HEAD COACH/LINEBACKERS COACH JOE BARRY
What has impressed you about middle linebacker Alec Ogletree? "The thing I love about it is he grinds every single day. I walk through my meeting room every morning at 6:30 in the chow hall, and there’s ‘Tree in the meeting room watching film — every single day. We’ve talked about consistency as the truest measure of performance — he’s consistent every single day."
MIDDLE LINEBACKER ALEC OGLETREE
Is it the energy defensive cooridnator Wade Phillips brings sort of surprising considering his age? "Oh no — I mean, he’s doing what he loves to do. And for somebody to do it for a long time has to be doing something right. And he has a top defense almost every year that he’s been coaching. So I guess you have to experience it just to know why. But once you get to know him and see how he moves about, you can tell that he’s a legend in this game."
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN RODGER SAFFOLD
What kind of adjustment will Rob Havenstein and Greg Robinson have to make going to right guard and right tackle, respectively? "Well you know there’s challenges. You guys already know I went through that, having to switch sides. So it’s just, right handed is going to be different. It’s a different type of speed. Your hips are different. Setting back, you’re going to have to kind of get that feel to be like, ‘How can I go against a speed guy? How can I go against a bull rusher?’ These are the basics that you’re going to have to re-learn. And then it depends on how you look at the plays. If you look at the plays. If you look at the plays as left and right, you’re fine. If you look at the plays as frontside and backside and you switch to the other side of the line, it can almost mess you up a little bit. You’ll get a little bit dyslexic. So you really have to focus in on the calls."