THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Rams head coach Sean McVay, defensive coordinator Brandon Staley, safety John Johnson III and quarterback Jared Goff each held video conferences with local media Wednesday to preview Sunday's Week 13 road game against the Cardinals, discussing the windy conditions locally, Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray and Arizona's offense, among other important topics.
Here are some of the highlights and key takeaways from those virtual conversations:
"(The wind advisory) definitely does (affect us practice-wise)." – McVay
- As a result of the wind advisory issued for Ventura County beginning Thursday, the Rams will hold virtual meetings in the morning, then conduct practice at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood instead of at their facility in Thousand Oaks.
- McVay said "we need to get that work in," because "you can see the amount of good work that gets in, even though it is minimal once you get this late in the season, is something that you can't take for granted," especially after canceling last Friday's practice.
"The thing that's unique about Kyler (Murray) is that he's faster than a lot of the spies that you may have on field. This guy's got real speed." – Staley
- Murray's ability to make plays with his legs has been problematic for most opposing defenses. So far, Arizona's signal-caller has rushed for a team-high 10 rushing touchdowns through their first 11 games.
- Sometimes, using a spy – a defensive player assigned to shadow the quarterback or another backfield player – works as a solution to contain quarterbacks like Murray, though Staley said it can also cause offenses to hurt you more when you keep passers in the pocket longer.
"It's like the road runner, you know? It doesn't look like he's covering a lot of ground, but he is, because he's taking a lot of steps." – Johnson
- Asked how he would describe Murray's running style, Johnson compared it to a speedy and popular cartoon character.
- Johnson said that as a defender, that type of a runner requires you to match the runner's body language by shortening your stride instead of running with long ones when trying to tackle him.
"If (McVay) was lying, I'd feel differently about it. He's absolutely right. I'm a big boy, I can handle it." – Goff
- Normally not one to publicly criticize one of his players, McVay went in a different direction after Sunday's game, saying "our quarterback has to take better care of the ball" after Goff threw a pair of interceptions and lost a fumble against the 49ers.
- That approach didn't bother Goff, given his and McVay's relationship. "I'm accountable for myself, and I need to be better than that, I need to take care of the football," Goff said.