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From the Podium: McVay, O'Connell, Donald, Johnson, Jefferson look ahead to Week 3 at Bills

Rams head coach Sean McVay, offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell, defensive lineman Aaron Donald, safety John Johnson III and wide receiver Van Jefferson each held video conferences with local media Thursday to preview this Sunday's game at the Buffalo Bills. Here are some of the highlights and key takeaways from those virtual conversations:

"Cam (Akers) will be the only guy that we don't expect to practice today." – McVay

  • Asked about the status of running backs Cam Akers (ribs) and Malcolm Brown (finger) prior to Thursday's practice, McVay said Brown will return to practice but Akers will not.
  • Regarding Akers, McVay said "he's coming along maybe a little bit slower than I had expected, but he's making progress."

"From day one, (Van Jefferson's) game has just been very polished to me." – O'Connell

  • Rookie wide receiver Van Jefferson is picking up where he left off in training camp, continuing to earn the trust of his teammates and coaches. Asked why he's been able to assimilate into the offense so easily, O'Connell gave the above answer.
  • O'Connell knows polished rookie receivers when he sees them, having worked with Washington wide receiver Terry McLaurin last year. He said both McLaurin and Jefferson are similar in that, besides their polished route-running, they also process information very well.

"Don't pay me any attention. You ain't gotta slide, you ain't gotta double-team me, nothin'. Let's all play football fair, one-on-one." – Donald

  • This week, Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll was asked about his plans for limiting Donald, and Daboll joked "maybe he misses the bus" in a nod to how unstoppable Donald can be.
  • Donald reaffirmed Thursday afternoon that he has never missed the bus. "I'm always early."

"(Josh Allen)'s like a rebirth of Ben Roethlisberger." – Johnson

  • Asked about Bills quarterback Josh Allen and the challenges he presents, Johnson mentioned Allen's large frame and big arm which remind him of the Steelers' quarterback.
  • With Allen also being a physical runner when he leaves the pocket, Johnson said "you've really got to have a tackling plan for him."

"(Jalen Ramsey)'s the best corner in the NFL, so I knew going up against him every day in practice, it's only going to get me better." – Jefferson

  • Cornerback Jalen Ramsey has been one of the instrumental pieces to Jefferson's development, as seen during a moment in practice last month that Hard Knocks captured and went viral on social media.
  • Jefferson also said Ramsey is "one of the best teammates I've ever had."

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