THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. –– Rams head coach Sean McVay, offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell, defensive lineman Aaron Donald, linebacker Kenny Young and running back Cam Akers each held video conferences with local media Friday to preview Monday night's game against the Bears. Here are some of the highlights and key takeaways from those virtual conversations:
"I think you have to appreciate the greatness of both of those players." – McVay
- Though he's an offensive-minded coach, McVay has appreciation for a matchup that features two of the league's premiere defensive talents in Donald and the Bears' Khalil Mack.
- McVay said both players play with a relentless motor and "don't take plays off."
"To be able to make a throw like that off of a movement like that, that's what separates true NFL quarterbacks from guys like myself who tried to play the position." – O'Connell
- Asked about Rams quarterback Jared Goff's improved ability to operate under pressure, specifically on a long pass to wide receiver Robert Woods at the end of the game, O'Connell agreed that pass was an example of that improvement.
- From a mechanical standpoint, O'Connell said "those are some of those (throws) where I see him kind of move with those base to base-type movements within the conflict of the pocket."
"You go into a game every week with the same mindset no matter who you're playing against or who's on the opposite side." – Donald
- Going into a game against another top defensive player in the NFL doesn't change Donald's approach.
- Donald said the goal is to show up and have a big day every week, no matter who you're playing against.
"Those guys are two inspirational guys. That's why they're playing so well, that's why they're playing so dominant, that's what they're playing so long." – Young
- Though Young said he did not watch neither Donald nor Mack in high school or college because he was focused on making it to the NFL, he still has an appreciation for both players' greatness.
- Young said Donald's consistency and focus each day motivates him to be the best player he can possibly be.
"You gotta take the bitter with the sweet." – Akers
- Akers didn't get the opportunities he expected to get last week, but knows they will come eventually.
- In the meantime, Akers said he's continued to work on being more consistent.