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From the Podium: McVay, O'Connell, Donald, Young on Cowboys prep

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Rams head coach Sean McVay, offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell, defensive lineman Aaron Donald and linebacker Kenny Young each held video conferences with local media to discuss the team's season-opener against the Cowboys, among other important topics. Here are some of the highlights and key takeaways from those virtual conversations:

"He's trending in the direction that we think he's going to be able to play." – McVay

  • McVay is optimistic about the status of running back Darrell Henderson Jr. (hamstring) for Sunday's game against Dallas.
  • While McVay emphasized not wanting to speak too soon in the event of an unexpected setback, he feels good about Henderson being ready to go if he "continues on this same path."

"We always ready no matter who we plan for." – Donald

  • The Rams' defensive line will get a nice early-season test in the trenches going against the Cowboys offensive line, ranked No. 3 in the NFL by Pro Football Focus heading into the 2020 season.
  • What makes the Cowboys' offensive line perform as well as it does, according to Donald, is because of the fact that they've all played together for a long time.
  • At the same time, Donald said the Rams will carry the same mindset as they always do going into each game, regardless of opponent: "That we're going to go out and dominate."

"I hate to admit it, but I watched a lot of football games from the sideline, so I'd like to think that I have a pretty good eye of seeing coverage, seeing defense while also viewing everything through the lens of the quarterbacks." – O'Connell

  • O'Connell will be on the sideline rather the the booth during Sunday's game against the Cowboys. He made the comment above as a joke pointing back to his experience as a backup NFL quarterback from 2008-12.
  • On a more serious note, O'Connell said it's beneficial for him to be on the field because of the amount of communication between him in the quarterback between each series.

"It's Week 1, so it's go time now, baby." – Young

  • Young is excited for the Rams' season-opener on Sunday.
  • For Young, this season presents more opportunities. After primarily contributing on special teams last year, he's now a key member of the inside linebacker rotation following Travin Howard's season-ending knee injury.

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