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From the Podium: Sean McVay, Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Von Miller look ahead to NFC Championship vs. 49ers

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Rams head coach Sean McVay, quarterback Matthew Stafford, wide receiver Cooper Kupp and outside linebacker Von Miller each held video conferences with local and national media on Wednesday, discussing Kupp being named the PFWA 2021 Offensive Player of the Year, facing the 49ers a third time this season, and more.

Here are some of the highlights and key takeaways from those virtual conversations, which you can watch in their entirety below:

"I think both teams are very familiar (with each other). There's good schemes, there's great players. That's why we're in this position." – McVay

  • The Rams get a third shot at the 49ers via Sunday's NFC Championship game, leaving virtually no secrets between each team because of that familiarity.
  • "Tackling well, trying to break tackles, efficiency on early downs, staying connected on blocks, being able to finish those turnovers and then the situational football – whether you're talking about red zone or downs, two-minute, end of the half, end of the game – those are the things (that will be vital to the outcome)," McVay said. "It's going to be about good, clean, sharp execution."

"I think his value to our team is not only in the passing game." – Stafford

  • Reflecting on Kupp's ascent to becoming PFWA Offensive Player of the Year, Stafford indicated Kupp is more than just a pass-catcher, given the impact he has in the run game – whether he's being handed the ball or blocking for someone else.
  • "I think the thing that probably got him there is all the work that he puts into it, and I'm glad it's paying off for him," Stafford said.

"In terms of his confidence, in terms of his preparation, nothing's changed." – Kupp

  • Two playoff wins hasn't changed Stafford, according to Kupp. He's still just as confident as he was before the postseason began.
  • Kupp said Stafford's "ability just to stay even-keeled and continue to prepare and play the way he has been has been great for us."

"Selfishly, that's what I want. I want to be the guy that said, 'Man, I helped AD get a Super Bowl." – Miller

  • Miller could sense Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald's hunger to win his first Super Bowl since arriving in Los Angeles, and he's determined to do his part to make that happen.
  • "He's the complete football player," Miller said. "He's done everything that you can possibly do as a football player. And we want it for him, the whole team wants it for him."

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