Quotes & Notes 1/16: Rams focusing on Thomas, Kamara and Ingram as practice week begins

Following each practice, Quotes and Notes will bring you what was said, who said it, and what it means for your Los Angeles Rams.

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"I don't think we're in that category yet, we've got to do things for a lot longer to be able to be mentioned in that same breath."

-HC SEAN McVAY

  • Amidst comments about the after effects of Week 9's clash between two of the NFC's top teams, head coach Sean McVay was asked about any type of rivalry existing between his Rams and the Saints.
  • McVay wrote off any existence of a rivalry in his eyes, commending the success head coach Sean Payton has had leading the Saints.
  • Sunday will mark Payton's third NFC championship game in New Orleans. Payton is 1-1 in the semifinal game, losing to the Bears in his first season as the head coach back in 2006, and then beating the Vikings in 2009 before winning the Super Bowl. Payton's Saints are 8-5 in the postseason.

"Clearly the production from Michael Thomas has been outstanding."

-HC SEAN McVAY

  • The Los Angeles defense and Rams fans alike will have their eyes on Saints third-year receiver Michael Thomas on Sunday afternoon in the Superdome.
  • Thomas torched the Rams in the Week 9 matchup for a career-high 211 yards receiving, one touchdown, and one "phone call" after the 72-yard touchdown reception that sealed the deal late in the fourth quarter.
  • Thomas had another big game in the Divisional round against the Eagles, posting 12 catches for 171 yards and a touchdown.

"You got two dogs and at this time he ain't going to do nothing different — he's going to call his defense and he's going to expect for us dogs to hold up outside."

-CB MARCUS PETERS

  • Prepping for the Saints and Thomas the second time around, cornerback Marcus Peters said not much has changed in 71-year-old defensive coordinator Wade Phillips' plan with cornerback Aqib Talib back in the mix.
  • Talib missed the first meeting nursing his left ankle injury, but has made his presence felt since returning to the field Week 13 in Detroit. The Rams are yet to allow more than 270 yards passing since the veteran corner returned to the lineup.
  • Talib has never intercepted a Brees pass, nor has he recorded a postseason pick.
  • Peters has two career playoff interceptions.
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"Those are the types of plays where if we are expect to win against the caliber of the opponent we are going up against, we've got to do a better job on both sides of the ball situationally."

-HC SEAN McVAY

  • McVay was reminded of a few of his team's shortcomings in the Week 9 loss to the Saints on Wednesday afternoon. Specifically, New Orleans' offense finishing 5-for-5 in the red zone and an efficient 7-of-12 on third down.
  • McVay said it'll have to be a different story on Sunday if his club should move on to Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. The head coach also brought up Week 9's failed fake field goal attempt early in the second quarter when punter Johnny Hekker found himself just short of the sticks, giving the Saints the ball back — rather than taking three points.
  • The Cowboys were just 1-of-10 in converting on third down against the Rams in the Divisional round.

"Two elite guys that we have to respect and know where they're at at all times."

-DT NDAMUKONG SUH

  • Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and the Los Angeles defense held the league's leading rusher, running back Ezekiel Elliott to 47 yards rushing in the former Nebraska Cornhusker's first-career playoff win. On Sunday, Suh will line up from another one of the league's best in running back Alvin Kamara — along with his veteran sidekick Mark Ingram.
  • Suh described the backs' differing styles and what each rusher put on tape against the Eagles on Sunday. The duo combined for 115 yards rushing in Week 9, with Kamara finding the end zone twice against L.A.
  • Suh is coming off one of his best games as a Ram — recording four tackles, one for loss, and two quarterback hits against the Cowboys. But Suh expressed that his best was yet to come a few days from playing to go to the Super Bowl. The nine-year veteran smiled and said he gets chills thinking of the chance to play in the big game.

"I feel the same — just kind of approach it like any other game — obviously there's a lot on the line, like going to the Super Bowl and all that, but got to approach it the same way."

-QB JARED GOFF

  • With a brand-new NFC Championship backdrop behind him in the Rams' media room, quarterback Jared Goff was true to his well-documented, even-keeled demeanor facing questions, one win away from the Super Bowl.
  • Goff went 15-of-28 for 186 yards in his run-heavy first playoff win. The 24-year-old signal-caller put up a solid game against Brees earlier this season, completing 70 percent of his passes in the noisy Superdome, for 390 yards and three touchdowns.
  • Goff said he's relying on a lot of the successes he's had — reminding himself and those listening, he hasn't had success on accident.

"Those two or three weeks right there were the glue that brought us together, I guess."

-QB JARED GOFF

  • Goff's left tackle Andrew Whitworth told a brief story of the Rams' season minutes before the quarterback took the podium, saying the team has seen it all this season between the Southern California fires, evacuations, the tragic shooting in the Thousand Oaks community, and moving Week 11's Monday Night Football game to Los Angeles last minute as reasons to approach Sunday's game — and possibility beyond — with confidence.
  • Goff said non-football experiences gives his team a sense of resiliency, and gave the MNF game against the Chiefs as an example of how the resiliency played out.
  • The California native's Week 11 performance in the win over Kansas City was certainly a success he can rely on. Goff recorded 413 yards passing, four touchdowns passing, one rushing, and no interceptions in the playoff-like atmosphere.

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