Quotes & Notes 7/29: Clay Matthews enjoying his first training camp with L.A. 

After each media session, 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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“Ram for life.”

— GM Les Snead

  • The Rams signed the franchise’s all-time leading rusher Steven Jackson to a one-day contract on Monday, allowing him to officially retire as a Ram.
  • Jackson rushed for 10,138 yards while playing in horns from 2005-2012.
  • He had eight consecutive seasons with 1,000 yards rushing, putting him in rarefied air.
  • Jackson went on to play two seasons for Atlanta, and one in New England.
  • He’s currently No. 18 on the all-time rushing list with 11,438 yards.

“We’ve got a couple guys that we want to be smart with.”

— HC Sean McVay

  • While players were in shoulder pads for the first time on Monday, the Rams gave many veterans the day off from practice.
  • Head coach Sean McVay noted after the session that it’s usually players who have been in the league for at least seven years who get those veteran rest days — like left tackle Andrew Whitworth, safety Eric Weddle, linebacker Clay Matthews, cornerback Aqib Talib, defensive lineman Michael Brockers, etc.
  • Defensive tackle Aaron Donald was also a part of that group, even though he’s entering just his sixth season.
  • McVay said those players are slated to be back on the field for Tuesday’s full-pad practice.
  • The head coach also noted that the Rams have successfully avoided soft-tissue injuries so far during camp, and that everyone who was out of practice today was scheduled to be.

“We’re counting on big things from Clay Matthews.”

— HC Sean McVay

  • Matthews was one of the veterans who received a day off, but with him scheduled to speak to the media on Monday, McVay received a question about the veteran linebacker.
  • McVay said the Rams have definitely already benefited from Matthews’ veteran presence.
  • While Matthews has positional flexibility based on what he did with Green Bay, the Rams have mainly had him at outside linebacker during practice so far.
  • But given his skillset, he could be a wild card in known-passing situations.

“To have a day off like this — I didn’t get many days off in Green Bay.”

— LB Clay Matthews

  • Matthews told the media that he appreciates the veteran rest days that the Rams have implemented.
  • He mentioned that the Rams may have taken some heat for not playing starters during the preseason last year, but also noted it worked out well for L.A. in the end.
  • From what Matthews has observed, he said it feels like the Rams are at the forefront of sports science when it comes to taking care of players’ bodies.

“When you go to a new team, you get to prove yourself all over again.”

— LB Clay Matthews

  • Matthews said it’s exciting to him to be in a new spot and to have to demonstrate his value to a new group of teammates and coaches.
  • It’s something Matthews hasn’t had to do throughout the course of his career, given that he spent 10 seasons in Green Bay.
  • Matthews noted that in some ways, certain things may have gotten a bit stale for him over the course of the last couple years.
  • But with the talent around him, new teammates, to learn, and a new system to master, Matthews is excited about what’s ahead.

“Having this thing come full circle, it definitely feels like this is the way it should continue, or should end — however you want to look at it.”

— LB Clay Matthews

  • Matthews is a Southern California native, attending Agoura Hills High School and USC.
  • He said he’s enjoying being back home now as his career reaches its next stage.
  • Matthews also mentioned that when it became clear he wouldn’t return to Green Bay, his goal was to get to the Rams.
  • The linebacker feels there was a need for a player like him, but the fact that the club has a good chance to be highly competitive once again was also enticing.

Check out the best photos from Rams Training Camp Day 2!

“Those are things that he does naturally because he’s invested in these guys, he wants to help out.”

— HC Sean McVay

  • Even on his day off, Whitworth was still involved with his teammates throughout the course of practice.
  • Whitworth could be seen taking to the younger players along the offensive line, counseling them between plays.
  • McVay said that’s typical of Whitworth, who the head coach has often called one of the best leaders he’s been around.

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