Rams head coach Sean McVay, offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell, defensive lineman Aaron Donald, wide receiver Robert Woods and cornerback Darious Williams each held video conferences with local media Friday, discussing the status of the kicker position, defending Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and his wide receivers and Tampa Bay's secondary, among other important topics ahead of Monday night's game (5:15 p.m. PT, ABC7/ESPN).
Here are some of the highlights and key takeaways from those virtual conversations:
"Matt's going to get an opportunity to come in here Saturday to compete, and we're going to make the best decision for the Rams." – McVay
- The Rams are getting closer to solidifying their plans to replace kicker Kai Forbath while Forbath heals from an ankle injury. Veteran Matt Gay will compete against Austin MacGinnis, who is currently on the practice squad, tomorrow, then the team will make its decision.
- McVay also said MacGinnis "has had two good practices now, and (it's) definitely been a positive."
"To be around him in the quarterback room and be around him through the offseasons and into training camp was really something special for me." – O'Connell
- O'Connell was teammates with Brady in New England twelve years ago, a memorable experience for him.
- Asked what was something that he learned from Brady that he carried on in his teachings as a coach, O'Connell mentioned nuances of coverages and footwork in terms of playing with proper balance and pocket presence as two examples.
"(Brady) gets the ball out quick. He's not going to let you get a clean hit on him." – Donald
- Donald will face Brady for the third time in his career Monday night. Asked about his experiences from the first two times, Donald noted Brady's quick release.
- Given how quickly Brady gets the ball out on his throws, Donald said it's important for the Rams' pass rushers to get their hands up to break up those passes.
"I think they're a very talented group. Young guys who get after the ball." – Woods
- Woods is impressed by what he's seen so far out of Tampa Bay's young secondary, a group that he says is able to play confident because of Tampa Bay's aggressive front seven.
- Woods specifically called attention to the play of rookie safety Antoine Winfield Jr., who has been "coming down and making some big hits," as well as third-year cornerback Carlton Davis.
"There's a lot of talent, a lot of talent everywhere." – Williams
- The Bucs are deep at wide receiver with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown, all of whom have been named to the Pro Bowl a combined 14 times.
- At the same time, Williams said the Rams secondary "loves challenges like that."