INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Rams head coach Sean McVay, outside linebacker Chris Garrett, quarterback Bryce Perkins, running back Xavier Jones and wide receiver Tutu Atwell each held press conferences with local media following their 17-16 loss to the Raiders Saturday night at SoFi Stadium, discussing what they saw out of Perkins, using kicker Matt Gay as their emergency punter, and more.
Here are some of the highlights and key takeaways from those conversations, which you can watch in their entirety below:
"Obviously wanted to try to come away with the win but was really pleased with some of the individual plays." – McVay
- While the result was not what the Rams wanted, there were individual moments that McVay was happy with.
- One of those highlights was Perkins, who nearly rallied Los Angeles to a win in the final seconds.
"I thought it was good. I got in a little zone there, made a bunch of plays, and it was fun just getting out there, getting that adrenaline back. That was nice." – Garrett
- Garrett had an impressive performance Saturday night, logging 4 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3 QB hits, two pass breakups and one forced fumble.
- As for that adrenaline, Garrett said the biggest thing so far from an acclimation standpoint hasn't been his small-school background but adjusting to missing the 2020 season, hence the importance of experiencing it again.
"During the drive, I really try to stay focused and calm throughout the game, that's kind of how I have to play. It allows me to play faster and play better." – Perkins
- It was that mindset that helped Perkins play with a quieted mind and lead the Rams on a scoring drive on the final series.
- While that drive came up short – Perkins connected with tight end Jacob Harris for a touchdown, but the ensuing 2-point attempt was unsuccessful – he was still pleased with the way Los Angeles' offense moved the ball downfield during it.
"Bryce, that's one of my close friends, so just seeing him getting in that rhythm and leading us down there was incredible." – Jones
- Having become close friends with Perkins because of their similar paths to the Rams and roles over the last year, Jones has had a front-row seat to the preparation leading up to Saturday night's opportunity for Perkins. As a result, he had "complete confidence" in the Virginia product on the final drive of the game.
- "Just being out there helping him and just seeing him, with his confidence – it had been a long, long road for him as well, we've kind of been in the same situation," Jones said. "So it was fun to be out there with him."
"I'm getting the feeling of (punt returner). It's very fun being back there." – Atwell
- After getting limited experience returning punts in college, Atwell is in the mix for that role with the Rams – a role that he's becoming more comfortable with.
- Though he was second-string punt returner at Louisville – Rodjay Burns was the starter and averaged 12 yards per return across the 2018 and 2019 seasons – Atwell did show promise at the position. He returned four punts for 84 yards in 2019, one of which went for a long of 50.