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From the Podium: Sean McVay, Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald, Mike LaFleur, Raheem Morris and Chase Blackburn preview Week 1 at Seahawks

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Rams head coach Sean McVay and quarterback Matthew Stafford each held press conferences with local media Wednesday as the Rams continued their preparation for Sunday's season-opener against the Seahawks in Seattle.

On Thursday, defensive tackle Aaron Donald, offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, defensive coordinator Raheem Morris and special teams coordinator Chase Blackburn each held press conferences with local media to discuss the growth of young players in their respective position groups,. key matchups in Sunday's game and the decision to sign kicker Brett Maher to their practice squad.

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

"I know (Cooper Kupp) wants to be out there badly and we want him to be out there, but we don't want to rush it, either." – McVay

  • McVay said Kupp is out for Sunday's game against the Seahawks as they continue to work through his hamstring injury.
  • McVay also said it's possible the Rams put Kupp on Injured Reserve.

"It's a team effort and, and then at the same time, just let those guys be themselves." – Stafford


"You get the butterflies and you're just anxious to get on the field. I wish we could play right now." – Donald

  • Donald is eager to return to action after last taking the field for a regular season game in late November 2022.
  • "It's been a while, and then you missed the game, you missed the whole experience of being on the field and going against the team and trying to find a way to work," Donald said.

"I would say the most that they've improved on is probably their confidence." – LaFleur

  • That area is what LaFleur identified when asked about the growth of Rams receivers beyond Cooper Kupp when Kupp wasn't out on the field during practices in the spring and training camp.
  • "They have earned the right to feel confident," LaFleur said.

"I want to see the best version of themselves." – Morris

  • Morris' expectations for the Rams' young secondary on Sunday are straightforward.
  • "The best version of that room, of themselves, is going to be good enough for us," Morris said.

"Figured out pretty quickly that we thought we had a guy, obviously didn't quite come down that way. But always keep an eye out across the league as well." – Blackburn

  • After evaluating rookie kicker Tanner Brown throughout training camp and the preseason, and of course this spring, the Rams opted to bring in a more experienced player at the position, signing veteran Brett Maher to their practice squad last week.
  • "I think we've always had an eye, as an organization, of looking to see what would come available, if we felt like we could get the right guy that we really believed in, there was a veteran and for the right price, and all that kind of stuff, then it was always on our mind," Blackburn said.

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