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From the Podium: Sean McVay, Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald, Mike LaFleur, Raheem Morris and Cooper Kupp preview Week 7 vs. Steelers

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Rams head coach Sean McVay and quarterback Matthew Stafford each held press conferences with local media Wednesday, discussing the new additions to the running back room, the Steelers' defense and more.

On Thursday, defensive tackle Aaron Donald, offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur and defensive coordinator Raheem Morris each held press conferences with local media to discuss the Steelers' offense and defense, connections to the Steelers, and more.

Here are some of the highlights and key takeaways from those conversations.

"It's good to be able to get Darrell back." – McVay

  • Running back Darrell Henderson Jr. is back in Los Angeles, this time as a member of the Rams' practice squad in wake of injuries to Kyren Williams and Ronnie Rivers.
  • McVay said the familiarity with Henderson was what made the Rams interested in signing him, as well as how smart and conscientious he is and how productive he's been as a runner and a pass-catcher when he's played.

"Twat's what the week is for, you know. I think we kind of put the game plan in with things in mind, with players in mind, but at the same time, those guys go out and compete for carries." – Stafford

  • The Rams' running back rotation will look different this week with Zach Evans, Royce Freeman, Myles Gaskin and potentially Darrell Henderson Jr. (practice squad) all vying for carries with Williams and Rivers getting injured.
  • McVay said it's "safe to say" Williams will be out this week, while Rivers got placed on Injured Reserve.

"Not really. Just talked to my dad like last week about you know, playing the Steelers this week. He was asking me, he gets to play the hometown and I felt like my first year I was excited about it." – Donald

  • Given his Pittsburgh roots, Donald was asked if their were any emotions or thoughts about facing his hometown team this week, but Donald indicated it's just another game, especially after already facing the Steelers in Pittsburgh back in 2019.
  • "It's cool to play against the team that I grew up watching and all that but I'm gonna just just another week obviously want to find a way to be successful trying to find a way to win this game," Donald said.

"He knows all 11 people's responsibilities at all times." – LaFleur

  • That perspective is part of what makes Stafford valuable to the offense, especially when onboarding multiple players new to the running back rotation.
  • "You don't always expect everyone to know as much as Matthew does, because a quarterback's job, it's the hardest job in sports," Stafford said.

"Glad to have him back." – Morris

  • Morris said Thursday that defensive back Derion Kendrick (personal) is back in the building.
  • Morris said it's McVay's decision whether Kendrick plays Sunday against the Steelers.

"Anytime you got ball disruptors and things like that, there's always an emphasis on protecting the football." – Kupp

  • The Steelers' defensive has two disruptive edge players in T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith.
  • Kupp said it's "everyone's responsibility" in regards to blocking and being aware of those players.

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