Rams head coach Sean McVay, defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell, defensive lineman Aaron Donald and defensive back Jalen Ramsey each held press conferences with local media Wednesday, discussing their impressions of the Ravens' offense and defense, the chance to clinch the NFC West this weekend, and more.
Here are some of the highlights and key takeaways from those conversations, which you can watch in their entirety below:
"Coach Madden, what an incredible influence he had on the game." – McVay
- NFL legend John Madden passed away Tuesday morning at the age of 85, leaving behind an impressive legacy as a coach, broadcaster and video game empire.
- Madden was someone who cared deeply about his players and wanted to bring out the best in everybody, which McVay said is "the ultimate sign of a great coach."
"Give the kid credit. Every day from that point, he gets hurt, and prepared and prepared and prepared." – Morris
- With Ernest Jones placed on Injured Reserve, more will likely be asked of Travin Howard, who replaced him in lat Sunday's game against the Vikings and recorded his first career interception.
- Morris said although Howard didn't play well when he received opportunities against the Giants, his work ethic – and making the most of his opportunities on special teams – helped put in position to succeed like he did last Sunday.
"It's been awesome to have him back." – O'Connell
- Akers' return to practice has been as big a of boost to his teammates as it's been for him. O'Connell said it's provided "some excitement" for players.
- O'Connell said Akers has earned the respect of his teammates with the work he put into his rehab and the timeline on which he was able to come back.
"That would be great. We're aware of it, but obviously we can control what we can control." – Donald
- Donald knows the Rams have a chance to capture the NFC West title this week, which can be accomplished with a win and a Cardinals loss to the Cowboys.
- As for what they can control, Donald said "going out there this week, playing a tough-fought game and trying to find a way to win."
"It's a process and it's a journey he'll continue to go on." – Ramsey
- Ramsey is protective of his "little brother" Akers, saying he doesn't like the perception that Akers is already back or being rushed back.
- Ramsey said Akers has a long career ahead of him and he doesn't want Akers to feel like anyone is rushing him back.