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Sean McVay reacts to Rams' 2023 schedule

In 2023, the Rams are slated to face seven teams who qualified for the playoffs last season.

Three of those matchups come in the first three weeks, as the Rams will travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks in Week 1, host the 49ers at SoFi Stadium in Week 2, then travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals on Monday Night Football in Week 3.

"I think you love it," McVay said on NFL Network's schedule release show Thursday night. "That's what's great about the NFL. Three playoff teams. Obviously tremendous respect, and we have familiarity. There's been continuity on all three of those staffs. But they've earned the right, they've done a great job."

As indicated already, that matchup against the 49ers will be the Rams' home opener.

"They've done a great job. They've been an excellent football team for the last handful of years. You guys know the respect I have for (49ers head coach) Kyle (Shanahan)," McVay said. "But this is why you get into this, is for challenges and opportunities to be able to try to elevate your game, play as well as you possibly can. We're going to get a chance to really be able to test ourselves early on. I think the important thing is, let's keep building blocks one day at a time right now," McVay said. "I love the approach our team has taken. But when you look at that schedule, you're looking at those first couple weeks, and you see two teams you're very familiar with, and that's what you love. We're excited about certainly Week 1 first, and then we'll get to the Niners after that."

One of the biggest storylines for the 2023 season will be the return to health of starters Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp.

Regarding Stafford, McVay said the quarterback "has been awesome."

"He's got a great look in his eye," McVay said. "Even though he says he's getting older, he still does look like a human JUGS machine out there. It's like he was made to throw a football. When he's feeling good, I feel a lot better as well."

Having those three players and the team overall healthy again for organized team activities (OTAs) has been a positive.

"We lost a lot of great players, but we were missing a lot of great players last year," McVay said. "And those three guys are phenomenal players, they're phenomenal people, and I think there's just a little bit of a good edge to them in terms of missing the game a little bit. A lot of those guys haven't gone through missing the amount of time that they missed. We sure as heck missed them, and it'll be great. Because those kinds of guys, they elevate the people around them."

Collectively, they'll continue preparing for a 2023 season that will open with multiple familiar teams.

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