Head Coach Sean McVay – Media Availability – November 8, 2017**
"On practice today we gave (OLB Connor) Barwin, (T) Andrew Whitworth and (C) John Sullivan their typical day of rest. (RB) Malcolm Brown actually got his MCL pretty good in the game, so he's out right now. He's going to be out for a little bit of time while he rehabs. (OLB) Robert Quinn was out with an illness and then (TE) Derek Carrier kind of strained his hamstring early on in practice, so he was a non-participant as well."
(On if Brown will need surgery)
"We're figuring that out right now, but he's going to be out his week. That's something that we're going to be evaluating moving forward."
(On the play of the right side of the offensive line this season)
"Very pleased with those guys. Certainly there's always things that we can clean up, but I think you watch their progression, the way that they continue to mature – they're playing really good football right now. I think they're getting comfortable, they're getting a rapport with each other. We've been able, for the most part, with the exception of a couple times where John has had to come out – keep the continuity of those five up front and I think it shows with the way that they've played as a group. (G) Jamon (Brown) and (T) Rob (Havenstein) continue to take steps in the right direction and I think them being conscientious being around some of the guys in that room as far as the veteran presence and then also (Offensive Line) Coach (Aaron) Kromer's leadership and guidance. I've been very pleased with those guys and want to continue to seem them grow and develop. But, just looking at where they are in their career and just kind of projecting moving forward, I feel very good about those two."
(On what he can point to as being the reason that this team has been so successful in the first half of the season)
"Well, I think we've connected as a team and we've got fortunately, really good football players that are doing things the right way with the weekly preparation, the approach – our coaching staff has put them in a good position. So, anytime that you see some of the things that we've done, certainly it's far from perfect, but I think it takes everybody. That's what you love so much about this game, is it's not about one person, it's about all 11 on defense, offense, special teams, the coaches doing a good job of putting their players in a positon to go into the game with a quieted mind and confidence and I think you're seeing a lot of those things take place. The challenge for us is can we still continue to approach every single week with that level of urgency that needs to be raised each and every week to continue to play at a high level and come away with the result we want in an extremely competitive league."
(On how he keeps his players from looking ahead)
"The best thing we try to do is take it one day at a time because that's really all that matters. Every single day is so vital to our preparation to be able to put ourselves in a position to feel good about that performance on Sunday and today really is first, second and some third down emphasis. Tomorrow we will continue with the third down, two-minute, some short yardage, a little bit of red zone and then Friday you kind of wrap everything up with the red zone emphasis and then revisit some of those areas. But, every single day is a very important step that we need to make as a team, both offense, defense and special teams to be ready to go on Sunday – if you're not, you get humbled in this league and that's why you can't overlook anybody, especially a very good team coming in here that's won their division the last couple years."
(On if RB Malcolm Brown being out opens the door for RB Lance Dunbar's return)
"It does and that's something that we'll be able to use the week to get a feel. Obviously, we've got (RB) Justin (Davis), we have a lot of confidence in him as well. Then you look at the way that (WR) Tavon (Austin) has been able to kind of be that moveable piece, which is a very valuable part of our offense. So, it certainly does open up that possibility – whether that ends up being Lance or Justin will be determined later on in the week and we've got the luxury of using these practice reps and just getting a feel for how those guys feel as the week progresses to make that decision."
(On if he has to coach the idea of not being complacent with a 6-2 team)
"The nice thing is you really don't. We certainly revisit it and emphasis it. But, we've got the right guys in that locker room to make sure that they drive that and they drive that home when we're not around as coaches. Certainly everybody enjoys some of the things that are going on right now and I think they appreciate how we get to that place to be able to have some of the results we've had the last couple games we've played against Arizona and New York. You don't just show up and win football games and I think our guys respect and understand that and how competitive it is and what we need to do to be at our best to compete and try to come away with the result that we want on Sundays."
(On how much the defense feeds off the offense and vice versa with this team)
"I think a lot. I think you talk about one of the things that's really good about us right now is we're a team. It doesn't feel like there's separate offense, defense, special teams, but it's guys pulling for each other. You watch when good plays are made. You watch when (WR) Pharoh Cooper pops a big return – guys get excited for each other, whether it's touchdowns, whether it's turnovers on defense and I think you see that energy show up. We talk about our tape is our résumé – I think that consistently shows up. The nice thing is, we have the ability, we feel like, to play well in all three phases. The challenge is, can you put it together? And when we don't do that, which phase is going to be the one that kind of lifts the team to try to come away with the result that we want. But, guys are connected and they're committed to each other and they're doing the right things right now."
(On if the style of coaching changes when he is in his position with success as opposed to earlier in the season)
"I don't think so. I think the only thing that changes is the comfort level with the people that you're working with. You continue to have a better understanding of everybody's personality, how you can connect and help them reach their highest potential. But, what you don't want to do is try to change your approach and I think we're always focused on whether we win or lose, you look at the tape, you figure out what you can improve on, you look at it hard, you're critical of yourself. You say, what are the things that we've done a nice job of? Let's make sure we don't lose sight of that and then you move forward and you have to get ready for the next ball game. Whether you win or lose, I think that's important to be consistent and we talk about that all the time – that that's the truest measurement of performance and I think we want to be very consistent with our approach. That doesn't mean that if something isn't working you don't look at yourself and be ready to adjust and adapt, but I think with what the guys are doing right now, where they're at, we want to be consistent in that approach and our preparation and we want to see it lead to continuous good performances like we've had the last couple games."
(On if he is surprised with the amount of points his team has scored thus far)
"I don't think you ever really think about it like that. One of the things that we do is we take one game at a time, one day at a time. I think we're pleased with the progress that we made – we'll see if we can continue that. It's a good challenge against a Houston Texans defense. I think when you look at the scoring too, that isn't exclusive to offense. We've had a couple special teams touchdowns, we've had a couple defensive touchdowns, they got a safety, they've got some turnovers in some favorable field position, so those are team stats. Our offense has done a nice job. We can still continue to do a good job in the red zone. If you talk about specific areas of improvement, the last few third-and-1s we've had – our last four were 0-for going back to the Seattle game and in the red zone we've got to continue to improve. We're 4-for-5 last week, but the one that we didn't convert on we get a holding when we try to run a kind of flip play to (TE) Gerald Everett, that sets you back and you can't afford to beat yourself. So, the guys have done a good job of understanding that each week and each play is its own entity – there's been some good things certainly right now, but we want to see if we can continue that on against a tough Houston Texans defense this Sunday."
(On the Texans being without QB Deshaun Watson and DE J.J. Watt changing his game plan)
"It's not a different game plan. I've got a whole lot of respect for (Texans Head) Coach (Bill) O'Brien – I know he'll have those guys ready to go and when you do look at, certainly they're missing some guys that are really excellent football players. But, they've got very good players behind them, quality football players that are starters in this league and there's a reason why you see those guys compete at a high level. I think when you just look at their offense – two very dynamic receivers. (Texans WR) DeAndre Hopkins is special. He has the ability to beat you – you look at the screen against Seattle that he takes all the way, he's making contested catches, he's going by people, he can do everything. (Texans WR) Will Fuller is an excellent deep threat, he's got seven touchdowns on 15 catches, they've got a versatile running game – you look at (Texans RB) Lamar Miller and what (Texans RB D'onta) Foreman does as a change of pace back. When (Texans QB Tom) Savage gets into a rhythm he's very capable and Coach O'Brien will put them in a great spot just based on his ability to scheme things up. He's been a part of some extremely successful offenses, they got guys that compete up front, can change up personnel grouping and then defensively – (Texans Defensive Coordinator) Mike Vrabel is presenting a variety of looks. (Texans OLB/DE Jadeveon) Clowney is obviously a very special player, but you look back at the Tennessee game, when their DBs get their hands on the ball, they make picks and they force those turnovers. We've got to be ready to go against a very tough opponent and certainly they are missing some special players, but they've got good guys that have filled in."
(On how hopeful he will be that he doesn't have to use the silent count at home)
"Very hopeful that we don't have to use the silent count at home. Really, I think the only time that we had to do that this year was against Seattle at the end of the game kind of when we're in that end of the game right around that 20 (yard line) area where we ran a couple plays to get to the end zone. I don't think we did against Washington. But, we've got to just continue to focus on trying to deliver a good product to this city and hopefully the fans will come up and support us. We've got to see if we can continue to keep that road atmosphere where we've played well on the road, let's see if we can play well at home and lock in and focus and concentrate and try to deliver these home fans a good performance."
(On if he is superstitious about talking about the health of his team)
"No, we're not superstitious. I think when you look around the league, you feel very fortunate to have such a good training staff that has put the guys in positions to try to prevent some of the things that are preventable. Then there is always going to be things that are going to occur that might be those freak-type accidents that just you don't know what you can do to really avoid them. But, to I think our players credit, to (Director of Sports Medicine/Performance) Reggie Scott and his staff's credit – they've got a very deliberate plan, very intentional where everything that we try to do is geared towards helping our players be healthy mentally, physically, so that they can be at their best on Sundays or whenever it is that we're playing and the players have bought into that. But, you look at Malcolm's injury, that's an unfortunate loss for us. He's a very important part of what we've been doing. I'm really pleased with him. I want to say that he's sustained that at some point in the second half and continued to play through that, which demonstrates his toughness. So, guys will have to step up in his void. But, you don't feel superstitious about it. You just feel fortunate that you've got good people that can kind of try to help put us in a good spot."
(On QB Jared Goff being named NFC Offensive Player of the Week)
"Very proud. Very happy for Jared. I think it's well deserved. I think that he continues to grow and that's demonstrated by a variety of things in that game. He makes some great off-schedule plays, he clearly makes the big play down the field to (WR) Sammy (Watkins), but I just thought the overall command and control that he had in that game when you look at it in a road atmosphere, the cadence, different things – some of the blitz looks that (Giants Defensive Coordinator) Coach (Steve) Spagnuolo presents. I thought he handled and managed the game extremely well and I thought his understanding and knowledge of the game plan and what we were trying to get done was demonstrated by the way he played, very efficient. He did a really nice job taking care of the football. You look at the first touchdown that he makes and then the one to (WR) Cooper (Kupp) later off-schedule where that's all him creating. Good protection buys time and then (TE Tyler) Higbee is his fourth option in that progression right there. So, I think there's plays that start to demonstrate week-in and week-out why he's making steps in the right direction, he's very coachable and we're very happy for Jared."
(On how big of a difference K Greg Zuerlein has been)
"Unbelievable. It's extremely comforting knowing that your kicker and not to mention how automatic (LS) Jake (McQuaide) and (P) Johnny (Hekker) are as well. That procedure, that operation is not to be taken for granted. I remember working with a special teams coach that now is in Pittsburgh, (Steelers Special Teams Coordinator) Danny Smith and he was always laughing, everybody is saying, 'Oh, this is a chip shot.' Well, there are no chip shots. There's a lot of things that go into making those field goals or those PATs and that group, that unit has consistently delivered. It's a huge weapon for us. I want to say that Greg has 99 points on the year, which is 19 ahead of the next scorer in the league. Those guys have been excellent. I feel very fortunate and it makes you feel a lot of comfort just knowing that you feel like in certain areas of the field we've got points locked up, let's make sure that we take care of it, while still being smart and understand that we want to try to come away with touchdowns."
Rams QB Jared Goff – Media Availability – November 8, 2017 **
(On how surprised he is being named Player of the Week and all of the progress that the team has made)
"Obviously extremely honored. We talk about it all the time though, anytime these individual awards most of the time has to do with your team and this one for sure does. I didn't get hit all day and that's a testament to the O-line. We threw a bunch of screens for a bunch of yards. It's not me doing the work – it's those guys, but it's a big honor and I'm very honored to be named that for sure."
(On what Head Coach Sean McVay has done for him individually and for this team as a whole that's made such a big difference from last year)
"We've worked really hard this offseason. We've obviously changed a lot of things offensively and worked really hard. We got really good players, and players that care about each other and are really unselfish, and really just care about winning on every facet of the game: offense, defense, special teams. I think we've got a very unselfish team and guys that care about each other."
(On if it's hard to avoid what is written and said about how good this team is right now)
"I don't think it's hard. No, I don't think so. I think in this league, it's so week-to-week. You're good one week and then you're bad another week. We were the worst team ever last year and now everyone loves us. So no, it doesn't make any difference to us. We're 6-2 at the halfway point and happy about a lot of things we've done so far, but a lot of work to do. Eight games ahead of us, starting with the Houston Texans this weekend."
(On how much he has learned from Coach McVay)
"A lot. He's taught me a lot and continues to try to keep learning. I think we've worked really well together and try to bounce things off each other. Most of the time I'm asking him the questions and he's been great."
(On if McVay is constantly tinkering and adding stuff and if he does that more than other coaches might)
"I don't know. He's our head coach and yeah, I think he does a great job of finding good plays to put us in. He's obviously a talented coach and great play caller and has done a great job so far this year."
(On if he ever gets a laugh about the tinkering that he does always adjusting)
"Sure. Yeah, we'll have some plays in there where we're like, 'What are we doing this for?' And sure enough, we see it and are like, 'Oh, it's going to work.' That happens weekly."
(On if he's surprised at all by the pace in which they are scoring)
"No. I think any time you go out and you execute the game plan and like I've said a million times, we have good players on offense and on defense and on special teams. But offensively, we have good players. We have guys that care about each other and right now we've done a good job of meshing and playing well. Again, with that being said, there's so much ahead of us and we can't do anything but focus on the Houston Texans this weekend and doing our best this week in practice to prepare for them and get ready to go out there to the Coliseum this weekend."
(On what exactly the team's offensive identity is)
"A team that executes, offensively executes and executes the game plan. And is very detailed and again, unselfish."
(On the challenge of getting fans to come to games last year and the excitement of this year's team mobilizing fans to come to games)"I think so. Anytime, I think in LA, the one thing I've learned is, this is a city that likes people that win. When you win, they come and we have been winning, so hopefully they'll come."
(On what he sees from the Texans defense)
"They're very talented, very talented. I think the first thing that you see is (Texans OLB) Jadeveon Clowney, is a guy who can wreck the game. A guy who's really extremely talented and we have to be aware of and then across the board, they're very good from linebackers to 'DBs.' They're athletic and they move around really well and make plays on the ball really well. So, we'll be aware of that for sure and look to continue to execute our game plan for sure."
(On being named NFC Offensive Player of the Week)
"It's a good honor, but it's a team thing. I think I mentioned it, I didn't get hit at all on Sunday and we had a couple screens go a long way. It makes my job easy when you have such good players around you."
(On if he feels fortunate about the team's health overall)
"Yeah, obviously it's been good so far. Our trainers and our strength staff have done a tremendous job of setting a plan up every week, a detailed plan and keeping us to it. Players have done a good job taking care of themselves, I think. Yeah, it's been good so far."
(On if the pass to WR Sammy Watkins in the Giants game was the longest pass he's thrown)
"I think so. I was thinking about that. I think it was the longest I've thrown in a game in my life, in the air. I think so. I can't go back to high school. I can think of maybe a couple in high school and college, but yeah that was one of them."
(On if he knew how far he threw the pass until he saw it on tape)
"No, I didn't until I saw it. No."
(On how big it is for the offense to be efficient and get as many yards per play as they're currently getting)
"It's huge. It's a testament to having good players across the board and guys that are continually staying detailed and executing the game plan. The screen 'Rob' (WR Robert Woods) took (52)-yards isn't a (52)-yard touchdown unless he's doing the exact right thing on the way he catches the ball and gets off. Then 'Big Whit' (T Andrew Whitworth) and (G) Rodger (Saffold) coming out and kicking out the way they did and then Sammy blocking down field the way he did. All those little things make that a (52)-yard touchdown. That goes into that yards per play or whatever, all those little details that I think our guys are super keen on."