Rams Head Coach Sean McVay – Minicamp Day 1 – June 13, 2017
(On how he feels about how the team is doing at this time of year and the confidence every team has right now)
"That's exactly right. I think when you really look at it, very similar to the OTA structure, other than the fact that it's mandated and we get a little bit more time with the walk-thru, then we'll come out for practice. Getting through the OTAs and Phase I and Phase II, now this kind of represents the culmination of our offseason program. We get a chance to hit all of our situations. The majority of our offense and defensive systems are in place. I think it gives a chance to really get a good evaluation before we go on break and kind of see where we're at and what we need to really address moving forward going into training camp."
(On DT Aaron Donald's contract situation)
"It's great to have (DT) Aaron (Donald) here. There's no more news in terms of the contract negotiations. But, it's great to have him here, participated in the walk-thru. With him not being here, wanted to just make sure he's in great shape like we know he is. But be smart about the way that we give him those reps. He's done a nice job so far today. He's really kept up with what's going on mentally – such a sharp, natural football player. Kind of made a seamless transition with the walk-thru. It's great to have him back here around his teammates."
(On how far behind Donald would possibly be after missing OTAs)
"You want your guys here and there's a lot of information that's given. But, with some of the resources we do have at our disposal, where you're able to do some things away and still access some of the film. He's such a conscientious player that I think he's one of the few players that you do feel good about his ability to be able to get up to speed in a quick manner. You certainly would love to have those guys here, but with Aaron, he's a guy that's such a natural football player, I think the game comes simple to him. That's not something that we're too concerned about."
(On how much communication there was with Donald in his absence during OTAs and what his mindset is like)
"Really, we'll keep that in-house. But, with getting him here today, it was great to be able to talk to him face-to-face. He's in a good place, been taking great care of himself. He loves football. I think we all want to come to a resolution and we feel great about what Aaron has done for this organization and we're optimistic about what's to come."
(On if Donald will get any reps during minicamp)
"That's something that we'll determine moving forward. Really, see how he felt with the conditioning today. If we feel like that's the best decision and Aaron feels like it is, then that's something that we'll do. But, we won't decide that until later today."
(On the progress and relationship he's built with QB Jared Goff and the potential improvement from year one to year two)
"I think he's done a nice job. Like we'll continue to talk about, really with any of our players, it's kind of a one day at a time process. We're always focusing on improving every single day. The quarterback position entails a lot, especially above the neck, we're getting in and out of the huddle, communicating a play call, then how that dictates and determines where you're going to go with the football. Some of the audibles that we ask him to do in the run-game. I think he has done a good job, but looking forward to seeing how he's able to carry that over, making sure that he's conscientious enough to improve over this break so that we can hit it running in training camp."
(On OLB Robert Quinn's status)
"With (OLB) Robert (Quinn), it was just a little issue that had happened with his hand. Not going to be anything that's going to hold him up for training camp. We're just being extra cautious with him. He's going to be good to go when things get rolling for us."
(On if Quinn had a surgical procedure)
"It was a minor thing. And it was something that's not going to hold him back going into camp. But, when you look at what he's done this offseason – the way that he's competed. It was a situation where we were able to get it addressed so that it's going to be fixed. He'll be fully ready to roll for camp. It was just a little, minor procedure with his hand."
(On him and his staff's objective with mandatory minicamp so that the team is ready for training camp mentally and physically)
"That's a big part of it, too. You want to make sure you're getting good work in, but we also want to try and get out of this healthy. Knock on wood, fortunately haven't had anything that's going to affect guys' ability to be ready for training camp when we do report to Irvine. But, I think it's just continuing to get that knowledge of the systems, put guys through different situations. Really, when you go through some of these things in practice you try to mimic and emulate it. It's great for the coaches, too. We're forced to think through some things, play calls and how we would handle certain situations and circumstances that do come up. I think it's just continuing to build and making sure that we practice smart and try to get out of this thing healthy as well."
(On how Goff has picked things up and translated them to the field through the offseason program)
"I think he's done a nice job. I think there's a lot of challenges. I think there's some things that we can always continue to improve on. I think when you look at trying to find your identity and what you kind of want to hang your hat on within the framework of our offense, I think he's picked some of those things up well. Again, like we always talk about, it's going to be something where we want to do a good job as coaches figuring out our players and then we'll adjust the system accordingly. We've got a lot of different things that we can do, but it's about figuring out what these guys do best. Having an identity and making sure that you have some complements off that identity."
(On how much input Goff will have in the play calling and gameplan)
"From a teaching progression, you certainly try to make sure that the things that you're calling it make sense. Have that word association, if you will. If there's something that he feels like is going to make it an easier way for all of the players to understand and call a concept, that's something that we're certainly flexible with. He does have his input, just like any of the other players. We try to make sure that as coaches we're creating verbiage that makes sense from a teaching standpoint, as opposed to just, 'This is just because.' You want to always make sure there's a why. I think that gives you a better chance to learn if you have that."
(On RB Todd Gurley's mindset needing to have a bounce-back year)
"He's a great football player that's motivated to respond in the right way. I think he's been a great leader for us. He works extremely hard, extremely conscientious in the meeting room. I had never really been around (RB) Todd (Gurley) before I got here and I've been extremely pleased with him. I think he's a much more complete player than maybe a lot of people would think with his ability to contribute in the pass-game, protection and then, obviously, he's an elite runner. He's a special player and we've got to do a great job putting him in good spots. I think he's certainly done his part in setting a good example for what it looks like to be one of the standards on this team."
(On what it is about Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips' system that allows players to pick it up quickly)
"I think he's a great teacher. I think he does a good job of making sure that it makes sense to the players. We're going to continue to do the same things over and over until guys feel comfortable. And then, he does a great job of putting his players in good match-up situations, almost like you try to from an offensive standpoint. He finds a way to get his elite rushers in some good situations. Making sure that he's putting his guys on the backend in good spots with some of their match-ups. I think that's why you've seen him have success throughout the course of his career. We're lucky to have Wade here."
(On Goff's weight gain and if it was recommended by the team and how it can help him)
"I think it's always important to be able to sustain some of the hits. Anytime that you're able to just be a little bit sturdier. You still want to make sure that you're fluid and flexible. I think that weight, when you're thinking about some of the throws that you have to make in the face of a pass rush and where you have to absorb those hits – I think it just allows you to be a little bit sturdier. I think you want to put it on the right way. From everything that we've seen and heard from (Head Strength and Conditioning Coach) Ted Rath and his staff, that's kind of where we're at with him. That's going to be an ongoing process."
(On how much of Goff's weight gain was influenced by the amount of sacks he took as a rookie)
"When you look at sacks, it's a combination of things. I think the quarterback has a reasonability of getting the ball out and the timing and rhythm – the line and the backs and receivers. I think sacks are on all 11 (players). But, I think to be able to withstand those hits as a whole is something that's important. When you talk about trying to avoid those sacks, that's something we talk about with the unit and everybody has a contribution to trying to make sure that we limit those."
Rams QB Jared Goff – Minicamp Day 1 – June 13, 2017
(On what he did physically during the offseason)
"Just continue to train hard. Did my best in the months we had off to continue to train hard and my body continues to grow. I understand I'm still young and there still is going to be some growing. I've said this for a while now, I've gained about 10 lbs. every year of my life. I'm 22 (-years old) now, you can do that math, about 220 (lbs.). Then, I hope it slows down about 23/24 (-years old), but yeah, I think I've been doing a good job just trying to continue to get strong and just continue to work as hard as I can."
(On how he seems more confident and comfortable)
"I think a lot of that has to do with the guys around me. I think we've done a good job offensively going from the install to on the field and being effective with it. I think that goes back to the coaches as well. Their ability to install and their ability to teach and coach us has been tremendous. It's been a lot of fun learning with them and continuing to improve myself and the team as a whole."
(On what his ideal weight would be)
"That's about it, 220 (lbs.)."
(On how is workouts changed over the break)
"I think it was my first real offseason. Last year, you go straight from – or I guess it would be two years ago – you go straight from your college summer, into your season and then as soon as that's over, you're into combine training which is completely different than an offseason training. And it's no different for me than any other second-year guy, so it's been good. Getting to understand how an offseason works and how it feels, has been good."
(On if he feels like Head Coach Sean McVay is tough on him because he seems to be that way with the quarterbacks)
"I think he does a great job. I think he is tough at times, I think there's other times where he knows how to handle a situation, but I've been very happy with the way that he's coached me. I want him to be hard on me. I think I need it. I think that's how I get better and continue to stay sharp."
(On if RB Todd Gurley has changed at all this offseason)
"I think him, like myself and like most of the team, we're all maturing and we're all growing up. I think him and myself have done a great job with that this offseason, and kind of coming into our own a little bit and understanding our role within the team and understanding our responsibility and how important everything is. I think he's done a tremendous job in the offseason. Seeing him train - we did train together for a little bit. Seeing him train and how hard he's taking everything and how serious he's taking everything has been awesome. I expect him to have a great year. I think the best thing about him is how team-orientated he is. We could win every game, and he couldn't have a touch – he wouldn't really care. He wants to win the games and he wants to do whatever is best for the team and that's my favorite part about him."
(On if he believes that Gurley can be an elite back in the league)
"Yes, I think he's one of the best in the league. He's done it in the past and I think he'll prove it this year. I'm excited to see what he can do and I know he's excited to show what he can do as well."
(On if he has a goal for growth and progress)
"I don't know if there's an exact point you put on it. I think you just continue to get better every day. You can't take a day off. I thought there were some plays today where I wasn't as sharp as I wanted to be and you can't really allow that. You need to be sharp on every play or at least mentally sharp and know what you're doing on every play. Sometimes daily, you don't have that. I think if you get to the season and every single play is boom, boom, boom, boom all the way across, play-in and play-out, is when you kind of feel comfortable. I think we're on our way there. I don't think we're there yet, but we're on our way."
(On how much WRs Mike Thomas and Pharoh Cooper have grown)
"Tremendously. It's the same type of thing that I was talking about with Todd. Maturity and continuing to grow. In talking about Mike, he's kind of found a role for himself. He's one of our faster receivers and can stretch the defense. I think he enjoys that role and understands that he's going to be an over the top guy. It's just a perfect role for him. Pharoh, in his own right, has his own role in the slot. He can find a hole in the defense and is smart, and just continue to grow into that role. I think they're both continuing to grow and continuing to get better."
(On the long pass that Thomas dropped last season)
"I think you always want to let them know that you're not going to stop throwing it to him. I think that's what I told him. I don't remember exactly. I'm going to throw picks, they're going to have drops, we're going to miss blocks, we're going to drop balls – it's going to happen, but you try to limit it. The only way you can get through it is to get to the next play and continue to improve. The faster you can get over something like that, the better you are."
(On where he expects to see the added weight help him on the field)
"Everywhere. I'll give you an example. My freshman year to my sophomore year, I put on quite a few pounds. I kind of felt it in the pocket, the ability to kind of make one guy miss is a big deal. The ability to not get tackled by just a hand, by just a guy grabbing your jersey is a big deal. I think that's where it will help the most."
(On if he thinks his arm is stronger)
"No, I don't think so."
(On how difficult it was from the time McVay got hired to install a new system until now)
"I don't think it was necessarily difficult. It's part of the job. You have to learn the new system. I enjoyed it. I've enjoyed every day coming out here and learning with them. All the way back from when we started meeting with them to now – it's been awesome. I've had a really good time learning it. I think I've picked it up at a pretty good pace. I like where we're at right now. Obviously, a lot of stuff to improve on, especially from today. But again, I like where we're at."
(On if it feels natural)
"Very natural. The offense is starting to become second-nature to not only myself, but I think to a lot of the guys on the team."
(On what he's going to do over the break)
"I'll be training. I've got two things planned. I'm going to have a camp at my high school coming up here soon. I'm going to play golf in Tahoe in the middle of July and that's about it. Everything else will be down here training."
(On if his camp is up North)
"Yes, at my high school. Jared Goff Summer Classic, presented by Next Level. June 23-24. See you guys there. (laughs)"
(On taking a lot of sacks toward the end of the season and if that made an extra incentive for him to add more weight)
"I'm good with what I weigh. I think I've been asked about my weight about six times today. I feel good with what I weigh and I don't feel like last year had anything to do with it. I'm always trying to improve my weight, always trying to get heavier, always trying to get stronger, always trying to get faster. I don't think any situation in particular prompts that, it's just innate since I've been 12, I've been trying to continue to get stronger."
Rams RB Todd Gurley –Minicamp Day 1 – June 13, 2017
(On the comfort he and his teammates have so early in Head Coach Sean McVay's new system)
"It feels good. Like I said, just come out here every day, try to get better each day. I felt like we've been doing that, been able to put in a lot of the new system and we feel pretty comfortable with that. Coach does a great job of just giving us certain situations to deal with and handle and I felt like we've done a pretty good job."
(On how he's changed physically)
"I don't feel like I've physically changed. I'm healthy, so that's a good thing. I'm just able to do everything and be out here with my teammates. I'm just happy to be able to do that."
(On if he's added any additional weight)
"I did. Trying to get it back off though (laughs)."
(On Coach McVay discussing the importance of putting him in the right position to have a season like his rookie year and the relationship they're developing with one another in order to achieve that)
"Coach, he does a great job of just communicating. He knows this is a new system for us. So it's not like he's pressing us like, 'C'mon man, just get it.' He's been taking it day-by-day with us as well. Just like at the end of the practice, just going through it, jogging through it. We don't have to go full speed (on) everything. He just does a great job of just handling each situation well and communicating with us and making sure we know the scheme."
(On if he's expecting to be targeted in the pass game on a regular basis during the regular season)
"Like I said, we'll see what happens once the season comes. Like I said, I'm just doing what he calls on the script and just taking it day-by-day."
(On if he has a sense that the entire offense has picked things up well and why)
"It just goes back to the coaching. The coaches have been doing a great job. We've been in here four days a week and other guys have been putting in the extra time. So like I said, they've just done a very good job with us just being patient, the skill development, everything – just from Phase I, Phase II, Phase III – it's just been day-by-day, piece-by-piece, and it's just all kind of coming together slowly."
(On if he's been able to completely put last season behind him and if he uses it as motivation)
"4-12 is definitely not the season (anyone) wants. I don't really care about what I do individually. We probably wouldn't have this discussion if we were 14-2 and I had 200 yards. It really doesn't matter what I do or what anyone else does on this team. It's about what we do as a team together."
(On how he evaluates the way he hit the holes last year that were open)
"The past is the past. We all put in great effort and tried to do what we tried to do. Things just didn't work out for us eventually on gameday and we came up short a lot of times, too many times."
(On if this new offense changes things at all for him in terms of how he might he be set up to read blocks or hit holes or if it's essentially the same with regards to what it asks him to do)
"I mean, I'm a runner. Not too many runs you can have. You've just got to go out there and, obviously, stay on your tracks, stay on your reads, read your course, but at the end of the day, running the ball is nothing new. The same game I've been playing the last 18 years, so just take it day-by-day. Once the game comes, we'll figure all that out."
(On if things feel different and more stable at this point this year compared to last when the team was going through the relocation)
"Yeah, kind of, sort of. We're all at the field, we're all not just sitting up in the hotel for three, four months. So, it definitely feels a lot better just being able to get accustomed to the city, know where you're going to be at. It's definitely a lot better feeling and we feel a lot more comfortable. And just try to do our best to help out the rookies when they come in."