Head Coach Sean McVay – Training Camp Press Conference – August 16, 2017**
(On how WR Sammy Watkins looked in practice)
"I think he looked really good. He's got great hands, the ability to run through the football, when the balls in his hands you can feel his speed and his juice down the field, so I thought it was good to get him out here. He was comfortable with some of the things that we were asking him to do, so it was great to have (WR) Sammy (Watkins) out there and getting in the mix today."
(On if he is starting to get excited for what Watkins means for this offense or if expectations are tempered because of how much he needs to learn)
"Well, there's certainly a lot of work ahead, but I think as soon as we were able to acquire Sammy there was excitement because you see what he's done over the course of his career. What I've been really pleasantly surprised with is just what a great person he is, a great communicator, how quickly he's picked things up. He's able to articulate his role and responsibility within the framework of some of the things we're asking him to do. He's been very impressive in that regard and then seeing him out here where we've really kind of got him involved a lot more than yesterday – he did a great job, so it was good to have Sammy today."
(On if he thought Jared Goff responded well today)
"Yeah, I think he did. Again, the nice thing about going against each other for so long, there's a lot of familiarity on both sides and I think we've consistently had a good back and forth battle. I thought he did have a better day today than the last couple, but getting that work from our defense where (defensive coordinator) Wade (Phillips) and our defensive coaches do an excellent job of mixing up some of the looks, especially on the back end with what those quarterbacks are seeing has been excellent work and it's only going to help us moving into the season."
(On how mixing Watkins into the offense helps Goff)
"I think it helped today because Sammy was able to make a handful of plays. Certainly you always want to try to distribute the ball to all five eligible (receivers), but Sammy's number was called a handful of times today and he did a great job delivering and Jared made good, accurate throws. It was good to see those two connect on a handful of plays today."
(On if Watkins will get some work with Goff on Saturday)
"Yeah, that's the anticipation, that's the expectation. We'll play our starters – the goal is a little bit more, probably through the first quarter. We'll see how that goes, but Sammy's going to be a guy that is a big part of our plans offensively and we expect to get him involved on Saturday."
(On being able to utilize the different skillsets that his wide receivers possess)
"It does. I think it's nice when you have a good, complementary group where everybody has something unique about their game. But, I think you also want to be mindful of these guys can all do a little bit of everything as well. You don't want to be predictable, but you want to be able to put guys in positions where they're doing things that they do best, but also being mindful of what the defense is looking at and what you're presenting to them. So, I think the more versatility that you can have at the receiver position, the more beneficial it's going to be to our group as a whole. Right now, with getting some of the guys back – you look at (WR) Josh Reynolds and (WR) Mike Thomas and then adding Sammy we definitely have added some speed to our group with those three for sure back out on the field and you feel it."
(On how important it is to have C John Sullivan who was in his offense last year)
"It's helped immensely. I think (C) John Sullivan, not only just because he had some familiarity with what we've done and what we're doing here. He's one of the more impressive players I've ever been around just in terms of his above the neck and the way that he's able to translate things from the meeting room to the grass. He truly is one of those linemen, like we talk about with the quarterbacks, that's an extension of the coaching staff. He's got a great grasp on what we want to get done, he knows why so he's able to help his teammates out. He's been a breath of fresh air and I'm very glad that John's here with us."
(On if center is truly a position that is an extension of the coach in many ways)
"Yeah, I think especially if you have the right kind of guy. When you really look at it, the more that you kind of get to know about this game and the more that you have an appreciation for everything that goes on up front – the more value that you have for that center spot. And when you've got the right guy that can command that room, can make all the calls, do the communication, it's a really huge benefit. They're vital in being able to utilize the cadence as well, the center and the quarterback working in unison and then everybody else kind of following their lead. John's presence here has definitely been felt. He's been a great mentor like (T Andrew) Whitworth to a lot of our younger linemen and I can't say enough about the way he goes about every single day. Like I said, I'm extremely happy to have John here."
(On if Sullivan seems fully healthy)
"He does. With a lot of those guys, especially some of those veteran players –we've been mindful where I think (Director/Sports Medicine and Performance) Reggie (Scott) and (strength and conditioning coach) Ted (Rath) have done a great job putting together a maintenance program where we're still able to get their work on the field, they're also able to take advantage of all the walk-thrus that we have. But, it's about getting them healthy to the season and being able to do that while also giving some younger guys a chance to maybe get some reps that they wouldn't get otherwise. I think it's worked out well for us throughout the course of training camp and so far, so good."
(On the cornerbacks who are out and if anyone is more concerning than others)
"No, it's really just being precautionary with a handful of them, when you look at (CB) Trumaine (Johnson) took limited reps today, but we're just being smart with those guys with that maintenance program. (CB) Kayvon (Webster), we're continuing to monitor his ankle day-to-day. But, he could play if he had to push it right now. Just because of where we're at, we want to be smart with those guys and a lot of the time it ends up just being some of those nagging injuries that those skilled players, those receivers and those corners you have to be really careful with."
(On with all the ball protection drills in practice, if he anticipates zero fumbles on Saturday)
"You look at it and it starts with me, I've got to do a better job of emphasizing it and it's like we talked about too, you try to mimic and emulate those game like situations, as much as possible in practice, but when you've got three guys collapsing on you and to the Cowboys', they do a great job with (defensive coordinator/defensive line) Coach (Rod) Marinelli and (head) Coach (Jason) Garrett of emphasizing and taking the ball away. We've got to be mindful of protecting, especially in those congested areas. Looking forward to seeing how we improve on Saturday."
(On situation with DT Aaron Donald)
"If there was, I wish I could tell you. No, not right now there's not. It's something that we're hopeful that is going to get done sooner than later. I know that (general manager) Les (Snead) and his staff have been in dialogue with (DT) Aaron (Donald) and his agents and something that we're looking to get solved. But, in the meantime, guys are getting better and I've been pleased with the way that our team has handled this. One of our great players that I know everybody would like to have around, but been really proud of the way that we've handled it as a whole and not letting it affect our ability to move forward while also respecting and appreciating how valuable he is to us."
(On whether he expects to know ahead of time when Donald will return)
"No, it would be something that you would have an idea. Because, I would like to think that as soon as there's some information on that front that's relevant that's something that everybody would be in tune with."
(On if the Donald situation is something he continually communicates with the players about)
"Yeah. You talk about things and I think you want to have that open clear and honest communication with our guys. That was something we addressed right away and if any of the players have any questions with regards to what's going on they know that they can come see me and talk about it, but I think the great thing about our team and really our coaching staff as a whole is you don't ever want to have any grey. You want to operate where we're very open and clear with at communication like we talked about Vinny and that's something that we'll continue to strive to do."
(On red zone situations today and TE Gerald Everett's progression in that part of the game)
"I think that's where he's done a nice job. You see the size, you see the ability in terms of being about to have great body control for a man of his size with the ball skills. He does a nice job in the red zone and when the ball's in his hands he was excellent running after the catch. I think being able to see him get touches in live action when he can truly get tackled you'll really appreciate some of the things that you really to see in him in college too at a high level. He's continuing to grow and get better every single day as a more complete tight end. One of the plays that excited me the most that he did today was where he's inserting through the line of scrimmage a lead blocker. He offers a lot of versatility for us at that tight end spot and been very pleased. I think (tight ends coach) Shane Waldron our tight ends coach has done a great job with him."
Rams QB Jared Goff – Training Camp Press Conference – August 16, 2017**
(On what it's like to have WR Sammy Watkins out there)
"It's been great. I think I said it the other day after the game, he's still picking things up obviously - he's brand new to some of the stuff. But you see the first play of live team there – the way he ran through that ball is something I don't think we've seen in a little while. It was pretty special the way he plucked it and ran through it. It was obviously a special play and a special player."
(On if he allows himself to step back and say, 'Wow' after making a great pass and seeing a great catch)
"I did, I did a little bit. You try not to, but then kind of turn around and look at everyone like, 'Everyone see that? Alright.' But yeah, it was good catch and hopefully something that won't be quite a surprise anymore."
(On what he can do off the field to build chemistry with a player like Watkins)
"The last couple days, just try to speak some plays to him and just have him verbalize them for me and then have him spit back what he's doing. He's been sharp, man. He's been sharper than I expected and that's not saying anything negatively about him, but just a new system for anybody. He's been on it. He's been sharp. It's been a really pleasant surprise."
(On the mistakes he's made over the past couple of practices and how he overcame those struggles today)
"I think I was being a little bit aggressive the past couple of days and some plays I can't make and just learning. I'm still learning, still growing. You should test your limits a little bit, I think, but at the same time I have to be smarter than that. I have to take care of the ball better than that and I will. It's just, in practice you try some things sometimes you may not try other times, but at the same time, you have to be smart with it."
(On what WR Josh Reynolds brings to the table)
"Yeah, I think yesterday in particular, (WR) Josh (Reynolds) had a great day. He made a lot of good plays and showed some stuff that we hadn't seen yet and it was really good to see some of the stuff down the field. He was obviously fresh but, good player, smart. He's done a good job."
(On the set of weapons he has at the tight end and wide receiver position all of the sudden)
"So far it's been good. I think (Tight End) Gerald (Everett) has done a good job down at the goal line. I've been very happy with what he's done and just keep getting those guys the ball and they'll make plays."
(On if he's looking forward to playing back in Northern California)
"Yeah, it'll be nice. It'll be my first time back there since college, playing at least, and got some family and friends coming. It'll be good."
(On how many of his people he's expecting to be at the game Saturday)
"I have no idea. A bunch of my friends are coming, but I think they're on their own for tickets this week and I'll get them for Thursday Night (Football) against San Francisco."
(On what he's trying to build on coming out of training camp)
"Yeah, obviously I'll probably get a little more playing time and have a chance to build a little bit of a rhythm. That's what I look forward to doing, is just getting out there and string a few completions together and get a little bit of a rhythm moving the ball and hopefully get us in the end zone a couple times."