TRANSCRIPT: McVay, Goff Press Conference 12/13

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Head Coach Sean McVay – Media Availability – December 13, 2017**

(Opening Remarks)

"If we had practice today because of the way that we did it, (T Andrew) Whitworth would have not participated with his knee, (C John) Sullivan wouldn't have participated with a rest day, (OLB) Connor Barwin back full with his forearm, (LB) Mark Barron would have been out with a rest day and then (T) Rob Havenstein and (WR) Robert Woods – Rob (Havenstein) with his knee and then Robert (Woods) with his shoulder would have been limited participants. The thought process for today just getting this late in the year, I think where our guys are at, their ability to focus and concentrate we felt like getting to be as fresh as possible for what we know if going to be another physical game on Sunday against a great opponent we felt like it was best to take an above the neck day, really lock in, kind of get ahead almost on our entire installation with the first, second and third down, focus on that. Then tomorrow we'll be able to give them really today another day of rest, so that tomorrow we can really get back at it. So, we'll get Thursday and Friday a good full-speed days and just talking with (Director/Sports Medicine and Performance) Reggie (Scott) and (Head of Strength and Conditioning) Ted (Rath) and what good resources they've been, we felt like that was going to be the best thing for our players, which is most important. They understand the importance of making sure that we were locked in with good focus and concentration just from that mental approach today, we feel like it was the right approach and we got some good work out of it."

(On what he knows about how common it is for a team in the NFL to only get in two practices in a week)

"We're all a product of our experiences and then when you just use the great resources that do have in this building like you hear us talk about all the time, these are things that are common. Now, typically why you have to do this is because you don't have the numbers this late in the year to actually get practices in because guys aren't available. Fortunately for us, we have been able to stay healthy and there's a premium on that, so we feel like with where our team is at right now, their ability to still get work in while take a little bit of the physical toll off their bodies where when you get this late into the year going into the last three games of the regular season, we felt like that was smart and that's just like everything else that we do. We make decisions, we use all the resources and everything is geared towards what we feel like is best for our players and for our team and try to be in the best position on Sunday and that's why we did that."

(On if he did this in Washington)

"This was something that we did in Washington for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, when you look at them this year with all the injuries. But, this was definitely something that we had done in previous years and this was something that some of the other coaches on our staff had done and we felt like it was going to be the best approach for our team and that's why we did it."

(On if CB Trumaine Johnson is good to go)

"He's good because it was just the stinger. Like we talked about, that was not correct, the information that I gave you guys as far as the concussion protocol, so that was positive news on Trumaine and we expect him to be good to go."

(On if WR Robert Woods is on track to play)

"Yeah, he's on track to play and that's a real positive. Getting Robert back out there just with what he provides from a leadership standpoint, obviously the production that he was having before he went out with the injury, so that's a big boost for us. We're on track to have him back and that will be good."

(On if there is anything specially that he wasn't able to do while Woods was out)

"It's hard to say. I think the fortunate thing is we've got good depth at that position. I think what it offered was an opportunity for a variety of guys to kind of step up as opposed to just really one person filling that void. I think when you just look at what Robert has provided for our team, he's been such a great player for us, great person, all the things that you're looking for. Certainly, we have a lot of confidence in our receiving group, but getting Robert back gives us a boost and we're a better team when Robert is on the field."

(On if the approach to Seattle's defense is the same even though they have suffered a lot of injuries)

"The approach is the same because what you do see is a very sound, fundamental group that they play together, they're in unison, they've got a very clear cut philosophy and similar to like what you hear about all these other really great defenses around the league – you earn everything that you get, you don't get gimmes around them and you can see they are very sound in their fundamentals, their techniques, the way that they pursue to the football – not sure on a couple of those guys, especially at the linebacker position. But, they've got great football players. You look at (Seahawks S) Earl Thomas, you feel him as much as any safety in the league. I think when you look at what (Seahawks CBs Byron) Maxwell and (Shaquill) Griffin have done at the corner positon, they contest things, (CB Justin) Coleman at the nickel and then up front we know what (Seahawks DEs) Michael Bennett and (Frank) Clark can do as far as creating pressure – they've got 32 sacks as a unit. (Seahawks LB Bobby) Wagner is one of the best ones in the league and so is (Seahawks LB) K.J. Wright, but whether they're available or not, it's still going to be a great defense and we've got to be ready to go, especially going there and what a tough atmosphere and environment that it to play in."

(On if this is as close to a must win game as you get in Week 15 of the season)

"I think so. I think what it is, is it's a great opportunity for us and that's the way that we look at it. Unfortunately, things didn't work out the way we wanted last week, but we've got another great opportunity to respond and get ready to go against a great opponent at their place, a division game and the goal is to see if we can kind of maintain our division lead. We're up one (game) right and they're saying the same thing as far as they're down one (game) and if they get a chance to come away with a win now they'll have the head-to-head. It's going to be a great atmosphere, a great environment and I know our guys are excited to be able to compete against a great football team and we can't wait to get going. This week has been a great start so far and guys are excited."

(On how you finish against the elite teams in the NFL)

"I think it's just being able to make those plays and a lot of situations as well too is just playing our game, playing the fundamentals, the techniques and executing. Often times it comes down to winning one-on-one matchups. When you look at it, to be able to win against great teams like that, you've got to be able to make some plays, but you also can't afford to beat yourself, so we've got to play within the structure and framework of our systems, play together collectively as a unit, really whether it's offense, defense or special teams and then when it comes down to kind of those got to have it situations in crunch time you look at the teams that win those games, guys make plays. That's going to be a great opportunity and obviously from a coaching standpoint, we've got to put our players in good spots and make good decisions as well."* *

(On how good Seahawks QB Russell Wilson is playing)

"He's playing as well as anybody in this league. He's accounted for 32-of-their-33 touchdowns, 85 percent of their offense, already an NFL record, 17 touchdowns in the fourth quarter, he's their leading rusher, so he's the key to it all. He's a great football player, a great competitor – you talk about a guys that just continues to compete all the way to the end with a resilient, tough mindset and mentality, I've got a whole lot of respect for Russell Wilson and what he represents and you can see he's put that team on his back in a lot of ways and he's a great football player."

(On what sticks out to him about the last matchup against Seattle in Week 5)

"I think when you look specifically at the game – it's a great, hard fought game where back and forth battle, but to their credit we had five turnovers in that last game that we played against them and anytime that you have one possession game at the end, other than points there's no greater indicator. We lost the turnover battle five to two and those are things that we can't afford to do. To their credit, like we said, they forced those turnovers as well, so that's going to be a huge point of emphasis for us – not sure what the weather is going to entail, looks like it might be rainy and if it is, those are some of the elements that we need to be ready to handle accordingly and it will be a great challenge. But, this is a great football team. They've won the division three out of the last four years and so to be able to go to their place in what we know is going to be a great environment, it's exciting to go get a chance to compete and see how we do."

(On if the challenge for QB Jared Goff is similar to the challenges he faced at Minnesota)

"Absolutely. I think when you really look at it, I thought that Minnesota and really Arizona was a really good environment as far as some of the noise, so we'll have plans accordingly to how to adjust and make sure that we put our guys in some good spots, how to handle the communication and different things and the way that we want to operate. But, it starts with us as coaches and then it goes to Jared doing a great job leading, communicating and then the other players understanding and that communication is both verbal and visual, especially in an atmosphere like this. Being able to play with great poise and concentration, specially offensively because of that noise and some of the elements you have to deal with is going to be part of it, but you certainly don't make any excuses, you just try to handle it like a mature team will and that's going to be one of our challenges."


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QB Jared Goff – Media Availability – December 13, 2017**

(On how he feels going into an important division match-up this Sunday)

"Yeah, feel good. It's obviously going to be a big one. A big one for us, a big one for them. But, going to treat it like every other week and prepare the same way and go up there and hopefully come away with the W."

(On what he thinks he's learned about playing in the environment at CenturyLink Field since he's played in it before)

"It's loud. Obviously, one of the louder places in the NFL and got to be ready to handle that. I think we do have a little bit of experience in that type of atmosphere this year. Being at Minnesota earlier this year, we have thoughts on how we're going to handle it and things like that. A lot of the guys on this team have played up there before. I've played up there before. (Rams Head Coach) Sean's (McVay) coached up there before, so it's not entirely new, but definitely something you've got to handle." 

(On if the changes in Seattle's defense due to injuries, affect the way he prepares going into Sunday's game)

"No. They just beat the Philadelphia (Eagles), who just beat us, two weeks ago with the same personnel we should be playing. So, no it doesn't change anything for us. They're a really good team regardless, so we've got to be ready to go."

(On what was missing with WR Robert Woods not being on field and what he thinks he'll add coming back)

"I think he's just such a good example every day. He sets a great example for the guys. As far as in the game, he does so much stuff that you can't really see. I think just his feel for the game and his understanding for leverages and coverages and everything. He sees the game the right way and that'll be nice to have back, for sure."

(On if he noticed during the game that they only ran 45 plays in the Eagles game and if that takes him out of sync)

"I didn't notice it until late in the game. I knew we only had two drives in the second half, but we had scored on both of them. So you're saying, 'We've done what he could do.' But, no I didn't realize we didn't have that many plays until after. You'd like to do more, but sometimes you score fast and we did score some quick drives. Sometimes that's the way it happens and it's also the way they were playing. They were controlling the clock a bit, so a little bit of that goes into it. But, no nothing I was thinking about out there."

(On the play where Eagles DE Chris Long stripped the ball from him and if there was anything he thought he could've done)

"I would've love to have thrown it a split second earlier. But, no it was a great play by him and one that obviously we would like to have back. I think there's a multitude of plays we'd like to have back and that's definitely one of them. No game comes down to one play. Late in the fourth quarter there are plays that are bigger than others, but no game comes down to one. We'd like to have that back, but it's something good to learn from for sure for all of us."

(On if he feels any pressure to win Sunday's game due to Seattle being a divisional opponent)

"I don't think so. I think we've got to go into the game with the same mentality we've have which is play loose and be loose and be confident. Have faith in each other like we've always had every week and that's the reason we are where we're at right now with the one game lead on Seattle. But, we need to just continue to do what we've been doing and we'll be just fine."

(On getting over the hump when going up against elite teams like Minnesota, Philadelphia, and Seattle)

"Well, I think New Orleans is pretty good, too, and we beat them. There's a handle for other teams, Jacksonville's pretty good. I think every week we come into the week and prepare the same way. When you play a good team, you've got to prepare like you're playing anybody. In this league, anybody came beat anybody on any given Sunday. So I don't think we approach any week with a team with a better record any other way. So, just keep treating them all the same."

(On if they will do any preparation using a wet ball in the case that it rains)

"We may. I don't know. We didn't do any for New York and it rained a bit there and we were fine. I don't know. We may. I think it's 50/50 rain right now, but we'll be prepared if that happens." 

(On if he's comfortable in rainy conditions)

"Yeah. We played in New York and scored 50 points. So, we feel real comfortable."

(On if it's starting to feel a little bit more real that the winner of this game is in the driver's seat to win the division)

"Yeah, maybe a little bit. I think you still try to go into each game the same way, like I've said. But I think you see how many games are left on the schedule and we know if we do win this one – how big that is for the rest of the season going forward. But we can't treat it more than it is, then you start doing things that you don't normally do. Take the week day-by-day like we normally do and go up there and play like we should and hopefully come away with the W."

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