Head Coach Sean McVay – Press Conference – August 24, 2017**
(On what was behind Kevin Hart making an appearance at practice)
"That was something that kind of got setup a while ago. They were out here filming a show and I always had a lot of respect for him. I know our players enjoy Kevin, great personality, I thought he brought some good energy to our practice today and talked to the team a little bit earlier. We all know what a great entertainer he is, so it was fun to have those guys around. I think the players enjoyed it and we were still able to get some good work done, so it ended up being a positive thing for us."
(On why he said yes to allowing Hart to come to practice)
"I think because of the way that our team has approached every single day – they've had great focus and concentration. The nice thing is, you didn't feel like it affected our ability to get what we wanted out of today, but it also kind of loosened up the atmosphere and the environment in a positive (way). But then when we were going back and forth with the team periods, guys regained their focus and concentration. I think it's always good to remember that while we want to be structured and we're always mindful of that, you can still have fun and enjoy doing things like that as well."
(On how he would rate Hart's skills as a football player)
"I'll have to go back and watch the tape (laughs). We tried to have those guys field some punts. The jugs machines were shooting out some knuckle balls, so they were tough to track. He runs pretty good. (Head Strength and Conditioning Coach) Ted Rath told me that he hit over 20 on some of the GPS as far as his miles-per-hour, so he's a pretty good athlete out there."
(On if CB Kayvon Webster and OLB Robert Quinn will play on Saturday)
"I'll talk with (Director/Sports Medicine and Performance) Reggie (Scott) and his staff after today. We'll see how Kayvon and Robert ended up coming out and we'll make those determinations later on today."
(On if CB Nickell Robey-Coleman will play on Saturday and what has he brought to the team so far)
"We won't play Nickell this week. What he's brought – he's a good competitor, good athleticism, he's gotten his hands on a lot of balls in practice and I think you see a physical player. Everybody wants to talk about the size, but he plays big and I think he understands that game. One of the things that's been unique about his time with us here is he's obviously been really a solid nickel corner where he's played inside in that slot a lot. But, he also has the ability to play outside and I think he does a really good job playing some of the coverage principles that (defensive coordinator) Coach Wade (Phillips) will emphasize. (Cornerbacks) Coach (Aubrey) Pleasant's done a nice job with him. He's been a joy to be around, so we're expecting him to be a contributor for us."
(On if WR Sammy Watkins has been helpful for the defensive backs in practice)
"I think anytime that you have a high level of competition from both ends, it brings out the best in competitors that we do have. When you bring a receiver like Sammy in, it naturally forces the DBs to know that, 'Alright, we've got a great player that we're going against. We need to up our level of competition.' And I think that's what we expect from both offense, defense, defense to the offense, so that's the kind of competitive atmosphere that we want to try to create around here and obviously good football players help you do that."
(On if he has addressed players making symbolic gestures during the National Anthem)
"Yeah, it was. One of the things that I thought with (former Rams Head Coach) Coach (Jeff) Fisher, they've done a great job here the last couple years is having a very structured alignment with respect to what the National Anthem represents and you'll notice that we've continued on with that tradition. I thought that was something that was great. What we've said to the team was this is kind of how we want to go about it, if you have any feelings differently, one way or the other, just come let me know so that we're not surprised about it. Certainly guys are entitled to their opinions, but the guys that have done some demonstration definitely communicated that to us. But we have a lot of respect as an organization for what that National Anthem represents and I think you see the alignment in the organization that we try to show before the kickoff is what we're doing and that's a credit to what they've done here before."
(On what he has expressed to his players about the National Anthem)
"What we've said is we want the players to stand in alignment up front and then staff members behind them. You'll notice that when the National Anthem is going on. We've done that for the first couple preseason games and that's a credit to what Coach Fisher had in place before and I thought it was something that was excellent and we wanted to maintain that tradition."
(On if he is concerned that LB Alec Ogletree hasn't been able to lead the defense with all of the projected starters)
"Like we talk about, continuity and especially getting all 11 to be able to be on the same page and playing together, that's an ideal situation and a scenario. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to have that. What I think our players continue to do is make the most of whatever opportunities that they're presented with and while we'd like to have the guys that you'd project on paper as your 11 starters when we're playing against the Colts – that hasn't been the situation. But, I think our players have been unaffected and it's presented that next man up mentality where guys have maximized some of the opportunities that maybe they wouldn't have gotten otherwise. It is something that we value. Definitely appreciate what the preseason represents in being able to, especially in a new year, get some continuity with guys in a new system, the calls, the communication and everything that entails. But, what Alec has done is continued to be one of our leaders on this team, guys rally around him. He's obviously a great football player, but I think what he represents in the locker room, in the meeting room and the way that he goes about his business every single day is what sets him apart. We're fortunate to have a player like him."
(On WR Cooper Kupp's status)
"He had a little tweak and we're going to be smart with Cooper, so we're going to hold him out this week. I think he's gotten a lot of work in these first two preseason games and to really push it, where now you have a chance of setting somebody back, where you're getting a little sore. He's got a sore groin, is what it is and at the risk of potentially setting him back a couple weeks, being mindful of, especially that receiver position, we're going to take the smart road with him. I think he has gotten that good work, so we're going to hold him out for this week."
(On if QB Jared Goff's performance against the Chargers will dictate if he will play in the final preseason game against Green Bay)
That's a good question. And, one of those things – we have a plan laid out in place before and then it certainly always changes based on some of the circumstances that do come up. Right now, if things go according to plan, then we'll probably take the route where a handful of guys won't play in that fourth preseason game, but based on the way things do go in that third preseason game, might alter what we do in Week 4. But, in terms of the projections, we had kind of always planned to be able to get some of that progressive work into those first three weeks and then not really play a lot of the guys that you're counting on in the fourth week. But again, that's a plan in place, but you've always got to have contingency plans if things change."
(On if he has already started game planning for the Indianapolis Colts)
"We have, as coaches, started to look at their tape. That started last offseason. Especially, being mindful of just getting familiar with kind of our weekly rhythm as a coaching staff. With our players right now, what we're doing is we're focusing on our technique, our fundamentals, our systems right now and then getting past this game next week. Those guys that if we do go that route of holding them out, then we'll start to implement some things getting ready for the Colts and that's kind of where we're at, but our coaches have started to do that work. In terms of what we have introduced to the players, we haven't gotten to that yet."
(On how many roster spots in his mind he thinks are legitimately open)
"I think, to say that right now, would be a discredit to the next couple weeks that we do have, because inevitably, guys end up doing some great things in these next couple preseason games that maybe makes you see them in a different light. Certainly, you know there's a handful of spots with those guys that are really, you're penciled in as the starters, that they're going to be here barring any injuries or setbacks. But, I think when you look at those spots that guys are really competing for, after the players that you're projecting as your starters while we always talk about that competition. It just seems like I've been a part of teams every single year where a few guys you never expect to end up finding a way to make a contribution and give themselves some value, whether that be through special teams, showing up on offense or defense. So, I think the next couple weeks offers us a great opportunity to really find those last handful of spots that we will have. And, also like we mentioned, I think being able to have 90 guys for that fourth preseason game will be a great opportunity for a lot of those players that have been cut in years past, to get that game film, that chance to showcase themselves. Whether it be for the Rams organization or the other 31 teams. Have a lot of respect for that process."
(On how important it is to have versatility at the wide receiver position)
"It's very important. We want to be able to move guys around and the way that we try to operate is, when you teach things as far as our plays, we teach concepts. It's not like, 'Alright, this is the only way we'll do it, so this is the only route you have to know on this given play.' Guys have to know where to line up in any specific spot and our formations allow us to try to move guys around. The more that guys are able to absorb, the more you can kind of have them do those versatile things and run different types of routes. So, that's part of the way that we just teach our offensive system. So it is very important for guys to have an above the neck approach that gives them a chance to know what's the full concept, as opposed to just individual routes and what the Z, the F, or the X receiver does on any given play."
Rams RB Todd Gurley – Press Conference – August 24, 2017**
(On how the preseason has gone so far)
"It's been going pretty good, obviously got a chance to play in the first two games. Last game we came back as an offense and was able to score two touchdowns. It was just about going out there and improving each day and every game."
(On what he likes about the new offensive system)
"It's good. It's just fun seeing guys out there just making plays and everybody having fun. So, you know looking at (WR Cooper) Kupp score touchdowns. (WR) Robert Woods doing his thing and you're just seeing (QB Jared) Goff being able to let loose. It's been going good."
(On how WR Sammy Watkins fits into the offense)
"Obviously, just having a talented guy like him on the roster, he's going to make some plays. I'll let coach deal with how he gets the ball. But, I'm definitely excited to have him on the team for sure."
(On his relationship with Chargers RB Melvin Gordon)
"Yeah, we know each other, we have each other's numbers. We see each other out and say, 'What's up, what's up.'"
(On if there's any competitiveness between him and Gordon)
"No, I don't compete with anybody but myself."
(On if he helps his teammates RBs Aaron Green and Justin Davis with anything)
"Not really, if I see something…if I don't do something right and they see it I expect them to tell me and vice versa, just communicate and just helping each other out. If I see a look in the game and obviously when you're running the ball, you don't see things that people on the sidelines see. So, just go to those guys and help those guys out. At the end of the day and say it all the time, its football. Just go out there and just play."
(On the run against the Raiders, when he was carrying several players, if he was aware of all the players attempting to take him down)
"Yeah. I mean, just knew the pile was getting pushed. My thing was just move my legs in that situation. The linemen the whole team did a good job of just pushing the pile. So, that was just a great team effort."
(On if he's noticed a difference in this year's offense and if holes have been opening up for him)
"It's been going good. It's been a good camp. We've been getting better. Each game we'll see how we do. Just have to go out there and just compete and communicate. Even though, I might have a one-yard run, we may have done one or two things, whether it's me or a lineman or someone backside. One-yard runs can always be 20-yard runs. It's just the little things, going out there and communicating then the next game – having the same exact look and making sure we get it right."
(On having Kevin Hart at practice today)
"It was funny. If I ever see him on Twitter talking stuff about a football player – he can't even catch a punt. So, he definitely can't say anything else about a football player."
(On if Hart's ever said anything about a football player that he's noticed)
"No, but I'm pretty sure everybody does. That's like a prime example of you all saying, 'Aw, Todd sucks and fumbles', and then you go out there and run a play and fumble and then will be like, 'I'm not the only one who sucks, huh?' (laughs). So, it works both ways. You let us do our job and we'll let you do your job. But, it was pretty cool just having him out there, funny – one of the funniest guys in the game right now. We were all excited to have him out there for sure."