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TRANSCRIPT: McVay, Phillips, and Gurley Press Conference 10-5


Head Coach Sean McVay – Media Availability – October 5, 2017**

(Opening Remarks)
"Today from an injury standpoint, (S) Lamarcus Joyner was still out today with his hamstring. He's day-to-day. (C) John Sullivan was a limited participant. He took part in individuals and he's been on that rest program, but we're taking care of him with that groin and just a minor knee. But, he should be good to go for the game."

(On Sullivan playing every snap against Dallas)
"John's such a tough player. I felt like he knows his body, he's done it for such a long time. He felt really good going through Friday's practice and he knew he was going to battle through and he felt good throughout the course of the game. I know he was sore afterwards. It was a physical game against an excellent defensive team with the Cowboys. But, John played like we expected, which is at a very productive level. He did a great job communicating in the noise and he's been a really productive player over his career and continue to come away impressed with his knowledge of the game and his ability to command the calls and communication up front."

(On his evaluation of DT Michael Brockers at DE against Dallas)
"I think he was excellent. He was a game ball for us and really, he influenced and affected the game the game in a lot of ways, some of them that don't show up on the stat sheet. But, getting pressure on (Cowboys QB) Dak (Prescott), forcing him to change his arm angle, make some throws where it leads to some pass breakups and things like that. I just think his ability to play with some length, his athleticism, some of those opportunities where he's playing a gap removed from where he was at that nose (tackle) position gives him some versatility and he showed up and played like the player that we expected to. I thought it was also a great opportunity for (DT) Tanzel Smart to get some more snaps inside. Like we've said about him over and over, he continues to do all the little things the right way and he's playing productive football."

(On what he attributes Gurley's increase in yards each week to)
"I think he's getting better and I think we're getting more comfortable as an offense in just being able to execute at a high level. He's an excellent football player. Like we've said, anytime that you're able to have the success that he's had individually, it's always a credit to him and his teammates and I think you look at some of the things in the pass game, good protection, (QB) Jared (Goff) has been able to get through some progressions, find him as an outlet or if he was a primary and when the ball is in Todd's hands good things happen. I think he is seeing things the right way. The thing that we were most impressed with, with Todd in the last game was I thought he got stronger as the game progressed. Some of those runs on that last drive, 10, 11-yard runs where he's moving the chains, keeping the clock running, running through some arm tackles are what makes Todd special and we expect to see the same thing moving forward."

(On if Gurley being more involved in the passing game is a schematic change)
"I think we just try to find ways to get players in good situations and try to put them in spots that kind of help bring out their strengths. I think one of the things that you look at with Todd that we've said all along is he's a complete back. He's always been recognized as a very good runner, but now that he's playing a little bit more in some of those known passing situations, watching the way that he's worked throughout the course of the offseason and leading into training camp and now the regular season, he works on it. He's getting better, he's getting more comfortable and you can see his ability to make plays has been a big difference for us in a lot of situations."

(On WR Sammy Watkins status)
"Sammy was good. He was feeling better, moving around good, so I think anytime that you get those illnesses, those bugs, hopefully it's just a 24-hour thing and that's what it seemed like it was with Sammy."

(On what he's seen on film from Seattle QB Russell Wilson)
"Really, even since his rookie year – when I was in Washington we played them in the playoffs and continue to come away impressed with the way that he leads and the way that he continues to compete from the first snap all the way to the end. You can see that his players believe in him. He's got a rare ability to create off-schedule. I think he can push the ball down the field, he's accurate in intermediate and short and you can see, he's comfortable staying in the pocket and making accurate throws and they've got some really good skill players. But, there's nothing that Russell can't do. I think he's rare and special as a leader and really as just a football player. But, the main thing that I think is really impressive is that he's got the ability to beat you with his arms or with his legs and when he scrambles he does a great job of kind of keeping his eyes down field, being able to create those explosives. You look at, he hits an explosive to (WR Tyler) Lockett, but then if the rush lanes aren't consistent and there's an opening, he'll put his foot in the ground and run for a 20-plus yard touchdown. He did both of those things just last week on Sunday night, so it's going to be a great challenge. He's one of the better players in this league and when you have a quarterback that's dynamic like that, it makes it a monster to defend."

(On if WR Tavon Austin can be more of a change-of-pace running back as opposed to a deep threat)
"I think the thing that makes Tavon special is that he can be all of those things because he is special as a receiver, he's got the ability to track the ball down the field. But, when you put him in that home position, he's got natural run instincts, so anytime that you have a moveable piece like Tavon is for our offense right now, I think you can expect to see his role to continue to grow as he gets more comfortable. We've got to do a good job of finding ways to put him in those good spots, but last week to be able to carry the football and do some different things – there's a 2nd-and-long, he gets a 14-yard run and puts us back in 3rd-and-manageable and then just some of the other things that we've talked about with the jet sweeps, with some of the things he can do as a receiver that we want to continue to get him more involved with. He's very valuable for us and that versatility serves you well."

(On if he's constantly designing ways to get Austin carries as a runner)
"I think he gives you the ability to do some different things, so you do want to find creative ways to get the ball in his hands. I think when you look at some of the things that he's done over the course of his career, he's been special and dynamic with his ability to, whether it's the (end) arounds, whether it's lining up in the home positon, these are things he's done before. But, I think really for us it's just about finding ways to get him touches and get him involved in the offense because of what he can do."

(On what he learned about his team being down early and coming back to get a win)
"I think the biggest thing that we came away impressed with was just especially in such a great atmosphere and environment, going down like we did and it didn't feel like anybody blinked and that's what we talk about all the time – being a mentally tough team, try to be our best when our best is required regardless of the circumstances and I thought our guys did that. They just kept fighting, they just kept playing the next snap and that's what it's about. When you're focused on one snap at a time and not worried about what happened before, but correcting those things, but not letting it affect your ability to move forward, you're going to give yourself a chance. We've got good football players, I think our coaching staff has done an excellent job. To be able to go and get a big win like that was very important for our team, but it was just one game. Now it's about, let's see if we can follow up a good performance against a great Seattle Seahawks team coming in here with (Seahawks Head) Coach (Pete) Carroll having them ready to go."

Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips – Media Availability – October 5, 2017**

(Opening remarks)
"We're going to try to play the second half defense that we played last weekend from now on. I was pleased with the way we played in the second half. We did learn something about a scrambling quarterback and I think hopefully that will carry over. (Cowboys QB Dak) Prescott can really move around and now we're playing a guy that's probably the best – one of the best ever at it. So, we've got to contain the guy, but if you contain him, he can still really throw the football well. He presents big problems and they're still a good running team. I think they've had the most yardage in the league in the last two games, offensively, so they're clicking pretty well."

(On if he believes in the momentum that could come from playing a solid second half as a defense)
"Oh yeah, I believe in that. I think part of it's playing together. I thought our team, defensively, has really played well under pressure in those situations – two-point plays that won games and things like that. Stopping the Niners at the end of the game and then coming out the second half and playing as well as we did against Dallas. So, I think things are coming together that way, but like I say, this is one of the top offenses in the league with an elite quarterback, so it'll be a big challenge."

(On what went into the decision to flip DT Michael Brockers and DT Tanzel Smart and if he got what he wanted out of that switch)
"Yeah, I thought we did. I thought Michael Brockers had a great game wherever he played. He had a tremendous game. I thought he dominated the line of scrimmage in the run and the pass, he made several big plays for us. He caused an interception, and he batted a ball down, he got several hits on the quarterback. I thought he played really well."

(On if there was anything in particular that made him want to try Brockers at different positions)
"No. We just looked at it. He's a really good player at any position he plays. We just told him he's stronger, especially against the big offensive tackles that Dallas had. He played really well against those guys, so that shows you how good he can be."

(On how CB Kayvon Webster looked coming back from an injured shoulder)
"Kayvon came in, I thought he played pretty well. He dropped an interception, I know we'd like to have that one, but he was in position to make a play and get an interception. It helps having him back just because of his speed. We can matchup – we matched up (Cowboys WR) Dez (Bryant) with (CB) Trumaine (Johnson) and any of the speed receivers he was on, so they didn't catch many balls on him at all, so I thought he had a good game."

(On how DT Aaron Donald is progressing)
"Yeah, I thought he played great. He had a sack called back. He had a sack he wished he had on one of the big plays. I don't know how many hits he had on the quarterback, but he had a bunch. I mean, more than – against a really good offensive line, I thought he dominated some really good players. He looks like he's getting into shape and he looks like he did on film, which I thought he was a great player and I think he is. We're always going to try to match him up one-on-one as much as we can, not let them double team him and I thought we did that pretty well last game."

(On how important it is to establish the pass rush against the Seahawks early in the game)
"Well, the quarterback is the key. You say, 'Well, their offensive line has not played well.' But the last two games, they're going almost 500 yards, so it's hard to say they didn't play well. They get beat some, but the quarterback makes up for it and they're pretty solid most of the other times. He throws well from the pocket, but if anything breaks down, or if he just decides to run around and make a – instead of a three-and-a-half second pass, he makes it to six seconds, sometimes he just does that. He doesn't see what he wants, he just starts scrambling around. He's not pressured, he just starts moving around to give him more time and he's able to do that, so it causes a lot of problems defensively."

(On how comfortable he is with allowing CB Trumaine Johnson to shadow the opposing team's receivers)
"He's versatile enough to do that. We thought it was a good matchup because of size, number one. Dez is obviously a big receiver, ran a lot of slant routes and things like that where he can bully you, when he catches the ball, he can go for extra yards if you don't have somebody that's his size. Trumaine did a good – the first play of the game was really my fault. I thought they were going to play it deep, but I didn't convey that with the players, so really that was the only big pass they had on him the whole game. So, I thought he did a good job, but he can match up, sure. He can matchup with smaller receivers, too, but it just depends on what we think they're going to do. But he's smart enough, it's not easy to play different sides and play zone and sometimes man, because we weren't playing man on him all the time either. Some guys can't play left side or right side or can't play both, but he's versatile enough to do that. That gives us some avenues that we can utilize."

(On receiving the game ball and what it has been like being around this group of guys and how much he enjoys working with them)
"I can't say how much I like these guys. It's more fun obviously when you're winning, but I think this team has reacted really well to (Head Coach) Sean (McVay) and his message to try to do the right things. The game ball is for all of the players, first. Especially the defensive players in the second half and the offense and special teams, it's really for everybody. It was nice of them to give it to me. I did tell the players that they deserved it, but they can come by my house and look at it anytime, so it's available for them anytime because they all helped do that." 

(On what kind of problems RB Todd Gurley II presents to opposing defenses with his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield)
"I'm glad he's on our side (laughs). That's for Seattle and the rest of the teams to worry about. I'm just glad he's on our team. He's a fantastic player – a really great individual too. I mean, you guys have been around him, I can't say enough about him as a person too. Football is important, but I think that's important too. I'm really happy for him because he works hard at what he does. He's certainly talented, but he utilizes his talents."


RB Todd Gurley II – Media Availability – October 5, 2017**

(On how much the offensive line has helped him the last two games)
"Those guys have been doing an incredible job just blocking, pass protecting, just opening up lanes for me. So, you know they've been working hard. Coach 'Krom' (Offensive Line Coach Aaron Kromer) been getting those guys right and (Assistant Offensive Line Coach) Andy (Dickerson), so you just been trying to get better every week."

(On why he thinks the Rams have had a lot of success against the Seahawks at home)
"I guess it's a cliché, but I guess to say you draft for your division or you get players for your division. I mean, obviously every other game's important but at the end of the day if you win your division you get to go to the playoffs. I don't know what it is, man. It's just one of those hard-fought games. They know we're going to bring it even if we were 1-15 and those guys were 10-6. At the end of the day, they know it's going to be a shootout. That's just kind of how it's been these last couple of years with those guys."

(On if he thinks the Rams personnel matches up well with Seattle)
"I don't know, man. Like I said, it's just one of those games you look forward to. When you get the offseason schedule you just know it's going to be that game that can go either way."

(On if he credits the system or the work he puts in for his emergence as a receiving threat)
"Both. I mean obviously the system plays a big part in him to be able to have me in that role and that inspires me to work hard. I'm not used to catching the ball out of the back field. So just working at it and making sure I get comfortable with it and by the time game comes, I feel pretty good. I've done it so much in practice that it's second nature in the game."

(On how he's feeling after the game due to his touches)
"I'm always tired after the game, because I can never eat before games, I'm mostly like super drained. But for the most part, I'm fine. And some days I can't walk, but it takes a couple days. I'll be right back. It's all good."

(On why he can't eat before games)
"I don't know. I just never been able to. I try, but that's about it. I might get a shake, but that's about the only thing."

(On the touchdown catch against Dallas)
"I think we hit the screen and (RB) Malcolm (Brown) the play before, so I had got out, was catching a little breather. I was still a pretty tired once I got in. The play got called and I just kind of ran. I just looked, I saw the ball. It was coming but it was a low ball. So I was like, 'Gah man.' All this is happening in my brain within like half a second. I'm just like, 'Please catch this ball, please catch this ball.' And it just kind of dropped in my hands, just trusting my hands. My biggest thing, I just wanted to stay on the run, so I could be able to make a play after the catch."

(On what the favorite award he's ever won is)
"Rookie of the Year probably. That would be probably it."

(On what award he strives to get)
"Hopefully a championship, that would be the award, Super Bowl MVP – that would be lovely. (laughs) I don't know, man, I don't really play for the awards. I mean it was pretty cool. Like I said, the Rookie of the Year award was pretty special for me. Because I never really won a major award and it was my first time being on stage, not knowing you're about to win it and you go out there on stage and give a speech. So, that was pretty cool, but I don't know man. Shoot for the stars, but hopefully we can get a big award here soon. "

(On if being an every down back is something that he takes pride in)
"Yeah for sure. Coach does a pretty good job of trying to get me out the game and get Malcolm or (WR) Tavon Austin in. But at the end of the day, you work so hard this offseason not be on the field. You don't definitely want to regret anything and go into this offseason and be like, 'Gah, I wish I would've been able to play a couple more snaps.' That's why I work so hard. To be in the position that I'm in today."

(On the belief in the locker room)
"Obviously winning, it helps the confidence of you believing in your team – you believing in the coaches and it brings everybody together, and it makes everything so much easier. At the end of the day, things can go right or left in this league. This is a .500 league, anybody can beat anybody. It doesn't matter if you're going against the Colts, you're going against the Steelers, you're going against the Patriots, you're going against the Browns. Anybody can beat anybody on any given Sunday. So you have to bring it each Sunday."

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