TRANSCRIPT: McVay, Watkins Training Camp Press Conference

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Rams Head Coach Sean McVay– Training Camp Press Conference – August 14, 2017**

(On what he thought of WR Sammy Watkins’ first practice with the Rams)
“Didn’t do enough to really say there, just because that was kind of the plan all along. He was going to go through individual, he’s getting some routes right now just to get some timing and get a feel for what’s going on. But, with all the traveling that he’s done, little jet lag, we wanted to just be mindful of his workload and we’ll start to work him into practice starting tomorrow.”

(On if the plan is to get Watkins game-ready for this Saturday)
“Yeah, I think so. Yeah, he’ll be ready to play some plays. Unless something changes, that’s our plan, is to get him a handful of snaps and get him some looks. We want to be mindful of the fact that he’s way behind in terms of the installation and getting familiar with our verbiage and things like that. There is a little bit of carryover from what he was doing in Buffalo with (Bills offensive coordinator) Coach (Rick) Dennison, because kind of the verbiage and the foundation of it, there are some similarities with it. So, it won’t be quite as steep, but we’re really just kind of getting him acclimated and we’ll see how it goes the rest of the week.”

(On his interaction with Watkins on the field)
“He’s a smart guy. I think he spent a lot of time with (assistant wide receivers) Coach (Zac) Taylor, where Coach Taylor’s kind of taken him aside and had a chance to get some one-on-one individual time with him and (wide receivers) Coach (Eric) Yarber’s taking the rest of the group, or when we’ve been meeting as a unit and he seemed like he’s picked things up pretty well just being out there in the initial stages of it with the walk-thru. He’s able to articulate what he’s supposed to do within the framework of his role and the concept and know where his split alignments and different things like that are. So, until we get out there, it’s always tough to say, but I think for the most part, he’s done a nice job and been very impressed with just the way he’s handled himself as a person.”

(On if Watkins can get caught up to speed with the rest of the team)
“Yeah, I think you can. I think it’s just like I mentioned the other day, the level of urgency is just a little bit higher and you just got to be mindful of the progression with him – where he might have to take a little bit extra time and just like you teach all of these guys, there’s a foundation that you have to start with and then our concepts and our offense kind of builds off one another where, we try to make sure that there’s a rhyme and a reason, so he’s going to start from behind. It’ll take him a while, but our goal, if we’re intentional about it and that’s the plan, is for him to be up to speed and kind of have a good feel for the entire offense by the time the regular season rolls around.”

(On the rough day QB Jared Goff had today)
“Well, I thought it was a great job by the defense forcing a lot of turnovers. They did a great job creating pressure and we went all unscripted, tried to create some different pressure situations and a lot of them were some known passing downs, but that’s where we’ve got to make great decisions with the football. Certainly, we can always try to help put our guys in good positions, but credit the defense for getting their hands on some balls and they make it tough on the offense.”

(On if decision issues played a role in the offensive struggles of today’s practice)
“I think it’s a combination. I think some of them were just a great play by the defense and then some of them we’ve got to be ready to progress based on the concept. But, just like anything else when you’re trying kind of be mindful of watching everything. Until you go back and study the film, it’s hard to get an exact feel. You kind of have an idea just because you know the calls and different things on defense, so you kind of know what’s getting ready to come. But, I think it’s a great challenge and you try to create those pressure situations in practice. Clearly, our defense did a great job executing, especially in the red zone today.”

(On whether he’s surprised with how fast the defense has been able to grasp defensive coordinator Wade Phillip’s system)
“I have, but I think it’s also credit to (defensive coordinator) Wade (Phillips). I think he does a great job with his teaching progression, trying to keep things very clear and simple for the guys. We always want to continue to clean up the little details, but I think for the most part our guys have an understanding and ownership on what he wants them to be doing within their role, and whatever that call is and then how offensive structure or formation dictates any adjustments within that call. I think you saw our defense fly around; they did a nice job – really all three units that played. But like anything else, there’s always going to be things that we can look to improve on and that goes for offense, defense, and special teams. But as a whole, I think it’s a real credit to coach Wade and our players.”

(On how he would compare the defense’s understanding of the system against his expectation for how long this usually takes a unit to grasp a new system)
“It’s interesting, because each scheme and each teaching progression dictates a little bit different answer, but being the first time that I’ve worked with (defensive coordinator) Wade (Phillips) – and really I’m kind of learning the system – myself just to try to help get a better understanding of defensive football and things like that, so it’s been great for me as well. I just think the way that they teach, you know, you look at upfront, the linebackers, the back end – everything’s tied together. The calls are very clear and concise and then the adjustments so, I think it allows the players to play fast. They’ve got some ownership on some of the things they can do within framework of whatever an offense presents. But, I think you look at his history, it’s why guys have played productive football because they can they understand what to do and they can play fast and not have any second guessing on what they’re supposed to do.”

(On any update regarding DT Aaron Donald)
“No update on Aaron, kind of still the same right now.”
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Rams WR Sammy Watkins – Training Camp Availability – August 14, 2017**

(On what he can bring to this team that they don’t already have)
“I feel like they’ve got everything. I’m just here, I’m just trying to help win games and that’s the main thing. Whatever the coach needs me to do, whatever position, I’m just out here trying to help and just learn the playbook and get acclimated.”

(On how it went out there today)
“It went pretty good. I’m just really trying to dissect the plays. That’s the biggest thing – the formations. It’s a lot of things that are going on, but once I learn the plays and the formations, I can go out there and have fun and come together with the team.”

(On what it’s been like being out on the field with QB Jared Goff)
“It’s good. Like I said, it’s my first day. I’m just trying to really catch up on the formations and the concepts. I really haven’t gotten time to really talk to (QB) Jared (Goff) or nothing like that. I’ve just been with the coaches trying to learn the formations and the plays. Once I get that down, I can actually start to have fun. Right now it’s just really business – I’m just trying to learn the playbook.”

(On what he knew about this team coming in as an outsider)
“They’ve always had a great defense and right now we have a lot of young guys on offense, particularly the skill guys – a lot of speed, we just have to come together and help Jared, he’ll help us and just really make plays. That’s what it comes down to, making plays and scoring touchdowns.”

(On how long it will take him to get acclimated with the playbook)
“Maybe a week and a half just to get everything dissected and to master the playbook – know the ins-and-outs, know the X, Y, Z, F and the formations. That’s the biggest thing. Once you know that, you can come out here and compete and have fun.”

(On not having to deal with the snow anymore)
“Exactly. It’s sunny, it’s hot, it’s great.”

(On if he will participate fully in practice tomorrow)
“I’m pretty sure I’ll be worked in. Maybe five to 10 plays. I don’t know. Whatever the coaches have for me I’ll be prepared, but I’m pretty sure they will throw me out there though, just to get some full-speed routes with the ones.”

(On the difference between this WR room and Buffalo’s)
“Like I said, I haven’t been with the receivers. I’ve just been meeting with the coach trying to catch up on the playbook, but I’m pretty sure every wide receiver room is pretty good. Everybody is just kind of brotherhood, so everybody will grow to each other and we have ups and downs, but for the most part we stick together.”

(On what the last couple days has been like for him)
“It’s been great just to come to L.A. and be on the Rams. It’s a blessing, so I’m really just trying to focus on football and get prepared for the game.”

(On if he is feeling a little jet lagged)
“A little bit. I’m just trying to catch up with the time a little bit. We’re three hours behind, so I’m just trying to catch up. Give me a week or so and I’ll be alright.”

(On if McVay conveyed a message to him before practice)
“Just take it slow, one day at a time. I’m not going to learn everything in a day. I’m not going to look like Sammy Watkins in three days. I really just have to learn the playbook and the concepts and just get time with Jared and the offense and go out there and compete and play fast.”

(On how the initial interaction with the receiving group and his team has been)
“The NFL, all of us are kind of a brotherhood. Everybody switches teams every week or every three weeks. We’re kind of all pretty cool. We play against each other. I know some guys in the locker room, so it’s pretty cool.”

(On what the dynamic has been like with wide receivers coach Eric Yarber and assistant wide receivers coach Zac Taylor)
“Pretty good. They’ve just been trying to update me on the route tree concepts – goal line, it’s just been all football right now, so I’ve got to catch up.”

(On if he is excited to play with WR Robert Woods again)
“Definitely excited. I never thought I was going to be playing with him again. He’s a great leader. I had him for three years and he just helped my game out mentally. He’s a great guy to be around because every day he comes out and works. Even days when I didn’t want to work I’ve seen him working so it’s like we both feed off of each other.”

(On if having Woods makes the transition easier for Watkins)
“It definitely helps to have someone here. We’re roommates, so if I have a question to ask he definitely helps me out with that and just how to learn the offense. He told me to focus on concepts first and then focus on formations and you kind of tie those together, so it’s definitely been helpful.”

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