Rams Head Coach Sean McVay – Training Camp Press Conference – August 7, 2017**
(On if it would be safe to say that guys are really scrambling for positions at this point in camp)
"Yeah, I think you're seeing a lot of good, competitive work, really from top to bottom on our roster. Now that we've gotten a little bit further into our installs, the nice thing is you can do a lot of unscripted work and kind of some situational stuff and I think it raises the level of competition where there was some good back and forth today and that's the type of energy that you like to see from the team."
(On what he saw from WR Michael Thomas)
"I think we wanted to be smart with (WR) Mike (Thomas), just getting him back out here for the first time, so just kind of running him on some routes and getting him on individual. We're hoping that Mike will pick up where he left off in the offseason program and that was continuing to improve and become a more complete receiver. Like we talked about, I think you feel that vertical speed that he has, that gives us a nice option, an element in our pass game and looking forward to just kind of progressing and building with him as we move towards the season and knowing that we won't get him back until Week 5. But, it's good to get Mike back out here."
(On if he will use Thomas in the preseason)
"We will and it's going to be an interesting plan there too because knowing that you're not going to have him for those first four weeks, you still want to get him that work knowing that he's a part of our plans for the season if things go the way that we anticipate and getting him back Week 5. So, it's a delicate balance of making sure that he gets the work that he can, but you're also mindful that you're not going to have him for the first part of the season."
(On how frustrating it is going into your first preseason game without one of your best player)
"I think it's been great to have the guys that are out here. I love the way that this team has competed. I think certainly anytime that you don't have all your players here, that's something that you always strive to have, but this is something that occurs in the NFL. Whether it's (DT) Aaron (Donald) not being because of the holdout or whether we lose (DT) Dominique Easley for the season because of an injury, it's kind of that next man up mentality like we have and I think the guys have done a good job. That Aaron situation is something that, like I'll continue to say, we're striving to find a solution, it's very important to us, but in the meantime guys are getting better and we've got to move forward."
(On what he's seen from WR Cooper Kupp thus far)
"I see a mature rookie. I think one of the things that really impressed us about (WR) Cooper (Kupp), just watching him in college is that one of those receivers that sees the game through the quarterback's eyes. He always has a plan at the line of scrimmage, understands coverages and route concepts and I think that's what enables him to be such a productive player and very advanced for a rookie. He's one of the more mature rookies that I've ever been around and we're expecting some good things from him moving forward."
(On if he likes where his team is at this point in training camp)
"I think we're always striving to improve and I think the games and playing against other teams are your best measuring stick to see where you're at. Going against the Chargers again on Wednesday, we're all for that and then when we play the Cowboys on Saturday. I think we always are striving to just focus on one day at a time and if we do that, we feel like those incremental gains will lead to good things and that's kind of what our message is to the team and that's what the guys are doing."
(On if he is formulating a plan for how much work certain players will get in the first preseason game)
"Absolutely. When you go into training camp you always kind of have your plan set out, a good month, month and a half in advanced. I think the biggest thing is, is we're going to keep our training camp mindset and mentality with the exception of when you get a couple days out, being mindful of, 'Let's still get some competitive work.' But then maybe towards the end of practice, getting some guys some Cowboys' looks, some of the downline guys that'll play the majority of the game, so that you put them in a position to have success. That will be our goal, but I think we'll sit down and talk with the coordinators and the coaching staff. But anytime you have that first preseason game with the exception of a few guys, usually those guys you're counting on to start are playing anywhere between six to 12 plays."
(On how Havenstein and Brown looked yesterday compared to today)
"Yesterday was tough because it was strictly just a mental practice, so to be able to evaluate the physical tools and different things like that – you're more focusing on the above the neck. Now, today I can't wait to go back and look at this tape because we did do a lot of blitz work, some different things where you can evaluate them and our protection calls and the communication up front and you can also see what they're doing in the run game. We know that (OL) Rob (Havenstein) has played productive tackle in this league in his career and I feel like (OL) Jamon (Brown's) put some good stuff on tape at guard and really, if we feel like those guys do well then we're trying to just figure out what the best spot is for them and that's what this opportunity offers."
(On if he's decided how that will look on Saturday)
"We haven't gotten that far ahead. I do know that from the right tackle, right guard position we're going to let those guys do that for the next couple days and I think we'll come back and revisit it after the Chargers practice and figure out a plan moving forward."
(On what CB Kayvon Webster has done well in this training camp)
"Well, I think when you talk about getting (CB) Kayvon (Webster), it was very fortunate that (defensive coordinator) Wade (Phillips) had some exposure to him because the depth that they had at corner – he was an elite special teams player and in the limited snaps he did play he put good stuff on tape. But, I think since the day that Kayvon's got here he's represented great work, great player on the field, I think he's been a huge addition to our secondary and you look at he and (CB) Trumaine Johnson, they offer a nice pair at the corner spot. I love the way that he works and he's been a joy to be around."
(On if Webster does start, how will he balance his special teams snaps)
"Unless something changes, he's starting. He's been very important to us, so I think you want to be mindful of that because he is such an elite special teams player. I think 'Bones' (special teams coordinator John Fassel) will pick and choose his spots when to utilize him, but he's a starting corner that's going to be very important for our defense moving forward."
(On what his impressions of LB Alec Ogletree are so far and with Aaron Donald and Dominique Easley going down, how does that affect Ogletree)
"I don't think it's affected him at all. I think it's really just demonstrated his leadership. The more I'm around (LB) Alec (Ogletree), the more impressed I am with him. He's got a great presence, a great demeanor – you can just see the way that he goes about every single day how important football is to him and you just watch the guys rally around him because of what he's done on the field, but also because of the way he carries himself on the practice field and in the meeting room. The more that I'm around him, the more that you want to be around guys like that and you feel like your defense is in good hands when he's one of your leaders and guys always rally around him."