Rams Head Coach Sean McVay – Organized Team Activity #1 – May 22, 2017
"It was a good first day, guys moved around and competed with great effort. We know that we're always going to strive for that improvement, but to get everybody out here and competing against each other, I felt like the tempo was excellent. Both offense and defense made some plays. (I'm) looking forward to looking at this tape and seeing what we can clean up."
(On if anyone stood out to him)
"I think until you really go back and look at the tape, it's always hard to say. You certainly felt some of our guys up front rushing early on. I thought they did an excellent job on defense playing with some great energy, pursuing to the football. (WR) Mike Thomas made a couple of nice plays in some of those pass periods. Until you go back and look, it's always tough to truly say."
(On what he saw working with QB Jared Goff versus what he saw on Goff's film)
"I think he's done a nice job just getting better every single day. We know that anytime you're not truly live in some of these periods, it's always a little bit more difficult. I thought he's done a nice job managing the huddle, got in and out today. He's seeing some things, progressing through based on what coverages we're seeing. We're just focused on one day at a time and so far he's done some nice things."
(On if everything is okay with DT Aaron Donald)
"Yeah, everything is good with Aaron. We expected him not to be here today, but what we have seen from Aaron this offseason in terms of the effort, the way that he's competed, been very pleased with him. It is voluntary right now, so whenever we get him back we'll feel good about that."
(On Donald's return)
"I think we're confident that he's going to be a very important part of what we're doing moving forward and when he's back, it will be great for everybody."
(On why Donald was absent)
"There's some things going on. There's really nothing personal or anything like that. Those discussions are kind of internal right now, but we expected him not to be here. But what we've seen from him has been very encouraging."
(On if Donald's absence is injury related)
"Right now, do not have to reveal any of those injuries, you guys tried to get me on that last time. It's nothing injury related with Aaron."
(On the potential of bringing in a third quarterback)
"I think something we've got to do a good job of monitoring the pitch count with Jared and with Sean Mannion, just making sure we're not wearing them out. I think we will look into doing that at some point. When that happens is in the offseason or for training camp, we're kind of evaluating that right now. The way that we've got it set up with going two OTAs, then kind of a phase one day and then that last OTA for the week, we feel good about those two right now and we've got a couple of coaches that can throw it around if necessary as well."
(On what he expects from the defense and the energy that Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips brings)
"When you look at what he's done over the course of his career, he's been a part of a lot of special defenses, whether it be as a coordinator or a head coach. He's a guy that knows exactly what he wants, has a clear-cut vision and philosophy. It seems like he always does a great job of bringing out the best in his players and that's what we're hopeful he'll do here."
(On if Donald's absence is a contract situation)
"This is something internally that we're discussing. Right now, with respect to the process, we don't want to talk about those things. But it is something that he's been here for the minicamp that was voluntary, he was a part of offseason program. Right now, he's not here but we're continuing to just worry about these guys that are here and look forward to getting Aaron back whenever that is."
(On what he saw our of TE Travis Wilson)
"He's a long guy, he's got a quarterback background, so he's got a nice feel in the pass game. I think he's getting more and more comfortable just playing that tight end position. It is a big transition, but he's got some natural feel in the pass game, he's got a big catch radius. He will be a guy that we'll continue to evaluate when you kind of play in-line and do some of those different things in the run game. He showed some promise with the big target that he is and he's got natural hands."
(On what areas Wilson is still raw at playing the tight end position)
"I think it's just learning how to play in a stance, at the line of scrimmage, whether it be on or off the ball, moving around the formations, but I do think that the quarterback perspective gives you an advantage of knowing it from that standpoint and then you're kind of able to seamlessly fit in. He's done some nice things with the opportunities he's had."
(On what he's seen from WR Robert Woods)
"What Robert's done – he's a pro's pro – he goes about his work every single day. He's a guy that kind of plays a lot different spots for us, competes well in both the run and the pass. Kind of what we had liked about him when we had seen him on tape in Buffalo and going back to even when he was a great player at USC. He's been really good so far, one of those guys that you enjoy coaching just because the way that he goes about his work every single day."
(On Goff's evolution as a leader of the team and its importance)
"It's a one day at a time approach. I think it's really just him getting comfortable with whatever is true to his personality. I think there's different types of ways that guys lead, but what resonates with players is if you're genuine and authentic about it. I think he's got a nice way of just being himself and guys naturally gravitate towards him from what I've seen so far. I think there's some other good pieces around him that kind of know what it looks like. You bring in an (T) Andrew Whitworth, who's been a leader in the Bengals locker room for a handful of years and then a guy like (C) John Sullivan, who has played a lot of football. I think there's some good guys that are coming in to help guide him. Expecting the same thing from (RB) Todd Gurley to kind of step up into that leadership role and that's what we've seen from him so far as well."
(On what he needs to see from TE Tyler Higbee from year one to year two)
"What you look for from the tight end position in general is just some versatility, you want guys that can be functional in both the run and the pass game and sometimes they're called on for protection. What he's shown so far is the ability to do a handful of different things. Been encouraged with his movement. He's a guy, I think really just in general, whether it's receiver, tight end, some of these fullback-type players, or even your halfbacks, you want to find creative ways to get guys in space with the ball in their hands. When you have people at that tight end position, it gives you a little bit more versatility."
(On if he envisions Higbee and TE Gerald Everett on the field at the same time)
"Anytime that you get into some of those 12 personnel sets or however many times you want to play with more than one tight end, it does give you some flexibility. And we've seen good things from (TE) Temarrick Hemingway as well. I think we're always just looking to find, what are the best ways we can create personnels? When you have some depth at the tight end position it gives you that ability."
(On T Greg Robinson's progression)
"It's going to be fun to go back and look at this tape and just see how from the minicamp how he's translated just some of the things in the couple of weeks where we've just been working on our techniques with phase two and continuing to meet. I think he's done a nice job of adjusting, just playing in a right-handed stance, handling the calls and the communication. I think he and (OL) Rob (Havenstein) are developing a nice report together. It will be easier for me to say after we go back and look at the tape today."
(On the difficulty of evaluating offensive linemen during OTAs when they're not wearing pads)
"It is difficult, it's a little bit more difficult and you also want to stay within the framework of how the phase three rules are written. I think just those calls, those communications, be able to handle some of the protections and some of our combinations in the run game, it's very beneficial. I think when you go against a front where we've got so many different guys that can do some different things defensively, it creates a nice challenge for our offense and I think it's going help us get better throughout this offseason.
Rams QB Jared Goff – Organized Team Activity #1 – May 22, 2017
(On how he felt today)
"It felt good. It was similar to the first day of minicamp, I think. Everyone has got some nerves, some excitement, a little bit of everything. Went out there and thought the practice went by a lot faster than you would expect. It was fun. It was a good day. Obviously, a lot of stuff to work on, still early on in the spring here. But, I feel good."
(On how he would describe the change from last year)
"It's way different. It's a way different offense. Personally, from my brief experience with it. I've had a quicker time learning it, easier time learning it. I don't know whether that's scheme or the way it's taught or whatnot, but I've enjoyed spending time with the coaches and picking it up pretty quickly."
(On Head Coach Sean McVay saying that his philosophy is making the quarterback position, the hardest position on the field to play the easiest to position to play and if he can sense that)
"Yes, you can definitely tell. There's a lot of things that may have been on our plate before aren't now. But, there's also some things that are. It goes back and forth. Obviously, it's still a tough position but he's done a good job in the past and with me and Sean (Mannion) so far. He's taken a lot off of our plate."
(On if he was keeping track of the personnel changes in the offseason and the draft)
"Of course. Yes, I'm always watching. I was excited about it. From (WR) Robert (Woods) to (LT Andrew) Whitworth to (C John) Sullivan, to all of the guys that we drafted. It's been really exciting to see. Exciting to see where their mentally is and, more than anything, I think they got some high character guys in here especially those guys I named that we signed with Whitworth, and Sullivan, and Robert – just some veteran guys that know what they're doing and can not only help me, but can help everyone around them."
(On how the relationship and timing with Woods is developing)
"He's been great. He's been more than I could have really expected honestly. His work ethic and you can tell how much it means to him and how bad he wants it. He's just a competitor. He's smart, he's fast, he's strong and he competes every day. He wants to be the best he can be every day and you can tell that. It's really exciting for me to have a guy like that, multiple guys like that, but him in particular."
(On what kind of leadership personality he would say that he's trying to develop)
"I don't know. I just be myself. I've developed leadership skills since I was seven-years-old playing the position. It's kind of part of the position. I've tried different things. I'm growing as a person, as a player and as a leader, so everything is always evolving. But, just be myself."
(On how leads differently now than he did in high school or college)
"I may lead differently now than I did my freshman year of college. Just the way you evolve as a person and change, but continue to be the best teammate I can be is probably the best way to do it. Be the best teammate you can be and try to set an example. That's what I think about."
(On if it's something he tries to think about)
"There's times where you don't want to be too aware, obviously, the quarterback has to be the leader. But, be yourself. Nine times out of 10 that's going to be enough. Be yourself and try to set an example."
(On being at the facility for rookie camp and if he feels like his presence at the facility is part of being a leader)
"That's more so for myself to just learn and be around the guys as much as I can. I don't know if I'm consciously thinking about what it looks like. I want to do it just to be here. The rookie day, I just wanted to see the rookies. I didn't really have anything to do here. I got a little treatment and figured I would watch the receivers to see what we got. But yes, I just try to be around as much as possible."
(On if the culture has changed and if he feels like they are on the right path)
"Absolutely. It's been a great change so far. I think Coach McVay and his staff have implemented that and I think everyone has bought in. Honestly, I think from the leaders on the offensive side and the leaders on the defensive side have raised expectations and raised the standard. With that everyone seems to follow and so far I believe it's been a really good change."
(On if it is important for him to be a leader for the team)
"Of course. The quarterback is the leader of the team, and again, that's something that's always evolving. It's just like you work on your passes, you work on being a leader. It's something that you try to be the best teammate and everything you can be every day. Just trying to be the best you can be."
(On working with rookie WR Cooper Kupp)
"Yes, 'Coop's' looked good. I've known 'Coop' a little bit for some time now and I'm happy we've got him. He's looked really good. I'm excited for him and excited to see what he can do with us."
(On TE Tyler Higbee's development)
"I think Tyler's done a great job. We all kind of knew what he brought to the table last year and going into this offseason, I think he's only gotten better. I think that shows out here. I know it's only OTAs and minicamp, but you can see flashes of what you hope to have in a No. 1 tight end and I think he's harder on himself than anyone and I think that's what you want."
(On where he is physically compared to last year)
"I've probably put on five to 10 lbs. I feel good. I feel strong. I feel like this is the best shape I've been in in a long time. But that's kind of been every year. Every year I've kind of gotten bigger and stronger and I'm still growing. I don't think I'm growing in height, as much as I'm getting a little bit wider."
(On his thoughts on the offense and the coaches)
"It's been great. Coach McVay and (offensive coordinator) Coach (Matt) LaFleur and (quarterbacks) Coach (Greg) Olson have been awesome with us and have taught me a lot. They've been really easy to communicate with and a lot of fun to work with."
Rams RB Todd Gurley – Organized Team Activity #1 – May 22, 2017
(On his thoughts on today)
"It felt good just being back out there. Obviously, we were out there (for) the minicamp, so it felt good. First day, just getting used to it, getting our legs back under, so it was good."
(On his sense right now on how he fits into the offense)
"I like it. It's not the same, but mostly every offense is the same, but kind of different schemes. The coaches have just been doing a great job of coaching us up and making sure we're focused (on) the details and the little things."
(On if it's difficult, even though the differences maybe aren't that great, for a running back to get a handle on what they're expecting even if the offense is different)
"Not really. At the end of the day we've been running the ball our whole life. But obviously, you have to be detailed to track your steps. It's just different terminology. It's a whole new playbook, so you've just got to learn it just like everybody else."
(On if changing systems or personnel is more significant in terms of his learning)
"Personnel doesn't really make a difference to me, more for the receivers. Like I said, it's just a whole new playbook, so everybody's kind of starting over from scratch and just learning it and just trying to make sure, like I said, we're mastering our technique and everything and just making sure we're focusing every day even though it might seem just like an outside zone run. Just making sure you're doing the right track for it every time."
(On if he can tell what the offensive line is going to look like at this point)
"We'll see once we get into the season. Like I said, we're just out here just trying to get better day by day."
(On if he expects to catch a lot more balls in this new offense)
(On if he would like to catch more balls this year)
"Yeah, I would. But, we'll see what happens."
(On if he wants to be the same weight this season that he was last year)
"However I feel. I'm going to just keep training like I've always (been) doing and just come out here and play ball, honestly."
(On QB Jared Goff's development from last year to now)
"He's always one of the first people in here. He's definitely always the last person out. He's just been doing a great job, just learning every day, getting better, in there with the coaches, attention to detail. Then just trying to make sure everybody else is on top of their game as well. He's been doing a great job, doing what a quarterback is supposed to do. He's going to lead this team."
(On if any players have stood out to him on offense)
"Obviously, (WR) Rob Woods. He's been doing a great job for us. You got (TE Tyler) Higbee. It's a lot of guys. I've been just so focused in and just helping the other running backs and stuff like that, so I haven't really got a chance to pay attention today."
(On how important it is to him to be a leader)
"Obviously, guys are going to look at the key players or whatever that is. So, I'm just coming in here, working hard, and just lead by example. There's totally different ways you can lead. Like I said, Jared's been doing a great job. Just seeing him be in here, the last person every day, makes the next guy want to do the exact same. We're all in here competing for starting jobs. I want my job just like everybody else wants their job, so we're all competing with each other and helping each other out."
(On the difference for him coming into this season compared to the previous season given how frustrating last year was)
"Obviously, just want to be able to not have the season we had last year. Like I said, I just work hard every day and then just come with the mindset of just trying to get better at one little thing each day."
(On the biggest difference between the current coaching staff and last season's staff)
"Obviously, this is a new system and just the big thing – even though we coached it a little bit last year – but just a lot more detail, 'We not me,' just putting the team first. I felt like we did that in the past. Like I said, this coach, he's harped on attention to detail and being situational masters."
(On if this is a more expanded playbook compared to last year)
"We're still in the first couple phases, so I can't really tell you too much."