Head Coach Sean McVay – Media Availability – October 9, 2017**
(On if there is more frustration for him today after looking at the tape)
"Yeah, I think it was extremely frustrating after the game and still frustrating when you go back and look at it. The biggest thing is, credit to Seattle for making enough plays to be able to win that game. But, when you look at it, I think the thing that's encouraging for us as a team is a lot of the things that we didn't get done are fixable mistakes and these are things that we can correct, we can do a better job of emphasizing it as a coaching staff and then it's on the players then to be able to fix those things. We've got the right kind of guys in that locker room to be able to look at themselves critically in the mirror and figure out what they can do to be a part of the solution. That's kind of what today was, is figure out what we can do to fix that and then we'll come back Wednesday with a plan for the Jacksonville Jaguars."
(On S Maurice Alexander being released)
"I think when you look at it, we wish nothing but the best from Mo. I really enjoyed being around Mo, but I think it's a credit to the depth that we've established at that safety position. There were some things where we expected a better level of play from him and he knew that, those things were communicated and when some of these other guys got their opportunities – you look at (S) John Johnson (III), you look at the way that (S) Cody Davis played yesterday, (DB) Blake Countess is a versatile player and then expecting to get (S) Lamarcus Joyner back definitely helps. (S) Marqui Christian gets in there in a short yardage, like a second-and-short and makes a tackle on the edge, so that depth allows you to be able to make some of those decisions. I certainly wish nothing but the best for Mo, he's been a very valuable contributor to this organization for the last couple years and couldn't have been more of a class act in terms of the way that he handled that today."
(On if he can envision S Lamarcus Joyner and S John Johnson III being in some packages together)
"I think there could definitely be some packages. As we get the game plan together and looking forward to the week as our defensive staff gets more familiar with Jacksonville's offense, I think you'll see a variety of packages that we put together, game-plan specific to get our guys on the field. But, I think when you look at what John did yesterday, definitely a lot of encouraging things and you see why he's projected to be a really good player for us."
(On if Johnson III can only play free safety)
"The way that our coaches do it is they train those guys to play both free (safety) and underneath and we've got some different calls and things like that, that dictate whatever it is, whether it's a two-safety or single-safety defense – who is an underneath defender, who is a middle safety and John did a nice job specifically as a post player yesterday. But, you look at the interception he made, he's an underneath flat player. So, I think with those safeties, they're interchangeable in terms of being able to play deep and then underneath in some of those run support structures."
(On if he is aware of the social media interactions between WR Sammy Watkins and former Rams WR Torry Holt and his reaction and any discussions with Watkins)
"Yes. I talked to Sammy about it and I think really his was really more of a response to some of the things that were said. Sammy is a player that he wants to be involved and what we just challenge Sammy to do, which he handles things exactly the right way in terms of the way that he receives that information and then takes accountability, is you never know when your opportunity is going to come, but let's make sure that snap-in and snap-out you continue to compete and contribute to the best of your ability. There are certain times throughout the course of the game where maybe we had a play call to try to get him, they played a different coverage or we just didn't do that and then when those opportunities do come, let's make sure that we're ready to roll. He responded the right way. I think looking at some of those social media exchanges, I think he was more just responding to those things and he knows that he'll do the right things moving forward. But, I really respect the way Sammy handled our conversation today in terms of taking the accountability to know that it's about snap-in and snap-out and really the tape is what tells the story. Sometimes, when you don't get your number targeted, it can be a little bit misleading and that's what I appreciate about Sammy is I think he took it the right way and expect him to respond the right way moving forward."
(On how he evaluated the plays that it seemed like Watkins wasn't playing at full speed)
"I think it was really one play in particular and we had run a similar play earlier and he kind of almost served as a pick on (Seahawks S) Earl Thomas before we had a chance to hit (WR) Cooper Kupp on a crossing route. In that instance right there, the pocket allowed where he was kind of coming down on an intermediate and it opened up the down the field and that's where it's a great learning experience and opportunity, not just for Sammy, but for all of our receivers that you never know how each play is going to play out. We always talk to our players about playing each play as its own individual entity and based on the way that some of the plays had played out, we felt like that was a chance and we wanted to be able to make them count and capitalize on that. Because we weren't all on the same page, it didn't work out that way for us, but I think that's a learning opportunity for everybody on our offense including Sammy, so that if it doesn't come up again we're not sitting here in that same situation."
(On how much are the targets to Watkins dictated on the play calls or on QB Jared Goff not looking his way)
"I think anytime you talk about getting guys involved in the game, that's really more my responsibly than the quarterback's because what we tell the quarterback to do is to just make sure you do a good job of just progressing through whatever the concept is called and reading it out as such. We've got a lot of players that we have confidence in. There are certain opportunities where maybe we could have gotten Sammy involved, but ultimately, I think people have a tendency to blame the quarterback on getting guys involved. That to me, is on me as a play caller because we try to call plays to get players involved, to attack certain coverages – certainly it's an inexact deal in terms of getting the looks that you want. But, what you never want to do with the quarterback is make him feel like he's got to force throws to guys when the coverage doesn't dictate that's where the ball should go. Every play that we run, we try to have all-purpose plays. It's not perfect, but your progression is dictated based on whatever the defense presents. Certain calls, you try to get guys involved and certainly there were a couple yesterday we did with Sammy that didn't work out for a couple different reasons, but we'll continue to try to find ways to get the ball in Sammy's hands. He's a good player for us, he will be a good player and these last couple weeks I don't believe are indicative of his production for the rest of the season."
(On if there is anything that he can tweak in terms of play calling in the redzone)
"That's a good question. I think when you look at our redzone production yesterday, certainly you first look inward like you mentioned. When you look at our first redzone possession, we fumble it out of the back of the end zone, so now you're 0-for-1. When you look at the second redzone possession that you do have, you end up starting out after the John Johnson pick, we get a two-yard run, then we go incomplete on second down and we miss versus a man coverage on a third-and-eight. So, definitely want to make sure that you're trying to give them better opportunities. Then the third situation, we go incomplete on first down, then on the second down play – I'm trying to think exactly what played out on the second down – then we got a negative-two (yard) run and the you're in a third-and-long and we tried to hit (TE) Gerald Everett down the left sideline and they were in a man coverage and (Seahawks S) Kam Chancellor makes a play and we didn't. Then I thought the fourth possession was where it really was a tough one because you're at a second-and-one, we get a positive run to the 15-yard line, have a bootleg called and now you're in a position where you've got a chance to have some good options coming out of that – we end up taking a 10-yard sack when feet get tangled between (RB) Todd (Gurley II) and Jared and now you're operating behind the stick. So, certainly there's a couple plays in there that you definitely would like to have back, but then there were also some things that – and then that last possession leads to that tipped pick on the screen where you're really just playing for a field goal and a low percentage play there. So, to Seattle's credit they did a good job. That's why they are a highly ranked redzone defense, but I definitely need to look at myself, make sure that with some of the passes when you're going incomplete – are we giving good, high percentage throws and like we did kind of early on when we were having some success and then we have got to run the football efficiently as well."
(On how he manages egos and competiveness of his playmakers in RB Todd Gurley, WR Tavon Austin and WR Sammy Watkins and differences between managing as a head coach vs. coordinator)
"In a lot of ways, no. The way that you manage it, these are positive problems when you've got a lot of playmakers. I think the biggest thing is, is we always go back to the communication and making sure that we've got the right types of guys – which we do, when you talk about those three individuals specifically. They're all high-character people that, they want to win football games. And every decision that we try to make, while we know that being able to win and be efficient on offense is going to be to get those guys involved and get them touches. It's important for them to understand how they fit and as long as we clearly communicate the why – as to why we're doing different things, what we're trying to get done, I feel like it helps create a better understanding and when you've got the right types of people to handle that the right way. I think anytime that you're in a leadership position, my dad always used to say, 'Sometimes leadership can be lonely.' And you've got to make decisions that, unfortunately, you can't always make everybody happy. But, as long as you feel like you're making decisions that you feel like are in the best interest of the team, that are tried to geared towards being efficient for the offense, or whatever is best for that team, then I think you can be okay with that at the end of the day. And then also being able to communicate clearly what the intent is of what we're trying to get done and our players have been receptive to that and that's going to be the theme that we'll continue to do moving forward."
(On how he plans to approach the Jaguar game)
"I think we approach it just like every other week. Really, we're just getting into Jacksonville as we speak, kind of just wrapping up the game from yesterday. Just looking at it from afar, they've got a great defense, they've been able to run the football efficient and I think (QB Blake) Bortles has made a handful of plays getting guys involved. They do a good job of using the tight ends. I know their Offensive Coordinator Nate Hackett really well – smart offensive mind. (Defensive Coordinator) Todd Wash has done a great job with hat defense, so it's going to be a great challenge for us. I think you mentioned yesterday, they get a big-time win over a great Pittsburgh Steeler team. But, you look at what they were able to in London against a very competitive Baltimore team as well. So, it's a great challenge and we've got to be ready to go just like any other week."
(On if he thinks the reason that WR Tavon Austin is struggling with punt returns is mental)
"I think a little bit. Yeah. I think that you can just get in your head a little bit. You know the wrist thing is probably part of it. But what you appreciate about Tavon he's not going to make any excuses about it. He's got to field the punts better than that more consistently in terms of being able to track it. He's going to continue to work on that in practice and try to improve moving forward."
(On if he has decided if Austin will remain the punt returner)
"Right now we're going to give Tavon a break from that. We're going to evaluate whether it's (WR) Cooper Kupp or (WR) Pharoh Cooper, but Tavon is going to continue to remain a big part of our offense. I think you look at what his does on the touchdown run, when the ball's in his hands we've got to find ways to use him. He's a very good football player, great play maker. He'll continue to be that. But in the meantime, while we give him a chance to get some work, get away from it a little bit – we're going to give him a break from the punt return duties."
(On what he will tell the team in terms of the travel plans the next two weeks)
"We've got the right type of guys. We addressed that right away today. We talked about what the upcoming week entails. Really, we're getting ready for the Jaguars and then we'll leave on Friday to go to Jacksonville. But we're not just leaving to go to Jacksonville, we're going to Jacksonville to stay in Jacksonville through that next Thursday and then we'll travel to London to play the Cardinals after that. So, we'll continue to keep that one-game-at-a-time mindset, but we've also got to have a big picture perspective in mind just because of the travel and going away and just knowing that, 'Hey, this is a business trip for the next two weeks.' We can enjoy ourselves a little bit in terms of where we're going to be able to stay. But make no mistake about it, we're going out there with every intention to try to go win a football game against two very good teams. Then that'll give us a chance to hopefully after those couple weeks, get some rest and then come back ready to go from the bye."
(On what the Gurley touchback play looked like on film)
"Anytime you look at some of those close plays, whether it's a foot out of bounds, where the ball is – it was a very tight play. Looked like they said the ball was out before hand and by rule that becomes a touchback. And those are things where you want to try to avoid that. It's a second-and-five play right there. He's got the first down and we talk about kind of that end zone awareness with the ball – where defenders are at. (FS) Earl (Thomas) makes a great play right there and maybe you go through him. If you do reach it out like you did against the 49ers those are the situations where there's no defenders in place to be able to make a play on it. I think that's a great opportunity for us to all learn from including Todd and we don't expect for that to come up again for us."
(On if monitoring OLB Robert Quinn's workload is to keep him healthy for a full season or due to him being a better fit on passing downs)
"I think it's both. I think anytime that you see really defensive lineman as a whole, you rotate those guys to keep them fresh throughout the course of the game. Robert's a special player when he rushes off the edge look at the jump he was able to get on the sack, even though he had a mug look where the tackle kind of set inside. He's got great get off. He's plays with great effort. I think when you play the way that he does and you have some confidence in the (OLB) Matt Longacres and those guys that can step up when they come in for him. You want to keep him fresh and I think we're doing a good job. (Defensive Line Coach) Bill Johnson's doing a nice job of being about to rotate those guys and keeping them at their best so that they can feel good when they're in there. But right now we feel good about that rotation we have upfront specifically to Robert."