Head Coach Sean McVay – Press Conference – August 27, 2017**
(On if there is an update on TE Temarrick Hemingway)
"Yeah. He fractured his fibula. In terms of the severity of it, until they go in – it is going to require surgery. We won't know how long he'll be out until we go in there and do that. But, unfortunate for him because he's one of those players that – seen a lot of really encouraging things, did a lot of really good things on the line of scrimmage, especially in the run game, so that's a big loss for us. It's going to require some guys to step up in his absence, we'll see how guys handle that."
(On who is in line to take over Hemingway's spot)
"Well, I think the immediate guys that are going to be asked more of them in the run game are (TE) Tyler Higbee and (TE) Gerald Everett and then obviously what (TE) Cory Harkey has been to this organization over the last couple years, offers him an opportunity to step up. I think we'll get a chance to see (TE) John Mundt and (TE) Travis Wilson looking forward to this Green Bay game where they'll get a lot of snaps and it will be a great opportunity for us to evaluate them as well."
(On if he has an estimate on how long Hemingway will be out)
"When you look at it, there's a couple different ways that it could play out where it could potentially be an eight-to-10 week thing where he'd be one of those guys for the IR (injured reserve) designated to return possibility. But, if you go in there and you find some different thing based on him getting rolled up on, it could be a three-to-four month injury, so you can't really say until you fully have the surgery, get in there and see the specifics of what's going on."
(On Hemingway making a big leap this offseason and preseason)
"Yeah, he really did. He was one of the guys that I was extremely encouraged with – we were as a staff. We were really counting on him for some big things because I think when you talk about the length, the athleticism, his movement – when he gets the ball in his hands, he's a guy that can create after the catch. He offered a lot of flexibility with what we could do with some of our personnel groupings, so this is a big loss for us. Like I said, it will be interesting to see who kind of steps up to fill that void because there certainly is one left by what we had anticipated for Temarrick for the start of the season. Hopefully we'll get some good news back where it's not going to be a season ending injury, but we'll find that out in the next few days."
(On if he thinks TE Cory Harkey can be a threat in the passing game)
"Yeah, I think he's reliable. You look back at the Oakland game a couple weeks ago. He makes a catch on one of the keepers, (QB) Sean Mannion finds him and he goes for 15 yards and then he made a great catch on a shallow cross as well, kind of extended outside of his framework, so he's got good hands and he's been a reliable option. I think that's what you're looking for. Cory's a good football player that does bring some versatility to the position and those are very helpful things for us."
(On if he knows when Hemingway will have his surgery)
"I want to say that it's scheduled for this upcoming Tuesday."
(On if there were any other injuries from the game yesterday)
"No, fortunately everybody came out okay, but that's a big loss for us and it's unfortunate that it occurred. But, you have to be ready to deal with it and really wishing him nothing but the best. But, I couldn't have been more pleased with what he's done and the growth and maturation that we've seen from him. I feel sorry for Temarrick."
(On if he has any indication that DT Aaron Donald will report after the conclusion of the preseason)
"We haven't received any word like that. Right now, that dialogue is ongoing. I know we had some meetings and discussions with their representation and that's something that we're working through to try and get figured out as soon as possible. If we do, we'll be excited about that and if not, we've got to be ready to adjust and move forward. That's the approach that we've taken, but certainly we're very optimistic and hopeful that we'll get that done. But we don't have any specific updates, it's kind of the same as where it's been the last couple weeks."
(On if this is the week that the concerns begin to heighten with Donald not reporting yet)
"I think every day there's a heightened reason in wanting him to be around. Whether that was at the very start of training camp – any time that you have the ability to have one of your best players who's not present because of something outside of things that we can control, the injuries and different things like that, you want Aaron here. As far as putting a timetable on it, kind of like we've discussed, it's hard to really say. All that we can do right now, until that issue is resolved is move forward and kind of start to have some contingency plans in place. It's kind of the same approach for us, where we're focused on helping the guys that are here and are working and trust that Aaron is working in the meantime. If we're able to get that worked out, then he'll be ready to go. If we do that then there will be some plans that we have to have in place. Having an appreciation for the training camp, the offseason, all that stuff that that entails to try to be smart with him and that will be a good problem for us to have to work out."
(On how his absence affects the rest of the defense)
"You certainly lose some depth. Anytime that you're missing one of your great players, you do feel that. But, I think what it's offered is a unique opportunity for some guys to step up. I think we've seen some really good things from a (DT) Tanzel Smart that you see him play at the three technique, you see him play at the nose. (DT) Michael Brockers has taken on that leadership role, which he's had for the last couple years and I think it gives you a chance to continue to evaluate guys that have been on this roster like an (DL) Ethan Westbrooks and a (DT Louis) Trinca-Pasat."
(On if there is a chance that QB Jared Goff plays against Green Bay)
"Yeah, I think we're going to keep with the same plan that we have. I was really just kind of getting the schedule situated and settled before now. That's also taking into consideration some of the things from (Director/Sports Medicine and Performance) Reggie's (Scott) report and how guys are doing. The plan is to stay with probably resting our starters and trying to get them some good work this week on the practice field and then starting to gear up looking forward to that Indy game."
(On if Goff will play against the Packers)
"He's not going to play in this game."
(On if he thinks the third defensive lineman spot is open with Donald and Brockers in place)
"I think when you look at it, we've got some different packages that we play, whether it's our base or our dime package. But, I think you've seen some good things from Ethan Westbrooks, from (DE Morgan) Fox. Tanzel Smart's a guy that continues to show up. (DT) Mike Purcell's made some nice plays, so I think it's been a great opportunity in Aaron's absence to see some guys step up to provide some depth. We know that (OLB) Robert Quinn's going to be ready to go for that Indy game, so he's going to provide a huge spark that we haven't seen. While we're also appreciative of what preseason does have for us in terms of the things that we can do as a team, we are anticipating getting a lot of these guys that we're counting on back for that opener. Really, as a defense as a whole with some guys that we haven't seen, but when you're talking about specifically up front, we're looking forward to getting '94' (Robert Quinn) back out there as well."
(On if he expects OLB Robert Quinn, LB Mark Barron and CB Kayvon Webster to be practicing this week)
"Yeah, the anticipation is they're going to be practicing and unless something changes in the meantime, they will be ready to go against Indy."
(On WR Tavon Austin's status)
"Same thing with Tavon. We're not going to play him against Green Bay. If it was a normal game week, I think he would be able to play. He's made huge progress with Reggie over the last week where he's running, reaching some higher speeds on the treadmill and stuff where it's 100 percent of the weight that he's supporting. So, those have been some good things and you'll start to figure out – we're going to have to start brainstorming some ways with how we're going to utilize Tavon in that game, which will be fun."
(On how he thinks Austin will be a part of his game plan)
"I'm not going to tell you that, we'll have to watch the game (laughs). But, the anticipation is he's going to be a part of that game plan. How exactly we utilize him are fun things for us to be able to figure out, but he's going to be a part of that for sure."
(On if he thinks it's more difficult for an offensive player or a defensive player to go into the regular season with no work in the preseason games)
"Yeah, I think it's both. I think there's a huge value in being able to get some of that game experience in the preseason, so you knock off some of the rust if you will. But, I think a lot of the times, from a defensive standpoint, so much of it is reactionary based on what an offense presents, where offensive responsibilities and roles, especially from a skilled position, are a little bit more defined pre-snap. Whereas, some of the defensive things that occur on the backend are based on blitzes or formation adjustments. It might be one thing as a call, but then based on what an offense presents, it could totally alter what you're doing. So, I think they're both very important, but there is a little bit more involved from a defensive standpoint in terms of adjusting, based on what an offense presents."
(On if he thinks there are some other players on the roster that can fill the void from RB Lance Dunbar)
"Yeah. I think it's been unfortunate for Lance, because it hasn't gone the way that we wanted, but what you like about Lance is he's handled it like a pro and he's just taking it one day at a time. But, I think it has offered a chance for (RB) Justin Davis to step up and show what he can do as a change-of-pace back – I thought he made a nice play on the screen. Even in some of the things protection-wise that might go unnoticed, he's showing some toughness, willingness to stick his face on people and be tough as far as a protector as well. When you see him put his foot in the ground, you notice a different change in that acceleration. In terms of that change-of pace-back, I think he's done a nice job of competing for that role. And, (RB) Aaron (Green) with that hand injury, I know that's limited him a little bit. He does offer that element. And, I thought when you're just looking at the running back position as a whole, love the way that (RB) Malcolm Brown responded from Week 1, then he improved Week 2 and then yesterday, getting to go against a formidable defense with some excellent players, running through some arm tackles, great ball security, being reliable, grinding out some tough yards – I thought it was a great day for him."
(On what his assessment was on Goff after watching the film)
"It was a similar thing to kind of what we had said after the game. I think the biggest thing that you take away that you're encouraged with is, when you look at those two plays in a different way, the week before I point it out to you guys the 4-yard completion or 5-yard completion he has to (WR) Sammy (Watkins) where, the right side of the pocket got a little bit of a push, he got choppy on a same timing play, stepped up, kept two hands on the ball, ball tight to his body and is able to deliver a nice, accurate throw. Same situation, where we get a little push, get a little too much depth in the pocket, got to step up, find a way where maybe you have a chance to throw it to (TE) (Tyler) Higbee for a touchdown, or a throwaway and we kick a field goal and now you feel totally different about it. What you feel encouraged about, is he's made those plays before. So, it's not like we don't have an answer. It's, 'Hey, we've done it like this before, now let's make sure we consistently do it over and over again.' And that's where the experience comes into play. That's where trying to get in the practice settings making sure that he has a feel, even though he can't get hit, understand when that pocket gets edged, alright you've got to step up. You can't get too much depth, alright and then be ready to keep that nice ball security, two hands on the ball, so it's strong when guys hit it out. And then, on the high cross, it's going to happen. You're going to miss some throws. Ball just sailed on him a little bit. Got to sit in there, trust your protection and let that thing go and he's made that throw over and over again. So, those are two plays that everybody's going point to like we talked about, but the takeaway that you look at it is, absolutely have to be better. I know he feels the same exact way, but these are plays that he's made. It's not like you're searching for answers like, 'We don't know what to do.' It's about, how can we collectively all be on the same page and consistently make those good decisions over and over again as opposed to letting those be the plays that we've got to get corrected.
(On T Andrew Whitworth chasing down the fumble return yesterday)
"I saw it live, because you could see (DE) (Melvin) Ingram was looking back and he was digging out. But, I think for what you talk about the effort, we talk about this with our players – the burst, speed and the finish. Watching a guy like that continue to compete and go all the way to the whistle and try and give it his best to go get that thing done. You know, that's the types of players that you want on your team. Those are the types of players that when those guys are your leaders, alright, that kind of culture takes care of itself, because they set the standard, nobody's above it and another great example of why he's a special player and a special person, being able to do that."
(On his impressions of WR Pharoh Cooper)
"Yeah, I think Pharoh's an excellent football player. I can't say enough about just the toughness that he plays with, but I think in terms of watching him progress as a receiver – been very pleased with him. You win with players like Pharoh Cooper because he does all the things the right way. He's tough. He creates after the catch. He's willing to compete in the run game. He's one of the guys that you can't help but love being around competitors. He's a great competitor and I think it shows up with the way that he plays the receiver position. I think that's why he's such an intriguing prospect coming out of South Carolina. What you're getting a chance to see is as he's playing the receiver position more, whether it be running routes from outside, running from the slot – he's getting more and more comfortable. The one thing that you can't deny is this guy's a good football player."
(On what his role was in Washington with roster cut-down day and lessons he learned)
"What was great about my role in Washington is you're heavily involved in terms of trying to help (head coach) Jay (Gruden) and the personnel staff figure out what's going to be the best 53, but specifically just to the numbers offensively that we had kind of had allocated based on the way that we projected it. I think you always have a bottom line number in place for certain spots with how to get to that 53. But, what I thought Jay and (team president) Bruce (Allen) and when I was working with (former General Manager) Scott McCloughan – I thought they did such a good job of, 'Let's not be aware of the 53, but what's your 46 on game day?', where you might be able to keep some extra players at certain spots, if you do have some depth and some good football players. I think just being around some people that did it the right way was very helpful. But, we've got a lot of people in place here, both from the coaching and the personnel staff that we'll rely on to be able to come to those decisions that are best for our organization. Those are things that we're talking about right now, today, you know all morning projecting that knowing that the next week will offer some changes to that. But, you still always want to have that big picture perspective in mind."
(On how the rule change with keeping 90 players until the final cut has affected things)
"Well, it didn't change too much except for you're thankful that you do have those bodies to go through a preseason game with. Because, it always ends up being where you've got a lot of nicks and bruises and some guys with some hamstring pulls or quad pulls or lower extremities that you want to be careful with them. So, what I think what it's enabled us to do is feel good about knowing that the guys that you're projected as your starters – you can hold out, maybe ramp it up a little bit more with them in practice as opposed to if they had to get ready for a game. Then like I've said before, I think it offers the unique opportunity for a handful of guys that would've been cut, to be able to put some good game film on tape in that fourth preseason game. If it doesn't work out for us, hopefully it will work out for one of the other 31 teams."
(On if the 90 player rule allows you to rest players in the fourth preseason game)
"I think it does…that's what we've done in the past, so that's probably a similar approach. What it does is it enable you to be a little bit…you give guys a chance where they don't have to play that whole preseason game that maybe have gotten a lot of work – where it might offer a (QB) Dan Orlovsky to get more snaps, because of (QB) Sean Mannion's experience he's gotten. Might offer a chance to see some of those guys like the (TE) Travis Wilsons, like the (TE) John Mundts that we mentioned to get more snaps than they would've otherwise."
(On if he thinks there is a certain date that Donald has to show up in order to play in the first regular season game)
"Yeah, you know I think it's hard to put an exact date on that right now. I think what you got to have is as each day gets closer, if we haven't come to a resolution – having a plan for that day. To rule out one of our best players and put a specific date on that – I don't think would be fair to our team or for him, so I don't want to do that right now. I think the biggest thing that I would stress is we'd love to have him around and we're working hard to try to come to a solution with respect to the process."