Rams Head Coach Sean McVay– Training Camp Press Conference – August 2, 2017* *
(On how he plans to replace DT Dominique Easley)
"Yeah, you know it is really unfortunate because you talk about a guy that was doing things the right way, you really felt his presence. Really enjoyed being around him. You can see that he is one of the guys that the teammates really love and respect. It's really unfortunate for us, but like we have talked about before, it is the next man up mentality. We've got some depth at that D-line like we've talked about – guys like (DT) Ethan Westbrooks will be asked to step up, (DT) Louis Trinca-Pasat, you are looking at (DT) Tanzel Smart, so we'll find different ways to continue to develop that depth and being mindful of some of the things moving forward. But that certainly is a big loss for us."
(On if Easley's injury changes or alters the urgency to get DT Aaron Donald back into camp)
"I don't think so because you are always urgent about wanting to get one of your best players around and when you lose one of your best players because of injury or one of your best players isn't here because of some contract disputes, that is always something that you want to try to get resolved as quickly as possible. With the injuries, you have to be ready to move on and adjust to that adversity like we've talked about, so that is something that we will do. I thought the guys did a nice job stepping up in Dominque's absence and just like the same thing had been with Aaron's absence."
(On what it was about Trinca-Louis that made him confident to slide him into a bigger role)
"Well, I think when you talk about a guy that's just doing things the right way, consistency, dependability, reliability – very physical player, hard to move, plays with a great low center of gravity, he uses his hands well even though he is a little bit stockier guy. So in the little bit that we've seen from him with the offseason program and then when you put the pads on, I think he has done a nice job for us."
(On if Easley is lost for the season)
"He is. Yes. Unfortunately, and I was just telling these guys, it is really unfortunate for our team because of what he meant to our team on the field, but also in the locker room as a great presence. He always had a good smile on his face, great disposition and demeanor and he'll be missed, but like we talked about with the team, we'll put our arm around him and support him. But in sports, there is always opportunities for next man up mentality and it presents an opportunity for some guys to step up and fill that void."
(On the play that Easley got hurt on)
"It was one of those things where a run got strung out to the right and he was kind of just chasing it and his knee just buckled funny. It was one of those noncontact deals where he was engaged, but then he was separated from somebody and as he was pursuing, it just kind of buckled awkwardly. It was unfortunate."
(On if there is an update on WR Tavon Austin)
"He's got a minor hamstring and that is something that we're going to be monitoring day-to-day. You always want to be really careful, especially with guys that explosive and those fast twitch guys like (WR) Tavon (Austin) with a hamstring and (Head Athletic Trainer) Reggie (Scott) and our training staff will do a good job. But that is what happened with him – he got a hamstring tweak."
(On why OLB Samson Ebukam wasn't practicing)
"Yeah, it was the same exact thing. He had a hamstring tweak in our special teams drill and it might be a little bit different than Tavon in terms of how careful you are, but I think in terms of the severity, they are minor issues that we'll monitor day-to-day. I expect those guys to do a good job with the rehab and we'll kind of have updates as we go day-to-day."
(On DT Robert Quinn's absence)
"He did. It was something that before camp we had previously scheduled and he had communicated that to us and that's what's going on. But nothing is wrong, everything is okay. Nothing injury related with (DT) Robert (Quinn)."
(On if he has any hope to see DT Aaron Donald around anytime soon)
"I'm hopeful to see Aaron Donald at any time. I think that's something that we're constantly striving to get a solution. With regards to the communication that's going on between he and his agent, I'll get those updates after practice in terms of what's going on. But, I know our guys are tirelessly working to try to find a solution to this and we'd love to have Aaron back. But in the meantime, we can't let it affect us and we've got to do a good job as a team moving forward. Hopeful that he'll get back here sooner than later."
(On at what point does his absence become a problem for him fitting into the defensive system)
"That's a great question. I think when you really look at it, those special players kind of find a way. But I don't want to take anything away from the importance of practice. Every single day is an opportunity for us to get better and it's very important especially when you're getting into a new system where you want your guys there. You're kind of developing that chemistry and continuity on both offense, defense, and obviously special teams with what (Special Teams Coordinator, John Fassel) 'Bones' has done in the last handful of years. I don't want to take away from the importance of training camp practices, but he is a special player. When that time becomes where you start to worry about that, it's hard to put an exact date on it. The thing that we just would relay is that we would love to have him here and we're constantly trying to figure out that solution every single day."
(On the three-man offense with QB Jared Goff, whether he liked what he saw)
"Yeah, I think he did a nice job. We did some different things at the end of practice, where you emphasize some two-minute situations at the end of the first half and I think those are situations that are you know different from what he was doing at Cal. But, similar in terms of the up-tempo, if you will, of what that two-minute offense dictates and he's comfortable in those settings. I thought our guys did a good job communicating both sides of the football. I thought it was a good way to end practice for us."
(On what LT Andrew Whitworth has brought to the team out on the field and in the locker room)
"I think he's brought a lot. When you look at free agency and kind of our priorities, he was the number one priority that we had. Our personnel staff, our coaching staff we were all in agreement on that. When we were able to get him, he's been exactly what we thought and more. I think just in terms of the production; he's playing at an extremely high level at that left tackle position. But what he's meant to (G) Rodger Saffold, those other guys in the locker room. Just that leadership and knowing what it looks like to be a pro's pro. How you go about your weekly rhythm if you will. I think he's done an excellent job and he's been a joy to be around. He's a guy that I can lean on as well, just because of his experience. You want to make sure that you're empowering those leaders on our team and he's certainly one of those guys who you can trust his opinion and then move forward and implement some of those things that they think."
(On memories of watching former QB Kurt Warner play)
"It's funny, because I lived in Atlanta at the time and for my birthday, which is pretty cool, my grandfather got us Super Bowl tickets when they ended up beating the (Tennessee) Titans, so I was at that game. I can remember, I was young, but I remember early on in the year, (former Rams QB) Trent Green goes down, (former Chargers DB) Rodney Harrison rolls up on his knee and everybody's kind of ready to push the panic button, except for everybody on that team. They found a way to rally around Kurt Warner just like (former Rams Head Coach) Dick Vermeil said and it leads to a Super Bowl. You look at the offense, defense and that's what championship teams are like. They're mentally though, they find a way to work through that adversity and that's kind of what I remember, especially from that championship season."
(On his thoughts of the road that Kurt Warner had to get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame)
"Well, I think it's a great story of just overcoming the odds and you never know when your time is going to come, but when it does let's be ready to deliver. We talk about those things all the time and he's the epitome of it and it leads to a Hall of Fame career. I'm very proud of what he's accomplished, especially being such an important part of this organization's history and excited for him as he's going to get inducted to the Hall (of Fame) this year."
(On where he sat during the Rams Super Bowl victory over the Titans)
"You know what, I was sitting on the left side, I was on the Rams sideline probably about third section up on about the 45-yard line. You had to have me think about it. It was in the Georgia Dome and it was an icy day, bad weather, stuff like that, but fortunately it was indoors."
(On who he went to that Super Bowl with)
(On if he had a rooting interest)
"I didn't. I think it was good just to see a competitive game. Obviously the Titans made it interesting at the end with a couple big-time plays, but I was a fan of the (San Francisco 49ers) Niners at the time, because my grandfather was still working for them and still involved, but I think just being a fan of the game, that was a great one to see."
(On his thoughts of replacing the losing coach from that Super Bowl)
"You know what, I think you appreciate just what a small world this business is and you feel so humbled and blessed just to get in it when I did because of my grandfather's history and to be here, it's a blessing."
(On coaching against Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips' energetic defense)
"Yeah, I think they feed off of him. He's got a great personality, great demeanor and anytime that you see a (Defensive Coordinator) Wade Phillips defense, you think about a physical attacking style and I think those guys have kind of embodied that and they've done a great job the last couple of years with that, but I think it gives our offense a great look. We've got a bunch of great players on defense and Wade runs a system where guys can play fast and be confident and knowing what to do and how to do it and then being able to execute their assignment and that's why I think he's a great coach."