Rams Head Coach Sean McVay– Training Camp Press Conference – August 6, 2017**
(On why he is shuffling around his offensive line)
"Just like we always do; we're really just trying to figure out the best combination in terms of how we want to do things. I think we feel really good about what (OL) Jamon (Brown) and (OL) Rob (Havenstein) have done on that right side, but with Rob's history playing tackle and Jamon's history playing guard, we also want to have contingency plans in place if one of them were to go down. I think we're just continuing to find whatever that best mix is for our five guys up front and really with the exceptions of (G) Roger (Saffold), (C) John (Sullivan) and (T Andrew) Whitworth, all those guys are kind of moving around as we continue to find the best way to get those five coordinated and adjusted up front."
(On if anything that happened yesterday precipitated that move)
"No. This was something that we had talked about as a staff last week anyways and we just didn't want to make that move before the practice. But I think we'll get an opportunity over the next couple days to explore those guys playing guard and tackle and see how they do when we practice against the Chargers on Wednesday. I think it will give us an opportunity as we're moving closer and closer to the season to find that best mix."
(On if Rob Havenstein will play tackle against the Chargers on Wednesday)
"We haven't decided that. He's going to do that tomorrow in practice for sure and (G) Jamon (Brown) will play guard and that's something that we're kind of discussing each and every day. I would imagine kind of the plan right now is to do that for the next few days and then we'll evaluate moving forward."
(On if there is anything in particular he wants to see from the offensive line against the Chargers on Wednesday)
"I think when you look at it, they've got a lot of good rushers. I think the biggest thing is, now that we've seen a couple things that they do, being ready to adjust if they give us the same thing. We didn't game plan that, but I think it was a great opportunity to test some of our rules up front and the way that they attacked us. It was a great way to be able to go against a different defense, discuss some things, but I think it's just following our rules, playing with sound technique and fundamentals and we expect to execute a little bit better versus some of the difficult looks that they gave us, if we do see those again on Wednesday."
(On if anything else from the tape yesterday stood out)
"It kind of was exactly what it felt like – there were some good things and there were some things that we definitely need to get cleaned up, I think what practicing against another team offers, is a unique opportunity to really kind of create that game-like atmosphere without really playing a game. So, you can go into it, really almost test your rules without game planning and knowing that when you going and you prepare for an opponent, you will do it a little bit differently, but now having a unique way that it was spaced out where you practice against them yesterday and then you have a couple more days until Wednesday. We'll at least have some film to go off of and like we were saying, we expect to see some improvements on some of the things that we didn't do a very good job on, on both sides really."
(On what he wants to see from this group after the first week)
"Well, what you love about this group, really this team as a whole – I think they're all so willing to be coached, they play with great effort, I think we're really starting to come together as a team and that's what it's all about. As we get through our installs, it's about tightening up the techniques and making sure that with some of the things that test our rules, we're on top of it, but I've been very pleased with this group, great group to be around. That's what it's all about. It's all about the team."
(On if it's the same thing with the coaching staff)
"Same thing with the coaches. I feel very fortunate to have a great coaching staff, guys that I can lean on and I think they do a great job pushing their players to help them try to reach their highest potential and that's what it's all about."
(On what he's seen from the tight end group thus far)
"They've impressed me. I think (tight ends) coach (Shane) Waldron has done an excellent job with those guys. A very versatile group, I think especially when you look at (TE) Gerald Everett's growth throughout the course of training camp from where he was in the offseason, the emergence of (TE) Tyler Higbee, seeing really good things from (TE) Temarrick Hemingway and obviously (TE) Cory Harkey is a reliable guy. But, I think when you really look at those three in particular, those first three guys – I think they've done an excellent job giving us the ability to be versatile because they're competing well in the run and the pass and the more that we can present out of those personnel groups, I think the tougher you are to defend."
(On how having a vertical threat like former Redskins WR DeSean Jackson in Washington last year make things easier for his offense)
"Well, anytime you've got a great vertical threat like him – he's arguably one of the best of all-time at making plays down the field, he's a guy that has consistently delivered when you know he's going deep and anytime you can go one play 80 yards, that always is a lot easier as a play caller and as an offense. I think it softens coverages and it eliminates you having to go 12 and 15 plays down the field because of the ability to create the explosive (plays) and we're always looking for ways to try to create explosive (plays), whether it be in the play action, the drop-back game or in the run game. There's different ways to do it. (Former Redskins WR) DeSean (Jackson) offers a unique opportunity to be able to stretch the ball down the field with balls that travel a little bit further, but we're continuing to find out with our players what's the best way to attack defenses and we've got some good players. How that all comes together by the time we face Indy (Indianapolis Colts), it'll be exciting to see what it is."
(On if he can't find that deep threat here, what kind of challenges will that present him)
"I think anytime that you have the ability to stretch people vertically, it softens those coverages. So, you get people to play a little bit tighter. It alleviates a lot of things on the run game and underneath and the intermediate game when you are dropping back and throwing the football. So, you have to adjust accordingly. I think DeSean's a special guy. We've got some guys that we feel good about their ability to stretch the top shelf of the coverage. It's been unfortunate for (WR) Tavon (Austin) that we haven't had an opportunity to really practice with him too much just because he's got the wrist injury and then he ends up getting the hamstring, so I know he's anxious to get out there and we'll see if he can do some of those things when he gets back out for us."
(On if WR Pharoh Cooper can be a guy that can potentially stretch the field)
"Yeah, I think (WR) Pharoh (Cooper) is a great competitor. I think what Pharoh Cooper's doing is continuing to get more comfortable playing the receiver position as a whole. This guy is just a very good athlete that's continuing to become a better receiver each and every day. A tough, physical player, competes well in the run game and I think you see the play that he makes down in the red zone yesterday – he's aggressively running through the football, he's kind of a fearless mindset and mentality. I really enjoy being around Pharoh and love what he's done the last few days."
(On if he's planning on using RB Todd Gurley out of the backfield as a receiver)
"I think it'll be to be determined by game plan, but I think what you do realize is (RB) Todd (Gurley) is certainly capable of that. He's definitely a complete back, I think he's motivated in the right way. I can't say enough about what he's done right now and the challenge, just like anything else is, 'Can we continue to sustain that over time?' That consistency that we're striving for and Todd's been a great example of that for our team so far."
(On if he'll get a few more guys back out on the field for tomorrow's practice)
"We're hopeful. I'll sit down and we'll talk with (Director/Sports Medicine and Performance) Reggie (Scott) and his staff his staff tonight and kind of see. We're hopeful about that because it'll be good to get a good practice tomorrow, get a day off and then we'll come back and go against the Chargers again on Wednesday. So, I think today with the amount of reps that we got, where it was 87 snaps on defense and 91 on offense, we thought it was good to just make it more of a mental focus practice today, let guys recover so we can have a good one tomorrow, a day off and then come back and have another intense practice against the Chargers Wednesday."
(On who he likes on the punt and kickoff return spots)
"I think when you look at what Tavon's been able to do and guys like Pharoh Cooper, so he's definitely in the mix with that and I think you saw (WR) Cooper Kupp did a great job back there catching some in the practice against the Chargers. But 'Bones' (special teams coordinator John Fassel) is one of the best in the league for a reason. He'll do a good job of finding that and we'll figure out how those guys fit into the mix based on how the way that our final 53 (man roster) and our active game day roster shapes out."
(On what has stood out so far the most during camp)
"I just think it's the way that we're coming together and what's been really fun is you watch some of these leaders take command of the team and then everybody kind of falls in line. Seeing guys like (LB) Alec Ogletree, (OLB) Connor Barwin really step up, watching on the offensive side of the ball the Andrew Whitworth's, the maturation of (QB) Jared Goff and Todd Gurley, so I could go on and on – John Sullivan has been great. I think it's just how refreshing it's been to see the leaders on the team be the guys that are setting the standards and what it looks like and then everybody kind of falls in alignment."
(On T Andrew Donnal and WR Bradley Marquez not being out there)
"Yeah, (T Andrew) Donnal has a little tweak to his knee and it's the same thing with (WR) Bradley (Marquez), so those are things that we're monitoring day-to-day right now. Donnal has had some things with the MCL."
(On if Donnal's injury is long term)
"I don't know that it's long term, but it's something that he's going to be out for the next week or so. We're optimistic that it'll be sooner rather than later, but again, something like that especially when he's had this before, you always want to be careful about it and Reggie – they'll do a good job of kind of deciding when that time is that he'll be able to be back."
(On if it's the same thing with Bradley)
"Same thing with Bradley right now."