Rams Head Coach Sean McVay – Training Camp Press Conference – August 1, 2017
(On if he called practice early because of the lighting)
"Yeah. We had some lighting close in the area. I want to always first be thinking about the players' safety and with the amount of time that it's going to take for us to be able to clear that and kind of where we were at in practice, we decided to call it."
(On if he dealt with weather issues much in Washington)
"At our facilities it wasn't because we had an indoor, so if that ever came up we were able to go inside. We did have to have a contingency plan in place in Richmond, Virginia because it did rain a lot and we would just go to a gym where you are getting the walk-thru setting. But we felt like we got a lot of our work in. There were still a couple of things that we wanted to get done, but just being mindful of the situation, we felt like that was the best decision for us to make."
(On if he has an update on DT Dominique Easley)
"We will get an update on that later. He's going to go get examined and we're going to find out more specifically on what's going on with him."
(On how the offense looked with pads on)
"I think until you truly go back and look at the film, like you guys will hear me say over and over, it's hard to really get an assessment of all 11 (players) that are competing on each side of the ball. I thought it was a good tempo that we had on both sides. I thought there were some plays that the defense made and then I thought the offense made some plays as well. One of the things you appreciated is that it was a good, physical practice – guys were trying to be smart staying off the ground and I think we were able to accomplish that while getting a good, competitive practice."
(On how deep into camp you have to get to really tell if you are getting better)
"I think when you are in the early stages of camp, especially being mindful of the fact that we've got new offensive and defensive systems that we're implementing – once you really get through your installs and get through kind of the major situations – the two-minute, the red zone and all your third down stuff – that is when you can really start to repeat things, let the players feel like they can just go play and it's not as much thinking. So, I think a couple weeks into camp and then ultimately, those preseason games are invaluable to be able to evaluate guys. Looking forward to our practices with the (Los Angeles) Chargers that we'll have coming up as well, competing against another team and offensively a different defensive front and defensively a different offensive approach."
(On what he is hoping to see out of QB Jared Goff from year one to year two)
"I think the biggest thing – anytime that you are a quarterback you always talk about playing with great decision making, timing and accuracy, especially in the pass game and I just want to see a great decision maker that's a great distributor of the ball. We feel like we have some good playmakers on this offense and almost want to operate as a point guard and whatever the situation dictates, you've got to understand how that affects what that decision making is. Usually when you see great quarterbacks, you see great decision makers and I think that's what we are always striving to improve on with really all of our quarterbacks."
(On how hard it is to cultivate chemistry when you are talking about offensive linemen)
"It is. You always talk about quarterbacks having a rapport with and chemistry with their receivers, but I think it is the same thing with a tackle and guard working together, guard and center and being able to stay healthy with all five up front, the calls, the communication, it's important. I think the more experience that those guys are able to gain together and if we're fortunate enough to stay healthy I think that's how you establish that chemistry. But just like anything else, it's with experience and with reps."
(On if he told Goff that he has to take the offensive line out for a steak dinner)
"Hopefully I don't have to tell him to do that. I think he will probably do that at some point. Those guys do a lot of great things for him and hopefully that's going to be the same thing to be the same thing to come for a few years."
(On if there is any update on WR Tavon Austin)
"Same thing with Dominique, we're going to get it checked out and it looked like it was just a minor tissue issue with something in his leg and we will find out more specifically with the severity of that and how long that will affect him."
(On if there is any update on the DT Aaron Donald situation and if Easley going down concerns him)
"Well, I think when you talking about two very good players that are potentially unavailable, that's a concerning thing. But again, we've got guys that need to be ready to step up and that's why you've got a 90-man roster right now and gives guys the opportunity in their absence. Aaron is not here for different reasons, but if for whatever reason, this is an extended absence for Dominique who has done a great job in Aaron's absence then somebody else will be ready to step up and that's what our job is as coaches and the guys that are on this roster is to step up and fill those voids. But certainly those are two very important players to us. We would love for Aaron to be here and we'd love for Dominique to get a good report where he is healthy, but if that is not the situation then we have to be ready to react accordingly."
(On if he wanted to see an increase in intensity and if he saw that increase)
"Yeah, I think you do. I think you want to see guys being able – you kind of hear that pop If you will where we're still staying off of the ground. You want to try to avoid those injuries where the pile ups occur and different things like that. But I thought the guys came out ready to go. You guys saw with our special teams period. I thought 'Bones' (Special Teams Coordinator John Fassel) did a great job getting it started the right way. That is something that he's done over the last few years and I think it gets the competitive juices going and then once we got into some of our team periods you could feel it wasn't like it took a couple plays for it to get going, it started right away and that's what we wanted to see as a coaching staff."
(On what role he expects RB Todd Gurley to play in this offense)
"I certainly think that when you have a player of his caliber, good coaches find ways to get their best players involved and he certainly is that. I think we want to be mindful of playing to our players' strengths and with him being one of our best players we're optimist about our ability to run the football, but we do want to stay balanced like we talked about. I think when you have a special player like Todd, you want to continue to find ways to get him involved, but also be mindful of the fact, 'What is that fine balance between him being at his best and not wearing him out?' That is something that we're continuing to find out, but I think in terms of what he can control he has done an excellent job and all he does is continue to get better and kind of be the epitome of what it looks like for us."
(On how RB Lance Dunbar's injury affect Gurley's involvement in the passing game)
"It does. I think what it has done is, with (RB) Lance (Dunbar) not being able to practice it's allowed us to see Todd in maybe a couple more of those passing situations where you realize that, man, this guy is very functional in the pass game as well. But I think going into it, regardless of whether Lance is available or not, we always knew that Todd would be the lead dog and it is just kind of us figuring out what is that fine line between him being at his best, while making sure that he gets his touches necessary and then also being mindful of giving him, having somebody that can spell him so that when the fourth quarter roles around and to finish the game he feels good, as well."
(On if Goff is showing signs of improvement similar to the ones Redskins QB Kirk Cousins showed through his career)
"I think when you look at (Redskins QB) Kirk (Cousin) – really, I was just fortunate to be a part of when he started and when he got a chance to start. But he has been a good player for a handful of years. He was around a lot of really good coaches that kind of helped establish a foundation for him, but I think anytime that you are around these great quarterbacks, these guys are so conscientious, it is really important to them to be great and to be an extension of the coaching staff. He was one of the more motivated players I've ever been around in terms of how important football is and going about his business as a pro each and every day and that's what we've seen from our quarterback room as a whole. I think bringing a guy in for younger guys like Jared and (QB) Sean Mannion, having a (QB) Dan Orlovsky in the room where he is able to say what (former QB) Peyton Manning looked like the way he prepared week-in and week-out. I think he'll be instrumental in helping those guys find your weekly rhythm if you will and kind of what works for them. It is not the same for everybody, but all these guys – football is very important to them and nobody really needs to motivate them. They push themselves and those are the types of players that end up making you better and more accountable as a coach."