Rams Head Coach Sean McVay – Media Availability – August 21, 2021

Rams Head Coach Sean McVay – Media Availability – August 21, 2021

(Opening statement)

“I thought that was a resilient effort by our guys. Obviously wanted to try to come away with the win but was really pleased with some of the individual plays. I thought (QB) Bryce Perkins, unbelievable job, really able to battle throughout. The fourth down, being able to move the sticks with his legs and giving us the chance at the end. Was really pleased with a lot of guys.  I thought our guys showed toughness tonight. I thought they continued to fight. There was a lot of adversity, probably too many flags for our liking, but all things that we can learn from.”


(On the injuries to WR TuTu Atwell, LB Christian Rozeboom, RB Raymond Calais and OL Tremayne Anchrum Jr.)

“The only guys – (WR) Tutu (Atwell) came out and so did (LB Christian) Rozeboom. With (RB Raymond) Calais, I think he got his foot pretty bad, he’s going to require surgery. I’ll have further updates for you. And (OL Tremayne) Anchrum (Jr.), I believe he will be okay. He got his ankle rolled up on a little bit, but I think he’s going to be okay.”


(On RBs Xavier Jones and Jake Funk)

“I saw a lot from (RB Jake) Funk. I thought he did a good job. I thought (RB) Xavier (Jones) made a couple plays. You saw him catch a couple of passes and be able to create a little bit. But I really felt Funk tonight. I thought he did a great job being able to create some explosive runs, one from the dot, one from the offset gun. But, it was good to see those guys make plays.


(On what he thought about the overall ground game)

“I was just pleased. I think you got to go back and look at it. We were in a little bit of a situation where you’re playing from behind, so you’re throwing it a little more. But I thought Bryce made some plays. I thought when we were able to kind of stick with running the football there were some positives. But like anything else, we’ll be able to learn from it also.”


(On Perkins living up to expectations)

“It’s exciting. I thought he did a really good job of being able to create off schedule but also on schedule. You look at the touchdown pass earlier in the game to (TE) Kendall Blanton, being able to work through a progression. I thought you saw a lot of good things from him, a lot of opportunities to evaluate, a lot of things really for him to learn from. But I was really pleased with just his poise, his command and composure throughout the course of the game tonight.”


(On the defensive effort tonight)

“I was really happy with them. I thought they did a great job. I thought they just continued to compete. That stop, that interception that (DB) Brontae Harris had in front of me, they’re going in to really score right there, to be able to flip the momentum and give ourselves a chance to go back and now you’ve got a decision whether you want to tie and we know we’re going to try to go for the win in that situation. And so really I was pleased with the defense as a whole. I thought the turnover was huge and we were able to capitalize in the first half. So, a lot of positives from those guys tonight.”


(On the punter situation)

“It escalated quickly. So there was a chance that we thought (P) Johnny (Hekker) might have it. And then when it was confirmed that he did, then (P) Corey (Bojorquez) ended up being a close contact for him. We’ll see. We’ll have a little bit more information, but obviously both those guys being on the COVID reserve. And we’ll see when we can get them back.”


(On K Matt Gay’s performance tonight)

“I thought he did a good job. And (LS Steven) Wirtel as well stepping in and being able to hold, that’s not an easy duty. We found it out literally this morning while we were doing the walk through. So didn’t have any real time to prep. I think it’s a credit to (Special Teams Coordinator) Joe DeCamillis and (Special Teams Assistant) Dwayne Stukes to be able to have them being able to transition. But was pleased with (K) Matt (Gay) and his ability to step in and wear a lot of hats tonight.”


(On if Hekker tested positive)

“You know what, I don’t want to get into the specifics about it. They’re both placed on the COVID reserve list. I kind of already said that. But I’ll just leave it at that out of respect for those guys.”


(On if it was the plan for Perkins to play the whole game)

“It wasn’t really. I think just based on the flow of the game, there was just some different opportunities. You want him to be able to respond back from the interception. He kind of got some good momentum. You wanted him to start the second half. So that wasn’t necessarily the plan. We just kind of had a feel for it during the course of the game, wanted to give him that opportunity. And we’ll see what that looks like for next week.”


(On what he wants to see from Atwell moving forward)

“I want to see him continue to grow and make plays. Want to see him when he gets his punt return opportunities, field it clean, and make good decisions. When the ball’s in his hand, want to see him contribute and compete. I thought he did a nice job out-breaking routes where he could feel his suddenness. It was good, aggressive hands. Just want to see him continue to build on that.”


(On what he saw from the Raiders this week)

“I thought there was a lot of good learning opportunities. I think it was – wanted to be able to get a little bit more work where that got cut short for the reasons that we all know about. But I thought it was good for us to be able to evaluate. The most beneficial thing that we took from it is being able to go against different schemes. It’s a good, competitive football team that (Raiders Head) Coach (Jon) Gruden’s leading over there. I know we were able to get good looks in all three phases. And there were some really good things we were able to learn as coaches that we can try to apply for the 17-game season, because there will be some similar types of schemes and structures that we can take to that. But it’s good to mix up the monotony of camp and go against somebody else. So it was good.


(On S Terrell Burgess, LB Travin Howard playing tonight)

“Just numbers. We kind of knew, even with (S) Terrell Burgess, (LB Travin) Howard and Terrell Burgess, those are guys that we want to be able to evaluate, get them an opportunity to play. And just making sure you’ve got the amount of numbers to be able to get through the game, being able to play teams and whatever side of the ball these guys are on.

 (On his impressions of OLB Chris Garrett)

“He did a great job. Made a big impact. You could see he was applying pressure consistently. Big second quarter. And really you’ve seen him start to make steady improvements. I think we always talk about it, that where that practice, performance and preparation equals game reality. And tonight was an example of that for (OLB) Chris (Garrett). He’s continued to get better at that. (Assistant Linebackers Coach) Thad Bogardus does a great job. He’s taking the coaching, he’s learning from his teammates. And I was really happy for Chris tonight.”