Rams Head Coach Sean McVay – Media Availability – August 14, 2021

Rams Head Coach Sean McVay – Media Availability – August 14, 2021

(Opening Statement)

“(Inaudible) played throughout the course of the game on whatever side of the ball and also special teams throughout. Had some unfortunate guys that went down and forced guys into playing a few more snaps on defense and special teams or offense and special teams than we anticipated. But we’ll look at the tape and continue to move forward.”

(On what he saw from TE Jacob Harris)

“I thought we see a lot of good things. For him to be able to make some plays, I think he can learn from some things as well in terms of just cleaning it up, ball security. But I liked his ability to break tackles. You can see the catch radius. He had a nice little in-breaking route on the second down and got us about 18 yards. He did a lot of things he can learn from it. I thought overall a positive experience for him.”

(On DL Justin Lawler)

“You could feel him. It was one of those deals where he was making his presence felt. I thought there were a couple of holding calls he could have drawn as well, early on in the game. But it was great to have (DL) Justin Lawler out there for us. He’s had some unfortunate injuries over the last couple of years. You definitely felt his presence. I thought he did a nice job.”


(On what he saw from TuTu Atwell in the passing game and return game)

“Those things were encouraging. I think to be able to get him a couple of touches early on, and I thought he did a great job popping up, because that was quite a hit he took on the first catch on the left flat. I thought he was going to come out the back door on the one he caught in the right flat where he kind of got an ankle tackle. Good explosive play on the quick game. And the punt return was positive. Obviously, it didn’t count, but you could see he fielded it clean, was able to set up the blocks. You could see the explosive playmaker that has us excited about his potential and what he can do for us this year.”


(On Harris and moving him around the formation)

“I thought it was good. We moved him around a little bit. He was mostly detached from the core tonight. So what his role remains to be, his role is to be determined for us offensively but it was encouraging to see him do those types of things. I expect him to be a big contributor on special teams. I know (Special Teams Coordinator) Joe (DeCamillis) and (Special Teams Assistant) Dwayne Stukes love what he’s done.  He’s got a good look in his eye. You can see he’s a player who’s excited about learning. (Pass Game Coordinator/Tight Ends Coach) Wes Phillips has done a nice job. I think getting him back in, having a couple weeks now to settle in and be able to do more because that tight end position involves so many intricacies, whether you’re in line or detached in the slot as a receiver like he was tonight. So looking forward to see him continue to grow.”

(On his evaluation of the interior offensive line)

“I think there were some things. (Chargers Head Coach) Brandon (Staley) and those guys do a great job. I think there was some leakage but also some good removal that we had. It was kind of hit or miss. There wasn’t much consistency in the run game, but there were a couple of good looks that we had. I thought (OL) Coleman (Shelton) and (OL) Bobby (Evans) did a nice job. It was hard to get into a rhythm but we had some sustained drives where we came away with the points on the one touchdown drive. But overall I think there will be some good things to look at. But you’re always striving for that consistency snap in and snap out.”

(On QB Bryce Perkins)

“I thought he did a nice job. I was real pleased with him. You could see he had a couple of great off-schedule plays tonight. That third-down and nine, that’s definitely on SportsCenter tonight. It was exciting to be able to see. I thought the overall operation, getting in and out of the huddle, communicating some of the play call, sending the motions, mixing up your cadence. It’s definitely a good positive night for (QB) Bryce (Perkins). The standards he has, I think he’s always going to want to be perfect snap in and snap out positive to take away from he and (QB Delvin Hodges) ‘Duck’.”


(On special teams penalties and a couple of the kicks that were missed)

“You know what, it seemed like there was a couple times where you just miss a kick. Seemed like the operation was pretty good, good snap, good hold. I know (K) Matt (Gay) is going to want that one back. It was his only opportunity for the night.  But some of the penalties those are things you have to go look back at. Those are bang, bang plays. Those are big points that the officials make in terms of are you blocking back towards your endzone, and what’s it look like in some of the natures of what it’s perceived to be and what it actually ends up being isn’t always in alignment. We’ll see what that looks like. But great things to learn from and that’s what you love about the preseason.”


(On RB Xavier Jones)

“I thought he did a good job. Not a whole lot of looks. He’s a slash runner. He’s able to create more than what sometimes the play is blocked for. I think he’s steadily stacked good blocks day in, day out. He’s a guy that if he keeps on this trajectory, we’re going to be expecting good things from him this season. And (RB) Jake Funk showed really great things. The fourth-down and one run, where he’s hit in the backfield and is able to surge forward and get a yard and a half. But (RB) Xavier (Jones) has been a bright spot in camp. And I thought with the limited opportunities he had tonight he was a positive.”


(On what he saw from the defense)

“It was a really good job by them. It was good competitive downs. It was a lot of short yardage, kind of third down-and-shorts. And when you go 20 plays to be able to stand them up and hold them to a field goal, thought our defense did a nice job. Got to give them credit. There’s a lot of good learning things like what I’m saying.”

(On the defensive line rotation)

“There was that one play, looked like you could have a third of a sack for (DL) Eric Banks, (DL) Jonah Williams, and it looked like (DL John) Daka was the other one arriving right around the same time. But thought they got good push. We got them into some third-down-and-long situations where we could pin our ears back and rush a little bit, where he made good calls and we were able to get off the grass.  But I was really encouraged. (Run Game Coordinator/Defensive Line Coach) Eric Henderson and (Assistant Defensive Line Coach) Marcus Dixon have done a really good job with those guys. Only going to improve and get more confident as they gain those reps in the preseason games over next couple of weeks. You could feel those guys. It was good to be able to see them have success.”


(On fans being in the stands)

“It was outstanding, really. You just realized how much the fans create that energy, that atmosphere that makes this game so special. And being here last year in the absence of fans, you really appreciate it even that much more. It gives you that perspective. It was really exciting tonight. Looking forward to seeing another good atmosphere next week against Las Vegas. And then I can’t lie but you’re getting really excited about what September 12 is going to look like.”