Rams Head Coach Sean McVay – Media Availability – December 5, 2021

Rams Head Coach Sean McVay – Media Availability – December 5, 2021


(Opening Statement)

“Okay, guys. Great team win. That was exactly what we had talked about. A lot of respect for those guys. They’re a really tough football team.  But for us to come out ready to go in all three phases, I thought there was major contributors in all three phases. But winning the turnover battle, doing a lot of the things that we had talked about, it really came to life. It was awesome to see (WR) Brandon Powell be able to start the game off with a big kick return. I thought that was big from special teams. We didn’t turn the football over offensively, we got takeaways, we got after the quarterback. There’s a lot of things that were really very positive about today. We got to be able to build on this. Really tough to see (OL) Brian Allen get injured. I don’t have information on his knee. I’ll have updates for you tomorrow, but (OL) Coleman Shelton stepped in and did an outstanding job. I thought he had great poise throughout. (OL) David Edwards was able to return. And then (RB) Sony (Michel) really carrying the load did an outstanding job just like I thought he would.”


(On RB Sony Michel’s steady play today)

“Exactly what we had talked about. We were able to stay on schedule, we were able to keep people off balance. I thought it was good to be able to mix up a lot of different personnel groupings, really utilize all hands-on deck. It was good to get (OL) Joe Noteboom in there. Sony was great. That was exactly what we had talked about and it was good to see it come to life.”


(On the progress WR Odell Beckham Jr. is making)

“Yeah, I think he’s doing good. He had the hip pointer. You know, he was a little bit banged up, but he still wanted to contribute for his teammates. I thought that 27-yard catch that he had really was something that kind of sparked us and then Sony ended up punching it in from five out. And then he had the touchdown on the fade. He definitely took his time and was nice and patient on that one. He’s a joy to be around and he’s only going to continue to get better. But hopefully he’ll be able to practice so he can continue to get the timing and rhythm. But been pleased with (WR) Odell (Beckham Jr.).”


(On if RB Darrell Henderson Jr. could play today)

“He could have. You know, we had him up, if some circumstances presented themselves. Hopefully he’ll take steps in the right direction.  But based on how the game unfolded, we didn’t feel like we really needed him, but I think it’s a really positive reflection on (RB) Darrell (Henderson Jr.) to be available for his teammates if that did come up.”


(On what made the difference today for QB Matthew Stafford)

“What did you see? I saw a guy who managed the game. I thought he did a great job. I thought on some of the third downs, he’s doing a great job being able to move in the pocket, find guys. We had a couple drops that were really key and critical potentially, but we were able to overcome them. What I loved about both (WR) Van (Jefferson) and (WR) Ben (Skowronek), being able to drop some of those third downs, is both those guys came back and made big plays. Ben on the 35-yarder down the middle was a big time catch that we had to have it versus a pressure they were giving us. And then Van being able to come back on the touchdown, he did a great job. But (WB) Matthew (Stafford), he played like he’s been playing. I think we were able to avoid just a couple of those little things that do come up. He was a great leader today. He’s always been a great leader. He played great. Not in the least bit surprised.”


(On how important it is for him to play error-free if the team is going to make a playoff run)

“Well, I think any time, really, if you’re just going to go ahead and say, ‘Let’s find a way to go compete to the best of our ability next week against a great football team.’ He’s our guy. We go as he goes. But the best thing I would say is, he doesn’t do anything other than play within himself. That quarterback position is so vital to the success but he’s such a special talent. He’s got such a special way about himself with people, just keep being himself and enjoying playing. And that’s what I saw from him today. And to be able to come back after that shot he took, deliver a great throw to Van over the middle and get us in scoring position, I think just continues to personify the toughness in everything that’s right about Matthew Stafford.”


(On the hit Stafford took that knocked him out of the game)

“I think it was just his sternum. He’s a tough guy. He won’t tell me anything. ‘I’m good, I’m good.’ ‘What’s wrong with you?’ ‘I’m good.’ So he’ll probably say that to you guys too.”


(On the importance of a decisive win today)

“I think it’s really important. I mean, really, find a way to start playing our best ball in December. Obviously, November was a challenging month. We look at it, we own it, but I think our guys did a great job of being able to just stay steady, trust in the process. And, really, we got mentally tough guys. This is going to make us stronger in the long run. I do believe that. And now, let’s enjoy this, and let’s come back ready to work for a big-time game next week.”


(On how we evaluate ourselves as we get ready for a game against Arizona next week)

“I thought it was a great step in the right direction. There’s obviously been some adversity over these last three games. We had to sit on the bye coming off of a loss. We talked about playing as a team. All we can do is play the schedule that we’re given. Every single game is so difficult. You look at the caliber of team that the Buffalo Bills are, and this is a team that ended up taking them to the wire and finding a way to win 9-6. And so, you don’t take any wins for granted in this league. It sure feels good to be back on the winning side of things and now we got to be able to build on it. But I was really pleased with our team and now we got to just start stacking blocks.”


(On his thoughts about OLB Von Miller’s performance)

“I thought he played really well. I thought our defense as a whole, I thought we earned those opportunities to be able to rush the passer. It seemed like the pocket was pretty much collapsing all day and so (OLB) Von (Miller) did a nice job today.”


(On the performance of LB Ernest Jones today)

“I think we got in some situations that really express his ability a little bit more. We were in more favorable down and distances for us defensively where they’re forced to kind of throw it. We get a lead and there’s was a lot of the stuff that we loved out of (LB) Ernest (Jones) coming out of South Carolina. You get his feel his range, his ability to be able to sense things and diagnose them. I think our defensive staff has done a great job of just continuing to help him improve. (Linebackers Coach) Chris Shula has done great, (Defensive Coordinator) Raheem (Morris) has done great and really pleased for our whole coaching staff. They did a great job today.”


(On the forced fumbles and controlling the running game)

Big focus. It was a big focus and concentration. (Jaguars RB James) Robinson is a really tough back. They’ve done a nice job being able to churn out tough yards and being able to control the football in some of their games. That was a big focus and concentration for us. Our guys did a great job upfront.”