Rams Head Coach Sean McVay – Media Availability – January 30, 2022

Rams Head Coach Sean McVay – Media Availability – January 30, 2022


(Opening Statement)

“First of all, so much respect for the 49ers. It’s a great team. (49ers Head) Coach (Kyle) Shanahan does an excellent job. They’re tough and physical, they fight until the end. It took everything we had. But I’m so proud of our group. So proud of our players, our coaches. Just proud to be associated with these guys. So many special men in that locker room. And love this team.  We’ve got one more. But today was a great sign of resilience. We talked about that’s one of the things that’s kind of embodied this group. You go down 17-7, doesn’t look good. But the guys just stayed in the moment. One play at a time. Did a great job. Defense to be able to close it out, especially after the last time we played them, the way that went. There were just so many great plays today by great players, and just really happy to be associated with these guys and we’ve got one more.”


(On to end that game that way based off how the team’s been built)

“I think it’s a great sign of the stars shine the brightest when they needed to. And also guys stepping up when they were asked to. (LB) T(ravin) Howard has done a great job over the last month. (Linebackers Coach) Chris Shula has been outstanding with him. And another guy that just comes to mind as you ask that question is you look at (TE) Kendall Blanton. You lose (TE) Tyler Higbee, such an instrumental part of our offense and he stepped in. (Tight Ends/Pass Game Coordinator) Wes Phillips does such a great job. All hands on deck. Everybody was ready to go. There were so many key contributors today. Like I said, I’m just so proud of this group.”


(On how it felt to get their first win in seven games against the 49ers)

“We didn’t really look at it like that. We looked at just being in this moment, taking care of this game today. It was the NFC Championship. Huge game. Our guys did a great job. And each game is its own separate entity. And I’m really just happy those guys got it done today.”



“Thought (WR) Odell (Beckham Jr.) was outstanding today. To be able to go over 100 (yards). He had some key and critical catches to be able to extend drives. The one down the left sideline where they were playing split safety, kind of reading the coverage. And the (Inaudible) player didn’t get over the top, and he ends up adding on an extra 15 with the late hit. He’s such a special player, so smart, so talented, so gifted. And he’s brought such a charisma and presence and really a swag to our team. Love Odell. Really just happy for him.


(On how much the running game opened things up in the first half)

“How about this music? Let’s keep it quick. I got to get in there. It did. I thought (RB) Cam (Akers) ran hard and I thought (RB) Sony (Michel) had some tough runs that he leveled off. I thought he was able to open up some big windows in the pass game. And I thought our guys did a great job being able to mix up the tempo, apply pressure to an outstanding defense where they’ve been really teeing off on guys. I’m so proud of our offensive line. I thought they held up really tough, battled really every single snap. And you look at that front, they rotate eight guys through. They’re outstanding. (49ers Defensive Coordinator) DeMeco Ryans does a great job, (49ers Defensive Line Coach) Kris Kocurek. We knew what a challenge it would be. The run game was very key and critical, even though it was tough, hard-earned yards to set other things up, no doubt about it.”


(On going out and trading for QB Matthew Stafford)

“What do you think the answer to that question is? Here’s what I would say, We went out and got him because we thought it was a chance to be able to get a great player of his magnitude. Those things don’t come around often. What he’s done, he’s elevated everybody around him. He’s made me a better coach. He’s made his teammates better. He’s such a great person. I think you guys know from getting a chance to interact with him. If you don’t root for this guy, something’s wrong with you. He’s a great competitor. We’ve seen that, really, throughout the season. But I think it’s really been on display these last couple weeks. We talk about competitive greatness all the time. Being your best when your best was required. He embodied competitive greatness today. Love (QB) Matthew Stafford.”


(On if there was any extra urgency and how much the rivalry come into play)

“I think the respect for each other came into the game and we knew what a physical game it would be. I thought our guys did a great job controlling their emotions. We didn’t have anything where you’re giving them something cheap, and I was proud of that. And our guys came, they had a good look in their eye, really, the last couple of weeks, but especially this week. They knew it was its own separate entity from the previous games, and they came out here and delivered in a big way.”


(On this being unchartered territory for Stafford and what ways has Stafford risen to the moment)

“I think he’s played like he’s capable of. Risen? I think he’s played like we thought he would. No moment’s too big for him, I can tell you that much. He’s elevating everybody around him. We’ve got one more. We know it’s going to be a great challenge. So happy for (Bengals Head Coach) Zac Taylor and the Bengals, what a tough, resilient group they are. So happy for Matthew, (OL) Andrew Whitworth and (DL) Aaron Donald. So many guys I’m so happy for, (CB) Jalen Ramsey. We’ve got some more work to do.”


(On his initial thoughts on playing Zac Taylor)

“Really, congratulations to them for winning the AFC. You look at the start of that game, I think they’re a great, resilient team. It didn’t look good for them and they’ve just continued to show why they’re a mentally tough outfit. I think that’s reflected by their head coach. I know what a great coach he is. They’ve done a great job this year. We’ve crossed over with him a little bit, but I’m looking forward to diving into the tape, figuring out how to put together a good game plan to try to see if we can finish this thing off.”


(On WR Cooper Kupp)

“(WR) Cooper Kupp is amazing. He’s such a special player. I talked about Matthew, the competitive greatness. Cooper was that today. Just big catch after big catch. He’s competing in the run game. He does so many things. We’d have no chance of being here without Cooper Kupp.”


(On the team’s defense there and being clutch there)

“(Defensive Coordinator) Raheem Morris, outstanding coach. He’s special. His poise in the crunch time moments is on display. Thought he made some great calls. I thought he put our guys in great spots. They ultimately delivered. Raheem is one of the best competitors, such a great charisma and presence. During the games, he’s so steady and even-keeled, I think that’s why you saw our guys reflect that, where we had some things that were kind of uncharacteristic, some miscommunication. He got connected with the group. Got it communicated the way we wanted to be able to handle it, and they closed it. Huge credit to Raheem Morris. So grateful for him. He’s a stud.”


(On does it make it doubly sweet for it to end in this way against this team in that manner)

“I wouldn’t say that. We knew – I think we knew what a great team this was. But you guys think it might just be coach-speak, but our guys genuinely knew, ‘Hey, we’re familiar with this opponent but the previous six games where we didn’t find a way to finish have nothing to do with what’s going to occur at 3:30 or 3:40 when we kick this thing off.’ Those are separate entities. Our guys did a great job of being able to compartmentalize. We always talk about being totally and completely present, having a short memory from the good and the bad, being able to hit that reset button. I thought our guys did that in a big way. (I’m) looking forward to enjoying this and then being able to get back to work. Grateful to be working still and love this team.”


(On what’s his take on being the second team in history)

“I think it’s special. I thought the fans were outstanding today. To be able to play at home, you know, in this house that (Owner/Chairman) Mr. (E. Stanley) Kroenke built, this iconic venue is unique. A little bit easier travel schedule for us since we travel all over the country during the course of the year for the most part. So, just so happy for this group, proud to be associated with it.”