Rams Head Coach Sean McVay – Media Availability – September 12, 2021

Rams Head Coach Sean McVay – Media Availability – September 12, 2021


(Opening Statement)

Okay. You know, great job by the team being able to get the win tonight. The Bears are a really tough outfit. And I thought defensively, what a good job holding up in the first half. The pick by David Long and the tip from Kenny Young was outstanding. I thought they just made some really key stops on fourth down. Offensively in the first half, we really didn’t get a lot of chances. We only had 20 plays in the first half. But we were able to get some explosives. What a play by Van Jefferson, to be able to get up and have the awareness to get and have the awareness to finish that. And then in the second half, I thought we got a little bit of continuity. I think one of the best plays in the games was Robert Woods’ third down catch on the first drive in the second half. The third and long, we hit them on a deep in breaking route, does a great job with aggressive hands and then (Cooper) Kupp the next play. But I was encouraged to get the run game going a little bit. We can certainly build on this. But Matthew (Stafford) did a great job leading the way offensively. There was a lot of bright spots but also a lot of things that we can look to improve on. And that’s exactly what we’ll do after this.”

(On if the run/pass balance early on was by design)

“You know, I don’t know. It’s hard to say, Jourdan. I think in a lot of instances, I’m more worried about being able to move the ball and score the points. So you do want to be cognizant of that. I think the best offense has had the ability to do both. But I think it was more a result of minimal plays, but also being able to run some things that we thought was the smartest way to be able to move the football against a really tough defense. They did a good job of being stout at the point of attack in some of the runs. And they were doing things that kind of forced us to shift in the direction of throwing a little bit early on. And then I thought the balance got back to what we want in the second half. But they’re a tough defense. They’ve done a great job, they’ve got great personnel, and that’s always a factor for us, for sure.”


(On the explosive plays in the first half)

“It was exactly what we had wanted. And it was from a bunch of different guys. You look at Van (Jefferson), you look at Cooper (Kupp). Tyler Higbee had what I think it was a 37-yard catch.

You know, and then what an individual effort on the third down and long for Cooper when we threw him a little bubble screen. But Robert Woods made a lot of plays.  I thought a lot of different guys made some great contributions and we still have some things that we can improve on. But I was really pleased with the offensive line as well. To go against that defense, those guys, that personnel, when you’re talking about Khalil Mack, Robert Quinn. I got a ton of respect for Akiem Hicks. And so for those guys, to come away with just that one sack when we were backed up is a real credit to them and I was very pleased with them as a whole.”


(On the chemistry with Matthew Stafford)

“I thought he did a really good job, Nick. And, you know, we only threw it 26 times but he certainly made the most of those plays. And I thought he did a great job. To be able to get all those guys involved, the goal is really to activate all five eligibles. He did a nice job of being able to go where the coverage dictated. I think that’s the most important thing. There’s certainly some things that I know I want to be able to do a better job of moving forward for our offense. But as a start, the most important thing is we’ll take the win.”


(On if he was eager to show this offense can throw the football down the field)

“Yeah, I don’t know if you’re really eager about it as much as you want to see these guys come out and play well and come away with a win, Gary. And that was something that we felt like in this game, what we thought they might play, there was really no inventory. You know, this was Sean Desai’s first game as a defensive coordinator. I thought he did a good job. But that was something that we’ve emphasized. But it doesn’t mean any time we have a shot called, it doesn’t mean shot taken but the third play represented an amazing play by Matthew (Stafford) and by Van (Jefferson) to be able to make it. And Cooper Kupp, you know, you guys can go back and watch him securing the edge is what really enabled it to get off. And you don’t have many receivers making the plays he’s doing in the pass game, doing all that unselfish stuff as well. And that’s one of the things that makes him great.”


(On what impressed him most about Matthew Stafford tonight)

“I think it was just his steady demeanor throughout the course of the game. Just like you had hoped you would see, that you had seen in practice and that you had seen from afar, but I think the second drive. Their first drive in the second half was what I thought was the most impressive. But now I’m thinking about what an unbelievable job he did progressing, finding Robert Woods on the last touchdown.

So there was multiple things. But I think the overall game management and I think the expectation.

You know, you could just see, there was a look in his eye. He had confidence in his teammates, he expected to play well. And, you know, he did a great job. It’s hard to say that there was one thing, Jim. I loved everything that he did tonight.”


(On if Stafford met his expectations tonight)

“The expectations were for us to win the football game as a team. I’m always interested in putting together all three phases. But I thought he did a nice job controlling what he could control. I was really pleased in the second half. He did a great job of being able to make some conversions. We got some third downs. I thought the fourth down conversion to Van Jefferson on the crossing route in the first half was a big play. But there was a lot of good things and things we can go back and look at. But being right after the game, I was pleased with Matthew (Stafford) and he did a nice job tonight.”


(On Kenny Young’s performance tonight)

“Yeah. He did a great job. An that’s what he’s been going back to last year. I thought he picked up where he left off. He’s had a great training camp. He’s done a great job of really kind of demonstrating the versatility that he has, both being able to defend the run but also making timely plays in pass coverage.

That tip was all him. And then David Long did a great job finishing it. But he’s been flying around. He’s got great athleticism, toughness. And Chris Shula’s done a great job with Kenny (Young) and very pleased for Kenny and want to see him continue to build on this.”


(On opening the regular season at home with fans in the stadium)

“It was electric. I think everybody wants to talk about this stadium. It is an iconic venue that Mr. Kroenke built. But I thought the players did a great job of giving the fans something to get excited about. And they came out. You know, you almost get goose bumps when you walk out for the pregame and you’re kind of just looking at it and you realize how much the fans make the atmosphere and the environment. I can’t even tell you how much better it felt because this is an incredible venue but it’s about these fans. They did a great job and hopefully we’ll have a lot more like that and it will just continue to build.”


(On what allowed Stafford to make the touchdown throw to Van Jefferson)

“Well, I think it was a great job by him being able to flip his hips and make an unbelievable throw. That’s kind of one of those things. He’s gifted. He’s got a great ability to change his arm slot and make all types of throws whether it be short, intermediate, or down the field. You’re not limited in anything you can do with him in the pass game. And hopefully we’ll continue to build on the options and the opportunities we have moving forward.”


(On Stafford being the single captain to walk out at center field before the game)

“You can only send three guys out for the coin toss. I think those other guys decided they wanted to continue to warm up. because he was going to be the one making that decision. Those are some of the things I just kind of stay away from. I only have so much brain power for certain things. I just give them some parameters and get the hell out of the way on stuff like that.”


(On if there was anything symbolic about it)

“There was nothing symbolic about it. The quarterback was making the decision and so he’ll be able to better answer that question than I will. All right. Thanks, guys.”