Rams Head Coach Sean McVay – Media Availability – September 19, 2021
RAMS HEAD COACH SEAN MCVAY
“Congratulations to our guys finding a way. I have a ton of respect for Coach (Frank) Reich and that group, they battled. There was a lot of adversity that we hit and there’s no style points in this league so finding a way to get a win, I think says a lot about our team. There’s a lot of things that we can clean up, but ultimately, I thought our guys did a great job. Nobody flinched, nobody blinked. Guys made big plays when they had to and that’s exactly what you’re looking for and that’s what good teams do. To get to 2-0 is something that we don’t take for granted. We’ll look at this, we’ll learn from it and we’ll move forward, but a lot of respect for Coach Reich and that group. They did a great job giving us everything and took everything we had today too.”
Are there any injuries?
“So Darrell (Henderson Jr.) got his ribs, not sure exactly the extent of that, and then Justin Lawler broke his hand.”
How did you think Sony Michel did in this game?
“I thought he did a good job, especially being able to turn out tough yards. I hated my call that ended up forcing us to kick a field goal there. Bad play call, great job by them making a play. I should have run something different for us, but that’s on me, I don’t run away from those things. I thought Sony (Michel) did a great job. I thought our offensive line got great removal, guys competed without the ball and to be able to sustain that drive after they tied it up – go down, eat up a lot of clock, force them to use all their timeouts, I thought it was instrumental in us being able to close it out. Jalen (Ramsey) gets the pick, defense goes back out on the field, and I thought our guys did a good job on that short-punt operation. Then to be able to win it, guys just stayed the course, they were steady. There’s a lot of things that we can learn from, a lot of things that came up, but ultimately coming away and getting the result that we wanted is a big deal.”
What was the chaos like during the end of the third quarter leading into the fourth?
“It was a lot, and a lot of teams would fold in those circumstances. There was so much going on. Shawn Smith did a great job kind of clarifying. Kenny (Young) made contact with the official. We’ll learn from that. I know Kenny will learn from it, but we can’t have that. Then there was a penalty on one of their guys that made it first and goal on the nine. They found a way to get it punched in and then an unbelievable kind of fortunate tip for them where (Jack) Doyle ends up getting the two-point conversion. They do a good job getting a stop, Darrell (Henderson Jr.) ends up going down and then we had the mistake occur on our punt operation. But our guys stayed the course and then to get the ball back and go four plays right down the field – Matthew Stafford was outstanding. Obviously Cooper Kupp was big time. I thought it was big to be able to get one run in there and then on the first-and-goal, to be able to quickly get through something and hit Cooper for what ended up kind of putting us back in front, that was big time.”
How much confidence does Matthew Stafford’s statistics in fourth quarters give you?
“A lot. It gives me a lot of confidence. You want to keep the ball in your guys’ hands. He had a look in his eyes – I mean there was no flinch. You talk about nobody flinching, I mean he just stayed the course. He relishes those moments, and he was at his best when his best was required. That’s the epitome of competitive greatness displayed by him and a lot of our guys today. But again, this is always a learning opportunity, and we’ll take the win – very grateful for it. It’s so difficult to win in this league and you never take the wins for granted, you cherish it, but there’s going to be a lot of things that we can certainly learn from. I just love the mental makeup of this group and there’s some things that we can do better too. I’ve got to do a better job with that and that’s something that we’ll be intentional about looking at moving forward.”
What makes the connection between Cooper Kupp and Matthew Stafford so strong?
“I think they just have a good rapport with one another. They spent a lot of time – and I think he’s got a good rapport with a lot of players. Cooper (Kupp) has maximized his chances these last couple of weeks, he’s come through in a big way. He’s a really good football player. I mean, he’s not a good – he’s a great football player. So, I think you’re talking about two great players in (Matthew) Stafford and Kupp and I love what those guys have done through the first couple of weeks.”
What did you think of the explosive plays from the Colts?
“I’d have to go back and look at it. There’s a lot going on, there were some different things. I thought they did a nice job being able to kind of let some things develop. We had some crossers where it looks like we kind of had two carrying vertical through a zone and some guys came open, but I’ll have to go back and look at it. But again, our guys stood up. I mean, to have the two goal-line stops and the first possession of the game, what an amazing job on our guys. You talk about the last two weeks being able to have the first drive go down where they come away with no points and they’re moving the ball. We’ve got to do a better job with our coverage units, and I have total trust and confidence in Coach (Joe) DeCamillis and (Dwayne) Stukes that we’ll intentionally get that fixed because I think we’ve got the right guys, I know we got the right coaches and we’ll keep working at it.”
Is the identify of bend but don’t break something the defense wants?
“I mean, I think that it was helpful today. I think in a perfect world you’re just really stopping people, stuffing them and giving them no life, choking them out. But ultimately, they came away with no points and I think that at some point you’re going to have to be able to display that toughness and that ability to just continue to play each and every single snap – move on from one snap to the next. Our guys have done that. I think it’s a credit to our players. I also think Raheem (Morris) and our defensive coaches just stay steady. He has great poise, you can see he’s been in these big moments before. He doesn’t flinch and I thought that was displayed by our leaders, most importantly today. It was definitely very helpful to come away with the result we wanted.”
How valuable it is to win a game like this early on? Also, can you take us through Matthew Stafford’s completion on third-and-one?
“So the first thing is, it is instrumental because it was the most important game today. You know, there’s a lot of games. Every single one matters so much, but I think more importantly we took away a lot that we learned as a team. You cannot mimic and emulate those types of situations and any other scenario other than going on the road, facing real adversity, hostile crowd. They’re excited to recognize Peyton (Manning) and Edgerrin James, there was a lot of great things going on for them. I think it’s a real credit to Coach (Frank) Reich coming off of a disappointing opener last week, for them to continue to battle and do what they did. There’s a reason why they’ve been so successful since he’s been here. They’ve got really good players. Then Matthew (Stafford) doing a great job, we had a little play on that wasn’t necessarily the design of it, but being able to create when there’s nothing there. He and Cooper (Kupp) did a great job on that one off a little play-action and that’s what great players do. They make you right when I’m wrong as a coach. I certainly was there and they found a way to get it done, deliver and that ended up leading to that field goal.”