Rams Head Coach Sean McVay – Postgame Media Availability – January 3, 2021

Rams Head Coach Sean McVay – Postgame Media Availability – January 3, 2021

 

(Opening Remarks)

“Great team win right there. I just can’t say enough about the defense, the way that they played. To be able to come away with a safety, a scored touchdown that gave us the lead, to be able to get the blocked field goal, they are unbelievable all day. They’ve been unbelievable all year. They’ve really been the strength of this team and I thought they showed up in a big way. Offensively, I think we’ve got to do a much better job of finishing drives in the red area. I liked the way we moved it. I thought after the first throw of the game, (QB) John Wolford was the star offensively. He made plays. We have to continue to make plays around him. I just thought his movement, his athleticism, some of the things where he recognized coverage, he’s hitting (RB) Cam Akers, he’s hitting (TE) Tyler Higbee down the sidelines when corners are kind of coming off and not honoring the deep part of the field. This guy’s resilience showed up in a big way. I was really impressed with him. But I was proud of this team. I thought (P) Johnny Hekker came up in a big way, being able to just pin them deep, kind of playing a field position game. But ultimately, we’ll take the win. I’m really proud of this team. They responded the way that I thought that they would and to be able to get 10 wins and then to get ourselves a chance to get in the tournament, that’s all you can ask for.”

 

(On if quarterback John Wolford will be the starting next week when they play the Seattle Seahawks)

“You know what, we will talk about that, but I thought he did a great job today. He made plays. I know there is guys around him that are capable of making some of those and I expect those guys to be able to do that but I thought that he really gave us a chance offensively with the amount of plays that he made in the pass game with his legs, athleticism, being able to extend things, I thought he was outstanding against a really tough defense that came ready to go. I was really pleased with John.”

 

(On how much quarterback John Wolford’s running changed the game)

“I thought it really got us going. You look at the one drive where we ended up having to settle for a field goal. The thing that really is disappointing, but the guys continue to battle, is when you end up having two red zone drives. We’re, in essence, inside the two-yard line and you only come away with 3 points total. We’ve got to be better than that. But I thought on the first scoring drive that we did have, (QB) John (Wolford’s) ability to extend on the 3rd down and 10, convert with his legs, that’s a big winning edge for us. That was a factor all day and you can just see some of the different things that you’re able to do with him really showed up and I thought he did a great job.”

 

(On when quarterback John Wolford was off schedule, what he saw from him)

“I think his ability to see the field and extend plays. The one that stands out to me is the first 3rd down and 10 conversion, where he dropped back, he kind of gets flushed, they play a split-safety zone, gets flushed to his left and then ends up being able to put his foot in the ground and convert. Some of those things are bigtime deals. Even just being able to extend some of the bootlegs where he finds (WR) Van Jefferson on the cross, or where typically those things, the ball kind of has to come out. So, I thought it showed up in a big way really on all three downs. He gave us a chance in a big way today.”

 

(On quarterback John Wolford giving energy and life to the sideline)

“Yeah, you heard the way the guys talked about him all week. I think the one play that I really felt the sideline was in the four-minute when he ends up running the zone, when he ends up running the zone read and puts his shoulder down and gives us a first down. So that, in essence, when they get the ball back there’s 29 seconds and no timeouts. He did a great job, but those were the kind of plays that he made really all day. I thought it was impressive the way that he responded. Not the ideal first pass for him, but I did think that sometimes you can really learn a lot about guys with how they respond. I thought he settled in nicely. In essence, we really put the game in his hands offensively and I thought he did a nice job. We want to come away with more points but sustaining drives, keeping the defense off the field with the way they were playing all day, I was really pleased with John.”

 

(On how much it changed his confidence when quarterback John Wolford threw the quick pick to start the game)

“It really didn’t. He has a nice way about himself. He thought he saw something. It was just a little mistake. And then we came back to a very similar play and he got the look that we wanted and ripped it to (WR) Josh Reynolds on a bigtime slant from the two-spot in an empty. So, I think it didn’t change much other than putting our defense in a tough spot to start the game after they end up getting the first stop of the game. He learned from it, but it didn’t change my confidence in him, and I think you could see that with the way that we called the game.”

 

(On how he feels about playing the Seattle Seahawks next week)

“I think they’re a great team who I respect, but I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to go compete and see if we can put our best game plan together, go lay it out there in all three phases, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do. I can’t wait to get started on it.”

 

(On how he feels they ran the football today)

“Really outside of (QB) John (Wolford), I didn’t think we ran the ball particularly well. I didn’t think we got great movement. I have to do a better job of making sure that I’m activating certain plays. (QB) John (Wolford) averaged 9.3 per carry. Other than that (RB) Malcolm (Brown) had 3 for 20. He had a big-time 3rd and long conversion and then the other ones were kind of in those longer yardage situations. But, (RB) Cam (Akers) had 19 carries, some tough yards, but we have to do a better job of creating movement and giving a little bit more space and that’s not exclusive to the players. It starts with me with some of the play selections.”

 

(On if it’s important to get rushing attempts)

“I think so. Running the clock, being able to keep our defense off the field with the way that they were able to just get them off the field on third down time in and time out, the way they were really able to hold them, kind of became more of a possession-type game. But like I said, we expect to win some of these games moving forward, going to Seattle next week, we have to finish those drives in the red area. That was something that hurt us when we played them the previous week and that’s going to be a big focal point, point of emphasis, and I trust that we’ll get it fixed.”

 

(On if he expects quarterback Jared Goff will play next week)

“I’m not sure on that right now.”

 

(On what it means for his team to get back to the playoffs)

“It’s great. I love this team. It has certainly been a lot of highs and then there has been some tough times that we had to really navigate through, but I love the way that the team handled this week. I love the way they rallied around (QB) John (Wolford). Some of the absences, you talk about missing (WR) Cooper Kupp, (DT) Michael Brockers, (RB) Darrell Henderson going down, (QB) Jared (Goff). So, those are some big shoes to fill. We’ve had (OT) (Andrew) Whitworth absent for the last handful of weeks since the first Seattle game. I just love the way guys have stepped up, raised their level of play. They did that today and it ultimately enabled us to get our 10th win to get in this thing. Now let’s go see if we can do something special.”

 

(On going back to Seattle, and what kind of opportunity that is)

“Unbelievable. I don’t think you can ask for much more. Great team in our division, we know each other, and I’m excited to be able to go up there and give it our best shot.”