Rams QB Matthew Stafford – Media Availability – December 13, 2021

Rams QB Matthew Stafford


On reaction to teammates put on COVID list:

“Obviously, tough. Some of our best players on offense and defense. But, it happens you have to move forward. I thought from the top down that (head coach) Sean (McVay) did a great job. We got some news this morning on Higbee (TE Tyler Higbee) and Jalen (CB Jalen Ramsey) and he did a great job adapting. I think the guys that we needed to come in and step up did well. It’s a testament to our coaching staff and our players going out and executing. I was happy to get the win amidst quite a few moving pieces.”


On the fumble being a tough play:

“Yeah, I was screaming as I was running which made it even more tiring. I think it was an incomplete pass, but I don’t know. I just didn’t want to leave anything to chance. I’ve been part of some of those that went the other way, so tried to scramble around and get on it.”


On what you’re doing now verses last week:

“We had some new guys in some new spots. Van (WR Van Jefferson) moving around a little bit, Odell (WR Odell Beckham Jr.) coming in, Ben (WR Ben Skowronek) being able to step in a lot of spots. Today with Higbee out the other two tight ends did a great job stepping up. Joe (OL Joe Noteboom) played great at right tackle. We had a lot of moving parts and just proud of those guys in the past game. They did a great job getting open, making catches because our guys up front dominated the line of scrimmage. That’s where it starts for us. Sony (RB Sony Michel) did a great job of falling forward on some runs. There was the third-and-one run in the red zone, where it was him and 34 in the hole, he just runs him over for the first. Those things are big plays that don’t show up in the highlights, but they’re big time plays for us as a team. Just proud of those guys, the physicality they played with, great communication. Coleman (OL Coleman Shelton) coming in for the second game in a row, basically playing the whole game last week and then playing great this week on the road in a tough environment against a really good D-line. I could go on and on with guys that I am proud of and just happy for. Just proud of our guys.”


On the balance of short and long passes and the running game:

“I think Sean did a great job. I think we were really efficient with some of the stuff. Early on in the game I felt like I started zero for zero, but then I got hot there. I think we were efficient in the passing game, taking what they were giving us and then we took some shots and we hit those shots. That’s big. Van getting behind the defense making that play. Cooper making a great catch on another one too. Again, those start with great protection. I was able to move the pocket a little bit and set up and hit those guys down the field and make great plays and that’s how you score points.”


On WR Odell Beckham Jr.’s performance tonight and being comfortable:

“Yeah, I mean I think about it, it’s because of more time. He’s got a great guy in Cooper to help him out week in and week out and on practice field. He and I are communicating nonstop trying to make this thing come to life, and he did a great job on the slant for a touchdown, great job on the shallow going for about 40 on a third down play for us. Another play action pass for 18 or 20 on the left side, so he did some great things today, and I’m just happy to have him on our team. He’s been great to be around, he’s working his tail off and helping us out.”


On preparing for a game with fewer players due to COVID:

“Sometimes, back against the wall you, you’ve got less guys than you thought going into a game. It brings us together a bit. I thought it was great. We knew if we came out and had great physicality, we had great fundamentals, took care of the football, our defense did a hell of a job getting us the ball back. I was standing on the sideline next to Kevin O’Connell right before ‘AD’ (Aaron Donald) tipped it and picked it, not three seconds before that play happened, I’m thinking about, ‘Alright let’s go down and answer. Let’s answer after this.’ He goes, ‘Well, you never know. This guy may try to throw one in there. It could get tipped and picked.’ And as he is finishing his sentence, the thing happens, and we’re looking at each other like, ‘Holy shit that happened,’ and we were out there. So, our defense did a great job. Big time plays and big-time moments getting the ball back for us, and we were able to capitalize on it.”


On his personal performance:

“I felt good about it. There were some things you obviously want back. Really like a check down here or there I wish I would have taken it instead of throwing it down the field. I think of that early one to ‘Coop’ (Cooper Kupp) down the right sideline. I think Sony (Michel) was standing by himself, but yeah, I felt like we managed the game really well as an offense and the huddles, a bunch of personnel, a bunch of people moving and stepping up. Notes here and there for those guys and going out there and playing, just happy to get a total team win. It really was that. I feel like our defense played great. Got the turnovers when we needed them. Our offense capitalized on some of those and got points and special teams was timely with some big kicks. Obviously, we would have loved to recover that onside kick, but our defense came up, and ‘AD’ forced the holding call and then we attacked them down, so some big plays all around.”


On if he ever left surprised by WR Cooper Kupp:

“That long one to him was a good one. Felt good about that one. To be honest with you, there was another one later in the game third down, I hit him with a little option route and broke down, and I think if I threw it out front he scores. He ended up kicking a field goal on that drive, so still room to be better, but he was doing a great job tonight as always.”


On DL Aaron Donald taking control of the game:

“I’ve seen it from afar. I’ve seen it from up close. He’s a special player. He’s a great teammate, a great leader on the defense with not saying much. He just goes out there and plays and plays at a high level. You’re right though, first snap of the game to the last snap of the game the guys affecting in a positive way for our team. He covers up a lot of stuff for us on defense, and makes big time plays when we need them. That’s what a great player is, and he does that.”