Rams QB Matthew Stafford – Media Availability – December 21, 2021

Rams QB Matthew Stafford – Media Availability – December 21, 2021


(On if there’s anything WR Cooper Kupp does that surprises him)

“No. I mean, he’s a great player. He’s having a fantastic season. He’s such a huge part of what we do as a team. You know, not only on offense, he’s back there catching a bunch of punts for us on special teams. Does a great job leading that group. I’m just happy that I get the chance to play with a guy like that. I know a lot of guys on our team feel the same way. We all take a hand in his success and that’s really fun. We’re just proud of him. Just proud of him watching him do his thing.”


(To come back in a game that they had couldn’t prepare for in a normal week)

“That was big. We really moved the ball well on offense tonight. We just stalled out, or I turned the ball over on a terrible throw. Kind of moved the ball past the 50 a bunch it felt like. A couple too many three and outs here and there. There’s no question about that. Put ourselves in some third-and-longs. We ended up overcoming some of them. But not exactly where we want to put ourselves. But our defense played outstanding. They just battled all night. Kept us in it early, gave us chances. Gave up the one touchdown drive in the second half. I felt it was a great for us to come back and answer. And then, man, they were shut down. And our best players making the best plays. That’s what it always boils down to. It’s great watching those guys do their thing. Tonight was a total team win. It’s not always going to be pretty. They were playing really, really deep to short on us as an offense, trying to make us check it down and go 10 or 15 play drives. We were able to get over the top a couple times. But it was kind of just one of those ones that you had to slug out. And those wins are big, especially in December. That’s kind of how they happen. And just happy we got it.”


(On if this win was hard to imagine when the team had 29 guys on the Reserve/COVID-19 list)

“I got a lot of trust in the guys that were still available at that point. There were sometimes during the week where it was just every day it felt like half of our team was getting added to the list. I got to give our training staff a bunch of credit for doing a great job of handling that. Guys on our team that we asked to step up and play significant roles tonight did a great job. Hopefully we get some of those guys back. But at the same time, I just really want those guys to feel good and feel healthy. As soon as we get them back, we’ll keep it moving. But just proud of the way we battled through some adversity, led by our head coach. He did a fantastic job of kind of leading the way all week, even keeled and ready to go, solution oriented, and figure some stuff out so it was great.”

(On if the interception was just a bad throw or a miscommunication to Kupp)

“Yeah, no, it was a bad throw. Yep, those happen.”


(On what makes Kupp such a special player)

“Every receiver is different, you know? I think (WR) Cooper (Kupp) does a great job of understanding what the defense is doing. He’s as smart of a guy I’ve played with at that position. And then he’s got a ton of skills. He’s 6’2, 205 pounds or whatever he is, 210 pounds. He’s strong. He’s got better long speed than people give him credit for. Catches everything. Just kind of what you want in a receiver. He does a little bit of everything really well and just turns into a really great player.”


(On what went into the second touchdown pass)

“A whole lot of trust, I know that. I’ve spent a lot of time with him, spent a lot of hours watching tape, talking ball, and watching him run routes and throw it to him. You got to trust that one. You got to cut it loose early and cut it loose to a spot that I think only he’s going to be able to get to. It ended up being a good spot and then he caught it and scored. I didn’t get to see a lot of it. I was laying down for some of it. Those guys up front battled their ass off tonight. I thought (OL) Bobby (Evans) did a great job of stepping in and playing on super short notice and gave me enough time to get that one off. Great call by (Head Coach) Sean (McVay). I just trusted Cooper to get to his spot. I was able to put it in there and he made a great catch and scored with it.”


(On if throwing to an open area Kupp can get to is something they work on in practice)

“Yeah that’s kind of the only way those things happen. Certain times in a game you feel like you need to make a play and that was kind of a time where we had some momentum. We were moving the ball great. We had stalled out in that area of the field a few times, a few times too many in that game and I wanted to make a play. The hook player got a ton of depth. I’m throwing that ball, whatever it was, 20, 25 yards down the field, and the hook player is almost making the play on us. So they were doing that all night trying to keep us from getting behind them. But I just felt like I could put it in a spot. I trusted Cooper to get in there. He went in there and made a nice catch and kind of walked in the end zone. But, sometimes you got to sit back there, trust one, and put it to a good spot and trust your guy’s going to make a good play and he did.”


(On his thoughts about the sacks tonight)

“I’m going to have to go back and look at them. A combination of a few things. There were a couple that I wish I would have gotten the ball out. Especially when we were in field goal range a couple times. I wish I would have at least dirted a couple. But that’s tough to analyze at the moment. Maybe there’s a guy standing open that I could have gotten it to. But where my eyes were at the time of those sacks, I got to do a better job of getting it out and knowing the situation a little bit better and making sure that we come away on some of those drives with points. But this is a team game. At my position, I can make it a little bit better and get the ball out of my hands.”


(On how he is feeling physically after the sacks)

“Oh, I’m good. Yep. I feel fine.”


(On what he’s learned about Head Coach Sean McVay over the past few weeks)

“The guy is ultra-resilient. He’s really smart and confident in himself and he should be. He’s got a great mind and a great ability to connect with people. And like I said, this whole week was led by him. You know, and some of that is vulnerability, too, right? ‘Hey, guys, I don’t know what the answer is, I don’t know what the answer is going to be tomorrow because we just don’t know.’ There were a lot of unknowns this week. That resonates with us in the locker room, right? Somebody who is real doesn’t say, ‘I got all the answers on a Wednesday when however many guys hit the COVID list, right?’ We don’t know. We’re just going to play this thing day by day, here’s what we can control, and we go from there., That’s something, as a player, you love from a coach. You just sit there and go, ‘Perfect, that’s what we’re all thinking. I’m glad you’re thinking the same thing from us. Hey, let’s build this plan for this game as it kind of comes into focus as who we’re going to have.’ And he did a fantastic job of that. I know he had a lot on his plate this week. I feel like our assistant coaches did a great job of helping him out in some of that, too, right? I mean, he’s dealing with all sorts of things, moving parts, personnel, all that kind of stuff. Some of our guys did a great job of bringing things to him as part of the plan. He puts his own little touch on all that and then we go out there and play a game. Just happy to be playing for a guy like that. I got a lot of trust in him and have a bunch of fun playing and working with him.”


(On if he thinks this team has shown mental toughness overcoming these last few weeks)

“Yeah, I don’t know if I learned anything new just because I felt like I knew that about our group already, you know? Had a tough couple games a month ago, four or five weeks ago that really galvanized us as a group. Understanding that the NFL season is going to have ebbs and flows and we just got figure out a way to fix it and we did that. You got to prove it every single week. But I’m proud of the mental toughness, physical toughness that our guys showed. We got a game on a super short week coming up. We’re going to have to do it again against a team that’s playing really good football. We got to go to their place. I’ve played there a bunch of times in my career. It’s a tough place to play. We’ll have a big challenge on our plate next week. Excited to get this one under our belt and move on.”