Rams Quarterback Matthew Stafford – Media Availability – December 5, 2021

Rams Quarterback Matthew Stafford – Media Availability – December 5, 2021


(On the hit he took to the chest that made him sit out a play)

Yeah, just holding the ball, trying to work the route to the field a little bit and got hit. Didn’t feel great. Was able to kind of walk it off and keep playing so I’m good now. I feel fine.”


(On it he just got the wind knocked out of him)

“That was a part of it. Just a little chest shot. Had to kind of check myself, make sure I was all good.”


(On if his sternum is in tacks)

“It is in one piece at the moment.”


(On the mixed personnel groupings and how the play action and performance of Sony Michel helped the offense)

“Yeah, I got to give (Head Coach) Sean (McVay) a lot of credit. That was a great game plan we had in this game. And then really, the guys that were asked to play more than they played probably this season stepped up and played great.  (RB) Sony (Michel) I thought ran the ball really well. Kind of going into the week, seeing the plan unfold, and I’m like, ‘This is a Sony Michel type of game.’ He’s just going to slug it out, wear on these dudes. I thought he was great in the pass game too. Gave him some opportunities in the pass game, did some nice stuff. I get a great view from where I’m at of him running the football and some of those four, five, six-yard runs are just things of beauty. And, you know, he’s a heavy guy. You know, when he starts running, I think the defenders feel it, so I was happy for him. I thought (OL) Joe Noteboom when he was asked to step in there and played really well. And, really, all of our tight ends played really well as well. I’m just happy for our guys. Happy we were able to come out with the win.”


(On how this game sets us up going forward)

“Each game is its own entity. There’s no question about that. It’s nice to get a win after three subpar performances. So, you know, I was happy for that for our team. Got a big one coming up next week, obviously and have to watch the tape and find ways to get better. You know, we got to stay on the field on third down a couple more times. Had a third and one that was stuffed. Had a couple third downs that I could probably throw a better ball on the first one to (WR) Ben (Skowronek). He’ll tell you he probably wishes he could have made that catch. I had one down the red zone to (WR) Van (Jefferson) as well. Just opportunities that didn’t hurt us in the game but might hurt us in another one, so we have to make sure he cleans those up. It’s nice to get a win and be able to clean those things up. But continuing to focus hard on the little things and those will make a big difference.”


(On how this game felt for him with no turnovers after committing turnovers in the past three games)

“I just try to attack each game and treat it as an opportunity to go play great. Sometimes that doesn’t happen. I thought we had a great week of practice as a team. I thought we were dialed in, came out here on game day and played well. It boils down to execution. And I feel like our guys did that at a really high level. I tried to make sure that I wasn’t putting the ball in harm’s way and our guys were getting open to make catches so that’s nice.”


(On what it means to have a successful running game)

“Yeah, I mean, I think we did a great job of staying efficient in the run game. It definitely takes an effect on the defense I think. Sony  was running the ball really physical. Our guys upfront were really pushing the pile and doing a great job. A lot of those runs were downhill stuff, and he was doing a great job of that. But it helps you be efficient and stay ahead of the chains. I would have liked to have converted a couple more third downs off of that and make those things count and put some more points on the board but overall, I thought they did a really nice job in the run game today.”


(On how the run game today helped the passing game)

“Yeah, I think in the play action game, we hit a few today. I think they did a great job panic dropping out of some of these. Tried to get that on the field a couple times and those backers were hauling trying to make sure that after they played the run, they weren’t going to let anything over their heads, so they did a nice job in some of those areas as well. I was able to sneak one to (WR) Coop(er) Kupp down the sideline there. That was really man coverage so that was a good one too. But it all ties into it. I thought our defense played great. Offense did some nice things and special teams starting the game like that with BP (WR Brandon Powell) with the big return was awesome and (P) Johnny (Hekker) down late in the game inside the five was nice too.”


(On what sets WR Cooper Kupp apart)

“I mean, he does everything right, you know? I don’t know, people probably watch him on TV and think he’s 5’10 and runs 4.6 and all that kind of stuff. He’s 6’2, 210, and runs great.  He’s got a great feel for the game. He’s a great competitor. He understands the game. He does everything right. He leads that receiver group in the right way, so I pinch myself every day. Just happy I get a chance to play with a guy like that. I have a lot of respect for how he goes about his business and how he goes about attacking each opportunity, whether it be practice or games. And then he’s great on game day. Run after the catch, getting open versus man, feeling voids versus zone. He’s got a great feel for the game of football.”


(On how things are progressing with WR Odell Beckham Jr. in this offense)

“Yeah, I think it’s getting better and better. Obviously, I hit him for the fade for a touchdown. Hit him on a nice little cross on a keeper, which was great. Just missed a chance at a big one. Love the way he was digging for that ball. However far that was, I wish I would have dropped it two yards shorter and gave him a chance. I really am impressed with his ability to step in and seamlessly kind of learn his role in this offense. It’s been impressive for a guy that’s unfamiliar with what we do before he got here. I give him a lot of respect for that. And also, you know, he’s toughing it out, feeling a little crummy from last week and was out there and when he had his opportunities to make plays, he made them.”


(On what changes when the center goes out with an injury)

“Well, one guy snaps it righty, the other guy snaps it lefty. That’s different. No, I can’t say enough about (OL) Coleman (Shelton). That was a heck of an effort. This game is funny. You feel like you’re going into a game, you know the plan, here we go, here we go, then all of a sudden, drive one, he’s down, drive two, (OL) David Edwards was down and able to come back in and play. But I thought Coleman did a great job. Great job commanding. And that just goes to his preparation as a player. He’s got a great coach in Carbs (Offensive Line Coach Kevin Carberry) that’s coaching him. He had an opportunity to go out there and play and I thought he played really well. Are there things that are different? Yeah, absolutely. And things that we can clean up that are a hair off? Certain plays? Yes. But when he was in there, he was battling, he was commanding the line of scrimmage which I thought was great. For the most part, I thought he played really well.”


(On what it means to instill confidence in the young receivers by continuing to go back to them)

“Yeah, I think No. 1, push them because those guys can do it. And they really can. And I’ve got all the faith in the world in Van and Ben and some of the guys that are younger that are getting kind of their first opportunities in this league. Push them because I know they can do it. I wouldn’t sit there and push them if I didn’t think they could. But at the same time, understanding that those things are going to happen and that’s okay. You don’t want them to happen and continue to find ways to help them learn. Just help them learn. ‘Hey, got to continue to focus.’ These are all plays they can make. They make them 100 times out of 100 and sometimes they don’t happen. But I got a bunch of trust in those guys. I’ll continue to work with them. Those practice reps are valuable and when we get those opportunities in practice to make sure that the focus is like it is on Sunday and make sure that, ‘Hey, if I’m throwing you this ball in practice, the chance we get this shot in a game and, you know, just go out there and execute.’ So it will be good. I’m not worried about those guys in the least bit. I just want to continue to watch them grow and help them as much as I can and get us to where we want to be.”