Rams S John Johnson III – Postgame Press Conference – November 1st, 2020

(I know this sucks, but one of the bright spots was the way you guys played defensively. S Taylor Rapp, especially, it seems like he had some really just hard hitting impact plays today. What can you speak to about his, how he’s stepped up and just the physicality with which he plays?) – “He’s a bona fide starter. He came in his rookie year, did what he had to do, had a great rookie year, and it translated to this year. I know he didn’t start off the season as a starter, but he got his chance and there was no drop off. He prepares like a starter, so I tip my hat to him. He was coming with some heat today. I know he went to school with (Myles) Gaskin so maybe he had a little steam he wanted to let off. But I’m proud of him and I’m proud of the way the defense played as well.”

(At what point did you guys know that CB Jalen Ramsey wasn’t going to be able to play with you today?) – “It was kickoff. We seen him, he wasn’t feeling too well before the game, but we didn’t think he wasn’t going to play. It was really up until kickoff and we didn’t really know what happened until now. So hopefully we can get him back sooner than later.”

(Then just kind of how frustrating is it a day like today where the defense is playing pretty well, but obviously the offense and special teams wasn’t able to get it going?) – “At the end of the day, we’re a team. We can still score on defense, which we didn’t. We just got to keep fighting and take it one snap at a time and give it all we have and look up at the score and hopefully we can come out with a win. But we have bad games, offense, defense, special teams. We just got to try to play complementary football and get all 53 ready to go and try not to let this happen again. “

(When Head Coach Sean McVay continually says he needs to do a better job at coaching, that’s typically what he says after every loss. Does that resonate with you guys or do you as players think you need to do a better job of executing?) – “It’s on all of us. The quarterback and the head coach get the most heat, but at the end of the day we’re the ones out there on the field, so we’re a reflection of him. So it’s all 53, we all got to pack our lunch pails, especially on the road and be ready to play games. I don’t think it’s a talent issue, I don’t think it’s an effort issue, it’s just get yourself up, get yourself ready to go and give it your all and we’ll get it fixed.”

(What was the impact in the end of CB Jalen Ramsey being out? I know CB David Long Jr. gave up the touchdown pass, but overall obviously the numbers were pretty good.) – “Jalen brings that energy. He brings that big hits, that big deflection, that confidence, just that raw energy that you can’t really duplicate, you can’t really make it up. I think David (Long Jr.) did a great job, he came in and did what he had to do. Like you said he gave up a touchdown but he was right there, it’s a 50/50 ball. But we definitely want to get him back and he’s definitely a guy that give us that boost and it translates to the offense as well, so we definitely want to get him back.”

(How if at all did that heat on the sideline affect you guys and how do you feel now that the first half of the season is over, where you guys stand?) – “The heat it was a little different, it was a little humid. A couple of guys said it felt heavy. I don’t know what that really means, but it was just something to get used to and that’s just something about being a pro. Next week we could play and it could be snowing so it’s just something you got to get used to being a pro. And what was the second part of your question?”

(Just in terms of having now finished the first half of the season, your first eight games, how do you feel about where you guys are at heading into the second half of the season?) – “It’s good that we got a bye week right smack dab in the middle, get rested, really reflect on the first eight games. We won five out of the eight, probably could have won six, maybe seven, depends on who you ask. We’re playing some good football, we’re seeing some good flashes but we really want to play our best football and in late November and December, so that’s what we’re working towards.”

(Your thoughts on playing against QB Tua Tagovailoa and what you saw from him today.) – “Oh, he’s a … He’s Tua. He’s their guy. We knew they was going to come eventually, it happened against us, but you could just tell that they were trying to get him, ease him in there, a lot of quick gains, a lot of boots. But he’s going to be a good player. But I think our defense is really … It’s hard to judge a guy against our defense. We really got up, got ready to play. Hopefully he has a great year from here on out. I don’t think we have to run into him again, but it was a hard game.”

(What was your game plan against QB Tua Tagovailoa? What were you guys trying to do?) – “Just know that this is his first start, we tried to move around a little bit on the back end, tried to stay on guys. We knew it was going to be a quick game, the ball was going to come out. Tried to make him read things, tried to make him see a lot of different things and for the most part it worked out.”