McVay … 10/20 … transcript

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    Head Coach Sean McVay – October 20, 2017

    (Opening Remarks)
    “We got in safe this morning. We had practice today. This is a great facility that we’ve got here at Pennyhill (Park Hotel) and a great opportunity for our guys to get out there and kind of put the final touches on our game plan and then tomorrow we’ll walk through those adjustments and different things like that. But, guys did a great job and I’ve really been impressed with our team’s ability to handle the last week with all the traveling we’ve done. They’ve just kind of continued to just go about their work in a very business-like manner, but still allowing themselves to have fun doing it. That’s a credit to our team and to our players, but it’s great to be here and we’re excited.”

    (On if there are any injury updates on LB Mark Barron)
    “So really the guys that – Mark is going to be questionable. He was limited today. Then (S) Cody Davis is going to be doubtful for the game. Everybody else was a full participant and they will be ready to go for the game.”

    (On how the flight went last night and if he got any sleep)
    “Well, my red eyes say no. I tried to sleep for a little bit. I started off sleeping, I felt like I was sleeping for about three hours and then I realized it was only about 30 minutes. I haven’t gotten as much sleep as I’d like, but it was similar last year when I was in Washington – we traveled on a Thursday and then I was able to get a good night sleep tonight. But, I think our players did do a good job of being able to get some rest. I was really impressed with just their tempo and their energy in practice today and that was encouraging because it’s more important for those guys to feel fresh than me.”

    (On DT Michael Brockers saying that the team plays with a swagger and what he tells his players when he’s out there practicing and what the attitude is that he wants to go out there with)
    “Well, I think we’ve got a lot of players that have a nice, confident swagger about themselves and Brockers is certainly one of them. I think the thing about football that is so fun is that we’ve got a great group of men in that locker room and they’re bought in – they understand that there is an approach that we want to take where it’s very serious and business-like, but you can still have fun and enjoy doing that. We have a lot of confident individuals, but we know that we have a great challenge ahead with the Arizona Cardinals coming off of a big win against Tampa. I’ve always had a lot of respect for (Cardinals Head) Coach (Bruce) Arians and the way that he’s led. Then going against them when I was in Washington last year, especially just defensively, I think (Cardinals Defensive Coordinator) Coach (James) Bettcher does an excellent job, so it’s going to be a great challenge. I know that our players have a lot of respect for this team and looking forward to competing against them on Sunday.”

    (On RB Todd Gurley’s comments about it not making sense to have to come to London to play an NFC West opponent)
    “Well, what I think is, you look at the support that London and the league being able to kind of continue to develop and build that relationship. It’s been a great opportunity for the league to grow and just be able to have the NFL outside the U.S. Certainly, I think just what Todd was talking about were some of the challenges just from a semantics standpoint of getting out of your rhythm and your routine just traveling. But, the fans have been great, he’ll be the first to tell you that. It does offer a great opportunity to compete in a different place. But, if you said, ‘Ideally, would you want to have to take an eight-hour flight?’ That’s not ideal, but I think we’re very excited to be here. The fan support and just watching the excitement that these games, not exclusive to this, but all the games now that there’s more being played here is a reason why and it’s a great opportunity for the NFL platform to continue to grow nationwide.”

    (On P Johnny Hekker and the kickers being some of the most popular players in London and what Hekker has meant for the team this season)
    “Well, I’ve always been really impressed with Johnny from afar and then as soon as you meet him – when I was fortunate enough to get the job, just the way that he handles himself, very mature beyond his years, got a great way about himself and then obviously he’s been a very productive player. You can see he’s a leader, guys really are drawn to Johnny, he goes about his business the right way and then he’s got a great personality. He’s a very intelligent person, so anytime you sit down and you talk with Johnny Hekker, you always leave feeling good about yourself and feeling like you got something out of the conversation because he has that wisdom. But, when you match up great personality, great person and the great production as a player, I think you get a special combination of things and that’s really what Johnny Hekker represents for us and it’s easy to see why when he comes over here he becomes a popular player for us.”

    (On if it’s been a special opportunity for him to be around the guys more during this road trip)
    “Yeah, I think that is really it. It’s really offered another opportunity to have kind of a similar camp atmosphere during the regular season. I think you guys can see it, the one thing that we’re very proud of is we are a connected team and we want to stay connected through the good and the bad that you inevitably face through the journey that an NFL regular season takes you through. But, we’ve got a great group of guys in that locker room. It’s a real credit to them and anytime that you work with people and coaches and staff that you like being around every single day, these opportunities, you’re able to enjoy them and it did make the Jacksonville week, being able to get the result that we want certainly made that a little bit more enjoyable as well. So, a great challenge and hopefully we can find a way to get our fifth win.”

    (On what drew him in to the sport of football and if that is what still draws him in today)
    “I was very fortunate to have a family background in it. What you realize, especially the more experience that you gain is, what a small network of people are involved in the NFL specifically. My grandfather’s reputation in this league was imperative for me to be able to get in when I did with Coach (Jon) Gruden on the Tampa Bay Bucs’ staff. I can’t say just how fortunate I feel to just be around some great coaches that were willing to invest in me. But I think the competitive nature of the game, being part of something bigger than yourself, those are things that I’ve always been in love with the game with. Going back to when you played and then when you transitioned from finishing your career in college to getting into coaching. Just being around that competitive atmosphere and working every single day, that has all geared towards trying to find a way during those three, three-and-a-half hour, that window of time to try to get the result is what’s exciting. Each week presents a new opportunity and a new challenge and that’s what you love so much about this game.”

    (On the offense having problems getting into the end zone the last three games and what he thinks has to happen for that to change)
    “Well, I think the first thing is, is we’ve played some good defenses. We don’t make any excuses, but you give credit to those defenses, they’ve done a nice job. Then really, it just goes back to execution. I think one of the things that our players have done is they’re going to continue to look at themselves critically just like we are as coaches. Any time, specifically to the offense with my involvement, it starts with me and I’ve got to do a better job of making sure that I’m putting our players in those situations to have success and then they’ve got to execute. But I think you look at it, over the last couple weeks, specifically with really Seattle and you look at the Jacksonville (game), there were some different things that took place throughout the course of the game that we feel like are correctable. I thought the Jacksonville game – what was encouraging about it is, when you have such a great contribution from your special teams to score two touchdowns. (K) Greg (Zuerlein) ends up hitting a long field goal early on in the game. The defense settled in after the long run by (Jaguars RB Leonard) Fournette. It’s really about playing efficient football and not really worrying about, ‘How can we win the football game?’ And I thought our guys did a good job adjusting to that and we were pleased as a team playing complementary football on a road atmosphere against a team that had taken the football away as much as anybody in the league. For us to have that one turnover where (Jaguars LB) Telvin Smith made a great play on (WR) Robert Woods. I thought (QB) Jared (Goff) made good decisions and then when we had to that last drive to end up going up 10, I thought our offense did a very good job of just being efficient running off clock. We had a couple huge third-down conversions in that drive. But, it is about scoring points. I think when you look at us being in the position we are, it’s a credit because the defense and special teams have also scored. So, we’ve got to do a better job offensively of producing touchdowns, and you know, we’ll see if we can do that on Sunday. But it’s going to be a great challenge. Arizona’s been a very consistent defense over the last handful of years and I think (Cardinals Defensive Coordinator) James Bettcher does a great job.”

    (On if he’s surprised by the success the team has had so soon since he took over as head coach)
    “I think to say you’re surprised, the thing that’s unique about this team that I think you feel good about it is, we just take things one day at a time. It’s hard to really step back and see what you’ve done. I think those are great things that you can do after the season, but what our players have done an excellent job of – whether you’re coming off a loss like you are in Washington or Seattle or whether you’re coming off the wins that we’ve had – they respond the same and they know that there’s things that we can improve on and get better. We talk about focusing of that daily improvement and daily excellence. And I think our players have really bought into that. Never being satisfied but having a positive resilient mindset regardless of whatever the outcome has been, being process-driven. I think when you do that, you give yourself a chance to sustain some success over time. We’re in the process of it. But again, when we’ve got a great coaching staff like we do, great players that are willing to buy in – you feel confident in your ability to try to get the results that you want. But, we are taking it one day at a time and I think that’s the thing that we’ve been pleased with our players and our coaching staff.”

    (On how he prepares for a team that has two players that may be Hall of Famers in Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald and RB Adrian Peterson)
    “Very special players. As a fan of this game, especially as an offensive coaching background, you watch Adrian and Larry, they’re two the best at what they’ve done in a long time. I think that consistency is the truest measurement of performance and you’re talking about two players that I believe are going to be first ballot Hall of Famers because they’ve consistently delivered. When you look at Larry Fitzgerald, the thing that you’re really impressed with is, is always just been impressed with the person. The way he’s handled himself, but then you watch the way that he competes – he does everything. He’s competing in the run game, does a great job. They get him involved in screens. He’s got some of the most aggressive hands. He can run all the routes. He can make plays down the field, intermediate, short, long – there’s nothing that Larry can’t do. And in crunch time that’s who they’re going to and he’s delivered throughout the course of his career. He’s a special player. And then you look at what Adrian’s done, another great person. But what a great competitor. His first game there, I think it says a lot about him to be able to go for over 130 (yards), a couple touchdowns. Always been one of the more natural instinctual runners that can go through you, can make you miss in the hole. He’s got that explosion and it’s why he’s a great player. So, I think it gives the defense and extra incentive to be ready to go and anytime you go against a great offense. (Cardinals QB) Carson Palmer’s a special quarterback as well. They’ve got a lot of players, that’s why they’ve been so good offensively and they’ve got a great system run by (Cardinals Head) Coach (Bruce) Arians. So our defense has a great opportunity to go against them and I think they’re excited about the challenge.”

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