Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Sean McVay
Conference Call With New Orleans Media
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
The last time you guys played (it was a) pretty high stakes, high emotion type of ending. Does that matter at all in your mind this week with the Saints coming back to L.A.?
“No. I think if anything, what it does is it continues to give you a great amount of respect for the caliber of football team that they are. Well coached, great players all over the place. I think really more than anything, just having played them twice last year, just makes you realize what a great football team it is coming in at our place and what a high level of game we're going to need to play to compete with them.”
The Saints and Rams have played three times now in the past two years – four if you include a preseason game. Does that familiarity, I mean, is it almost like a division game at this point, just with the amount of times you guys have played each other lately?
“Well, we've seen each other a lot, but I think this is a great football team. They've done an excellent job. They've had some consistency and continuity on both sides of the ball in terms of obviously with Sean (Payton) running the offense and then coach (Dennis) Allen running the defense, transition with coach (Darren) Rizzi on the special teams. But one of the things that you see that's consistent in all three phases, (they are) very sound, fundamentals, techniques, good schemes, great coaching and great players. You see why they’re the reigning No. 1 seed in the NFC and why they were one of the best teams in football and why they still are this year.”
The Saints are getting David Onyemata back from a suspension. You guys saw a lot of him last year. Do you have to account for that this week when you’re preparing for a team that Week 1 you didn’t see any of that guy in there?
“Absolutely. Yeah. He's a really productive player. I think when you just look at their front across the board, you see why they were one of the top rush defenses in the league. And really when you look at the latter half of the year starting when we played them and then going on until the end of the season, they were one of the best defenses in the NFL. I thought they played at a really high level. They’re physical. Coach Allen does a great job mixing it up and then when you got great players to match it, it's a great challenge and getting David back will definitely give them a boost on the interior for sure.”
We haven't really necessarily been following it too closely with Todd (Gurley) and the whole knee thing, but it looked like he played pretty well last week. How would you kind of assess that performance for him?
“He played well. It was good to get him in the flow. I thought he did a great job closing out the game right under a hundred yards. He was productive, but there’s always some things we can improve on. It was great to be able to have Todd out there looking like the Todd that we all know and love.”
When you're watching Alvin Kamara either from afar or up-close, what's kind of the one thing, if there is one thing, that really kind of separates him from other people? What makes him special in your eyes?
“The versatility and the elite balance. You talk about a guy that's got an unbelievable forward body lean. He's always breaking tackles going forward. I've heard somebody refer to him that he's like a kickstand guy. It's like he's got an extra leg. He's able to just stay so balanced and so grounded. He's got incredible hands. He's got a great feel for space. And when he's running the football, he's one of the best in the league for a reason and one of the most versatile and he's one of the best players in this league. And it shows up week in and week out.”
Have you ever had a chance to sit down and talk football with Drew Brees and just kind of pick a brain that's been around the game for 20 years now?
“You know what? I really haven’t and I've heard so many great things about him from guys like Aaron Kromer and obviously when I talked to coach Payton about him and you can just see from afar, he is somebody that I have an unbelievable amount of respect for the way he handles himself, the way he leads and obviously the way he plays his game. I am a coach but I'm also a fan of this game and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a huge fan of Drew Brees.”