McVay on Gurley and Goff's 1st down success and his thoughts on MVP

McVay talks to the media on a rainy Thursday afternoon in week 14 prior to Rams taking on the Bears.

(On if the weather today helps prepare for the weather in Chicago)

"Yes, it's actually good. If there was going to be a week that the weather isn't exactly what we're accustomed to out here in L.A., we'll take it because it helps us get ready for the elements that we're going to be playing in on Sunday. Kind of a blessing in disguise for us."

(On RB Todd Gurley II bouncing back from the Chiefs game and playing well last week and his thoughts on his performance)

"I think really it's just about the opportunities. He made the most of his opportunities that he had in the Chiefs game. There was a lot instances where we decided to throw it, over running it just based off some decisions that we felt like. But, (RB) Todd (Gurley II) made the most of his chances at the Chiefs game too. He's not going to say he got rolled up on, he's so tough. He certainly looked pretty healthy last week, did a great job and I thought he was at his best when we needed him the most. He had some really tough, third-and-1, third-and-2, where he ended up getting three yards earlier in the game – that was a big conversion.

Then, obviously, the third down and three that he ended up popping, and then going down around the two (-yard line) was a big play. I just thought the consistency that he ran with throughout the course of the game, had some big plays, three big catches that we needed. The screen was a big play and then the two that we were in the empty formation, kind of in some of those second down situations. He did a really nice job but that's kind of par for the course for him. You don’t ever take it for granted. But, well deserving of NFC Offensive Player of The Week."

(On if he's conscious of how many touches Gurley has throughout a game and how many he needs)

"That's a good question. I wouldn't say that. I think you always want to be mindful of getting your playmakers in the flow of a game. As far as a specific amount of touches it's not something like that because sometimes if you're fortunate to have an explosive play and you only have to score in a few plays, then you're limited with that element of it. But really what you try to make sure is, is that you get your playmakers in the flow of a game, specific to those skills guys. With the running back whether it's running the football or getting him involved in the pass game and then the receivers as well. A lot of what we do is predicated on what we feel like going into a game plan is the best way to move the football. We talk about it all the time. There's an element of you want to have a good balance and be able keep people off balance, but at the end of the day our job is to move the football and score points. Fortunately for us, we feel like we have the ability to be able to do that through the air or through the ground. Certainly, it's going to be a great challenge in both ways this week because of the great defense that we're playing and the different things that they present."

(On if there is a correlation between Goff and Gurley being most productive in first down situations)

"I think it kind of goes back to what we said. Fortunately, we've been able to run the football efficiently and we've been able to throw it efficiently on those early downs. Their success then makes people feel like, ‘Alright, you've got to defend one or the other,’ and then you try to capitalize on that. But, I think it's really – the first thing is, any time that you hear those types of things it’s a credit to the players, their ability to just execute – period. You always want to be efficient on those early downs. Then, everything else kind of falls into place. You're avoiding some of the second-and-long, get-back-on-tracks and some of those third down situations where defensive players can just kind of tee off on you because you're regulated with the menu of things that you can kind of just give a defense based on trying to convert. But, those guys have done an excellent job. Really, we talk about it all the time, it's all 11 (players). Jared is certainly doing a great job playing within the timing and rhythm. Todd is doing a great job, whether it be running or protecting, and it starts up front with those offensive linemen."

(On which area Goff has improved most between decision making, timing and accuracy)

"I think, really, it's been a combination of those things and here's why I would say that though. I think because he's making good decisions – I think he's making good decisions in a large part because he is playing with the timing and rhythm that we want based on his ability to recognize whatever the coverage contour the defense is presenting and then be able to progress accordingly. So, those two kind of go hand-in-hand. Then, physically I think he's throwing the ball really well. You can see, he's got a natural feel. He's a natural thrower of the football that can change the platforms, but one of the things that I think has really shown up for him, you almost want to look at it in the times that you get a clean pocket – ‘How much can I make it a repeated motion, like a golf stroke, so that I'm consistently accurate with the football, the way that I'm delivering it with my base, balance, my body position, the way everything comes through.’ I think you've seen him throw the football extremely accurate. The one thing that stands out that we made a big emphasis – and I think he's done a great job with it – are some of our crossing routes, where guys are running across the field. Those front-pad locations on the throw, as opposed to holding guys up and I think he's done an excellent job giving guys a chance to create after the catch. So, really, in all three phases you've seen significant improvements. I think the decisions and the timing are a result of him recognizing things. Then, I think the accuracy is a result of just a physically talented player and then the work that he's put in, in the offseason and then during the course of the year as well."

(On how CB Aqib Talib bounced back physically from Sunday's game in Detroit and if his role could be expanded this week)

"Yeah, he's good. I think we'll hopefully not have to have him on any sort of pitch count at all this week. That was kind of the goal all along. Really, especially playing on the turf. It sounds like the field has been in good conditions in Chicago, too, from what I understand. Unless something sets us back, he's going to be a full go and go from the start to the finish."

(On if he can envision a situation where a defensive player wins the NFL MVP Award)

"Yeah, I think if the voters determine that that's the case, then certainly it could happen. If it happens to be somebody that we're working with, no one would be more excited and happy for (DT) Aaron (Donald) than we would as an organization. But, for us, the best part about it is our guys are focused on what they can do to contribute for our team. Certainly, he's made a huge impact on the game. I think a lot of it really goes back to just playing good football, getting better every single day. He certainly has done that, but a lot of it is an interpretation thing – most valuable player. Do you deem that based on the impact you're making on the game? Are you saying that somebody that touches the ball every single play is the most valuable based on the nature of the position? So, I think it's really left for interpretation, but I know this – Aaron Donald is playing outstanding football. He has been instrumental in a lot of the big plays that have occurred as a result of us winning football games because of the defense coming through in some crunch-time situations. It's not by coincidence that (No.) 99 is usually in the middle of all of that and it starts with his preparation. He sure is a talented player as well."

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