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What The Rams Said Following Their 30-13 Season-Opening Win Over The Seahawks

Interviews, transcripts, and press conferences from the Rams' Week 1 win over the Seahawks at Lumen Field.


Featuring postgame quotes from the following:


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Head Coach Sean McVay

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SEAN McVAY: Great team win. I love the resilience. A lot of respect for Coach Carroll and that outfit. That's a good football team. We all know that. They've done it at a high level for a long period of time. Really just happy for these guys, for the work that they've put in, for that to be on display today. I think one of my favorite parts about it was things didn't always go perfect and these guys just stayed steady. They were even keeled. They just continue to pick one another up and I loved the way we handled the ebbs and flows of the game which is exactly what occurs in football. A lot of guys stepped up and made big-time plays. I could go through a plethora of people but I'm so proud of this team. I'm so proud of this group. It was awesome to be able to see a lot of the work that they put in come to fruition. But it's one game, and they know that. We've got to continue to keep it rolling. We'll enjoy this and then we'll move forward towards a phenomenal football team next week.

Q. Several long drives and also the way that you guys were running the ball, what does that say about kind of the vibe --

SEAN McVAY: Well, I thought there was some positive things and then there was some challenging moments where we kind of shot ourselves in the foot. But what I did love was we were able to just recover. Especially on the 18-play drive to start out the game. It wasn't perfect by any stretch. I made a terrible play call that puts us in a bad situation where Van gets a block, but that's on me, and we were able to overcome it. What a play on 2nd and 17 by Matthew and Pooka to be able to get it down to the 1-yard line and for us to go tempo and have Kyron punch that thing in -- I thought the defense did a good job in the first half. Credit Seattle for being able to sustain drives. They were just getting little chunks at a time, and then eventually we ended up getting stops. They weren't making all those plays in the second half because I think our guys forced those stops. Offensively we were able to sustain drives. I thought really Tutu Atwell came to life in the second half in a big way. Puka Nacua, what a grown man he was today. Kyron Williams, Cam Akers, Higbee made his plays. Matthew was outstanding, and I thought the offensive line protected really well. There's some things that we can certainly clean up, some situations that I can do a better job of putting our guys in better spots, but overall there was a grittiness, there was a toughness, there was a resilience on display from this team, and I loved it.

Q. You started the day five for five on 3rd down. On that opening drive I think you were 65 percent. You've got to be super efficient on 3rd down --

SEAN McVAY: You want to be efficient on all downs. I think it's a real credit to Matthew's execution. I thought the protection and the way he was able to recognize and read coverages, progress through things. Even on that first drive as you mentioned, I thought Van Jefferson's 3rd and 10 catch on the end break was a huge freaking huge play, to be able to extend that drive. But I don't know exactly what we finished at the end, overall stats-wise towards the latter part when you get into some of the four-minute, but I thought Matthew was excellent. You could really see -- you give him a click and he's able to survey it. What a throw to Puka on the right sideline, and he sat in there and deliver it. There was a rush bearing down on him, and he's our guy, and he played like the guy that we all know and love, and I'm sure happy to be able to see him out there competing the way he is with his teammates. He elevates everybody.

Q. Was there a specific moment in the game when you said Matthew (indiscernible)?

SEAN McVAY: I think it was throughout. I thought he was sharp throughout the game. There was a couple plays that -- you show me a great quarterback, I'll show you a guy that's always going to want a couple plays back, and I thought he was best in those biggest moments. Also thought there was a couple that I got in late, even the touchdown run where Kyron scored from seven yards out when we ended up taking the lead, that first coming out of the second half, I thought that was excellent. I got that one in a little late. He recognized it, ended up making a check and got that play off right in time. But his overall command, his communication, just everything that you want your quarterback to represent, this guy is checking all the boxes, and really happy for Matthew.

Q. I know this might be something hard to evaluate in real time, but what did you like about the offensive line?

SEAN McVAY: I think what I liked is the way that they were able to strain. I liked the way they were able to finish towards the latter part of the game. I felt like we had clean pockets for the most part because we weren't in some great situations. We were operating off of some of our 2nd down and longer calls a lot of the day, and that's not usually a good situation that you want to be able to live in, but credit to those guys, and especially handling the noise. This is a great atmosphere and environment. You're absent, your verbal cadence when you get into the shotgun and even underneath the center and some of those tighter areas to the red zone and even if you're backed up. I thought they were really good overall. There was some movement, and you give them credit. Nwosu and some of their guys are really good players on the front. Bobby made some plays in the run game as well as Jordyn Brooks. I thought Coby Bryant made his presence felt. They did a good job, and then it was a credit for the guys to be able to execute because sometimes if they're committing to one thing or the other, you've got to be able to make them pay. But there will always be things that we can clean up, but I just love the grit, I love the toughness, I loved the way they stayed together and stayed connected. That's exactly what we want.

Q. Tyler and Bryson both had plays in the air, but it seemed like they were getting really involved in some of the dirty work, as well. What did they do today?

SEAN McVAY: I think in a lot of instances, those guys are an extension of the offensive line, especially when you're committing them to the blocking surface. I'm glad you brought up Tyler Higbee, captain, guy that really is a glue guy for this football team. I thought that was a huge play that he played 30 yards down the sideline with a good player with Love in coverage on him, he and Matthew had a great rapport on that route. Bryson ended up making a big catch on the crossing route. But I thought those two guys, and Nick Caley does such a good job with that group overall, Jordan, and Davis Allen even got a snap. Even though that was a bad play call I had on the 3rd down that led us to the 4th down where Cam punched it in. Really happy for those guys. They're going to continue to be big parts of what we do moving forward.

Q. Defensive preseason expectations for you guys, you said you were eager to get out there and have them shoot their shot. What do you think the message that was delivered?

SEAN McVAY: I thought they shot their shot. I think it was one game. Here's the reality. Those guys put in a lot of hard work and I was glad that it came to fruition today, but you've got 17 opportunities that are guaranteed, and so what I think is really important is that we understand what a great job with the work that was put in, what a great job accomplishing the goal that we had today, and now how do we enjoy but how do we understand what got you in those positions was the work you put in, was having that growth mindset, and I think this team embodies that. I couldn't care less what's said outside. There might be some change in narratives, and that doesn't affect any way that we'll go about our business right now because if you read it, you feed it, good or bad, and so I don't think that's something that I've ever gotten caught up in, and I don't get the sense that these guys have gotten caught up in other than going and playing as a team, loving one another and playing as hard as they possibly can to be able to do their job because they don't want to let the guy down next to them, and there's a great relationship they have with their coaches. It's a special group. I'm really enjoying it. I certainly love working with this team and want to keep this thing going.

Q. The defense held Seattle to 12 yards in the second half --

SEAN McVAY: Was it 12 yards?

Q. Nine on the last carry.

SEAN McVAY: So three total? Or are you saying 12 plus nine? Either way it's outstanding. That is freaking great. When you're able to get some rush opportunities, you're able to get some of the isolations that we got where Aaron can come to life and then it's not just about Aaron, either. He is a special one of one type of player but there's some guys around him that expected to come in and play well, and I thought they did that, and I can't wait to really dive into this tape and really see. But such a credit to the defensive staff, Raheem's leadership, I thought the three defensive captains with Ernest Jones, with Aaron Donald and with Jordan Fuller, they did a great job, but it was about the whole group's effort today. It felt like they were doing that, and it was why the offense was able to really get going because they felt like they were just getting the ball back, and then I thought it was imperative that offensively we were able to control possession. I want to say we almost had 40 minutes of possession. Anytime you're able to do that, that's usually critical and key for success.

Q. (Indiscernible).

SEAN McVAY: Normally I would have gone for a field goal? Is that what you're saying?

Q. In years past. What kind of decision did you feel that was?

SEAN McVAY: I thought it was confidence in the players' ability to execute that play, and they did it. It's always about those guys. I think the two previous poor play calls set up the good one on 4th down, so I'd like to say we were setting that one up, but we were trying to score on 2nd and 3rd down, as well, and love the way that our guys ended up creating that surface on the edge, and it was great subtle ball handling by Matthew and good job by Cam being able to punch it in.

Q. You expressed confidence in your receivers stepping up, but (indiscernible) what stood out to you?

SEAN McVAY: Just the way they had played. We had gotten opportunities, even though you guys might not have seen it and you maybe had when you had been out to some of the practices, but I'm so proud of those guys but I'm not surprised. That's what Tutu Atwell had been doing going months back, and I thought he really started to play with a lot of confidence towards the latter part of last year when he got his opportunities that were earned. Puka Nacua has come in and he's as mature a rookie as I've ever been around, and he is a physical, tough, strong player. He's got a great way about himself, and both of those guys stepped up, and Van Jefferson is going to continue to be a big part of this, as well. My favorite thing Van did, after we missed the one down the field, he came back on a 2nd down and ended up making a critical catch underneath, got vertical to get us into a 3rd down and manageable, and that's what I want to be able to see from our guys. Guys like Kyron Williams stepped up. But these are the things that when you get a chance to see it come to life every single day, you feel confident that when the lights come on, it's not too big for these guys, and they can play well, and we've got to continue to do it. I'm not surprised because of the confidence that I have in those guys based on the way they go to work every single day.

QB Matthew Stafford

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MATTHEW STAFFORD: Well, hard fought. It was up and down. Obviously started the game nice and then the nice drive was a one tough because that's the way NFL football is. That's a good defense we played. I felt like our guys did a good job of handling the noise. It was loud all day. Coleman led the way up front. They did a great job and kept me clean and was able to click through some progressions and hit some guys. There's still a few I want back. Could have been even better, I think. But it's a good start. There's going to be things to clean up both in the run game and the pass game, but just proud of these guys coming in here and not listening to what everybody else has to say about us and just go out there and play.

Q. So many different types of blocking surfaces today. A lot of guys, tight ends and receivers and linemen and backs being versatile like that, what is that like?

MATTHEW STAFFORD: Yeah, obviously the goal is to give the defense a whole lot to look at. Guys on the edge play all sorts of different blocks, and try to make them think out there and let us go play and play fast. Coach did a great job of getting the game plan together, guys went and executed it. We'll look at this one, try to find a way to be better.

Q. What do you think of the way Tutu stepped up today?

MATTHEW STAFFORD: Yeah, doing a great job. It's what I've been seeing in practice and those guys got to take a lot of confidence in going out there and making plays like that, and again, there's a few I want back but both those guys and could have been even an better day. We'll continue to work hard, continue to try and get better, and see where it takes us.

Q. First time out there since the New Orleans game. Did it take you a minute or so to get into it?

MATTHEW STAFFORD: No, I felt pretty good. Obviously like I said, it's never 100 percent clean, and there's things that -- after I watch the tape I'm sure I'm going to want back. Both fundamentally and just result of the play, as well, but it was a good start.

Q. It's just one win, but how satisfying because outside expectations aren't high and it seems like this team has a chip on its shoulder about that.

MATTHEW STAFFORD: Yeah, I think we're excited because we put the work in. I think the cherry on top is getting to see y'all's reaction to it. I think the big thing for us, though, is we care about it because we put the work in. It wasn't given to us. We've got a bunch of guys earn a bunch of spots on this team no matter what their draft status was, it doesn't matter. Guys put the work in to go get the win and we've got to go out there and do it again.

Q. In terms of leaving last season the way that you did and the conversation this offseason, coming out this way --

MATTHEW STAFFORD: I think I want to come out and play good football. I know I can when I'm healthy and I feel good, and I felt good today. I feel good leaving here, so that feels nice. Our guys up front did a hell of a job keeping me clean and the guys on the outside made some plays. I still have things I can be better at, and I'll continue to try to be better.

Q. Was there a moment in this game or a throw you made where you were like, that's right, I feel healthy?

MATTHEW STAFFORD: I don't know that that was a healthy moment. There was a few I felt pretty good about. That one late in the game to Puka on the sideline was a pretty good shot. Had some movement in the pocket a little bit and he did a great job at the top of the route and had to throw that one to a spot and he did a nice job catching it. There was a few in the game that are always a little bit more high wire act than others.

Q. When you score 20 straight points on the road in the second half, how much of that is rhythm?

MATTHEW STAFFORD: It's execution to be honest with you. The first drive we executed great. We had a couple negative plays. We overcame them, scored. Second drive, a couple penalties, a couple negatives plays, tough to overcome. Tough to do it twice in a game. But just go out there and execute. It's not perfect. Not every play was five yards and a cloud of dust. It might go one yard run, nine yard pass, the next one is an eight yard run, an incomplete pass and a conversion on 3rd down. It's executing one play after the another no matter what the play previous was and our guys did a great job of doing that.

DB Derion Kendrick

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(On the defense's performance today) "We played the best that we could. We did well enough. I had a play where I got undisciplined and it led to a touchdown. I got in on a couple plays, got a couple tackles, got a couple pass break ups, and then I gave up the one [touchdown]."

(On the second half defensive performance and if they felt like they were dominating) "They weren't getting what they wanted. Geno [Smith] likes everything in front of him. He likes everything in front of him or the deep ball. They go for the explosives and then stands on his check downs. If a play breaks down, stay on his check downs, go tackle it or finish the sack. That's what we did."

(On the team's expectations and if the team showed what they can do) "We showed it a little bit. We have to keep it going. Take this week, watch the film, figure out what we need to get better on and come back next week and show them again."

WR Tutu Atwell

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(On how he feels about having a career high game) "I feel great. When my opportunity got called and the ball came my way, I made a play of it. Just get the ball and catch the ball."

(On what he feels is the difference from this season compared to last season) "Just more opportunities. More chances coming my way and I'm just going to make the most of it."

(On how he got settled in the game during the second half) "Just pretty much doing my job. I got a rhythm every time I'm on the field, so I try to make the best of it. Just that one little catch or whatever it may be, that's when I get going."

DB Russ Yeast

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(On the defensive performance) "I'm just happy everybody went out there and flew around. I think we all had fun. It was a sight to see for us all to go out there and have each other's back. It was fun."

(On coming into the game as underdogs and if that worried them) "No, it didn't worry us at all. We've been here. All offseason, [we heard] how bad we are, how we can't do this or can't do that. It was just motivation. We were ready to come out here, have fun and prove everybody wrong."

(On what made the defense effective today) "I think we just played hard. We played physical and we flew around. I think that made a world of difference. Our guys are confident in each other and we all thought we could get the job done."

(On any adjustments they made between the first half and second half) "We just stayed true to what we knew and stayed true to our game plan. We came out here and just wanted to execute a little bit better. Execute better than what we did in the first half on a couple plays we thought kind of got away from us and gave them some opportunities that we thought they shouldn't have had. It was just play sound and continue to trust in each other."

DT Aaron Donald

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(On what made the Rams defense so effective in the second half) "I just think we did a good job. We bottled them up and did better at the run in the second half. We were able to get after them, we got some opportunities to put some pressure on them at times. Guys were flying around and made stops."

(On if any adjustments were made at halftime) "No adjustments. I think we planned good. The couple penalties we got hit with early coupled with the runs they were able to bounce out and hit us real early. We talked about that, then we corrected it, fixed it, and that was that pretty much.

(On what this win does for the Rams team psyche after being the underdog coming in) "We expected this. Obviously, the world didn't know, but this is what we've been seeing at camp -- guys flying around, guys making plays, and we just translated that to the game. So we ain't shocked. We ain't surprised. The world might be, but we expected this."

OL Rob Havenstein

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(On how he felt about protecting Matthew Stafford on the first away game) "With any NFL game you get some good and some bad. I have some stuff to clean up on the outside. I had a couple of bad pressures. It was good to see everyone fighting out there as a unit. Five guys were playing as one, protecting each other. When some guy dropped the ball a little bit, another picked up the slack. We have to look at the film but I was definitely proud of going out and competing."

TE Tyler Higbee

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(On their younger receivers in Week 1) "I've been here since those guys have been here obviously and it's exciting watching them grow into this role they have now. They're great players. I knew they were going to come out and make some plays today and that's what they did. They expect that out of themselves, we expect that out of them as a team, as an offense, and to step up to make those plays."

(On what it felt like to be a part of the team's performance) "It feels good. It's always nice to be able to clear up that stadium before the end of the game. I've been fortunate enough to do that a couple times, it's always nice." 

(On the Rams having a chip on their shoulder this season) "We don't really take outside noise into how we go about (playing). I think the key for us was a shift in training camp. The way we practiced, the way we got after it, the way we competed. That was something that happened the second half of training camp and I think we've been building on it. Guys are just going out there and competing the right way and it was good to see the exact same thing happen here."

LB Ernest Jones

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(On what made him effective in the second half) "In the first half we just knew that everything they had was because of us whether it was missed fits or over-running the ball. The second half, we came out and we said, 'Regardless of the outcome, we are going to play more disciplined,' which is to execute the play. That's what happened."

(On whether the outcome of the game surprised him or not) "It doesn't. It doesn't surprise us at all. We knew coming in that we were going to have a good team and if we play within ourselves, we can play anybody. We're excited to continue to show ourselves."

WR Puka Nacua

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(On how that felt for his first NFL game) "It was a dream come true. It couldn't be any better. Being able to come out with a win, it was a blast. I had a ton of fun out there."

(On what memories he has here and what it was like playing in Seattle again) "I remember when you get the sun to come out, it always feels nice out here in Seattle. So to get back out here and the sun was out, that felt right."

(On if people will think he should've been drafted higher than the fifth round now after his performance today) "I'm not sure, I'm just doing my job. I had the opportunity come my way and I took advantage of it."

(On what expectations he had for himself in this game) "Do my job right every time. There's still things that I need to fix up in the run game, but my expectation was to come out with a win."

Check out some of the best action shots from the season opener vs the Rams at Lumen Field on September 10, 2023. Game action photos are presented by Washington's Lottery. This gallery will be updated throughout the game.

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