Week 7 features an NFC West showdown as the San Francisco 49ers are ready to host the undefeated Los Angeles Rams. Here's what the Rams locker room has been saying about Sunday's matchup against the 49ers.
Head coach Sean McVay on the revived 49ers-Rams rivalry:
"It's a big game because it's our next game. Obviously, I just have so much respect and appreciation for this organization because of the family history and my grandfather being a part of five world championships. Then, I have a whole lot of respect for Coach (Kyle) Shanahan, John Lynch, really Jed York. Those guys have been great to me. I've learned some much from working for Kyle. I know what a great football coach he is. They've got a lot of great players on their team. I think (C.J.) Beathard has done an excellent job. You talk about putting guys in spots to make plays, create explosives. They've got a great marriage of their run and their pass game. You can see they can do a lot of different things, specifically out of 21 personnel with how versatile (Kyle) Juszczyk is. George Kittle is a really, really good tight end that's making a lot of plays and really demonstrating that he's a complete player. Then, obviously, when they got (Marquise) Goodwin back you could see just the explosiveness. He's able to take the top off the coverage and the way that you've got to defend him just because of that track speed. Pierre Garcon, having history with him, what a tough, physical player he is. They're physical. They're tough up front, well-coached. On the defensive side of the ball, Robert Saleh does an excellent job. They've got a heavy rotation up front of a lot of big, physical guys that can rush and play the run. They've got speed on the second and third levels. Then, really, with their special teams coach, Richard Hightower – I shared an office with him back in Washington. Can't say enough about what a great job he's done. You can see this is a well-coached team and it's going to be a great challenge for us."
McVay on his friendship with Kyle Shanahan:
"We keep in touch just every now and then during the season. I reached out to him after (49ers QB) Jimmy (Garoppolo) had gotten hurt. I just have so much respect and appreciation just watching the way that he's led in spite of some of the tough circumstances they've had to overcome. I think that says as much about him as anything, the way that he's handled adversity as a leader for their football team. I just have a lot of respect for that because I can only imagine that's not easy. We'll talk when we go through the (NFL Scouting) Combine and different things like that, but I don't think we're going to be exchanging ideas until after the season."
Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips on the success of the 49ers offense:
"This team we're playing, I know their record isn't good but when you look at the offense the last two weeks they're over 400 yards. They're number three in rushing in the league, the young quarterback has come in and really played well. They scored 30 points last week in Green Bay, so I don't see anything wrong with their offense for sure. They look strong in that area and the quarterback has filled in really well for them."
Phillips on the similarities between McVay and Shanahan's offenses:
"They're both very innovate. They cause problems for defenses. They're not exactly the same. They both get their teams to execute well. Like I said, this team they lost their quarterback which was a big deal for them. They lost their running back who they traded for and they're averaging 400 yards a game the last two games, with a backup quarterback and basically the running backs they didn't expect to have and they're one of the top rushing teams. They teach their teams to execute well and I think that's the real key to both of those guys."
QB Jared Goff on the rivalry between the 49ers and Rams:
"I think just the history of like L.A., Bay Area – all sports rivalry is kind of a theme. (San Francisco) Giants, (Los Angeles) Dodgers tends to be pretty heated. Now that we've moved to L.A., the San Francisco rivalry is pretty obvious and it's a fun one. It's a lot of fun to go up there personally, to play up there in front of a lot of people I know. A lot of people that I grew up with that are still Niners fans is the best part to kind of get a chance to play against them and have them kind of maybe root against me. It's fun."
Goff on if he feels confident because of the 49ers lack of takeaways:
"No, I don't think so. I think you respect them. They've got a guy like Richard Sherman over there who's had a bunch of takeaways in his career and I'm sure led the league at one point in takeaways in a season. Guys like that always keep you aware and keep you on your toes. We've got to play really well this week."
RB Todd Gurley on what he notices from the 49ers defense:
"They have Richard Sherman, everybody knows what type of player he is. Reuben Foster's coming on, second year in the league. Then up front, they've got some stop guys as in, Solomon (Thomas), (DeForest) Buckner – all those guys. Definitely looking forward to it. They've been out there making plays. Got a chance to watch the game Monday night. Those guys were definitely making some plays, but I feel like we can go out there and as long as we do, we do execute and the rest will take care of itself. Obviously, just coming off the game that we had, probably going to be the plan to stop the run, but it doesn't matter. At the end of the day, we have to go out there and win our one-on-ones and then just run the ball."
DT Ndamukong Suh on the uniqueness of the 49ers run game:
"They've got a great running team. They like to be in two backs a lot of the time. And even in oddball situations where most teams in this league would go in a passing situation 10 or an 11-personell, or even a 12 to give a different look, they choose to run the ball. So even in 2nd-and-9 or 2nd-and-10, they're still in 21-personnel and still try to run the ball."
Suh on the 49ers playing better than their record indicates:
"Having watched that game on Monday night live against Green Bay, they definitely seemed like they were in that game and they should've won. But, I think for them, it comes down to turnovers where they have not been successful as a team, from my recollection of watching film and understanding certain things. We all know in this league if you're not winning the turnover battle you're most likely not winning the game."
WR Brandin Cooks on facing the 49ers defensive backs:
"You're looking at a defense that's out there playing at a high level. You've got guys like (Richard) Sherman on that side of the ball. You can talk about everybody. It brings a challenge week in and week out, and we're looking forward to the matchup."
Cooks on the 49ers Week 6 loss to the Packers:
"It was a great game. You talk about going on the road into a hostile atmosphere and playing the way they did. That speaks highly of the type of guys that they have and the type of football that they can play."
Cooks on not overlooking the 49ers record through six weeks:
"You're looking at a team that's been losing close games. It's not blowouts. You've got guys that are losing close games. So when you see a team like that, they could easily be 5-1 or whatever the case may be. So we've just got to focus on doing what we've got to do and stay focused on the task at hand and everything will take care of itself."
CB Nickell Robey-Coleman on the challenges of the 49ers offense:
"These guys, they're not what people think they are. Their record doesn't show who they really are. This team is a really good team. They do a lot of great things well. They've got some great players that can make plays. Even though (Jimmy) Garoppolo is out, they still have guys. C.J. (Beathard) the backup – he's the backup, but he's good. He's not a guy off the street. He's got good mechanics, he can make all the throws. He can throw deep. Obviously, we've seen it against Green Bay. Had a couple of deep balls. They look like a real connected team. It's just the record doesn't reflect what they're doing right now."
Robey-Coleman on the similarities between McVay and Shanahan's offense:
"There's a lot of similarities with formations, routes, motions, man ID's. They do a lot of things similar as far as from a system base and from a scheme standpoint. But as far the players, I would say the players are different on each team. But as far as schematically, we're pretty much the same."
Robey-Coleman on the difficulties Kyle Juszczyk brings to opposing defenses:
"He's a great guy. He's a nice piece for their offense. Versatile. He can catch out of the backfield. He can block. He can catch screens. So the flavor of guys they have around in their system fits perfectly in what Kyle Shanahan does. It isn't so much of the players, it's so much of Kyle Shanahan and his offensive scheme and the way that he thinks."