It's time to check out what's being said down in Southern California as the Los Angeles Rams prepare for a primetime matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. The Rams are looking to redeem themselves following three straight losses to San Francisco dating back to 2015, while the 49ers are looking for their first win of the season.
On the eve of the divisional battle, take a look at what members of the Rams are saying ahead of Thursday night's contest:
HC Sean McVay on Kyle Shanahan:
"As a person, I think he's a great guy. He's one of my closest friends where you get to know him and really, just have enjoyed spending time with him, getting to know what's important to him as far as the family, the football, he's a great dad, great husband, all those different things. But, in terms of a football coach, he sees the game excellent. He's got a great way about being able to scheme things up, understands football from a 22-man perspective where he understands all the little nuances both offensively and defensively and how to manipulate certain schemes that people are running. Really, he's had a huge influence on some of the things that we believe in here, philosophically on the offensive side of the football and I think he's a great coach."
McVay on having a close relationship with an opposing coach:
San Francisco and Los Angeles have a long history, going back to 1950. Here are photos from the 49ers home games.
"I think it's always fun when you go against people that you know, but it's about trying to put our players in good spots, making sure that we're smart and sound with the schemes that we're implementing. I think there's a competiveness that comes into play. You look at some of the things from last week's game and then leading into it, it makes it fun. But, really once that things kicks off, it's just another game and we have got to try to do a good job of coming away with the win."
OC Matt LaFleur on similarities and differences between Shanahan and McVay:
"First and foremost, both those guys are extremely detailed and two of the most knowledge football minds that I've been around. It was a great experience working for both those guys.
"They're a little bit different personality wise, but again, when it comes down to football, both two of the brighter minds that I've ever been around and I feel pretty fortunate that I was able to learn from those guys."
LaFluer on coaching against his brother, 49ers wide receivers coach Mike LaFleur:
"(Laughs) No awkwardness. It will be interesting. This is the first time I've ever been in that situation and especially the last two years we were together in Atlanta, it was a great experience, especially when you get to go to a Super Bowl with your brother. Really, I know so many guys on that staff, I've coached with a lot of those guys before, whether it was in Houston or in Washington, so I'm sure there will be some mixed feelings because you always want your closest friends and obviously in my brother's case, I always want them to do well, but not at the cost of our team and what we're trying to accomplish here."
DC Wade Phillips on preparing for Pierre Garçon and the offense:
"Well, the running backs made a lot of explosive plays and they've got one receiver that's a world-class sprinter, so they can throw the deep ball. We played the quarterback (Brian) Hoyer when he was with the Browns and he had thrown for 470 yards the game before, so this guy is capable. He's got really good receivers and they have a pretty good offensive line. The running back is one of the top running backs in the league. What did he go for one hundred and something against Seattle? And, they have a pretty good defense there, so it's going to be a challenge for us. They've got to be licking their chops. They had 159 yards last week against Seattle and now they're playing us who gave up two hundred and something,"
QB Jared Goff on facing the 49ers defensive front:
"Yeah. You know, they've drafted really well upfront defensively and have consistently for the last few years with (DL Arik) Armstead, you know (DL DeForest) Buckner and the guy they just got with (DL Solomon) Thomas this past year, so those two guys from Oregon are big guys that I've played in the past. They do get their hands up and have the ability to knock passes down. It really does make it difficult at times, so it's something that we've got to be aware of. But, at the same time, we're going to treat them like any other defense and do our thing. As long as we execute, we feel pretty confident in what we can do."
Goff on the 49ers secondary:
"They're good. We played them last year so I have some experience with some of the guys they're returning. They're good, they're long. They're long and have good ability to get across the field. They've got some big guys in the back half as well in the safeties and have the ability to come down hill pretty strong, so it'll be a good game. You get guys that I've faced once in the past, so I have a little bit of experience with them, but they've all improved and it'll be exciting to play them again."
RB Todd Gurley on going up against San Francisco's run defense:
"I mean obviously their front seven are just big physical, you got (DeForest) Buckner and (Arik) Armstead. They're not your average D-linemen – they're guys that are 6'7, 270, so you know, long arm guys. Have one of the best linebackers in the league in NaVorro (Bowman) and Ray-Ray (Armstrong) beside him and obviously Reuben (Foster) – I'm not sure if he's playing or not. But they've been flying around to the ball this year, you can definitely tell that for sure. They played Seattle pretty tough at Seattle which is pretty damn hard to do. Obviously, we haven't beat them in the last three tries, so they're 0-2 so they're going to be looking for their first win and we're going to be looking for our first road win and division win, so it's just something we're going to have to take care of for sure."
Gurley on the 49ers focus to stop the run:
"Last year when we came up there, they stopped everything. We didn't get it going, but it doesn't matter. At the end of the day, everybody knows (Packers QB) Aaron Rodgers or (Lions QB) Matthew Stafford are going to throw the ball 50 times, but can you stop them from throwing touchdowns. Everybody knows Dallas (Cowboys) is going to run the ball, but can you stop them. At the end of the day, they know what we're going to do and we know what they're going to do. It's about winning 1-on-1 match-ups and going out there and out-whipping your dude more than he does you."