The San Francisco 49ers are set to close out the season with a final NFC West showdown against the Los Angeles Rams. San Francisco looks to build momentum heading into the offseason following four-straight wins, while Los Angeles prepares to make its first postseason appearance in 14 seasons.
Take a look at what members of the Rams are saying ahead of their Week 17 matchup against the 49ers.HC Sean McVay on resting starters against 49ers:
"We gave the players and coaching staff off on Monday, so then we came in as a staff. We talked amongst our coaching staff and really, our Head Athletic Trainer Reggie Scott and our Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Ted Rath. We took everybody's kind of opinions into account – what we feel like is best for the team. Certainly, you use the resources like (Defensive Coordinator) Wade Phillips, who's had some experiences that he can draw on. We had something similar like this in Washington when I was there a few years back. That was kind of when we made that decision and then we communicated to the players kind of what our plan is. But for us, everything that we do is intentional and designed to try to be best for our team and for our players, I think they understand that. I know sometimes people might not always agree, but when situations like this come up, we talk about it's a nice luxury to be able to have, but you want to make sure that you handle it the right way for our team. It might not be for every team, but we feel like that's the best approach for us."McVay on QB Jared Goff and RB Todd Gurley being among starters that will rest on Sunday:
"Yeah. They'll be two of the guys that won't play this week."McVay on Goff being the backup quarterback on Sunday:
"Yes, just because we've got two guys. (QB) Sean (Mannion) will start, but Jared will be active and he'll be the backup. He'll be up on game day, but those other guys that we talked about – they'll be inactives."McVay on OT Andrew Whitworth and C John Sullivan playing against the 49ers:
"Yes. They won't play either."McVay on the Rams preparing for the playoffs ahead of Week 17 vs. 49ers:
"I don't necessarily know that we do that, but we did talk about focusing on our process – just getting better every single day. For a couple guys, it might entail helping some of those other guys that will get an opportunity to play a little bit more than what they're accustomed to. But also focusing on getting themselves healthy and focus on some of the fundamentals and the techniques within the frameworks of just what they can do individually regardless of whoever that opponent is. But we've talked about that as a team today. It's clearly been communicated kind of what our plan is going into this game and how that will effect and alter the way that a guy goes about his week. We certainly will get ready for this game the right way. We want to see our guys that are going to get an opportunity to compete, do a great job and you see the Niners coming in here with a lot of really good momentum. They're playing really well on all three phases and it's going to be a great challenge. I think it will be a unique opportunity that presents itself for some of those players that maybe we don't see as much, step up and get opportunities that they typically haven't been accustomed to, but I think it will serve us really well as a team."McVay on Jimmy Garoppolo making the 49ers a different team from Week 3:
"I think when you look at the first time that we played them. I thought (QB) Brian Hoyer played a really good game, did a great job getting in and out of the huddle. They changed some tempos up, made some big plays down the field. You look at some of the things Pierre Garçon was able to do, I thought they ran the ball well. I think when you just look at what Jimmy's done since he's been playing these last couple weeks – he definitely instilled a confidence and energy on their offense. I think Kyle (Shanahan) does a great job putting them in good situations and he's distributing the ball to a variety of playmakers. You look at last week, they're 10-for-15 against Jacksonville on third downs. They're finding ways to make plays through the play action game. They're changing the launch point with some of those run actions that are married with the play-action, where they're changing the launch point as far as a bootleg or some of those where you're actually setting up in the pocket. I think the skillset where he can kind of sped up his delivery at the top, he keeps his eyes down the field. Some of the off schedule plays he's made in the red zone have been really impressive. He's definitely given them a spark. They're playing really well. You even hear some of the comments that his teammates are making in terms of just the confidence that he instills based on swagger and demeanor that he has. They've been playing really good football behind his leadership offensively."Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips on challenges the Rams face against the 49ers:
"Another challenge this week, defensively. They've been playing really good on offense. Their quarterback Garoppolo has obviously done really well. They've won every game with him. It will be a big challenge for us defensively to slow them down a little bit. They scored 44 points against a really good Jacksonville team last week. We've got our work cut out for us."Phillips on his impression of Garoppolo:
"They've won every game and he's played really well. And they've played some good teams. I'm very impressed with him. His poise number one. I know he was with New England. But I think Kyle and those guys have done a great job with him since he's been there. He's obviously ready to play and he knows what they want to do, and he can execute those things. I couldn't be more impressed."QB Jared Goff on being a backup quarterback against the 49ers:
"Yeah, I'll do my best to try to help him on the sidelines and tell him what I see. For the most part there isn't much I can help him with, but there's little things – I played the 49ers earlier this year, there's little tidbits that I can give him here or there. But, ultimately I think he's just excited to be out there and I'm excited to see him play."Goff on how Garoppolo changed the dynamic of the 49ers:
"Yeah, he's done a good job. I think we've seen a little bit of their film in the last three or four weeks. So yeah, he's done a good job and it's good to see. It looks like he's settling in and I know he's won four in a row and just beat Jacksonville who is a good team. So yeah, they're tough and he's a good player. I know our defense is getting ready to play."RB Todd Gurley on not playing against the 49ers in Week 17:
"It's cool. Obviously, it would be a good advantage to be able to get a couple days of extra health knowing you don't have to play on Saturday or Sunday. So, I think that it will be a good thing. But as far as everything else, my body has been fairly great this season, so thank God."