Sean McVay: “Changes need to be made” after Rams’ 3-5 start; Jalen Ramsey slams LA offense

In his more than six years as Rams coach, Sean McVay has often shown optimism and confidence. That wasn’t the case on Sunday, however, when the NFL’s youngest head coach was frustrated after his team’s 16-13 loss to the Buccaneers.

The 36-year-old coach didn’t hold back as he opened up about the Rams’ current eight-game state. Los Angeles is 3-5 and threatens to become the 16th team to miss the playoffs a year after winning the Super Bowl. In fact, the Rams only missed the playoffs under McVay in 2019, a year after reaching the Super Bowl.

“Changes have to be made. Adjustments have to be made,” said McVay from the podium after the game. “We can’t go on like this. And you know what that looks like, I don’t necessarily have the exact answers right now. … I’m a big part of it. I have to do better. We’re going to stay connected throughout it, but we need to be able to look inside and find out what some of the solutions, changes, adjustments, different things are that we need to do to be able to have different and different production out of it our offense.”

It should come as no surprise that McVay specifically mentioned the offense when assessing his team’s shortcomings. Sunday marked the fifth time this season that Los Angeles had gone under 20 points. Despite likely Hall of Famer quarterback Matt Stafford and reigning receiving champion Cooper Kupp, the Rams’ offense in the NFL is only 29th in scoring, 31st in rushing and 27th in red-zone efficiency.

McVay is certainly kicking himself after his conservative approach backfired in the final moments of Sunday’s loss. The Rams’ defense protected a four-point lead and forced a turnover on downs, allowing the offense to return the ball with a 1:52 lead. After the Buccaneers capitalized on their last two timeouts, Los Angeles faced a third and fifth from their own 12-yard line with 1:39 left. Instead of throwing the ball, the Rams called on Darrell Henderson, who picked up a yard.

Los Angeles were forced to tie giving Tom Brady another shot at the win. As he has done dozens of times before, Brady led the Buccaneers to a winning drive at the last minute.

“The defense shouldn’t have gone back to the field. Simple,” an emotional Jalen Ramsey said via NFL Media after the game. “We must have some dogs that will fetch it. We shouldn’t come to the sidelines after a big stop like this and our coaches or the other side or whoever tells us, ‘We’re going to need you all again. We will need you all again.’ like what the [expletive] We just made a big stop, trading on the downside, with a minute and some change left and no time out for anyone.

“I must have some dogs that are like this, man, [expletive] All of that, we’re going to end this game now. Good stop. We will finish the game for you all. In that sense, we have to play each other out. You know what I mean? That’s what I mean when we say we shouldn’t have gone there. It is what it is. It’s not the first time this has happened. This has actually happened several times this year. [expletive].”

It is clear that there is dysfunction and frustration in the dressing room. Luckily for the Rams, they have time to fix their problems. The Rams still possess some of the best players in the league, led by future Hall of Famer defensive tackle Aaron Donald. There’s also the prospect of the offense re-signing Odell Beckham Jr. as he nears the end of his recovery after his knee injury suffered in the Super Bowl. The Rams’ running game could also revive with the return of Cam Akers.

The Rams also have one of the best coaches in the league in McVay, determined to find solutions, not excuses.

“There’s a lot of things we need to keep looking at,” McVay said. “I think everything has to be up for debate. … As coaches, it’s our responsibility to identify the problems and try to offer solutions, and then it’s the players’ job to be able to execute them and get them done.

“I have to be able to do my part first and foremost so that they can do their bit. That’s where you always look, you know, you want to look inside first. … And like I’m going to do, let’s keep saying and like I’ll always say, we’re in this together and we’re going to fight our way out and keep fighting.”


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