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Quotes: Coach Brian Daboll, QB Tyrod Taylor, QB Tommy DeVito

Head Coach Brian Daboll

Q: Where are you at with the quarterback decision?

A: I thought (quarterback) Ty(rod) (Taylor) did some good things in the second half of Philly so he earned the right to start this game. Let's get ready for the Rams, really have nothing else to add on it. That's where we're at.

Q: Was there – I guess in the thought process, maybe considering sticking with (quarterback Tommy) DeVito? Did you automatically decide you wanted to go with Tyrod? How was that?

A: Just what I said. Decided to go with Ty, did some good things in the Philly game and earned the right to start.

Q: How much of that was weighing what's best for the moment versus developmental?

A: Just focused on the Rams and try to go out there and play a good game.

Q: What specifically did Tyrod show you in that second half?

A: I just thought he did some good things, so he's earned the opportunity this week.

Q: You mentioned throughout this whole thing that when (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) got hurt, 'I feel he gives us the best chance to win,' you said. Obviously, this is the same thing with Tyrod? That you feel right now that he gives you the best chance to win this game?

A: Yeah, just trying to get ready for the Rams and play a good game.

Q: How did you break it to Tommy and what was your message to him? To the players?

A: We've had those conversations before so keep those private. Getting ready to go on to the Rams.

Q: How did you come out health-wise?

A: Good. We're doing walkthrough today so everybody will be participating in walkthrough.

Q: Is there any update on (punter) Jamie (Gillan)? His groin plus the knee and –

A: We'll see tomorrow but trending in the right direction.

Q: You mentioned the other day about (tackle) Evan (Neal), that he'll need something, some kind of procedure. He should be fine, obviously, after that I would think.

A: We'll he's going to have to have the procedure and then go through rehab and all those other things.

Q: Is it a major thing for him?

A: Any time you get a potential surgery so – but he's done everything we've asked him to do. He's approached everything the right way.

Q: Why not put him on injured reserve earlier in retrospect? And then also, what do you make of his – obviously, a really high pick and his second season and probably didn't go as planned.

A: Look, he's doing everything that we've asked him to do, and I know he'll continue to do that.

Q: Has the surgery been – is that something that you guys talked about earlier in the season and were going to try to hold off until after? Was it something that –

A: This is a conversation we've had and then so he's going to get the surgery, fairly soon, and then rehab and be ready to go.

Q: The Rams have a receiver (Puka Nacua) who's a fifth-round pick who – I don't know what you thought of him coming out of the draft but –

A: Another one that's a third-round pick, right? (Rams wide receiver Cooper) Kupp. They're two really good players, tremendous run after catch. Strong, physical, I mean, they do stuff that tight ends do in the run game, both of them. Got a lot of respect for (Rams Head Coach) Sean (McVay). They've played really well. You know, they were 5-12 last year, started out 3-6 (this) year. (Rams quarterback Matthew) Stafford is as good a quarterback as there is in the league right now, has been for a long time but 5-1, scoring a ton of points, on point, does a great job of getting those guys the ball. He's an exceptional, exceptional player, they do a great job and they're playing really well.

Q: What have you noticed about this kid (Rams defensive lineman) Aaron Donald?

A: One of the best to ever do it. He's always a problem when you play him. As much as you try to gameplan for him, he always finds ways to make plays. He's one of the best defensive players, he's unbelievable.

Q: Why do you think these interior guys like Aaron Donald, even lguys like (defensive lineman) Dexter (Lawrence II), are able to make such a massive impact these days? It seems like they are more impactful on a game then maybe even in the past.

A: Yeah, I'd say there is a number of them. Those are two really good ones you mentioned. You know you can do different things and slide, but it's a little bit different when you have edge guys that you can chip and do different things. When they are inside, they get matched up, whether it's a protection issue, you have to turn some way. Their one-on-ones, they're hard to block. (Donald) is obviously smaller than a guy like Dex but he is as explosive as a player that there's been. He's a fantastic player and he's been that way for a long time.

Q: Do you think Dexter is on a trajectory that other coaches could say the things that you are saying about Aaron Donald about him at some point?

A: Yeah, I don't want to speak for other coaches. I'm glad Dexter is on our team, he's a heck of a player. Hard to block, great teammate, puts the team first, powerful, athletic. Certainly glad we have him.

Q: Is there anything that's changed in them? They're what, 5-1 since the bye?

A: Yeah, Stafford's thrown 15 touchdowns, two interceptions. I mean, he's one of the top quarterbacks in the league, been that way for a long time. Playing good team football, don't have a lot of negative runs, five-plus runs are tops in the league, explosive pass plays. They're playing good football and he's – competed against him, watched him from afar, remember him coming out of Georgia. Great dude, he's one of the top quarterbacks in the league.

Q: When you made the decision to stick with Tommy when Tyrod came off of IR, you said you had conversations with both players throughout the whole process, was there any part of that you talked to both of them and prepared them that what's happened the last week or so is still a possibility, just for both of them to continue moving forward?

A: Yeah, I'd just say both of them are ready to go, doing their job. And when their number is called, expect them to be ready to go.

Q: You said last you didn't want to go week-to-week; the perception is now you kind of went week-to-week. What changed? What's different in your mind?

A: Yeah, Tyrod did some good stuff in the second half, so earned the right to play.

Q: What did you see him able to do with the offense this past week that maybe the offense wasn't able to do when he was playing against the Bills?

A: Yeah, I'd just say Ty's a pro, acquitted himself well and has earned his opportunity.

Q: What goes into the opportunities, the number of opportunities (wide receiver) Jalin Hyatt has on a week-to-week basis?

A: Again, Jalin is doing everything we've asked him to do. We got to do a good job with that, too.

Q: I'm sorry?

A: We got to do a good job with that, too.

Q: Are you suggesting you haven't always done a great job with it?

A: You try. I mean, look, there was three, four, five shots dialed up. Either they stayed high on it, they had a safety over it, but you're always trying to improve in that area.

Q: Is there ever the idea, like maybe this is more of a basketball thing, to make them defend him and his speed?

A: Certainly trying, but we got to continue to work on that

Quarterback Tyrod Taylor

Q: So, I guess you were told yesterday that you will remain the starter, stay the starter?

A: Yes.

Q: Surprised, not surprised?

A: It's part of the business. Thankful for the opportunity. Looking forward to getting out on the field with the guys this weekend and competing.

Q: What did you like or not like about what you did in the second half last week?

A: I think there was some positives to take away from it. I think as a team we were able to create a spark, obviously put some points on the board. Still some plays that were left out on the field. I think it was definitely some positives to take away from that game.

Q: Did you know, I mean I know you try not to get involved with these decisions, but did you think that you would be able to get a chance to win back a starting job?

A: I never had my focus there. My focus day in and day out was to prepare and stay ready for if my number was called to be out there, to be able to go out and execute at a high level.

Q: You've obviously been on the other end of this right? Sometimes nothing you can do about it. What do you say to a young quarterback who is in the other side of this?

A: Yeah, stay engaged, stay ready. I mean as a quarterback you are literally one play away. Your preparation shouldn't change, your attitude shouldn't change. The quarterback is the leader, whether they want to be or not, so a lot of people look towards us during down times to see how we respond. Obviously, when everything's up, everyone's happy, but in down times you look towards your leaders to see how you respond. So, that would be my message to any young player dealing with it, I've been through enough – not enough, I've been through a lot. I've had a chance to learn from each situation.

Q: You've been kind of through the peaks and valleys of starting, not starting. I mean, is it almost second nature to you now that you don't react when you do get the start and when you don't get the start?

A: I think that's just who I am. I try to stay as level as possible, through the highs and the lows. Life is a roller coaster, how you endure the storms and how you endure the ups and downs I think speaks to your character.

Q: How did that 69-yard play to (wide receiver Darius) Slayton break down? It was something that I'm not used to seeing very much this season.

A: One of our levels concepts, and we had a chance to get in one-on-one with the safety. I think he got on the safety faster than the safety expected. From my perspective, whenever we see a receiver even with the safety, then we give them a chance. Slayton did a great job of tracking the ball coming out of his break and ultimately still scoring on that play. To be able to have the body control on the side and after the stiff arm and to be able to get in the endzone. It was just a truly big play. You want to create as many explosives that you can week in and week out, and that was clearly one of our bigger plays of the game.

Q: He's going to beat pretty much any safety though, right?

A: Oh, for sure. I mean, I like our matchup with him on any safety.

Q: How much does it mean to you to get the start here?

A: It means everything to me. I mean, obviously the work that you put in week in and week out. I've been playing this game for a long time and anytime I get a chance to lace up the cleats and go out and compete means the world to me. That's where I'm the happiest, and it's what I love to do, to be able to go out and not only show your peers but prove to yourself what you could do.

It's not a me thing. It's a team sport, and I'm excited for our guys to go out for these last two weeks to put our best foot forward and to compete at a high level. Regardless of playoffs or not, there's always something to play for and that's the mindset that we've got to have.

Q: There's an appeal of youth of course in just about every profession. What does it mean to you that it came back around, and you do have a chance to finish things out here a certain way whether your contract is up or not?

A: It means a lot. Like I said, I'll take any opportunity to be able to go out and play. It's a privilege, and I know the work that I put in day in and day out. So, I'm definitely excited. Like I said, I know we're out of the playoffs but there's a lot to play for, and I'm excited to go out there and compete with these guys in the locker room. Guys are still encouraged. Obviously, it wasn't the season that we wanted, but we have all of it in front of us to finish it out the way that we want to. There're still goals within this locker room that we know that we can achieve.

Q: Obviously, you have tape out there, but you're a free agent this offseason. How much do you look at this as an audition like, 'Hey, this is what I can still kind of do?'

A: I'm focused on the Rams.

Quarterback Tommy DeVito

Q. How did you react to (quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor) starting this week?

A: I'm going to continue to be a good teammate. Obviously, it's a coaches' decision. I have no, obviously, say or anything in that but I'm going to continue to be a good teammate, go out and compete. That's it.

Q. How did you get the word?

A: I was told yesterday.

Q. What was the message to you?

A: That they we're going to stick with them.

Q. No reasoning? Like what you need to do?

A: No, it was just they were going to stick with him.

Q. When you looked and studied what you did in the first half in Philly, what did you see that you liked and what did you see that you didn't like as much?

A: There were two plays to me that stood out. One, I ended up getting down to a check down, that was kind of a scramble throw away. Then I think two third downs that if I could've went back, maybe would've did something a little different but besides that, I'm always the hardest critic but those two are really the ones that stood out to me.

Q. What happened on the fourth down play? It was a fourth down, (running back) Saquon (Barkley) go stopped for a big loss there.

A: There were a couple options that were there. I made a decision, we rolled with it, just did not execute the play.

Q. Did you and Tyrod talk at all after the decision was made? Like did he say anything to you or you to him.

A: You talking about today or in the game?

Q. Yesterday when you found out that they were going to go with Tyrod and stick with Tyrod.

A: I mean, not necessarily right after that because we weren't in the same room together when it happened, but it's kind of like a common, like a mutual – we know where we're at. This kind of happened a couple of weeks ago when it was vice versa when it was me, but we still respect each other, we're here, we're teammates to each other, and that's that.

Q. Tyrod's always said that his job as a backup is just to be ready. Is that going to be your approach?

A: Yeah, it's going to be the same thing I was doing however many weeks ago I was prior to when I got my first start so same deal. Process will stay the same, and then just stick to my routine.

Q. When you found out yesterday, you've had like 24 hours or so to process, what have you made of this experience of starting and coming into it? And now unfortunately, getting benched?

A: The same thing I've said since the beginning. Stay even keeled through it all. Never too high, never too low because like I said, when you're up, everybody loves you. When you're down, everybody hates you so for me, it's just stay even throughout it all. That's why I'll be mellow and good through it all.

Q. During the last month or so, what's the number one thing you think you've learned about yourself as a quarterback?

A: That I belong. In the NFL, specifically. I mean, just to go out and to prove that to myself. To the younger me, to the me that was training to be here to this point. That's all it is.

Q. I think the one thing that a lot of people enjoyed watching you was that you didn't force it. I mean, is that something you learned while doing this or has it always been something you've done?

A: Force it as?

Q. I mean, if there's not a play to be had, you don't try to force the play into a protection or something, like a coverage.

A: There's give and take with that. I think I did do that twice early on. When I first got in, two of them were interceptions. One with the Raiders and then one against the Cowboys, so definitely learned from those experiences but there is a give and take. There are times to be aggressive, not reckless, so just going to continue to have that balance.

Q. Are you proud of what you've shown?

A: So far, yes. Obviously, ways to grow. I'm just going to continue to watch the film in the past and continue to learn from Ty, and just lean on my teammate to be the best thing that I can.

Q. How confident are you there's more starting opportunities to come for you moving forward?

A: I don't know what the future holds, let alone tomorrow. I'm just going to continue to be here, be in the moment. Just try to give my all and be my best every day.

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