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Sean McVay: “This is when you learn about people”

Mike Florio and Peter King look ahead to the Cowboys-Rams matchup in Week 5 to examine why Mike McCarthy doesn’t believe Dallas is the underdog, assess Matthew Stafford’s capabilities and more.

The Rams have lost two games in the past six days, thanks in large part to scoring a total of 19 points in eight quarters. After Sunday’s 22-10 loss to the Cowboys, coach Sean McVay talked about his 2-3 team.

“This is some adversity that we’re facing right now as a football team,” McVay told reporters. “You find out a lot about people when you do go through that. I’m going to continue to stand up here and do the best I can for this team. It’s not good enough right now. I’ll never pretend that it is. . . . But this is a challenging time right now, but I can assure you one thing, we’re going to keep swinging, we’re going to keep fighting. This is when you learn about people. I’m excited about the opportunity to be able to grind through some challenging times, see if we can come out on the right end of this, because I know I’m not going to fold. I know these coaches aren’t, and I know a lot of these players aren’t.”

So what can he do to fix the offense?

“There’s a lot of different things,” McVay said. “But we’ve got to be able to run the football efficiently, and then when we do not run the football efficiently, we’re having trouble protecting and being able to hold up and then you can’t give yourself a chance to let things develop. I love Matthew Stafford. He is competing and doing everything in his power for this team. He needs some help, and we’ve got to be able to help him.”

Improving the offensive line would help. What can McVay do along those lines?

“I don’t know if I have that answer right now,” McVay said. “But we’ve got to be able to figure it out, whether it’s guys that are playing right now or whether we need to figure out some other options. But it’s not good enough and it’s not exclusive to one player, to one position. But there are some things that consistently are glaring issues for us, that are preventing us a chance to be able to operate at a level that you guys have seen from us. But that doesn’t matter right now. This is where we are and this is the moment that we’re in.”

In the moment they’re in, is there a disconnect with the team, mentally?

“I think there’s a lack of execution,” McVay said. “I think that’s really what I would say. A disconnect, I think there’s a challenge right now. I don’t know if I’d use that word. I think it’s more, you’re in the midst of some adversity. It’s not a good movie right now. It’s not something that we’re accustomed to. But the story isn’t written yet. This is only final if we allow it to be. So we’ve got a lot of football left. The urgency has to start to increase and we’ve got to be able to see it. But it’s been two weeks in a row that it’s been really challenging. Hey, to say that we’ve never been here before wouldn’t be accurate. We’ve gone through some adversity before and I’ve seen guys come out on the right end. But we have to be able to play better. We have to figure out what do our guys do best. If that means shifting the identity of some of the things that maybe we’ve done here, that’s our job as coaches, and I’m going to work hard to try to figure out what that best step is to be able to even just take a step in the right direction. Like I’ve said all along up here, that’s all we can do.”

Whatever the problem, McVay made it clear that it’s not an issue with the quarterback.

“I think he’s doing everything he can,” McVay said of Stafford. “I think he needs more help. I think guys got to play better around him. We’ve got to be able to help him be able to give himself a chance to sit on his back foot just past even a hitch on some things. But I love Matthew Stafford. I’ll ride with that guy to the end of time. He’s continuing to do everything in his power to try to help our team move the football, score points, and we got to be able to help him out more.”

Last year, they lost three games in a row in November, but they managed to turn it around. The current problem is that it doesn’t feel like they have the talent to turn it around, beyond a handful of guys.

We’ll see what they can do. The organization’s eff-them-picks mindset could make the Rams buyers at the trade deadline, which is only 23 days away. That’s how they got Von Miller last year. This year, they need the offensive line equivalent of Von.

If such a player is even available. Usually, great offensive linemen like that aren’t.

For now, the Rams have some time. A woeful Carolina team comes to town before a Week Seven bye. After that, however, stuff gets real again with a visit from the 49ers, a trip to Tampa, and a showdown with the Chiefs looming.