Sunday, December 9th, 2018


“I would say and argue that it’s a much higher level than he did last year.” – McVay on Donald’s play this season

He’s been incredible. I owe a lot of credit to him and everything I’ve been able to do in the last two years.” – Goff on McVay

STAMFORD, Conn. – December 9, 2018 – Football Night in America host Mike Tirico interviews Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay, quarterback Jared Goff, defensive lineman Aaron Donald and offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth for a feature that will air during tonight’s Week 14 edition of FNIA, beginning at 7 p.m. ET on NBC.

Highlights from the feature include:

  • McVay discusses what makes his star players special and what the Rams learned from last season’s playoff loss
  • Goff tells what it’s like to play in McVay’s offense and what he’s learned most from Whitworth
  • Donald discusses what it would mean to set the all-time single-season sack record
  • Whitworth talks about grabbing the attention of sports fans in Los Angeles and what motivated him to help the community impacted by wildfires

Football Night coverage leads into Mitch Trubisky and the NFC North-best Chicago Bears (8-4) hosting Goff and the league-leading Rams (11-1) in a clash of NFC divisional leaders on NBC Sunday Night Football at 8:20 p.m. ET.

Tirico will host Football Night in America at 7 p.m. ET on NBC alongside Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy, two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison, NFL insider Mike Florio, and PFT Live co-host Chris Simms from NBC Sports’ International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn. Liam McHugh will co-host Football Night in America on-site from Soldier Field, and will be joined by the SNF team of Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, and Michele Tafoya.

Below are excerpts from Tirico’s interviews. If used, please note the mandatory credit: “In an exclusive interview airing on Football Night in America.”


McVay on Goff’s leadership and demeanor: “Poised, calm, even-keeled. I think with him, no moment is too big for him. What I love most about Jared is he doesn’t let the circumstances of a game – good or bad – effect the way that he competes as the game progresses. And I think that fearless nature, not being afraid to fail and always attacking success, is something that certainly helps me as a coach and certainly resonates and rubs off on our offense.”

McVay on defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ presence: “He always has a great perspective, and he never pushes things on you … I’m a little bit more uptight and wired than Wade, so it’s good for me to be around him to loosen up a bit.”

Tirico: “You mean there’s a Yin and Yang there between you two?”

McVay: “You can say that, Mike. It’s a Yin and Yang. He’s a great mentor.”

McVay on Donald: “He’s special … What he’s done, and really, he played at such a high level last year. He was Defensive Player of the Year, and I think that was well-deserved. And he’s playing at a really high level (this year) and I would say and argue that it’s a much higher level than he did last year.”

Goff on McVay: “He’s been incredible. I owe a lot of credit to him and everything I’ve been able to do in the last two years. Just the way he coaches, the way he teaches.”

Goff on McVay’s aggressive style as a play-caller: “You could never ask for anything more as a quarterback. You love it. I think there’s situations where you don’t think he’ll do it and he does, and you’re like, ‘Alright, I love it.’ It gets me excited, it gets the whole team excited. We feed off of his energy in practice and in the games.”

Goff on how he would describe receiving a play-call from McVay during a game: “It’s confident. It always comes in with an aura of, ‘This is going to work.’”

Donald on what it would mean to break the all-time single-season sack record: “That would mean a lot. That’s making history. Being in the history books with great players, Hall of Fame players that did things like that and to do it in my fifth year, that would be surreal.”

Donald on using last season’s playoff loss as motivation: “That was probably the most amped up I’ve ever been for a game. I couldn’t sit down. I was just so amped up, so excited about it. So, getting a taste for that, you see and you learn and you know that’s what all the offseason is for – all that hard work, all the training – is to play in big games like that and to have the opportunity to be the world champion.”

Whitworth on Donald: “Aaron is a guy that you really feel good about because it’s what it’s all about – extremely talented, amazing work ethic and has the ability to just do it and never really ask for attention for it, never asks for anything special. He just wants to, every single week, win a thousand times.”

Whitworth on the Rams making a name for themselves in Los Angeles: “You’ve got to make people believe in you. And I think that we’ve started to win, we’ve started to create a winning culture, we’ve started to do things that started to make people want to pay attention. And then, the best way you can really make people trust you, is in a moment of adversity, a moment of tragedy, you don’t just say it’s about football or it’s about coming to our game. You say, how can we say, ‘We love you, we care about you, we want to embrace you. What can we do for the community?’ That’s what that whole week leading up to the Chiefs game was about.”