How Sean McVay made the Los Angeles Rams into a championship team
There’s no doubt Sean McVay is one of the best if not the best young offensive minded coaches in the NFL and he has had a huge impact on the Los Angeles Rams since being hired. What were the Rams like in the year prior to the hiring of McVay? Under Fisher many looked at Jared Goff after his rookie season as though it was with certainty he was going to be a bust and in Todd Gurley’s 2nd season in the NFL it looked like his rookie season was a fluke and that he also would be a bust. How did McVay change the offense, coaching staff and roster? This article will examine those aspects of Sean McVay’s tenure as head coach of the Los Angeles Rams, but before we begin to look at that let’s first dive into the career path of Sean McVay.
Sean McVay’s Rise to Head Coach of the Rams
Sean McVay first started off as an assistant wide receivers coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he spent the 2008 season. In 2009 he was hired as the quality control/wide receiver coach of the UFL’s Florida Tuckers where he spend one season. The Washington Redskins hired McVay as the assistant tight ends coach in 2010 where he spent one season before being promoted in 2011 as the tight ends coach for three seasons before being promoted once again in 2014 as the offensive coordinator for the Redskins a position he held from 2014-2016 and then in 2017 he was hired as the head coach of the Los Angeles Rams.
Offensive change under McVay
In the year prior to McVay’s hiring the Rams had a predictable offense that struggled putting up points on the scoreboard. The 2016 Los Angeles Rams averaged 14 points per game which was well below the league average for that season and the Rams finished with a record of 4-12 which was 3rd best in the NFC West. In McVay’s first year as the Rams coach they improved their record to 11-5 which was good enough for 1st in the NFC West and they averaged almost 29 points per game and had 8 Pro Bowlers and 7 All Pro players on their roster, but lost in the Wild Card round to the Atlanta Falcons. This season the Rams improved their record once again to 13-3 winning the NFC West for the 2nd season in a row and had four players named All Pro including two 1st team All Pro in Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald. They also improved their scoring average per game to a little over 32 points per game. To say McVay has improved the Rams offense would be an understatement as he has improved them to be one of the best offenses in the NFL after being an anemic offense prior to his hire.
Key Coaching Staff Hires
The biggest additions the McVay made to the coaching staff was the hiring of OC Matt LaFleur and the more significant hire of Wade Phillips. Matt LaFleur only spent one season with McVay as the offensive coordinator, but McVay tutelage and respect from around the NFL were key reasons for LaFleur’s rise to become the Green Bay Packers head coach. Wade Phillips who was the DC for the Broncos the year Denver won the Super Bowl was a bigger higher as he improved a team that was allowing 24.625 points per game to 20.56 points per game after being hired and although the Rams have slipped a little on defense this season allowing 24 points in the regular season he still remains one of the better DCs in the NFL.
Sean McVay has made a lot of key acquisitions on both sides of the ball since being hired. On offense the Rams drafted Cooper Kypp, Josh Reynolds and Gerald Everett which are three of the Rams top five receivers. He also traded for or signed Andrew Whitworth, Robert Woods, John Sullivan and Brandin Cooks with Woods and Cooks both being 1,000 yard receivers this season and Whitworth and Sullivan helping to form one of the NFL’s better offensive lines. On defense the Rams drafted Samson Ebukam who has become one of their better linebackers. They traded for or signed Marcus Peters, Sam Shields, Aqib Talib, Ndamukong Suh and Dante Fowler which has help to improve the defense of the Rams.
There is no doubt Sean McVay is one of the brightest young coaches in the NFL and with the way the roster in constructed we could be seeing the start of a new dynasty in the NFL with the Los Angeles Rams.