American Football

Another lost season won’t derail Sean McVay’s Hall of Fame path


NFL: Super Bowl LVI-Los Angeles Rams at Cincinnati Bengals
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Nothing can take away from his early success

Typically when things are bleak in the present, it’s insignificant to reflect upon the successes of the past. For the Los Angeles Rams, all they’re hoping for is a return to glory which probably won’t come in 2023, contrary to what Kevin Demoff believes.

If there’s one takeaway among the many that Rams faithful had when reading Demoff’s letter to season ticket holders is that Sean McVay’s leadership deserves to be praised. To think that there were fans questioning his commitment to football and calling him a coward for considering an early retirement. There were those who even had the nerve to call him a bad coach after his first losing record in six seasons.

To those haters I stick my tongue out and say to heck with you! You don’t know how good you have it with the Rams. Throughout McVay’s six-year tenure with Los Angeles, the Rams have done nothing but win, something they rarely did prior to his arrival. Back in his first year, Sean McVay led the team to their first playoff appearance since 2004. He transformed Jared Goff from a potential bust to a budding young talent leading an offense that was scoring points in bunches.

The Rams didn’t look back once as the next year they won 13 games and made a Super Bowl appearance for the first time since the Greatest Show on Turf era. From there, the “Sean McVay effect” was born and the NFL would never be the same again. Between 2017-21, LA’s success was unprecedented and McVay carried his squad to remarkable heights.

Despite coming off a down campaign, McVay should still be considered among the greatest coaches in history if he keeps this pace up. Yes, including if the Rams suffer through a second-straight Hollywood snoozer. Sean has all the time in the world to build his legacy and one more rough year won’t do anything to tarnish it.

Think of all-time great quarterback and head coach pairings. Your mind pops up with names like Chuck Noll/Terry Bradshaw, Bill Belichick/Tom Brady, Sean Payton/Drew Brees and Bill Walsh/Joe Montana for example. Legendary figures in their own right.

Sean McVay is in a class of his own as he’s never had a long-term signal caller at his disposal. A loose comparison to him in Canton in that regard would be Joe Gibbs who famously won three Super Bowl with three different starting quarterbacks. McVay went to the Big Game with Jared Goff and then returned three seasons later with Matthew Stafford at the helm. Plenty of games have been won in LA by both QBs under their guidance of their wunderkind HC. Prior to 2022, this is what McVay had accomplished:

Once he finally got to the mountaintop with Stafford, McVay was the youngest to ever do it. One or two bad years will never take that away from him. For better or worse, his lasting impact on the league has forever changed coaching hiring practices. Just about every broadcaster has joked that getting a cup of coffee with Sean McVay will earn them a head coaching stint. Perhaps there’s some truth to that statement. I wonder if I could score a dinner with him. My offensive resume in Madden speaks for itself and I have a hunch I could really woo him. Anyways, McVay’s coaching tree is crazy for some under 40.

Matt LaFleur, Kevin O’Connell, Brandon Staley (my condolences Chargers fans) and Zac Taylor have each gotten hired to run teams thanks to being on McVay’s staff. LaFleur won 13 games in each of his first three years in Green Bay. Staley and O’Connell led their teams to a playoff berth in ‘22. Taylor found his footing after a brutal start and led his Bengals to the Super Bowl where they lost to LA. Each of those teams have bright futures because of who they hired to lead them. All of those front offices have Sean McVay to thank for that.

Most analysts have counted out LA already with March nearing a close and the draft on the horizon. Based on how the first couple weeks of the offseason have fared, no one would blame the talking heads for thinking this way. Their barely-there roster seeing numerous big names being shown the door isn’t inspiring any confidence.

The Rams will see brighter days once more and McVay will lead them back to glory. He did it before and who’s to say he won’t do it again? LA came out of nowhere and surprised in 2017. There is no better time to see a quality Hollywood reboot, even if it has a bunch of B-movie stars headlining the cast.

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