Los Angeles Rams have gained a lot of clarity over the course of the past 24 hours. On top of hiring Sean McVay as head coach and Wade Phillips as defensive coordinator, GM Les Snead was also told he will retain his position. It was a whirlwind of a day.
Snead and COO Kevin Demoff officially introduced McVay as the Rams coach today. The Rams embraced the Hollywood persona surrounding the team prior to the press conference starting on their Twitter page.
Let's do this. New era of Rams Football. pic.twitter.com/KuKi0emZp3— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) January 13, 2017
Demoff kicked off the press conference by stating that the Rams had three qualities that an incoming coach must have: He must be a skilled communicator, an innovative tactician, and an energetic presence.
A tidbit that I found interesting is the advisers that the Rams used during this process. We knew that Jon Gruden had advised the Rams front office, but it turns out that they turned to Tony Dungy as well. For all their faults, you have to give the team credit for doing their homework through this process.
Per Demoff, McVay was a “Perfect Fit” for the Rams opening.
The man of the hour then took over the podium. McVay dedicated the first portion of his statement to thanking those who had helped him rise through the coaching ranks quickly.
He thanked Kroenke and his commitment to bringing a championship to Los Angeles. The list of coaches that have had a hand in developing McVay is extensive and impressive. He credited Jon Gruden for giving him the foundation for his offensive knowledge, Mike Shanahan for showing him commitment to a process, and Jay Gruden for teaching him how to empower the coaches below him.
His vision for the Rams is a team built on character and that can be sustained over time. At first glance, that sounds a whole lot like Steve Spagnuolo’s ‘four pillars’. As he expanded that idea, I increasingly got the feeling that wasn’t the case.
He repeatedly mentioned the culture around the team, and a “we over me” concept. I believe that is what he is referring to in regards to character and standard of performance.
I paraphrased answers for brevity.
Why’d you choose the Rams?
A shared vision with the front office.
How’d you rise through coaching ranks so quickly?
By being around great coaches/mentors.
How important is your relationship with Jared Goff?
Goff is driven to respond in year 2. He’s encouraged and McVay admitted that his relationship with Goff “very important”
Does Goff remind you of Cousins?
There are a “lot of similarities.” McVay cites intangibles along with the importance of and trust in processes.
How would you describe yourself?
Teacher, leader, motivator, positive, energy, and enthusiasm were all words that McVay used to describe himself. He wants to get everybody working in the same direction stressing again “it’s not about me it’s about we.”
(For Snead) Reservations in hiring McVay? (A la can he lead at 30)
Respect of players and coaches around him says yes.
Will you call offensive plays?
Describe your style.
Be aggressive, but stay within your philosophy. Fit scheme to player skill sets
What’s your evaluation of the Rams?
Praises Aaron Donald, Alec Ogletree, Mark Barron, Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, Tavon Austin, and Lance Kendricks as a good foundation to work with.
It was immediately clear that McVay can command a room. Aside from a small goof where he tried to leave the podium prior to the Q&A session, he had complete control of the room.
At multiple times throughout the presser, he stressed that getting everyone on the same page is key to success. The ‘we over me’ theme was the theme of the day. Not only will they have to get all of the players on board with that, but also in the front office - which was rife with drama last season.
McVay will be calling offensive plays. This isn’t particularly surprising, but it’s news nonetheless. He will be adding additional stress to his game prep and game day routines. I hope the kid hasn’t bitten off more than he can chew.
His Rams will be aggressive offensively and defensively, but not so much that they will break from their identity. Both units will ‘attack while being fundamentally sound’.
Credit him for knowing his surroundings though. He realizes that he has to earn the respect of his players and that the Rams have culture issues. If today is any inclination, I’d expect him to have this young team fully behind him very soon.