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Transcript: Demoff, Snead Introduce Sean McVay as Los Angeles Rams’ Head Coach

Here’s what Sean McVay had to see in his introductory press conference as the Rams’ head coach

NFL: Los Angeles Rams-Sean McVay Press Conference Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Head Coach Sean McVay

(Opening remarks)

“I’m very excited to be here as the Head Coach of the Los Angeles Rams. It’s humbling, but I’m excited to get going.

“First off, I’d like to start by thanking Mr. Kroenke. Getting a chance to be with him for the last couple of days, getting to know him and what he’s about, you can feel the passion and the commitment that he has for bringing a championship-caliber team to the city of Los Angeles. This is a guy that understands the game of football, knows what it takes it to create a winning culture. I’m very excited about the opportunity to work for a great owner who is committed to bringing a championship to this city.

“Next, I’d like to thank Kevin Demoff, Les Snead and (Senior Assistant) Tony Pastoors. They led a very detailed and thorough search. It was first-class and it was something that I really enjoyed the process of getting to know them over the last couple of weeks, a great representation of this organization.”

“(Washington Owner) Mr. Dan Snyder, (Washington President) Bruce Allen, (Washington Head Coach) Jay Gruden and (Washington General Manager) Scot McCloughan and the entire Washington Redskins organization, I spent the last seven years there and formed some of the most special relationships that I was able to develop there and it was a great experience for me, relationships that I’ll carry on with me as I continue my coaching journey here in L.A. That opportunity was something that I’ll always cherish.

“My parents, Tim and Cindy, are here and my brother, Ryan – I couldn’t ask for a better family, great supporters, just so thankful and appreciative of them. I love you guys very much and I appreciate you guys flying across the country from Atlanta to be here.

“And Bob and Lynn LaMonte, Mark Schiefelbein took a chance on me on me when I was 24-years-old and have helped guide and shape a lot of the core beliefs that I have to get to this point. I’m very thankful for them, they’re here as well also.

“Becoming a head coach is something that you always dream of when you get in to the coaching profession. But one of the things that you realize and understand is that these opportunities never present themselves unless you’re fortunate to be around great coaches and mentors to help guide you along the way. Jon Gruden is a guy that, when I first got into the coaching profession, I finished playing at Miami of Ohio, and he hired me on his staff in Tampa coming right out of college. What a great mentor he’s been to me. He’s a guy that taught me the foundation of what I know about this game, truly taught me to look as the game from a 22-man perspective. You talk about a tireless and consistent and relentless work ethic, he is the standard. He’s something that you always strive to match. And what a great example for me as a young coach, to be exposed to that right off the gate. So, Coach Gruden, I’m forever grateful for what you’ve been to help get me to this point.

“Bruce Allen. Bruce Allen is a guy that helped, both in the opportunities that I got in Tampa and in Washington. He is the epitome of class, much like my grandfather, John McVay, who had a bunch of success with that team in San Francisco, where they were able to win five world championships, Bruce is that guy – class, knows how to deal with people and he’s been a great mentor and influence for me, that I knew I could always go to for guidance and direction.

Mike Shanahan hired me in Washington and gave me the first opportunity to be a position coach in this league. One of the things I learned from Coach Shanahan was being committed to a process and setting a standard of performance. And that commitment, that consistent messaging that he had to our players, to our coaching staff day-in and day-out, always resonated with me. I think it’s a big reason why you see a coach like that achieve two world championships. He’s been great and I’m forever indebted to you, Coach Shanahan.

“And Jay Gruden. I got a chance to first work with Jay in Tampa. From the day that I met Jay, we were able to build and form a relationship that is very dear to me. He has been a great influence on my coaching career, we had kept in touch when we went our separate ways after Tampa, got a chance to spend a year together in the United Football League down in Orlando, Florida, and got really close. He was the offensive coordinator and I was coaching the tight ends and running backs for him. Then when I got a chance to go to Washington, he stayed there, went to Cincinnati, we’ve kept in touch. And when he got an opportunity to be the head coach for the Redskins, he gave me a chance to be his offensive coordinator. Those three years, being able to do that, what a great experience it’s been for me. He helped guide and lead me along the way. One of the things that really stood out about Jay that I thought is extremely special, is watching the way that he empowered his assistants. The way that he was able to delegate, let his coaches coach, really demonstrated a confidence and a security that he had in himself as a leader. And watching how that created a sense of loyalty and accountability to both him as our leader and our organization, is something that we hope to mimic and emulate here in L.A.

“Lastly, our players in Washington. I’ve been very fortunate in the seven years that I was in Washington, to come across some great players. That’s why you get into this coaching profession – to help players achieve their highest potential. When you work with some of the players I was fortunate enough to work with, that’s why you’re presented with opportunities like this. You guys know who you are, you’re very special to me, a lot of great men that I came across. I loved my time there and loved the players that I came in contact with.

“And then our offensive coaching staff in Washington, especially. You look at guys like (offensive line coach) Bill Callahan, (quarterbacks coach) Matt Cavanaugh, (running backs coach) Randy Jordan, (tight ends coach) Wes Phillips, (wide receivers coach) Ike Hilliard, (offensive quality control coach) Shane Waldron and (assistant offensive line coach) Kevin Carberry. Their tireless work ethic made it enjoyable to go to work and try to figure out a way that we could help our offense have success week-in and week-out. I am much a much better coach for having been able to work with guys like that and I thank you and you guys are very special to me.

“Talking about our vision for the L.A. Rams, we’re going to be a team that’s built on character. We feel that true leadership is about building and developing relationships that are going to help us create a unified vision that’s sustainable over time. Our character will be the foundation and it will be the glue that holds us together as an organization. We’re going to be committed to our process and we’re going to be committed to a standard of performance. And those things are going to be focused on – daily improvement and daily excellence. That’s what’s going to help guide us on our journey to try to achieve a world championship and bring it to this great city of Los Angeles. Going through this interview process, one of the things that made this job so enticing and something that you want to be a part of this culture, is a shared vision with the other leaders in this organization. Getting a chance to talk with Kevin, Les, Tony, learn about what do they want the Rams to look like. We shared a very similar philosophy. You talk about what does a Ram look like, what do we want out tape to look like? A Ram, for us, they’re going to be mentally and physically tough players that are smart and love to compete. And our tape is our resume and we know that. But, in order to be able to put out that product that our fans deserve, that we want to see that’s going to give us a chance to compete and win games week-in and week-out, we’ve got to be committed to that process and that standard of performance. And that’s something that we will be doing.

“On offense and defense, what you can expect from us is we’re going to be attacking on both sides of the football, but we’re also going to be fundamentally sound. Our first priority is going to be to assemble a great coaching staff. When we look at what makes up great coaches, we’re looking for leaders, teachers and motivators of men to help develop our players and help them reach their highest potential. That’s what we feel makes a great coach and that’s what we’re looking for for L.A. Ram coaches. We’re in the process right now of assembling that staff. But it’s an exciting time to be an L.A. Ram and we can’t wait to go to work, roll our sleeves up and figure out a way to consistently give this fan base and this great city of L.A. a winner and a team that they can be proud of week-in and week-out. Thanks for being here.”

(On what made him feel like he was the perfect choice for the Rams and how long it took him to accept the offer)

McVay: “That’s a great question. When you really look at it, I think kind of one of those things that we mentioned is sharing a vision and what we want it to look like. Getting a chance to go through this process, I think a lot of things that we hope to achieve, but we know that before we can become a consistent winner, we have to act like winners – and that starts with implementing a culture. So we want to set a culture, maintain a culture and then that’s going to allow us to achieve that sustained success. The similarities in what we believed we needed to implement in this organization – creating a culture of we, not me – are the things that really excited me about the opportunity to work with Kevin and Les. And then like I had mentioned, getting a chance to spend some time with Mr. Kroenke over the last couple of days – you talk about an owner that is committed to doing all the things necessary to provide us with the resources to be become that winning football team and compete for Lombardi Trophies. Those were the things that excited me and as soon as I got that offer, it didn’t take long to decide, ‘Hey, let’s go do this thing.’”

(On how he was able to separate himself so quickly and at such a young age to get a head coaching opportunity)

McVay: “I think it’s simple, when you really look at it, going back to some of the people that have been instrumental in my development, I think it’s about being around great coaches and mentors. Those guys that were willing to invest in me, the Jon Grudens, Bruce Allen, Mike Shanahan, Kyle Shanahan and then being able to work for Jay over the last couple of years. That’s helped accelerate my career to where I certainly know, you are confident, you are ready for this opportunity, but it’s not about me, it’s about surrounding yourself with great people on all levels of the organization and coaching staff. That’s why I look at some of the people that we will acquire on our staff, be the veteran leaders that I can lean on and know don’t have it all figured out but I know that we can navigate through the things that we’ll face together.”

(On how he prioritizes his relationship with QB Jared Goff and how important it is to have communication with him)

McVay: “I think it’s extremely important. Going through this process, I got a chance to sit down and spend some time with Jared. I think, when you look at it from just an offensive philosophy, that quarterback position is the most important position – it’s the most difficult position, it’s the most important position. And when you have a guy that you feel like can do the things that you’re asking him to do, you have a chance to compete week-in and week-out. Sitting down with Jared, you can feel his passion and the drive that he has to come back and respond in year two and be better. I think, when you look at his tape, going back to coming out of Cal, some of the things that he was able to do in his experiences that he had this past year, very encouraged. You see a lot of good things on tape, can’t wait to go to work with him. But that relationship, it’s going to be very important. And I can’t wait, within the framework and the structure of the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement), to get to work with him and start developing that relationship that’s going to be key for us moving forward.”

(On if he sees any resemblance between Redskins QB Kirk Cousins and QB Jared Goff, and on the process of building Cousins into the quarterback he is today)

McVay: “That’s a great question. Getting a chance to work with Kirk where he’s our full-time starter over the last couple years, you do see a lot of similarities between he and Jared. But working with Kirk, he’s a special player. All of the intangibles are off the charts – the same thing that you see with Jared. When you have a guy that is committed to the process and you see the abilities, which both of these players do have, that’s when you give yourself a chance to have success. What I think enabled Kirk to have some success, he truly was an extension of our coaching staff. He knew exactly what we were trying to do situationaly. The week was a process, and he understood the importance of that process and the preparation to be your best on Sundays, Mondays, or Thursdays – whenever it is that we’re playing. I got a sense, I got a feel from being around Jared in the little bit of time I’ve spent with him. Talking with Les and Kevin, this is a guy that we believe in. We’re encouraged and excited about developing him, and working on achieving some goals together.”

(On how he describes himself and what he brings to the organization)

McVay: “I think when you look at it, a lot of your experiences help shape your core beliefs in what you become. So, when you talk about what we’re looking for in coaches, I’d like to think that those are some of the characteristics that I embody – teacher, leader, motivator, positive, energy and enthusiasm every single day. But ultimately, it’s about figuring out a way to be great communicators on all levels of our organization, everybody working in the same direction. And that’s when we succeed, everyone feels apart in it, and when we don’t succeed, everybody feels – I got to figure out what I can do within the frame work of my role to get it fixed. That culture of ‘we’ that you’ll hear us consistently talk about is what’s going to allow us to achieve goals. It’s not about me, it’s about we, and our whole entire LA Rams organization. That’s kind of what I would hope to embody, and how I would hope to be described.”

(On if Demoff or Snead had similar reservations going into the process regarding McVay’s age, and what he demonstrated to them that made them believe he can overcome any inexperience he might have)

Snead: “I think anytime you’re talking about, let’s call it a 30-year-old, close to 31.”

McVay: “Soon (laughs).”

Snead: “(continuation)…Though that that’s a question you’re going to answer, or trying to figure out. But number one is this, he was the offensive coordinator of the Washington Redskins. He called the plays, they had success there. That’s a tough job. If quarterback is a tough one in the NFL, offensive coordinator is a tough one in the NFL, because a lot of fans like offense, and a lot of fans know they can call plays better than the offensive coordinator. But anytime you have success doing that, that means something. You do a lot of research in this process, and you want to figure out, ‘Hey, can a 30 year old come in and be your head coach?’ We did a lot of research, but yesterday is probably when you go, ‘Yes, he can.’ He’s getting blown up on his phone by a lot of people. I think he said he may have had 300 plus texts. But there were a few phone calls that came in, and one of them was (Redskins WR) DeSean Jackson. (Redskins S) DeAngelo Hall reached out to him. Then, there was a call from (Redskins) Josh Norman, defensive back, reached out to him. Not going to say whether he answered those calls because we debated whether that’s tampering or not. So, keep that in-house (laughs). But at the end of the day, those men that go out on Sundays, they’re the most important, and he’s been able to lead those guys to success. When he left, they reached out and thanked him for what he brought to them. So, I think that answers the age question.”

Demoff: “I think when you look at the homework over the past few weeks that we’ve done on Sean – and he won’t say it, so I’m going to embarrass him – the terms you saw were brilliant, genius, star. Jon Gruden said yesterday, ‘special.’ Those are amazing adjectives when you talk about describing someone. And when you ask people for the negatives, they always said, ‘Well, he’s young.’ I think we always looked at that as just another descriptive word. To me, the age in this factor, when you look at what they players said, this is about leading players. Their devotion to Sean, the way they feel, what you read about him, is to us what negated the age factor. That if they can believe in Sean as a leader…when you read the (Former Redskins/current Bears TE) Logan Paulsen quotes about walking into the room, (Former Redskins TE) Chris Cooley, a veteran, and saying from Day 1, Sean could tell us what we needed to know so we feel like we can be successful. That’s where we weren’t as worried about that component of where we’re coming from. It became just another bucket, whether it’s offensive coordinator, or defensive coordinator, or first-time head coach, the age was really just part of that formula that goes into whether someone can be successful or not. When you look at the young head coaches, it’s the same mixed bag I would say as any other pros and cons. And then you have to think, if you look, there have been young coaches who have maybe had some struggles. You look at some of the names who were hired young, Don Shula, John Madden, Jon Gruden, Mike Tomlin, Bill Cowher, Al Davis. There a ton of people who were hired at a young age who had tremendous success. For us, I think you look at it through the lends of we knew Sean could be special. But I would say the final check-point for me was when Sean came back on Tuesday night, and he had dinner with myself and (Rams Hall of Fame RB) Marshall Faulk. It was listening to him and Marshall banter back and forth about football. And what they had to say, and looking at each other, and watching them walk away and Marshall saying, ‘That person can absolutely be your next head coach,’ that it was not just about the age of the players he was with. It was about earning the respect of people who are very smart people in the NFL. Marshall is one of the brightest players that we’ve ever come across, certainly in our team’s history, and the NFL when you look at what he was able to accomplish. For us, that was the final checkmark of age is not a factor here. This is really about Sean’s talents, his ability to lead and communicate, and what we think that will do for the Los Angeles Rams.”

(On if he had to do any self-evaluation at the start of this process to ask himself is he ready for this, or if he was confident all along that he was ready)

McVay: “I think it one of those situations where, like I had mentioned earlier, you feel very confident. You always set out to achieve this goal at some point. But, this is something growing up around the game of football with my grandfather (John McVay) being involved in it ever since I was growing up, you always hope to prepare and think about if those opportunities ever present themselves, will you be ready for it – reading books, trying to always continuously learn and improve. None of that occurs without being around great people, and I feel like it’s those people that I’ve been around, those players that I’ve been around that make you feel confident you are ready to navigate and take on this challenge of becoming an NFL head coach, knowing that it’s about being around great people, too. There’s going to be things that I will rely on both Les and Kevin to figure out what’s going to be the best way to make a Rams’ decision. And certainly it’s going to be same thing with our coaching staff that we assemble, and the players as well. These are things that we do feel confident that we can navigate. It’s going to be a great challenge. It won’t be easy, but can’t wait to go to work.”

(On if he will call plays and how he would describe his offensive philosophy)

McVay: “I will call the plays. It’s something that, like I had mentioned about what a great leader Jay (Gruden) was, I was fortunate to be able to do the last couple years in Washington. Love doing it, love the schematical approach and figuring ways to attack a defense, but also stay within the framework of what our core identity is offensively. Ultimately, what I think dictates and determines what a great coach is when you talk forming an offensive identity, it’s about first let’s figure out what our players do best. What does Jared do best? How can we maximize (RB) Todd (Gurley), and (WR) Tavon (Austin), and our linemen up front. We’re going to continue to get to know our players, figure out what they do best, and fit our scheme to their skill-sets. When you look at great coaches – and I’m a fan of coaching. I admire great coaches in this league. Whether it be in football, basketball, baseball, but that’s something that you always look at because this is what you do, and those great coaches seem to have success in any stop, and they adjust to their personnel. That’s what we’re going to do here in L.A., and that’s why you can’t wait to get around our players and figure that out.”

(On the point in his life in which he dreamed of becoming an NFL head coach, and where he thinks his youth gives him an advantage, and where his youth can present challenges)

McVay: “Well, to answer the first part of your question, I knew when I grew up playing football, finished my college career, I knew I wanted to be involved in football in some way, whether that be personnel or coaching, I didn’t quite know. The opportunity presented itself to get on Coach (Jon) Gruden’s staff right out of college. As soon as I got into it, the interaction that you have with the players on the grass, in the meeting room, that was something that you immediately fall in love with it. That was when you know, ok, coaching is absolutely the direction that I want to go. Like I had mentioned earlier, you ultimately always strive to become a head coach. You never know when that opportunity will present itself, but you want to make sure that you’re preparing so when it does, you’re ready to roll.”

“As far as the youth, I think it’s a great question. It’s something that I’ve always been asked ever since I got into coaching. I think the thing that’s great about the NFL is you’re dealing with men here. What we’re trying to do is help them become the best players that they can be, and we’re all collectively trying to win games. What I always tell other people is that the way you earn these players respect is, do you help them become a better football player? I think most players that you talk to will be the first to tell them that. If we have great coaches, we’re putting in sound plans, and our preparation is thorough where we’re helping our players improve and get better, and then we also demonstrate, ‘Hey, we care about you.’ We’re trying to develop and build relationships, that character that we talked about earlier. Those are the things that I think help with the youth, where you can make those connections, build those relationships. I got a little bit better idea of what’s going on right now, and how technology has changed kind of the course of the way that that interaction occurs. But, I think those are some benefits and some things that have really helped me connect with players since I got into coaching.”

(On what about McVay during the interview process that convinced them that he could motivate players, and that players would fight for him when things got tough)

Demoff: “I think when you listen to him, and there are times when I close my eyes and hear Jon Gruden, whether it’s the cadence or the hand movements. When you listen to Sean talk about the players, and I think part of it, too, was – I would say truly, we talked about the checkmarks – it was his meeting with Jared. And Jared walking away saying, ‘That’s a coach I’d love to play for,’ both schematically and as a person. Jared talking about the Washington offense and what it did, to see those receivers open, and how he thought he could thrive in that scenario. But also, just the interactions with Sean and how comfortable he felt, that gave us an insight into where he was. When (DT) Aaron Donald walked away and was excited about what Sean could do and the studying. To us, it wasn’t about proving to us that he could work. I think every time we’ve sat down with Sean, you walk away more and more impressed. I actually would say, like Les, as exciting as the interview process was, I was more impressed with Sean yesterday after he had the job – the way he was handling other coaches, the way his players responded. You saw the maturity, and to me there’s a difference between youth and maturity. Sean is very mature. All of these coaches are going to go through experiences for the first time as head coaches that will challenge them. It’s their mental makeup and their fortitude that will determine their success. When you listen to Sean throughout the process quote Bill Walsh, quote John Wooden, you get the sense this is someone who understands how to have great success. But ultimately, it comes back to the players and getting them to be at their best. When you do the homework, when you would talk to the players – I give Les a lot of credit, we did a lot of outreach to current Redskins players on both sides of the ball. That was the greatest feedback because there is no way to predict how you’re going to walk into this organization. The only way you can understand is the history in Washington, and when you see that respect that those players have, not just that they like Sean, but they respected what he brought to the table. That’s was really where we began to understand that the youth wouldn’t be a factor.”

Snead: “If I was echoing anything – I know Kevin mentioned earlier – the dinner with Marshall Faulk and if you’ve ever been around Marshall – he’s a hall of famer for a reason and there’s a lot of God-given, mom and dad ability there. But when you sit down with Marshall there’s also a lot of aptitude there and to me that’s how you become a Hall of Famer – there’s a lot of people with a lot of ability. I think Marshall had said something along the way as he was giving us wisdom, that ‘even with a young quarterback you might need an older coach.’ But after sitting and talking football with Sean – as we all can say – you talk about energy, you want to sit and talk football with Sean – you’re not going to eat, the dinner’s going to get cold, for sure, don’t order and just get your glass of water. I think Marshall came back and said you know what – I’ll paraphrase it and he can put his quote out later – I think the youth, the age, actually helps him relate to the younger guys. Our business is about a lot of young people. If he’s 30-31 years old, there are a lot of guys 21, 22, 23, 24 years old, that are very important to this organization. So, it’s a young man’s business. Then, I think you go forward and see what he did with, let’s take (Redskins QB) Kirk Cousins, who has gone from where he was drafted, backup quarterback, been inactive before on gameday, to probably over the last year and a half, two years, one of the second or third, definitely top-five rated QBs – whatever rating scale you have. But there’s definitely a way you motivate that man to be the best he can be. Again, the phone calls yesterday speak for themselves and the research we did before, because it’s those 21, 22, 23, 24 year old players – that were once Marshall Faulks – that are buying in to what he’s presenting them and his vision to want those guys to be the best. I think that’s what I got form the players. He wants them to be the best. When he sat down and talked to them, they walked out of the meeting room and knew, ‘Okay wait a minute, we got a plan now – he’s putting us in position to be successful.’ I think that’s what everybody wants.”

(On his evaluation of the Rams and his understanding of what the task at hand is)

McVay: “Anytime that you get into this. I think it’s an extremely competitive league – great players, great coaches all around, amongst all 32 teams. But getting a chance to really look at our personnel, getting into it, I think you see some great players in some key spots. You look at an (DT) Aaron Donald, a first-team All-Pro player, getting the chance to be around him, he’s wired – he’s all about the right stuff. You see an (LB) Alec Ogletree in the middle. I see guys – with (DE Robert) Quinn what he’s been able to do, over the course of his career, a (LB/S) Mark Barron. Then, you look at the offensive side of the ball – you see exciting traits in Jared Goff, you see (RB) Todd Gurley, you see (WR) Tavon Austin, you see guys up front, that can do some different things. I’ve always had a lot of respect for (TE) Lance Kendricks going back to when I studied him coming out of Wisconsin. So, I see a lot of key pieces in place that give us a chance to compete. We know it’s going to be a great challenge, but it’s something that, as an organization, we’re looking to figure out, okay, based on who’s here, who are these key players moving forward that are going to help us achieve that success that we’re all set out to accomplish and then, where are those areas that we can improve – whether it be through the draft or free agency that we need to address. That’s going to be very important. That’s why this offseason – our approach, our understanding and making sure we’re all on the same page with our personnel and what our vision is moving forward – is going to be critical to our success. Again, that’s why you feel so good about this opportunity to work with two great guys like this that do share that vision.”

(On how quickly he thinks they can turnaround the franchise and what are the first items to address on his agenda as head coach)

McVay: “The first thing that we’re going to do is we’re going to focus on that continuous improvement. We know that in order to achieve any goal it’s about saying, ‘one day at a time, getting better each day’ and then that accumulation gives you a chance to achieve some of those goals. Anybody that tells you in this league, the ultimate goal is not to win a Lombardi Trophy, is kidding themselves. But we know, that in order to do that, it takes a process, a standard of performance and we’re going to be very committed to that. That’s a daily approach and that’s continuous improvement, being committed to excellence, what is our weekly rhythm, how do we get better, how do we continue to be great in the fundamentals and techniques that our coaches are trying to emphasize. But, it’s a one day approach, we’re not making any promises, but what I can promise you is, we can’t wait to go to work with our players and they’ll be excited about the energy, the feel of this building, and how serious we are about our football and trying to create that winning culture.”

(On his thoughts regarding aspects of the team that are in need of an overhaul and his thoughts on the new stadium)

McVay: “The new stadium is something that, you look at that project, I think it’s going to be what represents the premier sports complex in the entire world. What a great project and a commitment that Mr. Kroenke’s made. I think you talk about demonstrating how committed he is and the framework of what an owner can control – that’s a great representation in and of itself. That’s a very exciting thing. I know it’s a project that’s a couple years away, but what a great project and what an exciting thing that we’ll have in this city of Los Angeles.

That process will continue to be ongoing with Les, Kevin, myself and other key members of this organization, and that’s something that we certainly are striving to figure out. We haven’t done that yet, but as we get settled into these roles that is the first order of business that we’re going to address right away.”

(On how the first opportunity to coach under Jon Gruden came about with the Buccaneers and whether Demoff has any memories while working in the front office with Tampa Bay of a young Sean McVay)

McVay: “When you really look at it – what was your question? (laughter) – no, I was just kidding (laughter). When you really look at it, you go back and you appreciate the family connections – the Gruden family and the McVay family go way back. You look at all the connections: my grandfather and Jim Gruden Sr., they coached and worked together at Dayton, when my grandfather was a coach there. They spent some time together in San Francisco, when my grandfather was in a General Manager role and actually – small world – Jim Gruden Sr. actually recruited my dad (Tim McVay) to the University of Indiana. So, our family connections go way back. There’s a very familiar comfort level with the Gruden/McVay family connections. That opportunity on that role, in a coaching assistant position opened up and it was one that I was fortunate enough to take advantage of and Coach Gruden gave me an opportunity to get on staff and get right into this thing.

Demoff: “I’d be lying if I said when I met Sean for the first time that I think he’d be the head coach of the L.A. Rams and here. I think the thing that stood out was the passion and the energy. Obviously, you expect that at 22. But it was someone who, even in the small role he had on that coaching staff, stood out to all of us in the organization – just a bright spot. I think when you get around football teams, the young guys who come in very first and are helping out, they don’t often stand out – they’re part of the whole world of the organization that’s 200 people deep. But everybody kept talking about Sean’s maturity and not a ton of interaction at that time, but certainly someone that you follow as they walk through this process and these steps. Every step along the way, when people would mention Sean as a rising star, you try to harken back to those days and say, ‘I can see that.’ I don’t think you ever know if someone is ready to be a head coach, until they spend their first day on the sidelines – we’ll find that out. But certainly the pedigree. And I think one of the things Sean’s talked about, having a legacy and a family both on the front office side and the coaching side gives him a unique prospective to be able to come in, relate and lead an entire building as the CEO of the organization.”