Theme Week posts are here, and this week we’re looking at the most unanticipated aspect of each NFL team’s season. For the Los Angeles Rams, it’s pretty simple.
Nobody expected Sean McVay to turn the Rams around to this degree this quickly.
It’s perhaps the most overwhelming turnaround in the history of the NFL. To be a 4-12 team with the NFL’s worst offense which happened to be one of the worst offenses of all-time and fix the major personnel issues in a single offseason ahead of churning out one the league’s most prolific offenses? That’s unheard of. And for good reason. It’s just too difficult.
Albert Breer has a good read over at Sports Illustrated that looks at the McVay hire from an organizational standpoint as so many NFL franchises (and let’s nod at the college game to boot...and uh, Tennessee...get well) begin the process of approaching their need to hire a new head coach. It’s worth remembering our own path here as well.
The Rams fired Mike Martz in 2005 leading them to hire a respected offensive mind in Scott Linehan. As the personnel deteriorated amid some very, very unsuccessful drafts, Linehan was fired before the end of his third season. In came Steve Spagnuolo on the back of his impressive defenses with the New York Giants. With a horrendous roster and a ton of injuries, Spags too was out before making it to a fourth season. Jeff Fisher was also a head coach.
That Sean McVay has turned around a franchise that has been mired in such poor play especially on offense in such a short amount of time should be a shock to the national football system.
The question now is how fit he is for the challenges ahead.
Has Sean McVay proven his bonafides as an offensive mind? Of course. Has he put to bed the question of whether his lack of experience would prevent him from being able to lead the Rams to a better product on the field? Without a doubt.
Is he capable of meeting the challenges of a playoff push and postseason success?
To be determined.
The good thing for Rams fans is that we’re all but certain to get an answer to that question this year while McVay’s predecessors never earned a chance to answer it in the first place.
That’s a testament not only to the job McVay has done this year but to just how unbelievable this season has been overall.