McVay’s short combine Q&A session was highlighted by one common theme throughout; the ability to play smart football. A novel concept to fans who experienced Jeff Fisher, but a smart pillar to focus around none-the-less.
The first major topic to talk about should come as no surprise: Jared Goff.
McVay appreciated the fact that while the CBA prohibited him from working with Goff directly, Goff was already working with Tom House on fundamentals. Once Goff became accessible, the primary goal was having Goff learn and digest the offensive system McVay wants to implement.
He was very interested in getting Goff on the field to see how he processed information.
That idea would also blend in to McVay talking about the offensive line. Can the lineman pick up blitzes? change protections? It’s important to McVay that the players understand what they’re trying to do and are natural in their position because of it. He didn’t mention Greg Robinson by name, but you have to wonder how Greg’s struggles are applied to this mantra.
Like Snead, McVay also gave a quick shout-out to Tyler Higbee. He liked Higbee’s catch radius and ability down the seam, and was impressed with his skillset. Hopefully that translates into something better than the 11 reception, 85 yard, 1TD season Higbee had as a rookie. McVay is looking to use the tight end in a variety of ways, and that is something he’s looking for in the position.
In terms of offensive game planning, he said calling plays in 2015 and 2016 was a humbling experience and always a challenge - especially as a head coach - but that he was confident in the overall offensive staff (he dropped Matt LaFleur and Aaron Kroemer by name) to assist in the overall game planning process.
Another thing he mentioned? Being able to self-evaluate and adjust. Take from that what you will.
In terms of defense, McVay said the interview process for Wade Phillips was as simple as asking if he’d come work with him in Los Angeles. He said Wade’s resume ‘spoke for itself’, which isn’t outlandish. He was confident that Wade would be able to handle things on the defense and was excited to learn from him in that regard.
For the draft, McVay was glad that Snead and his staff was kept, as they have had more time to analyze players than the new Rams staff has had. McVay also said he was looking for Snead to project players and how they’d fit, and McVay’s staff would be the ones to get the talent to display on the field.
A traditional GM/HC relationship, but scary due to the draft history of the past few years.
All in all, McVay’s quick presser didn’t give too many clues, not that you would’ve expected it to. Still, McVay easily came off as the anti-Fisher, displaying charisma and excitement towards the season and speaking primarily on using players where they fit, playing smart football and (personally) being able to adapt for the success of the team.
It’s not hard to get excited.