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Rams Head Coach Sean McVay Instrumental in Ending Donald Holdout

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On the day of the Rams’ final preseason tune up at Green Bay, Rams HC Sean McVay flew to Atlanta to personally meet with star DT Aaron Donald.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, HC Sean McVay went out of his way (almost 1000 miles, in fact) to meet with DT Aaron Donald about his holdout, even though McVay would be coaching the Rams that night at Green Bay. From the ESPN article:

McVay's presence in Atlanta rather than being in Green Bay with his team was a sign of how important it was to him to have Donald back on the roster.

It’s notable that after the Green Bay game, McVay had this to say about how they would move forward with or without Donald:

“It’s hard to say and I think until we come to a solution, then that’s when I think you have a chance to really put a specific plan in place. Out of respect for Aaron and the team, our mindset right now is – if we have to go play a football game, guys are ready to go and Aaron hasn’t been here as a part of the preparation. So, right now that’s the way that we’re approaching this, if he’s here then it’s a bonus and that’s something that we’ll have to come to figure out when he does get here if that’s the case.”

So far, McVay has had a positive impact in reaching veteran stars, gaining the respect of older players like LT Andrew Whitworth and OLB Connor Barwin. The ESPN article also notes that the dialogue must have stalled, and McVay revived it:

The Atlanta meeting helped increase dialogue between the two sides, and it helped result in Donald reporting to work Saturday, though he will not play Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.

So far, McVay has been all about “We Not Me”, and perhaps that was part of his messaging to Aaron Donald: play hard, help the team, and we’ll make sure you get a fair deal.