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Sean McVay doesn’t use fullbacks but you think he would

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Fullback position is in his coaching roots

Arizona Cardinals v Los Angeles Rams
Sean McVay
Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

If you have watched the Rams play the past three seasons, it’s no secret that they don’t use the fullback much at all. It’s just not been Sean McVay’s thing as an NFL head coach so far.

The Rams went on a 12-game stretch in 2019 without using one play featuring a fullback. Thus, McVay’s offense is like most in the NFL in terms of the fullback — it is just not a big part of most offensive playbooks in this modern era. Half the NFL used plays with fullbacks with less than 100 plays. So, half the league used a fullback 10 percent or less of the time. The 49ers led the league in fullback play with about 35 percent of their plays featuring a fullback.

The Rams are the anti-49ers in terms of fullback play. The fascinating thing is, looking at McVay’s history, you’d think he would be feature the fullback more.

He was an assistant on the staffs of Jon Gruden and Mike Shanahan. They are known fullback proponents. McVay worked with and has had a similar coaching path as Kyle Shanahan, who leads the league in fullback use. McVay’s grandfather is John McVay was an executive with the Bill Walsh San Francisco 49ers. His West Coast offense is where Gruden and the Shanahan’s got their roots.

San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams
Kyle Shanahan, Sean McVay
Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

Now, it’s possible McVay could add some fullback plays. In February, he said he “absolutely” could use more fullback plays in 2020. Yet, this offseason, the Rams didn’t add any true fullbacks who have a real chance to make the roster. So, while McVay can add the fullback as a wrinkle, he hasn’t shown it yet.

My thoughts on McVay straying from his coaching tree and not using the fullback? I dig it.

It’s another indication that McVay, who became the youngest NFL head coach in the modern era at the age of 30, is his own man when it comes to coaching. He is an innovator and he is not married to what he learned.

Sure, there is a place in the NFL for the fullback, but clearly it’s not something McVay has felt the need to utilize, and, so far, it’s working for him.