When Jon Gruden stood at a podium at the NFL ombine in 2003 — a month after leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Super Bowl victory over the Oakland Raiders — he admitted that he felt a sense of accomplishment and the thought of “floating down the river” while listening to Jimmy Buffett music crossed his mind,
Basically, Gruden considered hanging it up after achieving the greatest accomplishment in football coaching. He was 39 at the time and had become a head coach at 34.
Gruden is one of the mentors for LA Rams’ Sean McVay, who became a head coach at the age of 30, becoming the youngest modern head coach in history.
Now at the age of 34 entering his fourth season in Los Angeles, McVay — who has an excellent 33-15 coaching record and a Super Bowl appearance on his resume — acknowledged the possibility of experiencing coaching burnout in a recent podcast with Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer.
Via the Rams Wire, McVay said he wants to coach for several more years, but he can see where burnout could come into play.
It was a fascinating answer from a fascinating guy. I’m a big McVay fan and his self-awareness and approach to coaching and to life is a big reason why. He is grounded. He has also watched many NFL coaches burnout and take breaks. Gruden took 10 years off after being fired by Tampa Bay in 2008 before returning to the Raiders. It happens and McVay is aware.
I don’t see this as a bad sign for the Rams. McVay is all in for the long haul, but he is also being realistic. His life is changing and he is adapting. He is getting married soon and wants to start a family while he coaches.
“The other thing, too, is what I’ve really seen from a lot of my close friends, once you get into that point where, hey, I’m gonna get married next year, obviously want to be able to have kids,” McVay told Breer. “That perspective of, all right, now you’ve got a real reason to live when you’ve got a family, you’ve got something else,” he said. “I think that balance and that appreciation for those things where it’s not just all football will help toward a goal of just being able to sustain and be healthier overall.”
Again, I don’t think Rams’ fans should be alarmed by these comments. McVay, who has three years remaining on his contract, is committed to the franchise. He just knows the long-term reality of his profession. I think it’s healthy and it will allow him to focus each year on the task at hand.