There are a lot of questions when it comes to the Los Angeles Rams and Sean McVay heading into the 2023 season. Following a 2022 season in which the team finished 5-12 and ended with questions about McVay’s future, many in the media are unsure what to think about the Rams moving forward. It doesn’t help that the Rams offloaded many of their stars in the offseason.
Given everything that McVay went through last year and the questions about his future, it’s no surprise that the narrative around him is much lower than it was just 12 months ago. Following the Super Bowl, McVay was widely considered a top-5 head coach. Is that still the case? Ross Tucker of The 33rd Team recently released his head coach rankings heading into the 2023 season. Tuckers slotted McVay in at number seven. Here’s what he had to say,
“I’m curious to see how McVay bounces back from a down year with a team that appears to be in transition, but his first five years are as impressive as any coach in modern NFL history.”
Ahead of McVay, Tucker had Kyle Shanahan, Nick Sirianni, Sean Payton, Mike Tomlin, Bill Belichick, and Andy Reid. It’s hard to argue McVay ahead of coaches like Shanahan, Tomlin, Belichick, and Reid. However, Sirianni? The Philadelphia Eagles head coach’s stock is at an all-time high coming off of a Super Bowl appearance. With that said, McVay has been to the Super Bowl twice in six years and been a consistent contender. Sirianni deserves a spot in the top-10, but inside the top-5 and ahead of McVay may be a little premature.
The other coach you can argue against is Payton. From 2017-2019, McVay held a 3-1 record against Payton which included a win in the NFC Championship game. With Drew Brees as his quarterback, Payton managed to make it past the Divisional Round just once since 2010.
Coming off of a losing season, McVay is going to have a dark cloud hovering over his shoulder, creating a negative perception. Unfortunately with recency bias, that’s how it works in the NFL media.
At this point in his career, there should be no doubting McVay’s ability to win or his ability to scheme an offense. All of the adversity that he faced last year should only make him a better coach.
If McVay can exceed expectations in 2023 and get the Rams back to their winning ways, he’ll solidify himself as a top-5 head coach in the NFL.