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Sean McVay effect remains alive and well with 2024 coaching cycle

NFL teams continue trending towards younger coaches following the Falcons hiring Raheem Morris as head coach

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams v Detroit Lions Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

On Thursday, the LA Rams saw defensive coordinator Raheem Morris get hired as the next head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. While losing Morris will hurt the Rams in the short-term, it’s hard not to see the Sean McVay effect at work with this coaching cycle. For real, did anyone expect eight-time Super Bowl champ coaching free agent Bill Belichick get passed over?

Belichick’s final three seasons in New England and his personnel blunders over the years no doubt hurt him this hiring cycle. Yet, the fact is that the NFL is overlooking these coaching dinosaurs in pursuit of the next McVay. That has undoubtedly been the case since the Rams coach was hired in 2017.

Organizations are more willing to take a chance on younger coaches based on the success McVay had immediately in Los Angeles. Case in point the Panthers surprisingly hiring former Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales on Thursday. Canales was a first-time OC during his one-year stint in Tampa Bay. However, his work in getting career years out of Russell Wilson, Geno Smith and Baker Mayfield is likely what landed him the job.

A decade ago most first-time coordinators would’ve never been given a chance at a head coaching position. Anyone considering them would’ve been laughed out right of team headquarters en route to the unemployment line. Now, young coaches are quickly becoming a staple in today’s NFL, again thanks in part to McVay.

McVay has only coached in the league seven years and already has an impressive coaching tree.

Brandon Staley and Joe Barry are obviously nothing to brag about but each of those branches have found some amount of success. Excluding Morris, here is everything McVay’s tree has accomplished from a head coaching standpoint:

145-117-1 combined regular season and postseason record

Six division titles

Seven postseason trips

One Super Bowl appearance

Staley didn’t work out with the Chargers and O’Connell is coming off a injury-riddled losing campaign. Either way, the McVay coaching tree has proven to be a reasonable success. The Sean McVay effect will remain alive and well in NFL hiring practices for years to come. For better or worse, the league has a youth movement on its hands.

Similar to when the Rams took a flyer on McVay, teams across the sport have no choice but to embrace the movement or risk getting left behind.