At the end of the 2016 season the Los Angeles Rams seemed to be in a hopeless position. After moving to the city of angels, the Rams finished with a 4-12 season. Trading their 2017 first-round pick for number one overall pick quarterback Jared Goff, who now seemed like a bust after throwing more interceptions than touchdowns in the seven games of his rookie season, appeared to devastate the Rams’ future success as well. The team’s star player, defensive tackle Aaron Donald, was clearly unhappy. He held out of the 2017 training camp for a new contract with the team. The near future of the team looked bleak to say the least.
The Rams had also fired their veteran head coach, Jeff Fisher, after a 4-9 start through week 14, which left them searching for a replacement in the offseason. On Jan. 13, the Rams released that they had hired the Washington Redskins’ former offensive coordinator, 30-year-old Sean McVay. McVay had become the new youngest head coach in NFL history and was given a huge challenge in the Los Angeles Rams.
McVay didn’t just step up to this challenge. He’s knocked it out of the park so far. The Rams have already won more games this season, starting the season 6-2, and have the lead on their division, the NFC West, midway through the season.
McVay played receiver at the University of Miami, Ohio where he earned the school’s scholar-athlete award in 2007. After graduating in 2008, he began his career as an assistant receiver coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In 2009, he left the NFL to become the receivers and tight ends coach of the Florida Tuskers in the now-extinct United Football League. McVay made his return to the NFL in 2010 as an assistant tight-ends coach for the Washington Redskins, and gradually worked his way up the coaching ladder, becoming the offensive coordinator for the team in 2014. After being promoted, McVay turned the 25th ranked Redskins offense to the 10th ranked offense.
Being the offensive mind that McVay is, he has completely transformed the offense, turning a team that was dead last in points-per-game last season to first in the category this season. The Rams also have the highest point differential of any team this season, a category they were 30th in last season. Their most recent 51-17 rout of the struggling New York Giants helped maintain this margin.
The players are thriving in this system as well. Running back Todd Gurley III is an MVP candidate midway through the season. He is fourth in the NFL in rushing yards and leads the league at his position in total touchdowns with 10. Former-bust Jared Goff is top-10 in the NFL in passing yards, touchdowns and overall quarterback rating. Recently acquired receiver Sammy Watkins is finally starting to show his potential after being a disappointment for the Buffalo Bills through his first three years. Star Aaron Donald is having yet another defensive-player-of-the-year-worthy season and helping his Rams maintain a top-10 scoring defense in the league so far.
Clearly, McVay is one of the great offensive young minds in football. One can only wonder what this historically young coach’s career accomplishments will entail. The incredible start to his career will be an inspiration to young coaches for years to come.
Photo courtesy of Sporting News