13 January 2017

Breaking down the Rams' hire of Sean McVay

There is a new youngest head coach in NFL history and his name is Sean McVay. The Los Angeles Rams announced on Thursday that the 30-year-old will become the 28th head coach in franchise history (including interim coaches) after serving three years as the offensive coordinator of Washington.

Will McVay be able to lead the Rams to success following a messy return to Los Angeles this past season? Here are my thoughts.

McVay certainly is a significant change of pace for this franchise and in my opinion, a necessary one. Jeff Fisher's tenure was one driven by mediocrity as he failed to get the club to .500 during his four plus seasons in St. Louis/Los Angeles and his offenses have consistently been terrible. Over the past five seasons, the Rams have been 32nd, 32nd, 28th, 30th and 23th offensively and 31st, 32nd, 23rd, 27th and 18th in passing. They've desperately needed more juice offensively.

And McVay should be able to provide just that. During his three seasons as the offensive coordinator in Washington, McVay's teams have put up plenty of yards and points and he has earned a reputation of being a strong quarterback coach as he has gotten much credit for the development of Kirk Cousins. Considering that top pick Jared Goff's rookie season was a wash, I thought it was imperative for the Rams to hire a good quarterback coach, be it Josh McDaniels, Kyle Shanahan or McVay.

McVay's age and inexperience does make this hire a bit of a risk. He only become an NFL assistant seven years ago and while many assistants can feel overwhelmed once they become a head coach, those fears are probably magnified considering that McVay is so young. That said, I'd say that the risk is worth it. This is a franchise that really needed some energy, particularly as they will now be joined by another franchise in the Southland, and bringing on a talented offensive coach should help this team as they continue to grow their fanbase.

As always, it will be key to see how McVay builds out his staff. The defense has had to carry the Rams during Fisher's tenure but that unit took a step backwards last season and thus the team went backwards in the win column. Therefore, seeing the Rams hire Wade Phillips as their defensive coordinator is a great sign. Yes, the personnel is not an ideal fit for his 3-4 scheme but there are few defensive coaches that are better than he is around the NFL.


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