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  • MauiRam
    Rams GM Les Snead senses 'authentic chemistry' with Sean McVay.
    by MauiRam
    Alden Gonzalez

    THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- The conversations began at the facility and would trickle into the parking lot while the sun was setting, and sometimes not even that was enough. Sean McVay, the Los Angeles Rams' 31-year-old rookie head coach, was staying at a nearby Four Seasons at the time. Les Snead, the 46-year-old general manager beginning his sixth season with the organization, followed him there on several nights, his wife and his children residing 45 miles south in Manhattan Beach, California.

    A couple of times a week for more than three months, from the middle of January until the end of April, McVay and Snead picked a restaurant inside the sprawling hotel, sat down, ordered wine and continued to talk -- about football, about their personalities, about life. It often got late enough that Snead found it sensible to book a room, so that he would be closer to work when the alarm clock went off in a few hours. He did it often.

    "My family would probably say too much," Snead said, a wry smile coming over him on a recent afternoon.

    Those nights, McVay says now, "meant a lot."

    Coach Sean McVay (left) and GM Les Snead have put in a lot of time and conversation to get the Rams headed in the right direction. Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports
    "You can see, since the day that I got here, that he’s been very intentional about making sure that we have a good relationship and we have open lines of communication," McVay said of Snead. "That makes you feel good. I think it’s a two-way street, and I think it’s really important for me to do a good job of extending myself to him. That’s why we’ve been able to have a good start to this, hopefully for a long time to come."

    McVay was hired as the Rams' head coach -- and thus the youngest head coach in modern NFL history -- on Jan. 12. Snead refers to the time that followed as the purest form of relationship-building, when one can start with the basics, before the distractions and the obstacles get in the way. It was during this stage that Snead found himself in a unique position, with the opportunity to connect with a young incoming head coach who was all alone in a new city. It was also his way of starting over.

    "You’re not going to get those moments back," Snead said. "That’s a special thing. And me being the elder statesman, I was very aware of that."

    Snead doesn't speak ill about his relationship with former head coach Jeff Fisher, who was fired last December, 13 games into his fifth season with the Rams. Snead and Fisher came in at the same time (though not necessarily together) and signed two-year extensions almost concurrently (though Fisher once famously claimed he was "unaware" Snead received one). Their relationship was never really painted as anything more than cordial. Towards the end, even that was up for debate....
    -06-20-2017, 08:00 PM
  • Nick
    Tweets from Today's Press Conference w/ HC Sean McVay
    by Nick
    All of these are from Alden Gonzalez, an ESPN staff writer...

    Sean McVay, whose parents and brother flew in from Atlanta, thanked Jon and Jay Gruden for helping him get here.

    "We're going to be a team that's built on character," Sean McVay said.

    Sean McVay: "I will call the plays."

    The moment Les Snead knew Sean McVay was ready to be a head coach: when his phone was blowing up, and some of the calls were from key Redskins players, including DeSean Jackson and Josh Norman. The moment Kevin Demoff knew: when they were out at dinner and he watched McVay and Marshall Faulk banter back and forth about football.

    Demoff, on McVay: "There are times when I close my eyes and see Jon Gruden." Jared Goff and Aaron Donald spoke to him before he was hired.

    Sean McVay sees "great players in key spots" with the Rams. Mentioned Aaron Donald, Alec Ogletree, Mark Barron, Robert Quinn, Todd Gurley and Tavon Austin; said he sees "exciting traits" in Jared Goff" and that he has "a lot of respect" for Lance Kendricks. "I see a lot of key pieces in place that gives us a chance to compete."

    Fassel will return as special teams coordinator, Snead confirmed. Hiring of OC could take a bit. Not much urgency because McVay calls plays.

    (This one from Shelly Smith @ ESPN) Kroenke, Demoff, Marshall Faulk and Sean McVay had dinner at Spago. Wolfgang Puck came over 3 times to say, "We need a coach."

    Rams had interview scheduled w/ Shanahan Sunday, but Kroenke offered McVay job over breakfast THU. "We knew we had our guy," Demoff said.

    Agent Bob LaMonte first met Sean McVay over lunch four years ago. He left thinking, "This guy is the next Jon Gruden."

    Sean McVay spoke to Eric Dickerson on the phone yesterday and said he's looking forward to forging that relationship. Smart.

    Rams QB Jared Goff spent two hours breaking down film with Sean McVay last week and was blown away. "Right off the bat you could tell that his knowledge is extremely high. Far higher than a lot of guys."

    Demoff: "You were always worried about making sure that Jared had continuity." Demoff brought up the relationship between Sean Payton and Drew Brees, and Jon Gruden with Rich Gannon. "Getting that right pair with the quarterback was imperative."
    -01-13-2017, 02:54 PM
  • Nick
    Snead, McVay Pleased with Three Quality Players on Day 2
    by Nick
    Snead, McVay Pleased with Three Quality Players on Day 2
    Posted 7 hours ago
    Myles Simmons
    Rams Insider

    Though they came into Day 2 with two picks, the Rams ended the evening with three players after a key trade.

    Los Angeles selected tight end Gerald Everett in the second round, followed by wide receiver Cooper Kupp and safety John Johnson in the third.

    “These are guys that Les and his staff had really targeted for a long time,” Rams head coach Sean McVay said, referring to general manager Les Snead. “We know we got better with three spots.”

    In order to do that, the Rams traded their No. 37 and No. 149 picks for the Bills’ No. 44 and No. 91 selections. With a pick early in the second round, Snead said he had an idea the phone might start buzzing with teams trying to move up.

    “I think if we go back a couple drafts ago … I do remember we had an early pick in the second round, we were going to draft some OL — we had done Gurley — and there were a lot of OL on the board, and it was just hard to pick, who do we want? And at that moment, there were a lot of teams — the phone just started buzzing,” Snead said.

    “So I think I remember writing a note down then — you know what, if you ever have an early second-round pick, it’s a good spot to be in,” Snead continued. “Usually, there’s a lot of teams that want to move up.”

    It worked out well for the Rams in this case, with the club picking up a selection in the third round while still selecting Everett — a player Snead called one of McVay’s favorites in the entire draft.

    “Gerald was one of those guys that was, let’s call it Scenario A, Scenario 1,” Snead said. “You always prepare trying to figure out where you can get players in the draft, but that’s the guesstimate at times and you can lose him. But we thought that if we did move back, get an extra third-round selection, we could also still get Gerald.”

    Everett began his college career at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, but transferred to the University of South Alabama once UAB’s football program was shut down. In two years at South Alabama, Everett caught 90 passes for 1,292 yards and 12 touchdowns.

    “I think I bring the complete package of a tight end,” Everett told reporters on Friday. “Definitely a vertical threat first, but also being a willing blocker in the run game — just being able to create that mismatch at any point of time in the game.”

    The tight end likely projects more as a receiver early on in his career, particularly as he’ll have to adjust from being a part of a spread offense in college. But McVay seemed excited at the prospect of using Everett, Tyler Higbee, and Temarrick Hemingway all on the field at once.

    “Being able to add a player like Gerald Everett, I think those three complement each other very well,” McVay said. “When you can do...
    -04-29-2017, 06:37 AM
  • MauiRam
    Competion In L.A.
    by MauiRam

    As for the Rams, the Sean McVay hire makes all the sense in the world on paper. Take the 32nd-ranked offense in the NFL and put it in the hands of the man who helped Kirk Cousins grow into one of the most prolific and accurate quarterbacks in the NFL. (If that sounds like an exaggeration, recall that Cousins passed for 4,917 yards last season in Washington, third-most in the NFL, and completed 67% of his passes, good for seventh.)

    The bigger unknown when it came to McVay,s hiring was how his age (31) would translate into ability to lead and manage a football team of 53 egos and personalities on a middling franchise one year into relocating to the second-most populous city in the United States.

    Andrew Whitworth took the leap of faith when he left the team that drafted him in 2006, the Bengals, to join the Rams at 35 years old on a three-year, $36 million contract to anchor an offensive line that allowed 49 sacks in 2016. Whitworth is one of two players on the roster who is older than McVay, who was a high school freshman quarterback running the triple option at Marist School in Atlanta when Whitworth was a redshirt freshman at LSU in 2001. Adding Whitworth may prove to be the best decision McVay and GM Les Snead have made early in the process of turning around the Rams, not simply for his pass blocking but for his experience in McVay's offense. The scheme Whitworth learned under Jay Gruden in Cincinnati is, with slight variations, the same one McVay learned under Gruden in Washington. Former No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff spends much of his time with Whitworth quizzing him on how Andy Dalton handled certain situations in the offense.

    In Whitworth's estimation, the message McVay would deliver this summer would resonate and had the potential to set a permanent tone for the season, good or bad.

    You listen to him talk about defense, offense, special teams and you realize this guy knows football like no other. He's special in that way, Whitworth says. But there's something else that makes him special. I would imagine its very hard for a coach of his age to be as assertive as he has and cover the topics he has in a team meeting setting. Talking about character, about being accountable to one another, focus, discipline, the way we communicate with other.

    I think it's a great place to start a football team. You see teams that are really successful when guys carry themselves the right way on and off the field.

    Connor Barwin, another veteran free agent acquired this offseason by Snead, came away similarly impressed with McVay: He's figured out what he believes in and what he wants to stand for and what he wants the team to stand for, Barwin says. That's something that's important, and something somebody might not expect out of a young coach.

    McVay has introduced in his short time with the football team a theme of competition. Whitworth says it...
    -07-26-2017, 10:44 AM
  • MauiRam
    Les Snead knows his role as general manager, & the NFL draft will help define it
    by MauiRam
    By Gary Klein

    The gleaming white, high-tech stationary bike sits just to the right of the desk in Les Snead’s office, across the room from a wall-mounted television monitor and next to a large whiteboard.

    With an iPad perched atop the bike’s black handlebars, and a water bottle nestled just below it, the Rams general manager can multitask while spinning.

    He says he watches video of the team and of draft prospects. He catches up on email. Sometimes, the exercise just clears his mind.

    “When you’re on it, your mind gets away,” he says, nodding toward the Schwinn. “That’s where some of your big-picture thoughts come into play.”

    Since the end of the Rams’ 4-12 season — which continued a 13-year playoff drought — Snead has been preparing for next week’s draft.

    This will be his sixth with the Rams, the first with new Coach Sean McVay and the first without former coach Jeff Fisher.

    Snead, like Fisher, received a two-year contract extension before last season. And he survived the aftermath of Fisher’s December firing.

    So a strong draft performance would seemingly protect his status.

    But when asked whether he feels pressure or thinks his job is on the line with this draft, he says he simply plays a role in a collective effort.

    “In our business, [pressure] implies there’s some sort of distress level,” he says, adding, “There’s no distress.

    “This is a ‘we’ thing. This isn’t singles tennis. … There’s an urgent determination and drive to get this thing to where we all want it to be, and the draft is a key component.”

    In the weeks leading up to last year’s draft, Snead made a blockbuster trade with the Tennessee Titans that enabled the Rams to move from No. 15 to No. 1 and select former California quarterback Jared Goff.

    This year’s draft apparently won’t be a referendum on Snead.

    “The most important thing for the organization in this draft is that Les and Sean have a vision of what they want to achieve together and how to go execute it,” Kevin Demoff, the Rams’ executive vice-president of football operations, says. “I don’t think any draft or free-agency period is ever make or break. You have to look at a body of work in totality.”

    Defensive tackle Aaron Donald and running back Todd Gurley, first-round picks in 2014 and 2015, respectively, were the NFL rookies of the year.

    Defensive tackle Michael Brockers, receiver Tavon Austin and linebacker Alec Ogletree are other first-round picks in the last five years that remain starters.

    But there also have been high-profile picks that did not work out.

    Penalty-prone offensive lineman Greg Robinson, the No. 2 pick in the 2014 draft, twice was benched last season and is being moved from left to right tackle.

    “The organization drafted rookies of the year in back-to-back years, so...
    -04-22-2017, 07:27 PM