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Why has everyone lost faith in LA Rams HC Sean McVay?

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  • Why has everyone lost faith in LA Rams HC Sean McVay?


    Why has everyone lost faith in LA Rams HC Sean McVay?

    by Tareq Rafiq18 hours ago.(Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)
    With projections of 6-8 wins, it seems the national media has lost faith in LA Rams HC Sean McVay


    LA Rams head coach Sean McVay roared into NFL prominence from the moment he took over the team. 11 wins followed by 13 wins and a Super Bowl berth (In that contest, the Rams were just two Brandin Cooks drops away from winning it), and a 9 win season. It seems that everyone lost faith in the boy genius. Most people are picking the Rams to come in 3rd place in the NFC West and some are even saying the Rams will be in the LAST place of the NFC West. Is that logical or just trolling the guy who has never had a losing NFL season?

    It’s unbelievable to think so. The Rams lost two very close games in 2019, one lost by a San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garapollo heave. The other by a Rams Greg Zuerlein missed field goal in Seattle. Just one win away from making the playoffs. Perhaps those two wins from a completely different 2020 offseason. The Rams did lose WR Brandin Cooks, RB Todd Gurley, ILB Cory Littleton, OLB Dante Fowler, and a few others in the off-season. But all teams endure roster changes. The Rams may be stronger on defense, and more innovative on offense this season.
    No magic, or no faith?


    People think the magic has vanished for the Rams and Sean McVay. Quarterback Jared Goff appeared to regress in 2019. Star running back Todd Gurley had an arthritic knee and was released. The team suffered abundant injuries in 2019 and several coaching changes in the offseason. Many things went wrong for the Rams last year. But why are people so quick to jump off the bandwagon?

    The Rams made some coaching changes in the off-season by adding Kevin O’Connell as the new offensive coordinator and Brandon Staley as the defensive coordinator. The Rams also lost Special Teams Coordinator John Fassel (who I miss, but whose production on ST was dropping rapidly) and replaced him with a good one in John Bonamego. This means that Sean McVay will step back a bit and have a better feel for the team. He’ll have less pressure with the offensive workload. With one more year he’ll have under his belt, he’ll improve even more this year.
    Burning the midnight oil


    Although he did recently admit that he’s worried about burning out which should scare us. But it would also light a fire under him for the team to improve. The Rams drafted some talented players like RB Cam Akers and DB Terrell Burgess. Some players will come back from injuries like John Johnson III and Joseph Noteboom. The Rams added NT A’Shawn Robinson and OLB Leonard Floyd in free agency.

    The Rams have won more than 9 games in the last 3 seasons. THEY HAVE AVERAGED 11 WINS A SEASON SINCE 2017. Everyone relax and let’s take a chill pill. Let’s have this discussion next year if the Rams absolutely stink next season. Is nine wins truly a “sky is falling” scenario, or are recent headlines merely trying scare tactics this year?

    Burning the midnight oil

    Although he did recently admit that he’s worried about burning out which should scare us. But it would also light a fire under him for the team to improve. The Rams drafted some talented players like RB Cam Akers and DB Terrell Burgess. Some players will come back from injuries like John Johnson III and Joseph Noteboom. The Rams added NT A’Shawn Robinson and OLB Leonard Floyd in free agency.

    The Rams have won more than 9 games in the last 3 seasons. THEY HAVE AVERAGED 11 WINS A SEASON SINCE 2017. Everyone relax and let’s take a chill pill. Let’s have this discussion next year if the Rams absolutely stink next season. Is nine wins truly a “sky is falling” scenario, or are recent headlines merely trying scare tactics this year?

    Oh, by the way, the Rams have All-Pro DB Jalen Ramsey and All-Pro DL Aaron Donald. Those guys are pretty good. And two 1000 yard receivers in Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. Those are two incredible players both on offense and defense. We’re better than eight wins folks. Much better.
    Last edited by MauiRam; -07-19-2020, 01:45 PM.

  • #2
    Not everyone.

    Some of us fans have not lost faith and actually look forward to Coach Mac leading the Rams to bounce back with a winning season, in spite of it all. Despite it ALL.

    How? Errr, well ..."Shown 'em how it's done Coach!"

    Comment


    • #3
      I think this probably has as much to do with what everyone else in the West is doing, compared to the Rams.

      Seattle, in my opinion, had a very strange offseason. They could still bring Clowney back, I guess, but until then their pass rush is probably going to be suspect. Trading a fifth rounder for Quinton Dunbar, given how he played in 2019, was a great move. But will he replicate it, and will he also escape legal problems? Big questions. There are some weak links on the offensive line, particularly at right tackle. Greg Olsen is a flashy signing in terms of name value, but he's running on fumes. Still can be dangerous, but not the weapon he used to be. They'll continue to contend with Wilson at QB and a strong running game, but I don't know that they improved tremendously this offseason.

      The Cardinals obviously made some moves. Any team adding DeAndre Hopkins is going to get a major boost to their offense. I'm not a huge Kyler fan but he is going to be more effective when he has DeAndre to throw to. That being said, I think the Rams match up well with the Cardinals' passing weapons. Ramsey has the talent to run toe for toe with Hopkins, Hill has emerged and can likely keep up with the ageless Fitzgerald, and the Rams have talent for the slot whether it's Burgess or Long or whoever. Simmons, the rookie first rounder on defense, is going to give Rams tight ends a run for their money; the Cardinals were awful against the tight end last year but they've got a movable chess piece who can run with them now. Still, I'm not intimidated by what Arizona has on either offensive or defensive lines. I think the Rams' ability to compete with and defeat them will depend on which of these units can consistently win those battles. I like the Rams D-Line matched up against Arizona. As for the Rams' O-Line, it depends on which one we see. Early season? No. Late season? Yes.

      San Francisco will obviously be the toughest challenge, as defending NFC champions. Nothing the ***** did in free agency scares me, but they were able to use their two first round picks to shore up holes at defensive line and wide receiver. Kittle is going to remain the focal point and biggest weapon of the passing game, but Deebo is emerging and Aiyuk has talent though it could be a big learning curve for a rookie. They'll continue to ride the hot hand at running back, which for now looks like Mostert. It'll be interesting to see if McKinnon heals and plays a role. Right now, they're the team to beat, and I don't think they've come off of that pedestal. I still think the Rams match up well against them; defensive line is an issue so the line will have to do its job, but I favor the Rams' weapons if Goff has time and the running game can be established.

      It's easy to poo poo on the Rams, considering they didn't have a first round pick, they lost some players without making big splashy moves to replace them, and many of their more important moves are in the rear view mirror instead of the present. But the bottom line is the Rams still have the talent to compete in the division with any of these teams. They have a QB who has shown the potential to be as good as any in the division, they have arguably the best starting combo or trio of receivers in the division, Higbee's emergence puts the Rams TE situation behind the ***** and LA is trending up there. Still the best defensive line in the division IMO, and I think Ramsey is right there at the top of the division at corner with Sherman chasing him. It's going to sound like a broken record, but I think the Rams' success will go as far as the OL will carry them. If they can protect Goff, if they can open holes in the running game, the Rams will compete in the division. If the Rams allow pressure or can't move the pile to get positive down and distance situations, it'll be a struggle. The fact that the Rams didn't make much effort to improve the line and are focusing on growth with current personnel is another reason why it's easy for those looking from the outside to downplay their chances. We'll only know how it turns out after the games are played (if they are).

      Comment


      • #4
        I think Mcvay is a good young coach. I also think that the bloom is off the rose in terms of his magician status. He failed simply been an absolute miserable failure at in game adjustments and it has cost the Rams a number of games over his tenure, including the super bowl. I have faith in him and believe in him and i think a number of the issues (ie offensive line) are as much personnel related as they are head coaching. But the fact remains that a great deal of mcvays play calling remains a complete mystery to me and his failure to utilize gurley in different ways and in key situations has really cost us badly. I just see no way around that. Sometimes there is no substitute for experience and that is what mcvay still lacks. How quickly will he learn? Unclear. What is clear is that in the NFL teams adjust very quickly. McVay's offense went down hill starting coming out of the bye week in the game against the lions in the 2019 season and has not been the same since. Others have adjusted to his schemes and plans and he has not made the needed counter moves. The situation is not terrible, its just that the bloom is off the rose and the idea of mcvay as boy genius is no longer being thrown around, nor should it be.

        Ramming speed to all

        general counsel

        Comment


        • #5
          A lot of very good opinions above. I, too, think many "Anti-McVay" or "Anti-Rams" sentiments are as much a reflection of the other teams in the NFC West as they are about anything else. I do feel SF and Seattle are better teams on paper. I also think AZ has improved. But I DO NOT think anyone is head and shoulders above the Rams. They could absolutely challenge for the division, given their overall talent and relative youth. That said, they have a lot of new pieces which must click for things to trend that way: new coordinators on offense, defense and special teams, the departure of prior feature back Todd Gurley and centerpieces Littleton, Fowler and Cooks. With games 1-3 featuring contests vs Dallas, Philly and Buffalo, LA is looking down the barrel at an 0-3 start if they have big failures in multiple areas.

          Concerning McVay, he was in an extremely favorable position when succeeding Jeff Fisher. The transformation of a team (and specifically the offense) that had been awful for years led to a lot of high praise and created an excitement we hadn't felt in years. Fast forward four years: As GC said, the bloom is off the rose, and with heightened expectations comes scrutiny he didn't face in previous years. McVay rightly took a hit for his failure in the Super Bowl- one of the ugliest, most disappointing Super Bowls ever in which his offense was a total disaster against a very beatable New England team. It left a terrible taste. Last year's up and down season in which McVay sometimes seemed unable to make successful adjustments to help an offense that periodically sputtered reinforced some of those earlier criticisms.

          I am glad McVay is our coach and think the best is yet to come. I do think, however, this season will serve as a barometer of just how good McVay is, given the numerous staff/personnel changes, and the strength of the rest of the division.
          Last edited by NJ Ramsfan1; -07-22-2020, 01:23 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            No matter how a coach slices or dices it, football when distilled down to the very basics is ultimately about matchups. If not, there would be no need for audibles on either side of the LOS.

            We have 2 new coordinators – offensive and defensive. As Nick points out, we still have abundant talent on the roster on both sides of the ball. We’ve got some solid talent on defense (D-line, and secondary) with admittedly legitimate question marks at linebacker.

            On offense there is solid talent at QB, WR, &TE. Running backs? Let’s just say for now that there is reason for optimism – mainly due to the acquisition of Cam Akers. The big mystery is how well our O-line will play. It is doubtful if even the coaches know who the starting 5 will be at this point. Some would say we have good depth there. I'd say we've a lot of big bodies there, as to the actual quality of depth - that remains to be seen.

            I don’t know the reasons as to why Wade Phillips was terminated, but I suspect that McVay wanted a fresh approach, and a youthful infusion. A coach able to better utilize the considerable talent we have on the defensive line and secondary. Staley coming from the Fangio tree will be counted on to conjure up favorable matchups designed to keep opposing OCs guessing. Lastly, although Wade was a great hire for Sean as a new HC, McVay surely has ideas of his own, and wishes to put his personal stamp on the Rams D.

            As others have pointed out, McVay burst on the scene initially creating offensive matchups that were favorable – in some cases fantastic. As time went on opposing DCs were able to adjust, and the original shine began to lose its lustre. Sean was often slow to adjust, stubbornly sticking to his playbook, as opposing DCs eventually designed matchups defensively that stressed our offense. I think it’s safe to surmise that Kevin O’Connell buys into McVay’s vision of the Rams’ offense or Sean wouldn’t have hired him. That said, will Sean still be calling all the plays? Probably at first, but as time goes on and Kevin accrues some real time game experience within Sean’s system I hope McVay will bloom into a full blown head coach and turn over the reins ..

            As GC says, there really is no substitute for experience ..

            Last edited by MauiRam; -07-22-2020, 02:29 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Nicely said Maui. Excellent post.

              Comment


              • #8
                I hate to beat a dead horse, and its obviously a painful memory for all of us, but i make the following statement with about 100% confidence. If i told anyone on this board, let alone any Rams fan on the planet, that new england was going to score 13 points in the super bowl in advance of the game, 100% of us would have bet just about anything that the Rams would have won the game. Sure, our offense hadn't been as good over the second half of the season, but 3 points? Impossible to predict that. As i felt very strongly would happen, McDaniels was badly overmatched by Wade Phillips. I am not surprised we contained them. Wade coached, and our defense played, a sensational game. Alas, mcvay was even more badly outcoached by bellicheat and thus, the loss and what it comes down to is complete lack of adjustments. Can't block up front? Throw to the tight end and the backs. Wait, why throw to the tight end, its not like you have an all pro caliber guy in higbee getting almost no targets all year, wait a minute, that's actually not right, that exactly what we had. Lets keep trying to throw 20 yards downfield over and over and over and over when we cant block up the middle. Great idea. Holy Mike Martz batman, its a rerun of the worst and most painful rams movie of all time, let alone against NE again! Best team lost both times.

                Ramming speed to all

                general counsel

                Comment


                • #9
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                  • #10
                    The jury is still out to say least some extent. In the end it's about the players at this point. Without a running game McVay's offense doesn't work. You can't run without a line and a star running not at 100%. Now the Rams cap space is non existent so the Rams have to rely on largely unproven players to be major cogs in getting the team back in contentiion. in the trenches on both sides of the ball. The re-imagined Oline is getting good Mark's at this stage but I going to wait and see who the starters are this year. They ended better than they started last season but they haven't played a down this year so who knows. Rookie running backs or previous non starters this season, a huge question mark. Linebacker is probably the biggest question mark. The corner spot opposite Ramsey is another position that has to show up this season because that player will see a bunch of action. I'm not big on Hill being able to pull that off.

                    We'll be able to see if McVay can make this squad work. Final judgement on McVay for me will be where the team stands at the end of the 2021 season. By then we'll see if he is a scheme guy or an all around coach. By then it'll be his players more so than 2018 team which had a fair number of players he didn't draft. We'll see.
                    :helmet:

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      MH-I, given some of the recently released metrics on Hill, curious what you issue is with him (especially given his cap number). I like hill, and i am not being critical of your view, just curious as to why you seem to be concerned with him, keeping in mind that in the cap era generally, and in our situation specifically, they can't all be stars. My personal view is the johnson and hill are the next two really solid or better young players that we may well lose at the end of next season because of the cap issues.

                      Ramming speed to all

                      general counsel

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
                        I am glad McVay is our coach and think the best is yet to come. I do think, however, this season will serve as a barometer of just how good McVay is, given the numerous staff/personnel changes, and the strength of the rest of the division.
                        Yep, he's either going to continue to struggle keeping things together, or he's going to bounce back to original form. There have already been a ton of changes, so we'll see if he can make them work. I honestly don't see McVay as an Eric Mangini, I think he's built for prolonged success.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Nick View Post
                          Seattle, in my opinion, had a very strange offseason. They could still bring Clowney back, I guess, but until then their pass rush is probably going to be suspect. Trading a fifth rounder for Quinton Dunbar, given how he played in 2019, was a great move. But will he replicate it, and will he also escape legal problems? Big questions. There are some weak links on the offensive line, particularly at right tackle. Greg Olsen is a flashy signing in terms of name value, but he's running on fumes. Still can be dangerous, but not the weapon he used to be. They'll continue to contend with Wilson at QB and a strong running game, but I don't know that they improved tremendously this offseason.
                          Okay, so the trade for Jamal Adams definitely improved them defensively. If Dunbar escapes legal ramifications, their secondary looks pretty legit.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Nick, given that Adams is still under contract and assuming they dont sign him to an extension right now, do they still have the money to add clowney even on a one year deal.

                            ramming speed to all

                            general counsel

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by General Counsel View Post
                              Nick, given that Adams is still under contract and assuming they dont sign him to an extension right now, do they still have the money to add Clowney even on a one year deal.

                              Ramming speed to all

                              General Counsel

                              Hmm, good question.

                              Comment

                              Related Topics

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                              • Nick
                                Sean McVay and the Rams need to re-hire a full-time offensive coordinator
                                by Nick
                                Sean McVay and the Rams need to re-hire a full-time offensive coordinator
                                By Rich Hammond 4h ago 7

                                THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Even one of history’s greatest bands couldn’t get by without a little help from its friends. So there’s no shame in scrolling through your list of contacts, Sean McVay.

                                The Rams need an offensive coordinator. A full-time, full-fledged one. Not a run-game coordinator or a pass-game coordinator or whatever role that an “assistant coordinator/offense” fills. McVay can, and should, retain offensive play-calling duties in 2020, but he needs another voice — and a strong one.

                                McVay, the Rams’ offensive architect and play-caller, hasn’t employed a traditional coordinator since Matt LaFleur left almost two years ago. Over the past 12 months, it’s become increasingly clear that McVay could benefit from a little more help from a staffer who isn’t also a position coach, someone who can watch the game with more of a calm detachment and gently guide McVay in the right direction.

                                The Rams’ regression on offense this season — and, more notably, the lack of a consistent identity — make it clear that something needs to change. Is McVay prepared to make a proactive move?

                                “You’re always evaluating,” McVay said this week. “The one thing, for myself in this role, is you’re constantly evaluating all the elements that this role entails. You always want to continue to do it at a high level. The way you do get better is, you surround yourself with people that are better than you.”

                                Precisely. And that’s why someone — ideally a veteran coach — needs to be in McVay’s ear, not only during early-week strategy planning but also at halftime, or even in the middle of the first quarter, when in-game adjustments are imperative. McVay and the Rams aren’t far off here — this isn’t a disastrous offense, even though things sometimes look grim — but a little help can go a long way.

                                McVay is one of only three NFL head coaches who does not employ an offensive coordinator. That’s not necessarily a red flag. The other two are McVay’s fellow young-gun NFC West coaches, San Francisco’s Kyle Shanahan and Arizona’s Kliff Kingsbury, and the ***** are enjoying a fantastic offensive season.

                                But the Rams are not. Independent of personnel issues — and there have been many — the offense has been inconsistent and slow to adjust. Opposing defenses, tired of getting steamrolled in 2017 and 2018, have flooded the Rams’ offense with different looks than they show on film and with multiple looks within games.

                                It’s lazy and inaccurate to say McVay has been “figured out.” Coaching requires constant adjustments, from season to season, week to...
                                -12-19-2019, 04:11 PM
                              • MauiRam
                                Competion In L.A.
                                by MauiRam
                                MMQB

                                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
                              • Nick
                                Sean McVay’s intensity gets Rams’ attention as offseason work begins
                                by Nick
                                Sean McVay’s intensity gets Rams’ attention as offseason work begins
                                By RICH HAMMOND | [email protected] | Orange County Register
                                PUBLISHED: April 10, 2017 at 4:32 pm | UPDATED: April 10, 2017 at 4:34 pm

                                THOUSAND OAKS — It’s a tradition on almost every team. Show up to camp, collect your T-shirt with the catchy, coach-speak slogan on the back and attempt to minimize the eye-rolling.

                                The intensity in new coach Sean McVay’s eyes and voice, though, made it impossible to scoff at the “We Not Me” message that Rams players, coaches and staff members wore on blue, cotton tees Monday as the team opened the first phase of its two-month offseason workout program at Cal Lutheran.

                                “Everyone was at full attention,” McVay said. “Guys were locked in. They were engaged. They were ready to go. I think it was definitely the way we wanted it to come off, as a coaching staff. Right now, it’s about building relationships with these guys.”

                                It’s time for a culture change. Previous coach Jeff Fisher largely took a laissez-faire attitude that basically told players to have fun and be loose, as long as they prepared and came ready to play on Sunday. That level of trust made Fisher popular among players, but it also produced a 31-45-1 record from 2012-16.

                                It’s far too early to fete McVay, the youngest coach in NFL history when the Rams hired him in January, but one thing is already clear: McVay is no Fisher. McVay’s body language suggests perpetual intensity, and that seemed to come across to players during their first formal meeting with McVay on Monday.

                                “I think there’s some really good, new energy here,” quarterback Jared Goff said. “Coach McVay and the rest of his staff have done a great job exuding that energy and really letting us feel it. I think it’s really a fresh start for a lot of people. I think it’s a really good feeling. Just freshness is the best way to describe it.”

                                There’s plenty of work ahead. This phase of offseason work, which will continue for two weeks, will focus mostly on off-field strength and conditioning. Per NFL rules, practice-like simulations aren’t allowed until next month, but Monday represented an important moment for McVay and the Rams.

                                For the first time, McVay could transition from handshakes and salutations to football talk. He could distribute playbooks and talk about offensive and defensive systems and possible position changes.

                                Most of all, he could make a good first impression on the players, and vice versa. That seems to have been a success. These offseason workouts are optional, but McVay said all players attended Monday, just more than three months after they completed a dismal 4-12 season.

                                “Everybody came with a fresh start, a different mindset,” defensive tackle Aaron Donald said. “We left with a real bad taste in our mouths last year; a horrible taste. I’m pretty sure everybody is ready,...
                                -04-10-2017, 05:22 PM
                              • viper
                                Bonsignore: Rams are a legitimate playoff threat
                                by viper
                                By Vincent Bonsignore | [email protected] | Daily News

                                PUBLISHED: October 23, 2017 at 12:16 pm | UPDATED: October 23, 2017 at 9:04 pm

                                At the risk of getting ahead of ourselves, it’s time to get ahead of ourselves.

                                That means it’s time to stop pretending or skirting or avoiding.

                                Be it out of fear of jinxing, the other shoe falling or having been burned and hurt so many times before simply protecting yourself from getting your hearts ripped out and trampled upon again.

                                It’s time to embrace and accept reality. And own it.

                                The Rams are a legitimate playoff contender.

                                There, that wasn’t so bad now was it? But why stop there?

                                The Rams are a legitimate threat to make a serious postseason run, too.

                                Boom. It’s out there.

                                And really, what’s to argue at this point?

                                Take a look at the rest of the NFC and tell me there’s a team that has all its bases covered like the Rams do right now.

                                An offense that’s generally been humming behind second-year quarterback Jared Goff, an offensive line playing as well as any in the league, a deep, versatile group of wide receivers and pass targets and running back Todd Gurley, the favorite for Comeback Player of the Year honors and the Most Valuable Player award.

                                They lead the league in scoring and are ninth in total yards. They are the sixth-best rushing team in the NFL and the 12th-best passing team. On both fronts, there is ample room to get even better.

                                There might be better defenses in the NFL, but after stabilizing themselves after a shaky initial transition to Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defensive scheme, the Rams have surrendered just 39 points over the past 14 quarters and, by all data and metrics, seem to be getting even better while combining an underrated back-end pass defense with the big push being generated upfront by Aaron Donald and friends.

                                That’s not all.

                                The Rams special teams are as good as any in the NFL with punter Johnny Hekker, sure-footed kicker Greg Zuerlein and return and coverage units that have already scored touchdowns on a kickoff return and blocked punt, forced a critical fumbled punt and also picked up an important first down on a fake punt.

                                At various times this year, the Rams have beaten opponents by outgunning them offensively, slamming the door shut defensively or generating points via special teams. Sometimes all in the same game.

                                Few teams can say that. And fewer can confidently count on all three phases clicking on a game-to-game basis.

                                The Rams can.

                                Which means they are uniquely built to deal with whatever weather issues lay ahead. And they’re versatile and flexible enough that, if one part of their game is struggling, they can rely on multiple others to help steady the ship or, as they already have this year, flat out be the difference...
                                -10-24-2017, 01:58 PM
                              • MauiRam
                                24 hours ... With Sean McVay
                                by MauiRam
                                He may be the youngest coach in NFL history, but the Rams’ new head man is in unquestioned command of his team. Word for the wise—no daydreaming in meetings!

                                June 8th by Andy Benoit (MMQB)

                                24 Hours … with Sean McVay
                                We spent a day with first-year Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay as the youngest coach in the NFL attempts to make his mark on his team at a recent minicamp.

                                This is the fourth installment of The MMQB’s “24 Hours” series, inside-inside, multimedia stories for the 2017 NFL season, chronicling a day in the life of an important figure in pro football. After seven years in Washington, the last three as Jay Gruden’s offensive coordinator, a soon-to-be 31-year-old Sean McVay took over the Los Angeles Rams in January, becoming the youngest head coach in NFL history (modern era). It’s been a whirlwind first off-season, though if you observe McVay running the team, you’d think he’s been at it for a decade. In May, during the Rams’ third OTA session (which meant full days with the players and live practices), McVay welcomed us behind the curtain.
                                * * *
                                Los Angeles, Calif.
                                May 24, 2017
                                9:43 p.m. PT
                                Sean McVay answers the door to his contemporary-style house in Encino Hills, a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley northwest of downtown L.A. He moved in a few weeks earlier. His mother, an interior designer in Atlanta, has been furnishing the place. She’s off to a strong—and, to McVay’s occasional astonishment, expensive—start. But her work is far from done. About half of the home’s 4,660 square feet remain bare. McVay lives here with his girlfriend, Veronica, who moved with him from Virginia.
                                After McVay, the former offensive coordinator in Washington, got the Rams job on Jan. 12, he planned on returning to his Reston, Va., townhouse to gather his things. But there was too much to do in California. So Veronica and a few friends took care of clearing the townhouse, and it sold in a day. McVay never made it back.
                                He’s wearing his usual: shorts, t-shirt and running shoes. “Come in, make yourself at home,” he says.
                                * * *
                                10:01 p.m.
                                McVay toured six houses when he got to L.A. The fourth felt like the winner. But then he saw this one. It overlooks Burbank and has an enormous open patio. The bells and whistles abound: a gas fire table near the edge of the balcony; a miniature balcony overlooking the pool; floodlights—remarkably powerful floodlights; surround sound inside and outside; an Alexa system that controls the lights on command. (“Alexa, turn all off.”) And a glass wall that slides open at the push of a button, converting the living room into essentially a fancy covered patio.
                                “Pretty cool, huh?” McVay says as he reveals each nook and cranny. He’s too earnestly impressed to be bragging. He grabs a beer and takes a seat near the gas fire table, only to discover that the cushions of his new patio furniture are damp. Oh well. He’s calling...
                                -06-11-2017, 04:06 PM
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