Sean McVay: A glimpse of the NFL’s future

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The past few seasons the NFL has been enamored with the up and coming head coach from LA, Sean McVay. The 33-year-old 5’10” McVay may not be very big physically, but in the NFL coaching world he is well on his way to becoming a giant. At 22, he started his NFL coaching career under the former Super Bowl winning Head Coach Jon Gruden in 2008 as the Assistant Wide Receivers Coach in Tampa Bay. He moved on to do a year stint in the UFL, and then spent 7 seasons with the Washington Redskins. Starting out as the TE coach before being promoted to Offensive Coordinator in 2014 at age 28. Then his coaching career was catapulted when he took the Rams Head Coaching job after the dismissal of Jeff Fisher in 2017.

Since that point, he has gathered a 24-8 regular season record for a 75% winning percentage. Not a bad way to start your Head Coaching career McVay. With the sweeping changes to the culture and scheme that he has brought, it seems like a distant memory now when they were the lowly Rams of the NFC West. Where they won just 35% games under 5 years of Jeff Fisher.

The key to his success in LA was bringing in a great defensive mind in Wade Philips with his 3-4 base defense and McVay with his own version of the Gruden based West Coast offense. He has basically taken the core concepts of Jay and Jon Gruden’s West Coast offense and made it more explosive. He does this by simply using shorter dink and dunk passing routes to set up explosive shots down field. He also uses misdirection whenever possible to throw the opposing defense off their sent. With that said, he has found a way to keep the offense simple enough to maximize the talents of QB Jared Goff and the strengths of RB Todd Gurley.

The young yet booming career of McVay obviously has caught the attention of the NFL who has already started a coaching tree. In fact others have been influenced by McVay indirectly (i.e. Kingsbury or Kitchens) after they were hired by NFL teams looks to find the next McVay type coach.  The NFL does seem to be trending younger when it comes to Head Coaching hires, as owners are starting to value youth over a tenured coach with a thick resume. Time will tell what type of results it will yield in this copycat league. For the moment though Sean McVay is the leader of this new wave in the NFL.

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