The Rams’ search for their next head coach continued on Jan. 5, with the club reportedly meeting with Washington offensive coordinator Sean McVay. Here are three nuggets to know about one of the NFL’s top young offensive assistants.
1) Quick rise through the ranks
At the age of just 30, McVay has quickly developed into one of the league’s hot names for this coaching cycle. McVay got his start in the NFL under Jon Gruden in Tampa Bay in 2008, and after a year in the UFL, arrived in Washington as the assistant tight ends coach. He was elevated to the tight ends coach in 2011 under head coach Mike Shanahan and promoted to offensive coordinator in 2014 with the arrival of head coach Jay Gruden.
Despite the younger Gruden’s offensive background, McVay calls Washington’s plays, albeit in conjunction with Gruden and offensive line coach Bill Callahan. That’s all part of why Gruden recently said he feels McVay has earned an opportunity to interview for head coaching positions, despite his age.
2) Aided in development of Kirk Cousins
Under McVay’s tutelage, Washington quarterback Cousins has become one of the league’s most accurate passers over the last two years. The signal-caller ended the 2015 season leading the league by completing 69.8 percent of his passes, and he wasn’t too far behind that mark in 2016 with a 67 percent completion rate.
That’s a significant part of why Washington finished No. 3 in total offense in 2016, and No. 2 in passing offense. The offense also protected the passer well, with Washington finishing No. 4 in sack rate.
Though the offense finished No. 21 in rushing yards per game, McVay’s unit was No. 9 in yards per carry in 2016. Undrafted rookie running back Robert Kelley emerged as a backfield threat, finishing with 704 yards rushing in nine starts, including a 137-yard, three-touchdown performance in a victory over Green Bay in Week 11.
3) Football pedigree
McVay comes from a strong football family, as his grandfather, John McVay, was one of the architects of the 49ers dynasty of the 80s and 90s. The elder McVay was was the head coach of the Giants from 1976-1978 before taking over as San Francisco’s vice president/director of football operations from 1980-1994. During that time, the Niners won five Super Bowl Championships.