After leading the Rams to an 11-5 record and their first NFC West title since 2003, head coach Sean McVay has been named Coach of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America.
McVay helped Los Angeles complete one of the most remarkable year-to-year turnarounds in league history, taking the club from No. 32 to No. 1 in scoring. The Rams' 478 points more than doubled their output from 2016 and ranks No. 4 in franchise history.
Under McVay's leadership, the Rams finished the year with a winning record for the first time in 14 years — clinching that mark with a Week 13 victory over the Cardinals. The club did not lose two games in a row during the regular season all year, at best going on a four-game win streak — with a bye mixed in — from Week 6 to Week 10.
As the offensive playcaller, McVay played a pivotal role in running back Todd Gurley leading the league in total touchdowns (19), rushing touchdowns (13), and yards from scrimmage (2,093). The PFWA named Gurley its Offensive Player of the Year earlier this week.
McVay was also instrumental in furthering quarterback Jared Goff's development. In his second season, Goff completed 62.1 percent of his passes for 3,804 yards with 28 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. The quarterback became the first in franchise history to throw at least 25 touchdowns and single-digit interceptions.
But more than that, McVay was able to change the culture in and around the franchise. And that element was vital for the Rams' success in 2017.
"I think it's been implemented from the top down," Goff said recently of the culture change. "It starts at the top and I think the coaching staff understands that. They hold themselves to a high standard, and when they do that, so do we. And Sean's ultimately the leader of the whole organization here. And when he holds himself to that type of standard, it makes us do the same thing."
"Just the way he came in, his whole demeanor about everything, just hearing about him, how good of a dude he was, and then that actually being true," Gurley said recently. "And he just surprises us more and more just his football knowledge, his character, and just how good of a person he is."
McVay is the third in franchise history to receive Coach of the Year honors from the PFWA. Dick Vermeil won the award in 1999, and Chuck Knox received NFC Coach of the Year in 1973 (from 1967-1989, the PFWA selected separate AFL/NFL and AFC/NFC Coach of the Year winners).
The PFWA is made up of accredited writers who cover the NFL and its 32 teams on a daily basis.