Check out photos of Sean McVay during his first year as head coach for the Los Angeles Rams.
MINNEAPOLIS — Sean McVay engineered a historic turnaround in his first year as the Rams' head coach and now he has been rightly rewarded for his performance. McVay was named the Associated Press Coach of the Year at Saturday's NFL Honors ceremony in Minnesota.
Named the youngest head coach in modern league history on January 12, 2017, McVay led Los Angeles to an 11-5 record and the franchise's first NFC West title since 2003. Under McVay's direction, the Rams went from last to first in scoring — becoming only the second team in league history to accomplish such a feat. The Rams' 478 points more than doubled their output from 2016 and ranks No. 4 in team history.
With McVay as the play caller, Los Angeles' young core of offensive players showed significant growth and progress. Running back Todd Gurley finished 2017 leading the league in yards from scrimmage (2,093), total touchdowns (19), and rushing touchdowns (13). Gurley also ended the season No. 2 in yards rushing with 1,305.
Quarterback Jared Goff also had a strong sophomore campaign, becoming the PFWA Most Improved Player of the Year. Goff completed 62.1 percent of his passes for 3,804 yards with 28 touchdowns and just seven interceptions — becoming the first quarterback in franchise history to throw for at least 25 touchdowns with single-digit interceptions.
While McVay's coaching schemes were undoubtedly successful, the head coach also fostered a new attitude and culture within the team. And that was a significant reason for Los Angeles' success in 2017.
"I think it's been implemented from the top down," Goff said in January of the Rams' 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."
McVay is the fourth Rams head coach to be named AP Coach of the Year. Dick Vermeil (1999), Chuck Knox (1972), and George Allen (1967) are the franchise's other recipients. McVay was also named Coach of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America in January.