The Los Angeles Rams stunning resurgence in 2017 was brought to an abrupt halt on Saturday evening as the defending NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons defeated them in the Coliseum 26-13. After this bitter defeat, 31-year-old head coach Sean McVay is using this as an opportunity to grow. McVay and the Rams are ready to come back stronger, smarter and more fierce for their 2018 campaign. Before that, we’ll take some time to look back on McVay’s now-completed rookie season as head coach of the L.A. Rams and give him the appropriate grade.
Where to Improve
While McVay did cement his status as a mastermind to many with his attention to detail with his offense, he still made very many rookie mistakes this season. While his methods did work out a great amount of the time to keep the Rams in big games, he’d often abandon the run with MVP candidate in running back Todd Gurley, which would always leave fans and analysts simply thinking: why?
McVay loves to spread the ball around to many different targets. He wanted to have Jared Goff grow and throw the ball many times during the course of the game and give the defense a lot of different looks to catch them off balance. To his credit, it would work often, and in crucial moments. But he would also often miss the mark and the empty plays would plague the offensive unit. With all these critiques it just comes down to the fact that he’s in this spot for a reason. He will continually hold himself accountable for the shortcomings the team endures. It’ll be interesting to see what more he does for the Rams in 2018. Especially now that the other teams have a season’s worth of a film to learn how to combat his lethal number one scoring offense.
No Ceiling in Sight
Finishing out the season in the wildcard round, with a regular season record of 11-5, and taking the worst scoring offense in the NFL to first was not something many analysts, writers, and even fans had in mind for this team and Sean McVay. And he still has very much to learn. Whether it’s about his ever-changing roster or his craft as a play caller, he took a losing franchise with no silver lining in sight and gave it a very positive outlook.
He has taken Jared Goff, the number one pick in the 2016 NFL Draft that many labeled a bust last season, and turned him into a poised professional quarterback. It’s simply just the beginning for McVay and his ceiling is still very high. One simple quote from the coach proves it: “We’re building a foundation where that trajectory is pointing upward for the Rams”. One great season won’t define him because he won’t let it. His work ethic is driven by bringing a championship to the city of Los Angeles.
Overall Grade: B+
Coming into the league at 31 years old and becoming a leader of men isn’t a light task. McVay had the mission of making all of his guys, rookies and vets alike, simply buy into his young mind and follow his lead; he did just that in one offseason. He did that in an offseason spent with many players he didn’t draft or sign. These men rallied around him and took his commitment to excellence to heart. Sean McVay will continue to change the culture of the Rams and from with them. It’ll be extremely intriguing to see how hungry these players are and their now second-year head coach will be an inch closer to the 2018 season.
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