On January 12, 2017, Los Angeles Rams Owner/Chairman E. Stanley Kroenke named Sean McVay the 23rd full-time head coach in franchise history. McVay became the youngest coach in modern NFL history.
In McVay's second season guiding the Rams, the 32-year-old leader turned in one of the best seasons in franchise history. The Rams posted a 13-3 record, which tied for the second-best record in franchise history, won a pair of playoff games and advanced to the Rams fourth Super Bowl appearance days after his 33rd birthday, becoming the youngest NFL head coach to ever help his team to a Super Bowl.
The 2018 Los Angeles Rams built on the successful foundation McVay and company laid in their first season in 2017. With the guidance of McVay, the Rams' passing attack finished among the top-10 in passing yards per attempt (8.33, 4th), passing yards per game (295.6, 5th) and touchdowns (32, tied for 8th). Third-year QB Jared Goff set career-bests across the stat sheet, amassing 4,688 passing yards, the second-best single-season output in Rams history.
In the run game, RB Todd Gurley II followed up an MVP caliber 2017 season with an equally impressive 2018 campaign in which he led the NFL in touchdowns (21) and points scored amongst non-kickers (132) for the second-consecutive year. His 17 rushing touchdowns were a career-high and the second-most single season rushing scores in Rams history.
The Rams are the league's top-scoring team (1,005) since the start of the 2017 season and are the only team in the NFL to have scored over 1,000 points in the two-year span.
L.A. added star power to its defensive unit following the 2017 season. The Rams played stout defensive football down the stretch, securing a first-round bye in the 2018 playoffs. The Rams held the Patriots offensive attack to only 13 points in Super Bowl LIII. The defense was led by DT Aaron Donald, who posted a franchise-best 20.5 sacks, the most ever by a defensive tackle. Donald recorded 183.5 sack yards, the most ever by a defender in a single season. As a unit, the Rams ranked sixth with 1.6 takeaways per game.
The Rams special teams unit continued to flourish during the 2018 season, highlighted by LB Cory Littleton earning his first- career Pro Bowl nod. Littleton blocked a pair of punts during the 2018 season. K Greg Zuerlein converted on a 57-yard game winning field goal in overtime of the NFC Championship game to send the Rams to the Super Bowl. The 57-yarder marked the longest game-winning kick in playoff history.
In his first season guiding the Rams, McVay completed one of the greatest offensive turnarounds in NFL history. He helped the Rams move from the 32nd-ranked scoring offense in 2016 to the league's top-scoring team in 2017, marking the first time in league history a team has gone from last to first in scoring. The first-year head coach led the Rams to an 11-5 record and their first NFC West title since the 2003 season, earning the team's first playoff berth since 2004.
Following his first season in L.A., McVay was named The Associated Press Coach of the Year, becoming the youngest head coach to ever win the award. RB Todd Gurley II brought home Offensive Player of the Year honors, while DT Aaron Donald was named the Defensive Player of the Year, marking the first time in the 45 year history of the awards there was a sweep of three of the league's top awards. The Rams placed eight players in the 2018 Pro Bowl, the most in a single season by the franchise since the 1999 campaign.
Under McVay's guidance in 2017, second-year QB Jared Goff flourished, earning his first Pro Bowl appearance. Goff completed 296-of-477 (62.1 percent) of his passes for 3,804 yards with 28 touchdowns and seven interceptions posting a 100.5 QB rating on the season. Gurley led the league in scrimmage yards finishing the year with 2,093 yards, including 1,305 rushing yards and 788 receiving yards. Additionally, Gurley was the league's highest scoring non-kicker posting 19 total touchdowns on the season.
The Rams defense posted the fourth-most sacks (48.0), tied for sixth in interceptions (18) and finished the 2017 campaign fifth in total takeaways with 28 on the season. The 28 takeaways directly resulted in 126 points for L.A., the second-best total in the NFL.
In his first season as head coach, the Rams special teams unit played an integral part in the team's success and was rewarded with a total of four special teamers being named to the Pro Bowl. The L.A. special teams unit was a top-10 finisher in 18 of the 22 statistical categories in the 2017 special-teams rankings.
Before joining the Rams, McVay completed his third season as the Redskins' offensive coordinator in 2016 after initially being promoted to the position on January 15, 2014. Prior to his promotion during the 2014 offseason, McVay spent three seasons as the team's tight ends coach (2011-13) and one as an offensive assistant (2010).
The 2016 Redskins' offensive unit broke many franchise records and ranked in the top-three in a number of statistical categories. The Washington offense became the first unit in franchise history to average over 400 yards per game (403.4) and notched a franchise record 6,545 total net yards.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins finished the year with single-season team records in completions (406) and passing yards (4,917) and matched his team record for 300-yard passing games (seven). His 4,917 passing yards ranked third in the NFL in 2016 and are the 15th-most in a season in NFL history. Cousins closed out the season ranked second in the NFL in passing yards per game (297.4), passing yards per play (7.84) and yards per play (6.4), in addition to being the league's third ranked offensive team, averaging 403.4 yards per game.
From 2015-16, Cousins threw for 9,083 yards, the fourth highest output by a quarterback trailing only Drew Brees (10,078), Matt Ryan (9,535) and Philip Rivers (9,178).
The Redskins offense had eight players finish the season with at least 500 yards from scrimmage (DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Jamison Crowder, Rob Kelley, Chris Thompson, Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis and Matt Jones), tying the 2011 New Orleans Saints for the most in a single season in NFL history.
McVay's group posted a breakout campaign in his second year as offensive coordinator in 2015, including record- setting performances by quarterback Kirk Cousins and tight end Jordan Reed. McVay's scheme and tutelage helped Cousins break Redskins records for attempts (543), completions (379), passing yards (4,166) and 300- yard passing games (seven) in a single season. Reed has been a direct beneficiary of McVay's work, spending 2013 as a member of his unit during McVay's time as tight ends coach and being a focal point of the offense in 2015, as Reed recorded 87 receptions for 952 yards (both team records for a tight end) with 11 receiving touchdowns (one shy of the team record) in 2015.
Collectively, McVay's 2015 offense recorded Top 10 rankings in third down percentage (43.5, fifth in the NFL), red zone scoring percentage (61.2, eighth), yards per play (5.6, 10th) and points per game (24.3, 10th). The Redskins also led the NFL with a team-record 69.5 completion percentage in 2015, leading the league in the category for the 11th time in team history and the first time since 1970.
In his first season as offensive coordinator in 2014, McVay helped the offense to a Top 10 league ranking in yards per play (5.7) despite starting three different quarterbacks. His work with the three passers was instrumental in setting a team record for completion percentage (66.5 percent, later broken in 2015) and helping facilitate the explosive debut season of wide receiver DeSean Jackson. Jackson averaged a league-best 20.9 yards per reception and became only the fourth player in team history to lead the NFL in that category.
In 2013, McVay played a crucial role in Reed's development, as the then-rookie compiled 45 receptions for 499 yards – both Redskins' single-season rookie tight end records – despite Reed playing in only nine games. Under McVay's tutelage, Reed joined Chris Cooley (2004) as the only Redskins tight ends named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team. In addition, McVay helped tight end Logan Paulsen from an undrafted free agent into a 30-game starter from 2010-13, with Paulsen increasing his reception total each season.
During Washington's NFC East championship season in 2012, McVay's unit was productive despite losing starting tight end Fred Davis to a torn Achilles tendon in Week 7. Davis had led the team in both receptions (24) and receiving yards (325) through seven games before being placed on the reserve/injured list.
In 2011, McVay played an integral role in Davis' emergence, as the then fourth-year tight end surpassed his previous career highs despite playing in only 12 games. Davis caught 59 passes for 796 yards, the second-highest total on the team in both categories. Before missing the final four games of the season, Davis was on pace to set a franchise record in receiving yards by a tight end and was on pace to post the first 1,000-yard receiving season by a tight end in Redskins' history.
McVay served as an offensive assistant to the Redskins in 2010 in addition to working with the tight ends during the final four weeks of the season following coach Jon Embree's departure. The Redskins offense ranked eighth in the NFL in passing yards per game (244.6) and tight end Chris Cooley ranked second among NFL tight ends in receptions (77) and third in receiving yards (849). The offensive unit also set a franchise record for completions in a season (349), and registered a touchdown pass in 15 consecutive games for the first time in team history.
McVay joined the Redskins prior to the 2010 season after an undefeated regular season with the Florida Tuskers of the United Football League (UFL). The Tuskers finished a perfect 6-0 before losing in the UFL's inaugural championship game. McVay originally entered the National Football League as an offensive assistant with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008.
During his time in Tampa Bay, McVay worked closely with wide receiver Antonio Bryant, who recorded career highs in receptions (83), receiving yards (1,248), and touchdowns (seven), en route to winning The Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Following his second season as an NFL head coach, McVay ranked 17th on Fortune Magazine's World's Greatest Leaders Top-50 List. McVay is joined on the list by the likes of Bill Gates and Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zeland. The complete rankings are found in the May 2019 issue of Fortune.
McVay graduated from Miami University (Ohio) where he played wide receiver from 2004-07, earning Miami's Scholar- Athlete Award in 2007. His grandfather, John, served in various roles – including vice president/director of football operations from 1983-94 – for the San Francisco 49ers from 1979-95, overseeing five Super Bowl championship squads and earning induction into the 49ers Hall of Fame in 2013.
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