Sean McVay

NFC West Notes: Rams, McVay, Seahawks

The Rams recently extended both head coach Sean McVay and general manager Les Snead through the 2023 season, and Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com reports club owner Stan Kroenke was the “driving force” behind the dual deals. McVay was set to enter the upcoming campaign as one of the lowest-paid head coaches in the NFL, and — given the youthful coach’s success — Kroenke wanted to reward him. Additionally, Kroenke wanted McVay and Snead’s contract to align and run through the same season, per Breer. It’s unclear exactly how far into the future Snead had previously been under contract, but it was for fewer than the three years McVay had remaining.

Here’s more from the NFC West:

  • Bobby Wagner became the highest-paid linebacker in the NFL under the terms of his new extension, and we now have some more details on the Seahawks star’s pact. Wagner’s three-year, $54MM deal will allow him to collect $24.5MM in 2019 instead of the $11.5MM he was due this year on his previous deal, tweets Tom Pelissero of NFL.com. Additionally, Wagner will secure rolling injury guarantees of $10.75MM in 2020 and $5MM in 2021 that change to full guarantees on the fifth day of that season’s waiver period. Former agent and current CBSSports.com contributor Joel Corry broke down the deal, which Wagner negotiated himself.
  • The Seahawks will work out running backs Chris Warren and Brian Wallace this week, per Brady Henderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link). As Henderson notes, Warren’s father made three Pro Bowls as a Seattle running back from 1990-97. The younger Warren posted an excellent 2018 preseason but missed the entire regular season after suffering a knee injury. He was waived by the Raiders this week after struggling with conditioning issues.
  • In case you missed it, the Rams gave wideout Robert Woods a raise for the 2019 season. In a rare NFL occurrence, Los Angeles handed Woods an extra $1MM in base salary and a new $2MM roster bonus with no strings attached.

Rams Extend Sean McVay, Les Snead

The Rams’ power structure will stay in tact for years to come. On Friday, the Rams announced extensions for head coach Sean McVay and GM Les Snead through the 2023 season. 

I’m very thankful to be a Ram for many years to come, working with great ownership, people, coaches, and players,” McVay told NFL.com. “It’s exciting to get camp going and we’re ready to roll up our sleeves up and get to work.”

McVay, 33, has brought youthful energy to the franchise and a high-powered offensive game plan. In his first year, the Rams went 11-5 after finishing out with a 4-12 mark. Then, last year, they took another huge step forward with a Super Bowl appearance. This year, McVay will look to build off of that momentum as the Rams figure to be one of the strongest teams in the league.

Snead, meanwhile, will continue in the role that he assumed in 2012, way back when the Rams were in St. Louis. His next big task will be to hammer out an extension with quarterback Jared Goff, who is slated for free agency after the 2020 season.

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Latest On Extensions For Rams’ Jared Goff, Sean McVay

We heard earlier this month that the Rams are eyeing a 2020 extension for quarterback Jared Goff, who is entering his fourth year in the league. Goff has thrived under the tutelage of head coach Sean McVay, who recently threw his full support behind his signal-caller, and it seems like only a matter of time before Goff lands a nine-figure contract.

So, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk asks, why wait? Goff, a two-time Pro Bowler who led his team to the Super Bowl last season, is not going to get any less expensive, especially since his draft mate, Carson Wentz, just signed a four-year, $128MM pact despite suffering significant injuries in each of the past two seasons. Florio observes that Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota are other young QBs eligible for a second contract that have not yet gotten one, but neither player has accomplished as much as Goff (plus, both of them are making over $20MM this year under their fifth-year options). Like Goff and Wentz, Dak Prescott was a 2016 draft choice, but at least he and the Cowboys are talking.

As Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times writes, GM Les Snead and Goff’s representation have been in touch, but they have only had preliminary discussions about a possible timeline for future talks. In other words, the two sides are talking about when they’re going to talk. Snead said, “Nothing heavy. No heavy lifting.”

Rams officials have indicated they could get a deal done with Goff prior to the 2019 campaign, but considering where the parties are in contract talks, the 2020 timeframe seems more plausible at this point. Like McVay, though, Snead said he is fully committed to Goff.

McVay himself could get an extension soon, and a report back in January suggested that could happen this offseason, but it sounds like those talks have not commenced. When asked whether the club was pursuing an extension for McVay, COO Kevin Demoff indicated he was focused on extending certain key players first.

Both Demoff and Snead declined to comment on Snead’s contract situation, but if things continue on their current trajectory, the Snead-McVay-Goff trifecta could be in LA for the long haul.

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Rams To Discuss Extension With Sean McVay

Rams head coach Sean McVay has been remarkably successful in his brief tenure with the club, and his run with LA has compelled other teams in search of a head coach to look for candidates with his personality and background and to give serious consideration to younger coaching talent.

And although McVay still has three years remaining on the five-year contract he signed with the Rams in January 2017, the two sides are expected to discuss a contract extension in the offseason, per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. The soon-to-be 33-year-old is probably near the bottom of the head coaching pay scale at the moment, given that he became the youngest head coach in the modern era when he signed his contract, but any extension will likely catapult him up that list.

The Raiders’ Jon Gruden is making $10MM per season, the Seahawks’ Pete Carroll just signed an extension giving him $11MM per year, and it would not be a surprise to see McVay land somewhere in that stratosphere if he and the Rams finalize their own extension in the coming months. If he leads the Rams to a Super Bowl appearance, and certainly if he leads them to a Super Bowl victory, his price will only increase.

After all, he has become the face of the franchise in many respects, and he has helped make the Rams a hit not only in the Los Angeles market, but on the national level as well. With the team set to open a new stadium in 2020, adding some time onto McVay’s present deal makes sense.

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Rams HC Sean McVay Discusses Offseason, Cooks, Talib

The Rams are going to have plenty of pressure on them heading into next season. Following a 2017 campaign that saw them win 11 games and earn their first playoff appearance in more than a decade, the franchise loaded up this offseason.

While the team let go of players like Sammy Watkins, Trumaine JohnsonAlec Ogletree and Robert Quinn, they seemingly found upgrades in Brandin Cooks, Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters, and Ndamukong Suh . Clearly, there will be a lot of pressure on this talented squad, but it sounds like Sean McVay is ready for the challenge.

The Rams head coach recently sat down with Myles Simmons of TheRams.com to discuss his offseason additions and the team’s expectations in 2018. The whole interview is worth checking out, but we’ve compiled some of the notable soundbites below:

How OTAs have been going, especially when it comes to adding new players into the system:

“I think it’s been really good. There’s been a lot of good competition, guys getting familiar with our systems, continuing to learn each other — how to compete but be smart doing it. And I think we’re just starting to see guys just continue to make improvements one day at a time. Our coaches are doing a great job. So want to wrap up OTAs the right way next week.”

On the acquistion of wideout Brandin Cooks, and how his addition will help quarterback Jared Goff:

“Yeah, I think with Brandin, and then being able to play alongside such a great receiving corps that we have in place, he’s been a nice addition. Feel really good watching the way he’s been able to implement himself into our offense by the way he’s learned, how conscientious he is in meetings. And he’s a guy — if you just look at, really, his career — he is a really fast player, but he can do everything. He plays big for a smaller-stature guy. But he’s strong. He can win short, he can win intermediate, he can go down the field. So I think you’re really not limited in any way that you can utilize him. And there’s a reason why he’s had over 1,000 yards and [at least] seven touchdowns each of the last three years. And he’s a special player for sure.”

On the addition of cornerback Aqib Talib, and how his veteran presence will help the defense:

“Well I think like anybody else, he’s had a lot of success in this league. But I think he leads by being able to connect with the players, and then going out and doing things the right way with the way he practices, the way he is in meetings. I’ve been extremely impressed watching him from afar. I was with him in Tampa his rookie year, and now just getting a chance to reconnect with him — smart player, cerebral. Seen a lot of different things, understands concepts. And then he’s also got the athleticism to match up with it. And he’s very comfortable having played in this system with coach Phillips in Denver. So, it’s been a seamless transition for him so far. And we feel really good about having Aqib with us.”

On how much Talib’s relationship with defensive coordinator Wade Phillips influenced the acquisition:

“Oh, it’s huge. I think that’s one of the things you feel so good about, is that a lot of the players that we’ve acquired from outside the organization have been people that have worked with some members of our coaching staff. And Wade in particular with the knowledge and experience that he has, he’s got a great feel for personnel around this league. And having worked with some great players, you hear guys want to come play for him because of the way he works with those guys, the way he puts them in position to have success. And Aqib is very similar. And, like I said, extremely pleased that we got him and it’s a real credit to Les and his staff for getting that trade done.”

On first-year quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor:

“Yeah I think when you look at Zac, great college quarterback, had some success playing professionally, Big 12 Player of the Year. He’s got a great even-keel demeanor and disposition. He’s been a coordinator, when he called plays for the Dolphins. He was at the University of Cincinnati. But I think he’s just got such a great perspective and a really good way about relating to the players, communicating in a clear, open, and honest fashion. And that demeanor, that disposition — especially dealing with the quarterback position — I think is perfect. Extremely detail-oriented. Been really pleased with what he’s done. And he’s another guy, having had him in place, getting to work with our receivers last year, and now watching the way he’s interacting with Jared, with Sean, and with Brandon — it’s been a really seamless transition. And he’s done a really good job so far.”

On avoiding a “boom-or-bust” mentality:

“I think the NFL is so competitive — don’t really look at it like that. Look at it as, we feel confident with the players that we have, with our coaches. And we’re focused on getting better every single day. And I think in the short amount of time that I’ve been fortunate to work in this league, you realize how competitive all 32 teams are — the other 31 teams other than us. And [they’ve got] great coaches, great players. And you can’t afford to kind of get complacent. You’ve got to always focus on getting better one day at a time, establishing a standard of performance and how our process guides our everyday approach — and that’s the one day at a time. And you can’t really get caught up in things that we can’t control. We kind of just want to be just want to be where our feet our planted, and that’s being present in the day and controlling what we can control.”

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Rams GM Les Snead Discusses McVay, Goff, Offseason

It’s already been a busy offseason for the Rams, as the front office made a number of coaching moves that should bring some excitement to Los Angeles. The organization didn’t only make Sean McVay the youngest head coach in modern NFL history, but they also added Wade Phillips as their defensive coordinator.

Les SneadOf course, general manager Les Snead‘s job isn’t done. There are plenty of question marks when it comes to next year’s roster, and the executive will start solidifying his squad in the coming weeks.

In anticipation of the offseason, Snead sat down with Gary Klein of The Los Angeles Times. The executive discussed his new head coach, his plan for the offseason, and former number-one pick Jared Goff. The whole interview is worth reading, but we grabbed some notable quotes below…

On how it’s been working with Sean McVay:

“Exciting, because you see the young head coach but you also see him bring this unbelievable energy and passion to the job with that thought of how he wants to put together his staff and the puzzle there and what he’s trying to accomplish. … You’re working together to problem-solve, come up with solutions, come up with decisions and try to come up with what’s best for the Rams…. You can feel the chemistry developing based on just rolling up your sleeves and going to work and making your first decisions together.”

On his expectation for quarterback Jared Goff, last year’s first-overall pick:

“What he went through is only going to be positive in the future. It goes back to experience. … He knows what it’s like now. … What you got back is a very poised player — and adversity doesn’t rattle him. … Looking forward to seeing him grow because he’s felt and seen Sean come in and implement his offense, and Sean is really big on the quarterback. Jared’s chomping at the bit.”

On the team’s team-building strategy heading into the draft and free agency:

“I don’t know if I want to tell you exactly because it might tip hands, but I think philosophically I can tell you it’s probably, duh, right? We’ve got to figure out how to improve the offense and how that looks and what position groups you start attacking first. We want to move the ball, we want to get first downs and we want to score points. That’s going to be addressed at all angles.”

On how the team is going to approach their wideout depth (Kenny Britt and Brian Quick are set to hit free agency):

“It’s interesting with the receiving group because we already know a good bit about what Sean would like in his receivers. They’ve been described many times like a basketball team. And what that means is you probably don’t field five point guards, five shooting guards. …. With our pending UFAs I think it’s very safe to say we’ve got to sit down with the offensive group and see what they bring to the table and do they exactly fit us with the guys that are already on the team.”

On the status of cornerback Trumaine Johnson, who was slapped with the franchise tag last offseason:

“That will be a big decision. Wade, like a lot of [defensive coordinators], likes good players on the outside. Trumaine fits that category…. Trumaine is a larger guy with good ball skills and all things like that. Is it a square in a square, a triangle in a triangle or more a rectangle in a square? … That’s probably one of the top priorities when Wade walks in the door because, obviously, the magnitude of what his contract will look like and the magnitude of what another franchise tag looks like and everything in between.”

NFC Coaching Notes: McVay, Vikings, Eagles

Sean McVay becoming the first 30-year-old ever hired to coach an NFL team will come with the expected responsibility of calling plays. The new Rams coach will take on that task presumably since he made himself an attractive candidate by doing so in Washington.

There is not a chance I would let anyone call the plays, at least at first,” McVay told Peter King of TheMMQB.com. “It’s something I really want to do and feel comfortable doing.”

King described the Redskins’ setup as McVay calling the plays but Jay Gruden having final say over the game plan. In Los Angeles, McVay will take on both responsibilities for an offense coming off a season during which it averaged just 262.7 yards per game — more than 40 fewer than every other team. The McVay-led Washington attack finished third at 403.4 per game.

Here’s more from the NFC coaching circuit.

  • The Vikings hired UCLA offensive coordinator Kennedy Polamalu as their running backs coach, Alex Marvez of the Sporting News tweets. The 53-year-old uncle of Troy Polamalu, Kennedy served as OC for both USC and UCLA during this decade but previously worked as an NFL running backs instructor. He coached the Browns’ and Jaguars’ backs from 2004-09. Minnesota also interviewed running backs coaches Marcel Shipp and Skip Peete for this position, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). Caplan adds previous Vikings RBs coach Kevin Stefanski will likely transition to another coaching position with the team next season. A Vikings coach since 2006, Stefanski served as the team’s tight ends coach during the 2013 and ’14 seasons.
  • Former Rams wide receivers coach Mike Groh is expected to interview with the Eagles to coach their wideouts, Tim McManus of ESPN.com reports. The 45-year-old Groh also served as Los Angeles’ passing-game coordinator. The son of former Jets coach Al Groh, Mike Groh spent the previous three seasons instructing the Bears’ wide receivers.
  • Former 49ers special teams coach Derius Swinton is expected to log another interview this week, doing so with the Saints. After meeting with the Broncos, Swinton will likely meet with the Saints this week, Nick Underhill of The Advocate reports. Just 31, Swinton served as an assistant special teams coach for the Rams, Chiefs, Broncos and Bears from 2009-15 prior to taking over San Francisco’s specialty units.

NFC Notes: Rams, Buccaneers, Lions, Giants

While Rams head coach Sean McVay is considered to be one of the brightest young minds in the business, some league executives believes it will take several seasons before his skills are reflected on the field.

“That’s a big bite at [30 years old],” one executive said (via Yahoo’s Charles Robinson on Twitter). “Recent coaches who have been that young, they clearly weren’t ready for it – situations that seemed to come down to experience issues and maturity issues [with the coaches]. I don’t know [McVay] well enough to say whether that would be a concern. It’s just a lot for anyone, even the most experienced coaches.”

As Robinson notes, McVay has done an admirable job of surrounding himself with an experienced veteran staff. Longtime coaches Wade Phillips and Joe Barry should help McVay get acclimated to his new role.

Let’s take a look at some other notes coming out of the NFC…

  • Robinson tweets that there were rumblings that the Rams would let “[Jeff] Fisher guys,” including wideout Kenny Britt and cornerback Trumaine Johnson, hit free agency. However, Robinson notes that the mindset may have changed following the hiring of McVay as head coach and Phillips as defensive coordinator.
  • About two weeks ago, the Buccaneers signed running back Blake Sims to a reserve/futures contract. Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports (via Twitter) that the league disapproved the player’s original two-year contract. The team ultimately inked the running back to a three-year contract, and Auman notes that the change is purely “semantics.”
  • Lions quarterbacks coach Brian Callahan is a “future coordinator to watch,” tweets Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com. The reporter adds that the organization has blocked Callahan from taking at least one interview with another team. Prior to his tenure in Detroit, Callahan spent six years with the Broncos.
  • Giants defensive end Owa Odighizuwa is entering a “do-or-die offseason,” writes Dan Duggan of NJ.com. The former third-rounder still hasn’t established himself as a reliable rotation player, compiling only six tackles in 18 career games. The 24-year-old understands that he’ll have to work ever harder if he wants to stick around. “It’s real important for me,” Odighizuwa said. “That’s how I’m approaching it, that it’s kind of do-or-die in terms of my preparation and getting ready. You have to exhaust all of your resources into training properly and getting ready for the year. Really pouring everything you have into preparation.” Odighizuwa has two years remaining on his contract, but the Giants would only be left with $370K in dead cap if they cut the defensive end loose.

Coaching Notes: Rams, Broncos, Browns

The Rams introduced former Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay as their head coach yesterday. COO Kevin Demoff, who led the search for a new coach, admitted that he wasn’t initially sure what to make of the 30-year-old.

“When you’re meeting someone who is 30 years old, your natural reaction is that you want to believe, but you’re searching for the reasons why,” Demoff said (via ESPN.com’s Alden Gonzalez). “Sean kept knocking those down at every turn, to the point where ‘why’ changed to, ‘Why not?’

“The terms you saw were ‘brilliant,’ ‘genius,’ ‘star.’ Jon Gruden suggested he was special. Those are amazing adjectives when you talk about describing someone. When you ask people for the negatives, they always say, ‘He’s young.’ We always looked at that as just another descriptive word. To me, the age factor, when you look at what the players said, this is about leading players, and their devotion to Sean, the way they feel, what you read about him, is to us what negated the age factor. They could believe in Sean as a leader.”

Let’s take a look at some more coaching notes from around the NFL…

  • McVay is adding former Redskins defensive coordinator Joe Barry to his coaching staff in the role of assistant head coach/linebackers coach, reports FoxSports.com’s Peter Schrager (via Twitter). Barry was fired by Washington in early January following two seasons with the organization. The 46-year-old also served as the defensive coordinator for the Lions from 2007 through 2008. ESPN.com’s John Keim tweets that Barry had interviewed for the Jaguars linebackers coach gig, and he also had plans to meet with the Saints.
  • Vance Joseph has made another addition to his staff. Mike Klis of 9News in Denver reports (via Twitter) that the Broncos have hired Jeff Davidson to be their offensive line coach. Davidson spent the 2016 season as the Chargers offensive line coach, where he worked under Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. The two also worked together in Carolina when Davidson served as the offensive coordinator for the Panthers.
  • The Browns have hired Bob Wylie as their new offensive line coach, reports Alex Marvez of the Sporting News (via Twitter). The 65-year-old has been coaching for more than three decades, and he spent the past three seasons coaching the offensive line for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL. His last NFL gig came in 2011, when he coached the Raiders’ offensive line.

Rams Hire Sean McVay

It’s a done deal. The Rams are hiring Sean McVay as their new head coach, as Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com tweets. The Rams have since confirmed the news. It’s a five-year deal for McVay, Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com reports (on Twitter).Sean McVay (vertical)

[RELATED: PFR’S 2017 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker]

McVay, still only 30, is now the youngest head coach in the modern era. On a day where the Chargers announced that they will also be moving to Los Angeles, the Rams have managed to steal the Chargers’ thunder.

This is an exciting day for the Los Angeles Rams as we welcome Sean McVay as our new head coach,” owner Stan Kroenke said in a statement. “The accomplishments and success that he has rendered in less than a decade in our league are remarkable. I am confident in his vision to make a team a consistent winner and to ultimately bring a Super Bowl title home to Los Angeles.”

McVay, who has three years’ experience as a coordinator, teamed with head coach Jay Gruden to guide the Redskins to the NFL’s third-best total offense and a fifth-place DVOA ranking in 2016. He’s widely credited for turning Kirk Cousins into a top quarterback and the Rams are hopeful that he can do the same for No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff. McVay will also get to work with Todd Gurley, a player who has the ability to be an elite running back in the right system.

Now that McVay is in Los Angeles, he will reportedly try to bring Wade Phillips in as his defensive coordinator.

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