Sean McVay and Matt LaFleur had a strong relationship during their one season coaching together with the Los Angeles Rams in 2017, but there was at least one hilarious moment where the bond was tested between head coach and offensive coordinator.
McVay sat down with sportscaster Dan Hellie for a recent interview on The Helliepod podcast to talk about the upcoming NFL season and training camp, but their conversation circled back a few years when Hellie brought up a story LaFleur had told him about an argument between them that ended with both coaches declaring they would quit.
As Hellie recounted, LaFleur was bothered after McVay yelled at him on the field in front of players and afterward pulled him into his office to tell him to just fire him if this was how things were going to be between them — to which McVay said, “We’ll just both quit then.”
Grinning, McVay called “bulls***” on LaFleur’s version of the events and said the two of them were just “crying laughing” about that story last week when their families were visiting in L.A. Here’s how McVay said things really happened:
“We had an office argument because this was in his office. He says, ‘If this is how it’s going to be, just fire me right now.’ I said, ‘You know what, I’m going to quit too.’ And he’s like, ‘No, don’t do that, man!’ This was at the time when we were rolling. We were getting ready to play the Titans to win the division to get our 11th win and here we are both ready to kill each other. He’s asking to be fired and I’m saying, ‘I’m not going to fire ya, I’m just going to quit myself.’ It was two minutes of us totally losing our minds, but I didn’t yell at him in front of the players.”
Follow the Heavy on Packers Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
McVay Says He and LaFleur Are ‘Like Brothers’
LaFleur didn’t stay long in McVay’s coaching tree before continuing to climb the NFL coaching. After just one season as Rams offensive coordinator, he left to take the same position with the Tennessee Titans for more play-calling responsibilities; though, his time under Mike Vrabel also only last a year before he accepted his current role as Green Bay Packers head coach.
Of course, LaFleur and McVay spent four seasons together in Washington from 2010-13 and were friends long before their shared time with the Rams in 2017.
“We are like brothers,” McVay told Hellie. “He was in essence like a big brother to me in Washington. We’ve been so close. I mean, he’s one of my best friends, so I love Matt. I think there was such a close comfort that in a lot of ways, you’re taking on a lot of new roles and responsibilities – really both of us, when he’s the OC and I’m the head coach — and so Matt always had the right way, he always had the willingness to tell me things I needed to hear. Now, his timing wasn’t always the best. He’d come to me at the time and I’d say, ‘Matt, get the hell out of here right now.’ Then you think about it and you’re like, ‘Yeah, he’s probably right.’
As head coaches, LaFleur and McVay have yet to go head-to-head and won’t get their opportunity during the 2020 regular season, but their respective success could always see their first matchup come in the postseason.
LaFleur’s Packers were one of the NFL’s top teams in 2019 and will certainly contend for the top of the NFC North again in 2020, while McVay and the Rams enter the year looking to reassert themselves in the NFC West after back-to-back division titles in 2017 and ’18.