Sean McVay had mixed emotions on “Back Together Saturday” on July 30 when watching his Los Angeles Rams practice — in a way that still left the head coach positive and upbeat. More so remembering what a past Rams legend once told him that he shared after the session.
So how did this practice unfold that got the sixth-year head coach thinking about what a Rams legend told him?
McVay saw the offense one-up the defense: One with Allen Robinson hauling in a red zone grab while sandwiched between two defenders and another involving Cooper Kupp bringing down the high point sideline catch. The head coach, however, saw batted passes and the defense crowding the quarterbacks on some of the 11-on-11 drills.
As an offensive whiz, watching the defense get the better end of a McVay-led attack can often frustrate McVay. Yet at the same time, witnessing his defense give up big plays like what “A-Rob” and “Coop” pulled at Crawford Field can sometimes get the best of McVay’s emotions.
But McVay was still stoic and pleased with the energy on display at the UC Irvine campus. Not only did the Rams responded in the fashion he envisioned, but he was also reminded of the advice from the past Rams legend…which McVay shared with the media including Heavy.
The Expletive Motivation
That motivation with the expletive came from the mouth and wisdom of the first Rams coach to win a Super Bowl.
“Dick Vermeil told me a long time ago once you realize that being a head coach is dealing with a bunch of s*** anyway,” McVay jokingly said, drawing laughs from the L.A. media. “Coach Vermeil is the best.”
Yet overall, McVay said Saturday’s session witnessed a Rams team that brought strong energy and enthusiasm while in front of the “Rams House” crowd who filled the seats at UCI.
“They did a good job,” McVay continued. “They came back ready to go. Our guys always respond the right way. There’s always going to be things that, when you positively challenge one another, there’s always going to be some things as a head coach that you naturally get irritated about. But that’s because of the confidence I have with these guys.”
Along with the coaching joke from the winning head coach of Super Bowl 34, McVay also shared another humorous take on coaching in how he handles lapses on offense and defense.
“I was joking with people that you can never be happy as a head coach because if the defense makes a great play, you’re pissed at the offense but if the offense makes a great play, you’re pissed at the defense,” McVay said.
Yet, “Back Together Saturday” saw McVay’s team take steps forward.
“But you know what, it was better. It was a step in the right direction. That’s what you always want to be able to see,” McVay said.
Key Rams Starter Noticeably Not in Lineup
There was no sight of Van Jefferson in full pads on the 80-degree day at UCI’s grass soccer field.
McVay, though, said the Rams are “figuring that out” regarding why Jefferson had some inability to practice and declined to give specifics of what his absence involved. A follow-up question asked if Jefferson’s knee, which bothered him toward the end of last season, was the reason the third-year wideout wasn’t running routes with his team.
“I’ll have more information for you later,” McVay said. “Like I said, I don’t have anything right now.”
Second-year wideouts Ben Skowronek and Tutu Atwell were seen getting some first-team reps in Jefferson’s absence.