Rams Icon Ripped Idea of Sean McVay in 2017 Before Changing Mind, Exec Says

Sean McVay

Getty Sean McVay on January 8, 2023 in Seattle.

What if Sean McVay wasn’t hired by the Los Angeles Rams and listened to a franchise legend? Better yet, what if the Rams’ brass didn’t have Marshall Faulk involved in their dinner meeting with McVay before deciding on who to hire?

Turns out the franchise legend running back who helped give the Rams their first Super Bowl was one of the deciding factors in helping give the Rams comfort in hiring a then 30-year-old head coaching candidate. Team chief operating officer (COO) Kevin Demoff reflected back on the moment that helped decide the McVay hire on “The Playcallers” podcast via The Athletic.


Faulk Originally Thought Idea Was ‘Stupid,’ Demoff Says

Turns out the 1999 Super Bowl winner while the team was in St. Louis was objective to the idea of a team hiring a head coach that young. Yet, Demoff recalled Faulk being a perfect guy to receive input from.

“Marshall was the perfect person because he was explaining to me why we had needed a veteran offensive mind to be the head coach,” Demoff said. “And he was happy to go to dinner with this 30-year-old, but he thought that was stupid, and that we were stupid.”

It was never revealed who Faulk really had in mind over McVay. However, a dinner night out involving Faulk and McVay changed the mood.

“Marshall walks in and he tells [owner] Stan [Kroenke], ‘I’m so excited to be here, I think you’re making a mistake but just glad to be part of the process.’ And at dinner, Stan and Marshall have always had a great relationship – a cerebral player, someone who I think everyone respected for football intellect and understanding the challenges around the team. So it was an opinion I knew he’d respect, either way, and one I would have to respect either way. But also the one advantage it had is it was easy for Sean to be able to talk football.”

Demoff continued by sharing how ultimately, Faulk and McVay got on the same page…which convinced Faulk to change his mind about McVay.

“At dinner, the two of them got going and they hit it off immediately,” Demoff said. “They’re talking the whole time. I remember walking out and Marshall told Stan, he goes, ‘You let that guy leave tomorrow, you’ve made a huge mistake. That’s your guy.’”

Despite last season’s 5-12 season following the joys of winning the franchise’s second Super Bowl, McVay has proven to be a wise hire that was helped made possible by an extra blessing from a franchise icon. McVay has taken the Rams to the postseason in four of his first six seasons in the league, which additionally includes two NFC West titles and the 2018 season NFC championship.


Where Does McVay Rank Now?

Unfortunately in the NFL, most head coaches are often judged by their most recent season. And 2022 was the worst of the McVay era.

Was it the kind of campaign that prevents him from being ranked in the top five among league head coaches? Pro Football Focus left him out of the short list on June 28. However, McVay is still a top 10 HC as he checked in at No. 6 overall.

“It might be tough to look at the current state of the Rams’ franchise and think McVay should be in this spot over a handful of other worthy coaches, but this is still Sean McVay,” PFF’s Trevor Sikkema wrote. “In his first two seasons as a head coach, he came into the spotlight and turned a Jared Goff-led offense into a group that ranked in the top 10 in rushing, passing and overall expected points added per play.

“Los Angeles lost the Super Bowl in 2018 but won its second crack at it in 2021. It’s been an incredibly impressive six seasons for McVay as a head coach,” Sikkema continued. “This year could be a major factor in how much longer he’ll have the headset on after retirement rumors swirled this past offseason.”

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