Rams Coach Sean McVay Reveals Struggles of Doing ‘Hard Knocks’

Sean McVay

Getty Sean McVay looks down on his play sheet on January 1, 2023 in Inglewood.

The Los Angeles Rams and head coach Sean McVay earn a bevy of attention throughout the year living under the L.A. microscope. Fortunately, they won’t deal with the HBO cameras this season, as the New York Jets will be the central focus of “Hard Knocks.”

McVay, though, knows from firsthand experience the struggles of handling the scrutiny the show provides. He spoke about the struggles in dealing with the added cameras at the Variety Sportico Summit on Thursday, July 13.

‘Information is at a Premium’ & Dealing With an ‘Authentic’ Part

McVay details the opening struggle when working with an additional camera crew around his team.

“I think the first thing is, when you play in a league that’s so competitive – 32 teams in the league – information is at a premium so you just want to be mindful of not having anything that gives anybody a competitive advantage,” McVay said. “You’re always looking for your edges and your margins and just the seamless thing of being able to pick up somebody on their cadence and some of the verbiage and vernacular that can maybe give the opposing team an advantage. So there’s some of those things.”

In years past, opposing players who watched the critically acclaimed documentary admitted to picking up on a team’s pre-snap count and used it against the team that was featured. Former Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt admitted this back in 2012 when he watched the Dolphins featured on the show.

So there’s the phobia of giving too much away on camera, or producers and camera crews airing the play sheet or other schematics on the show. But there’s another aspect that McVay looks back and says was difficult on the show: Being authentic.

“The thing that I always had the most difficult time with was, when you have a camera on, is it as authentic as it could be when you know someone’s listening? As opposed to being able to have that real, authentic, true interpersonal interaction. And so it does take away some of that stuff,” he added.

It basically means coaches, including McVay, may not feel like they’re their normal selves around new sets of cameras.

Rams Officially Sign Late-Round Draft Pick, Still Have 1 More to Sign

Meanwhile inside the “Rams House,” the franchise signed incoming rookie defensive tackle Kobie Turner — which was confirmed by his agency Universal Sports Management on the morning of Friday, July 14.

Known as “The Conductor,” Turner came to the Rams via Wake Forest and also played at Richmond University of the Football Championship Subdivision. He brings a new 6-foot-2, 288-pound presence to the trenches as he prepares to team up with three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald. Turner previously told Heavy back in June 2023 minicamp that even he tried to mimic Donald during his college years before joining the Rams.

“I’ve emulated or have tried to emulate the best that I could and incorporate into my own game,” Turner said back on June 1. “When you’re the best to ever do it, I’ve definitely spent a lot of time learning from him before even getting here.”