Jimmy Ward, free safety for the San Francisco 49ers, has a serious query for Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay: What’s up with the disrespect?
The seven-year veteran, who has played his entire career in the Bay Area, has spent the last four seasons battling the Rams inside one of the NFL’s strongest divisions. Considering their level of familiarity with one another, Ward questioned in an interview with Sports Illustrated writer Grant Cohn over the weekend why McVay keeps coming at him in individual matchups with what the safety characterized as little success.
“What’s with their coach (Sean McVay)? Does he have the big head? I don’t want to say he has the big head, because I think he’s a hell of a coach. But what does he have against me to make him go at me every game and lose?” Ward questioned during a video interview with Cohn on Saturday, July 10.
“And I don’t even talk s*** when we play the Rams. I don’t remember me talking s***. But I’ve had some good games against them,” Ward continued. “I don’t understand why he tries to go at me. I think I would try to go at somebody else.”
Niners Have History of Success Against Rams During McVay Era
Over the past four seasons, the Niners and the Rams have squared off eight times, all in the regular season. The 49ers are 5-3 in those contests, including winners of the last four.
Ward contended that his own performances have mirrored that of his team against a coach who is considered one of the best offensive minds in today’s NFL. And the stats back it up. Pro Football Focus noted that two of Ward’s three best games last season were against the Rams.
“If you look at my track record, you’d be like, ‘Damn, this m***** f***** dominated against the Rams.’ I even blocked a punt against them. Why even go at me?” Ward continued. “I don’t know, maybe there’s film. I wish I knew what offensive coordinators think of me. Do they say, ‘We’re going to go at this guy, he doesn’t cover as well, doesn’t tackle well.”? I don’t think they say that. I just would like to know.”
Ward Expects McVay to Target Him When Rivalry is Renewed in 2021
The rivalry between the 49ers and the Rams isn’t likely to taper off in 2021. Oddsmakers project both teams to amass double-digit victories, to challenge for the crown in arguably the best and most competitive division in the NFL, and to continue playing into the postseason.
Regardless of success, one thing is for certain — San Francisco and Los Angeles will go head-to-head at least twice, and Ward expects McVay will continue to challenge him.
“I know (McVay) is going to try to (go) at me this year. I’ve been talking a lot of s***. I’m pretty sure it’s going to get to him, so we’ll see,” Ward said. “I’ll get more balls thrown to me, so I’ll get more action, and if I can back up what I’m talking about now and this whole offseason, hopefully I’ll get paid more money.”