Can LA Rams HC Sean McVay transition from boy genius to sage veteran?

(Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
(Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /
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LA Rams News Sean McVay
(Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /

The true test this year is whether LA Rams HC McVay can overcome 2019’s setbacks

Improvisation is the art of making something up without preparation. That’s not exactly a good description of LA Rams head coach Sean McVay. In fact, if I had to describe him in those terms, he would most likely be described as the anti-improvisation coach.  He prepares to the point of saturation and then prepares some more. That’s what had gotten him to be hired as the youngest head coach in the NFL, and then to be the youngest head coach to appear in an NFL Super Bowl.

Because he is young, and the designated “boy genius” of the league, McVay tends to overcompensate by working long hours and watching video footage. He prepares, digests, and then prepares some more. While that is all a sign of both genius and success, it’s also a symptom of inexperience. Not knowing when enough-is-enough is something he’ll learn by trial and error.   Unfortunately, that error appeared on the biggest stage of his NFL career.

Over kneading the dough

Super Bowl LIII. Rams head coach Sean McVay had two weeks to prepare for that game. By all rights, he probably should have spent just one week in doing so:

"“You have so much time that you can overprepare and get away from some of the things that helped you get there. I watched every game from New England’s season. You see stuff that worked in, say, Week 3, but you forget about the amount of stuff that’s taken place since Week 3. You can watch so much film that you lose perspective. You have 18 games of film you can pore over. And then I even watched the Philly and Atlanta Super Bowls closely.” – Sean McVay’s interview with Sports Illustrated Andy Benoit"

Complete analysis of all 22 LA Rams UDFA player signings in 2020. light. Read

And so, lesson learned. But what a costly lesson it was. The chance to win the ultimate prize of the NFL lost to overpreparation.  Was that all it was? Likely no. The offense failed to execute plays, and that put the entire LA Rams team on its heels.  But McVay took the blame, as good coaches do, and has chalked it all down to experience.  If he had only learned the trick from an old baker – knead the dough to ensure consistency, but do not over-knead to ensure that the bread rises when it gets placed into the oven.