The task of being a head coach for a professional football team can be as taxing to the mind as launching a spacecraft to successfully land on the moon. And for a head coach as meticulous and detail-oriented as LA Rams head coach Sean McVay, he would likely be the one person responsible for calculating the necessary math to achieve that entire journey. Now, imagine an eight-year-old asking him questions constantly throughout the process: “Why?”.
The relationship between a quarterback and the offensive-minded head coach is crucial in the success of any team. If one outpaces the other, the relationship quickly becomes straining to both. Questions to one are blatantly obvious to the other. Reassurance and clarification can also be interpreted as wasteful of time, and perhaps even an inability to grasp basic concepts. Whatever else it may evolve into, it most certainly is an inefficient way to communicate.
In one of the better interviews out there, Jay Glazer persuaded LA Rams left tackle to talk about what it’s like to work with Rams head coach Sean McVay, to which Whitworth admitted that from Tuesday through late Friday before a game, he simply refuses to engage McVay. The overwhelming amount of pressure upon McVay before a game did not leave much wiggle room to reinforce concepts. In Whitworth’s own words, he described two outcomes for asking a question of McVay before a game, either that player would be roughly embarrassed, or he would get his head chewed off.
No right. No wrong. It’s just the way it is.
This is not a bash of either McVay or any player who may need to engage the head coach during the ‘dark times’ before a game. It’s simply intended to point out the urgent need to have an offensive coordinator in the mix that can handle the reassurance and tweaks necessary to fine-tune a player, play, or general understanding among the team.
Whatever else Kevin O’Connell does, he troubleshoots the offense. He’s the go-between who works with the young quarterbacks and helps translate what the offensive play is designed to do with what the young quarterback sees. That allows Rams head coach Sean McVay enough leeway to run the team, while also ensuring that quarterbacks can run the offense as it was designed to operate.
No wonder the Rams blocked Kevin O’Connell from leaving the team. It’s quite clear that the Rams need him as the offensive coordinator.