Who Knew?: LA Rams’ Head Coach McVay was a WR in college

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Let’s file this under the LA Rams’ “Who Knew?” category. . . or perhaps “Who’d a-Thunk it? category (sarcastically ).  I did not fully realize this before today (and I confess to being just straight-up football-ignorant about some things sometimes, too). . . but IMO, and purely as an un-edumacated Rams fan, it sure helps explain a few things.

LA Rams head coach Sean McVay attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he played college football as a wide receiver from 2004 to 2007, recording 39 receptions for 312 yards for the RedHawks in his college career.

It helps explain his fascination with the passing game, his enthrallment with improving the team’s aerial attack in 2021.  It helps us understand, as fans, why the team is keeping at least six, possibly even seven wide receivers on the 2021 53-man roster.

It helps us understand why he not only understands, but appreciates, and perhaps even elevates the subtle nuances of the passing game offense. It also explains his connection to NFL coaches. The University of Miami of Ohio is nicknamed the “Cradle of Coaches” because it has borne so many NFL minds into the ranks of NFL coaches. McVay was actually the teammate of Chris Shula, the team’s current linebacker coach.

Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Rams /

Los Angeles Rams

Add this to another interesting factoid: His grandfather, John McVay, was the head football coach at the University of Dayton from 1965 to 1972. He was also the head coach of the New York Giants in the 1970s and served as general manager of the San Francisco 49ers.  And he did so during that team’s glory years, its heyday when they won five (count ’em, five) Super Bowl championships during the 1980s and 1990s.

McVay, Sr.  collaborated with legendary head coach Bill Walsh as vice president/director of football operations of the 49ers. He retired from the Niners after 15 years only to later re-join the team as its General Manager. Nabbed himself NFL Executive of the Year in 1989, too.

Truly, his grandson hath been bestowed good football genes.

Now it makes sense…

And perhaps even more significantly, it all helps explain why the team decided to pull out all the stops, throw caution to the wind and pursue a strong-armed veteran quarterback who’s enjoyed marginal success in the league after 12 seasons – one Matthew Stafford. . . and be willing to give up a quarterback, a third-round draft pick, and two first-round draft picks to get him.

Let’s keep going. That background also helps to explain (at least, in part) how his understanding of the offensive game enabled him to eventually become the Rams’ head coach in 2017 at the tender age of 30. That was no small feat to become the youngest head coach in modern NFL history, let alone do so successfully. A coach who went on to prove himself as the youngest head coach to ever qualify for the postseason, the youngest coach to ever win a playoff game, the youngest coach to ever appear in the Super Bowl, and the youngest coach to ever be named the AP NFL Coach of the Year.

Let that little “McVay was a wide receiver” nugget of a factoid sinks in for a moment. Allow it to percolate a bit, and then ruminate on it for a spell – somewhat like a cow chews on its own cud.

‘Splain a few things?

McVay was more than a jock, as he earned Miami’s Scholar-Athlete Award in 2007. Read: This young collegiate WR was recognized early on for having brains, too. Some synaptic activity in the form of X’s and O’s was also recognized early on as being present between those collegiate WR ears.

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Consider me, well, enlightened, or perhaps more appropriately, edumacated.