LA Rams HC Sean McVay: “This year has forced more self reflection . . . “
By Bret Stuter
LA Rams head coach Sean McVay has never been here before. Losing is something the coach of the LA Rams has not dealt with since he was hired in 2017. A game or two or three? Sure. But ultimately the team would bounce back, bigger, stronger, and more determined than ever. But no rebound has happened in time this year.
Despite a miraculous finish to stave off an almost certain defeat, the Rams found a way to beat the impossible odds and win their fourth game, snapping a six-game losing streak, and at the same time, snapping a three-game winning streak by the Las Vegas Raiders.
But, despite the miraculous arrival of good fortune, this has not been a season to remember. In fact, it’s been anything but. But for LA Rams head coach Sean McVay, this has been a season that has forced him to look inwards. After all, this is his first losing season, and despite all the rhetoric and anticipation of what real adversity may bring about, nothing can truly prepare you for what you face when it arrives.
In a recent interview with former LA Rams offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, McVay shared how this season’s struggles have brought about a great deal of thought about his own priorities and how he has changed his approach to his players and coaching staff this season:
But the message that Coach McVay shared that caught my eye wasn’t a matter of revising his strategy. It wasn’t about getting back up, hands against stone, winners never quit, or any number of sports cliches. It was a statement that revealed to me that Coach McVay had truly turned the corner himself:
“This year has forced more self-reflection . . . ”
The reason that was significant for me? LA Rams head coach Sean McVay is retaking his personal inventory. Until this point of his NFL career, Coach McVay has been all about winning. Winning came easily, and two Super Bowl appearances over the span of four NFL seasons is a really big deal. But it happened so quickly for McVay, who accomplished that feat within the first five years of his NFL head coaching career.
Self-reflection is not searching for answers on a whiteboard, a big board, or a board of directors. Now, at a time in his NFL career, Coach McVay finally has a chance to redefine the most basic of questions: Why am I doing this?
Until now, the answer was clearly to win a Super Bowl, to prove that he could do it, and to fulfill the trust of those who hired McVay to run the team. But now? I suspect that the answer also includes elements of paying it forward, giving something back to the game, and to enriching the careers of his staff and players.
Why is that significant? For starters, it’s a key turning point in Coach McVay’s career. It’s a huge step to maturity. It’s the type of change that could lead to new and vastly improved results among the team and the people around him. Not because he has discovered a new method of building a roster. Rather, he now has the insight to invest more readily in the people around him.
Sometimes, when you look inside, you have to be prepared to find the good and the bad. In the case of LA Rams head coach Sean McVay, he will find plenty of good, and now has the incentive to share that good with everyone around him.