The Rams’ Saturday afternoon win should have offered an injection of clarity for each and every team currently looking for a head coach – sometimes it’s not just about hiring the guy on everyone else’s roster. , when a little informed research can result in the kind of person whose coaching skills can override a mess of others that crop up during a game.
Much has been written about Sean McVay as some kind of generational prodigy, and while some of that is our own tendency to fall in love with certain narratives and performative gestures (the opponent’s list was memorized! Fainting!) is among a small group of coaches who are ahead of the rest of the league; The kind of guy that out-of-touch coaches save movies to stay afloat.
Much less has been written about Brandon Staley (although this is a good place to start), McVay’s defensive coordinator, who earned the right to succeed the legendary Wade Phillips after he walked into a meeting with McVay, knocked him out, and stopped him. the search. dry dead process. Staley is one of eight coaches since 2003 whose defenses have allowed an average of 6.7 points or less in the second half. No team has given up fewer points in the fourth quarter (3.8 per game) than the Rams this season.
And so when Aaron Donald falls with most of the third quarter and the entire quarter to go, his team can deliver just six net passing yards in the third quarter and 84 net yards in the fourth.
When his backup quarterback (John Wolford), who happens to be opening the game for his injured starter (Jared Goff), goes to the hospital with a neck injury, forcing the injured Goff back In the game, your team can still mount a hasty offense that rips apart the opposing defense enough to navigate a game plan with a four-fingered Goff. This, at a time when Seattle was playing the run on almost every shot, assuming Goff couldn’t pitch.
There are many advantages in the NFL to having overwhelmingly good talent. The exceptional pass regularly overcomes the bad offensive line. Speed wins in space. All the dusty platitudes that have survived up to this point have done so because there is an element of truth in them. The Rams have most of the components that an NFL team needs to thrive. But teams need more when their current quarterback in center is throwing errant balls into the wind. Teams need more when the favorite for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award is on the sidelines, as in the next series when a series of amoebic pressures and designer coverages forced one of the league’s best quarterbacks to make a couple of near interceptions. and a desperate check-up to avoid taking a sixth catch in the afternoon.
The further we get away from hiring McVay (and, by extension, his decision to replace Phillips with Staley), the less the narrative will accurately reflect how big the blow the Rams had taken on the 30-year-old offensive coordinator has been. of a medium. Washington team. The less that may be associated with taking the kind of calculated and researched risk that modern search firms and dazzled homeowners often avoid in favor of some lock-and-board retread candidate or guess TV analyst promising to give up his podium. and fix all the ailments of the club.
Forgetting this might not guarantee bad football; If you’re lucky enough to get guys who are smart enough to copy the right guys, it’ll usually work out fine. But it will absolutely guarantee that getting into a road game against a No. 3 seed without its best quarterback and the league’s best defensive player down the stretch of a frenzied fourth quarter probably won’t end the way you’d like it to.
Chances are, the Seahawks coaches who had to spend the week preparing for McVay and Staley were far less surprised that they were going home than the rest of us.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.