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Between trading former No. 1 overall pick Matthew Stafford to be the team’s new quarterback and signing Odell Beckham Jr. after being released by the Cleveland Browns, the moves that McVay and general manager Les Snead have done throughout the season have taken the Rams to the doorstep of success once again.
And it all culminated in a dramatic win in the NFC Championship Game over longtime opponent Kyle Shanahan, overcoming a 10-point deficit to beat the San Francisco 49ers 20-17 and advance to Super Bowl LVI. to be held in the Rams. SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on February 14.
Despite the heartbreak that accompanied the Super Bowl loss to the Patriots in 2019, McVay is able to appreciate what he learned from that experience.
“I think when you accumulate experience and use it in the right way – we talk to our players all the time, repetition is the mother of learning. coaches. And you talk about managing the game or making decisions like a play caller and how you come up with a game plan to try to help put your players in the right situations,” he told the media. .
“And so, I thought[Patriots head coach](Bill) Belichick and those guys did a better job than I did for our team that night. I think the way you guys are doing – it was a big deal – but it’s still part of what you remember, but you have to allow yourself to be able to move on, but you certainly don’t want to minimize the learning lessons that can be taken from this if you apply it the right way.
“And those are things that whether it’s a Super Bowl or really any game – even some of the things that happened yesterday – you just want to continually learn from the good and the bad, have a short memory. But also make sure you see these things as an opportunity not to make the same mistakes twice.”
Media also asked McVay if he felt “calmer” heading into a Super Bowl now that he had experienced it.
However, he doesn’t think it’s an adjective “no one would use to describe me”.
“I’d say you’re more ‘comfortable’ is probably an appropriate word,” he explained. “But you also understand the urgency we need to finish this.”
In Super Bowl LVI, McVay will take on an old friend.
Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor spent 2017 as assistant wide receivers coach and 2018 as quarterbacks coach for the Rams under McVay, part of the team that reached the Super Bowl that season.
Taylor was named head coach of the Bengals in 2019, posting a 6-25-1 record in his first two seasons.
But 2021 was a breakthrough year for Taylor and the Bengals, reaching their first Super Bowl since 1988 with a thrilling 27-24 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday – a game in which they dropped 18 points.
Taylor is a product of the McVay coaching tree which has become famous in recent years for its high level of candidates. In addition to Taylor, other NFL head coaches who served as assistants under McVay include Matt LaFleur of the Green Bay Packers and Brandon Staley of the Los Angeles Chargers.
Taylor, 38, joked about McVay’s excellent reputation for producing head coaches, saying: “The joke is always if you’ve had a cup of coffee with Sean McVay then you’re going to be coaching in leader in the NFL.”
When the pair meet in Super Bowl LVI, it will be the youngest coaching clash in a Super Bowl – a year after we had the oldest coaching clash when 68-year-old Bruce Arians took on 68-year-old Andy Reid.
And Taylor praised his time under McVay with the Rams, saying he “owes a lot to Sean.”
“Working for Sean has been the best two years of my life. It was fun, you loved walking into the building every day, and that’s a big part of the message sent to our building, to our staff, to our players is that we want guys who are keen to come here and work,” he told the media.
“But they appreciate the process of walking into that building with a smile every day because that’s how I felt every day I worked for him. I felt strongly that the other players and coaches felt the same at Los Angeles as well. Those two years had a significant impact on me and how I go about my daily work, how you plan and how you lead a team.”
LA Rams coach Sean McVay says he’s more ‘comfortable’ ahead of Super Bowl after losing one in 2018
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