Coach Sean McVay says his 'focus' is on Rams, not TV suitors

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Monday, January 9, 2023
Coach Sean McVay says his 'focus' is on Rams, not TV suitors
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While Sean McVay remains interested in the broadcast booth, the coach says his mind is still on the sideline with his Rams for now.

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- While Sean McVay remains interested in the broadcast booth, the coach says his mind is still on the sideline with his Rams for now.

McVay claimed Friday that his focus for 2023 is on fixing the Rams (5-11), who wrap up the worst season in NFL history by a defending Super Bowl champion when they visit Seattle on Sunday.

The youngest head coach to win a Super Bowl also didn't definitively state his plans beyond the weekend.

"It's flattering," McVay said when asked about the latest in the annual end-of-season rumors of broadcasters' interest in him as an analyst.

"These are always going to be things that you anticipate and expect that are going to come up, because I haven't run away from the fact that down the line or whenever that is, (broadcasting) is something that I've been interested in," he added. "But I want to be here right now, focus on that, and that's where I'm at."

McVay's future has become an annual topic of speculation because of his acknowledgement of late-season burnout and his open interest in an easier life away from the coaching grind. McVay, who turns 37 on Jan. 24, got married last year and has said he would consider leaving coaching to raise a family.

McVay has frequently mentioned the disappointment and frustration he has felt during his first losing season as a head coach, but he said that doesn't necessarily translate into a desire to give up.

"I'm going to be open and honest about the things, because you care so much," McVay said. "I think that acknowledgement helps me work through it. ... That doesn't mean that I feel like a failure. It means that we haven't lived up to the expectations. There's a lot of reasons for that, but it doesn't change your passion, your competitiveness. It's about using these experiences to shape you, make you more whole."

McVay led the Rams to five winning records, four playoff berths, three NFC West titles, two Super Bowl appearances and one ring during his first half-decade in charge.

Even with this disastrous year, McVay's career record is 67-40 including the postseason, giving him the sixth-highest winning percentage among active coaches. Only two active coaches with more experience than him have a higher winning percentage: Bill Belichick and Andy Reid.

McVay got a new contract after the Super Bowl triumph, reportedly making him one of the NFL's highest-paid coaches through the 2026 season. He also appears to have a strong working situation in Los Angeles with general manager Les Snead, who shares McVay's hunger for flashy moves and big-name player acquisitions.

But McVay's current Rams have lost eight of 10 games heading to Seattle, and this "professional failure" of a season, as he put it Wednesday, has altered his perspective on coaching - and perhaps stoked his competitive fire.

"You can always try to imagine, or you can read about it," McVay said. "But until you actually go through it, I can speak from experience now, it's different. But when you're around the right kinds of people, it's absolutely something that's going to strengthen you, and I feel like it's made us a lot stronger in the midst of this, and so I'm looking forward to finishing this up the right way."

SCOTT OUT

Rams safety Nick Scott will miss his first game of the season due to a shoulder injury. Scott hurt his shoulder during practice this week, McVay said. The injury is unrelated to his stinger in the Rams' loss to the Chargers last weekend.

Scott is one of just six players who have started every game this season for the injury-plagued Rams (5-11). Last season, the Rams had eight 17-game starters and nine more players who started at least 13 games.

NOTES

NT Greg Gaines will play at Seattle despite the shoulder injury that severely limited his snaps last week. The other two presumptive starters on the Rams' defensive line - Aaron Donald and A'Shawn Robinson - are out for the season. ... McVay formally ruled out Donald, who will miss the final six games of the season with his sprained ankle. The three-time AP Defensive Player of the Year had never missed a game in his NFL career due to injury before this stretch. ... C Brian Allen is also out for Sunday with his calf injury. He has missed 18 games in the last three seasons.