A difficult season for the defending champions Los Angeles Rams now appears to be heading for an offseason of some grumbling and uproar.
Head coach Sean McVay plans to take some time after the year is out to assess his future, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday.
Rapoport added that McVay gave himself a similar cooling off last year and likely will do so every season, assuming he returns. Still, the prospect of the youngest Super Bowl winner in NFL history contemplating his future must be a source of some anxiety for a Rams fanbase that lost ten straight seasons prior to McVay’s arrival.
The 36-year-old has a 60-37 overall record and two Super Bowl appearances on his resume, but he’s also won 5-11 this season, his toughest season yet.
“I think that recognition helps me process it,” McVay said Friday of his openness that this season has been challenging Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic. “It doesn’t mean it changes the passion and love you have for it. But to sit down here and say that this wasn’t a challenge because so much of it is based on it – like even the comment I made the other day when the question was asked – we’re tasked with trying to win football games.
“It doesn’t mean I feel like a failure, it means we didn’t live up to expectations. There are many reasons for that. But it doesn’t change your passion, your competitiveness.”
McVay’s near-obsessive coaching — his passion for competition — is one of the reasons he landed the job as Rams head coach in 2017 at the age of 30. It also offers an explanation for the potential burnout that could cause a number as successful as McVay to need time to think every summer.
There’s also the challenge of rebuilding an underperforming roster with the 11th lowest pick in the league and no first, fourth, or fifth round picks in the 2023 draft. The lack of resources is a byproduct of all-in moves that led to a Super Bowl, but it also makes moving forward that much harder.
Much like last offseason, rumors of potential television deals that could potentially lure McVay away will linger.
“I find it flattering,” McVay said. “There’s always going to be things that you foresee and expect that will come up because I haven’t run away from the fact that down the line or, you know, whenever that’s the case, that was something I was Interested. But[I]want to be here now, focus on it, and here I am.”
McVay continues to think about ending the season strong on Sunday against Seattle. Wherever it takes him after that will play an important role in Los Angeles’ ability to recover next season and beyond.