Sean McVay loses his voice but fights for his reputation.
Three years ago, the NFL world excused the Rams coaching wunderkind for losing the sideline battle to Bill Belichick’s mastermind in a defense-dominated Super Bowl victory by the Patriots. But now McVay is in the position of a teacher who can’t afford to go back to school – this time by Bengals protege Zac Taylor in the 2022 Super Bowl.
“I feel great. I just look like sh–,” a hoarse McVay said Wednesday night. “I’ve got the honey and all the medicine to get that voice back.”
McVay wears the 13-3 Super Bowl 53 loss like a scarlet letter, by his admission immediately after he was ‘over-coached’, reflecting on the game as ‘very humiliating’ in December 2020 when teams met again. , to relive the pain once again earlier this week.
The Rams led the NFC in scoring during the 2018 regular season, but never got the ball past the 26-yard line as the Patriots broke their signature man-to-man coverage in the secondary to play a game zone, dropping 7-8 defenders in coverage and took big plays.
“What you do to get over it is you look in the mirror, take responsibility and keep pushing forward,” said McVay, who calls offensive plays. “I think as a competitor you have to be able to handle those tough times, and I’ll never run away from the fact that I haven’t done a good enough job for our team within what I feel like. my role and my responsibility is to these guys.
The football gods have given McVay, 35, a first shot at redemption. But put it somewhere with no excuses. Taylor knows the Patriots caught the Rams off guard that night because he was the quarterbacks coach under McVay at the time. He will therefore have a few tricks up his sleeve.
“I’m sure this time around, with Coach McVay being familiar with this stage, sets us up to compete at our highest level,” said Rams running back Sony Michel, who scored the Super’s lone touchdown. Bowl 53 for the Patriots. “We just try to play our best football. That’s kind of the goal.”
The Bengals’ surprise Super Bowl run was marked by adjustments from defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo, including holding the Chiefs scoreless on six of seven possessions in the second half and overtime of the AFC Championship Game.
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“What impressed me was that they got timely turnovers in the tough times,” McVay said. “To be able to have [forced] seven turnovers, they have very good instinctive players with a great concept trigger. It’s definitely something we insisted on, no doubt.
Even though it’s his second shot, McVay could still surpass the Steelers’ Mike Tomlin as the youngest head coach to ever win the Super Bowl. That’s how good his first five seasons have been.
But the voices around McVay will change the conversation if he gets dragged in again when the Rams play at home, as a favorite, with the quarterback (Matthew Stafford) they shoved for after that latest Super Bowl loss. . better.
“You don’t minimize what a great opportunity was won,” McVay said. “You want to seize the magnitude of the opportunity, but not make it too big. The nerves are good. The pressure is a privilege.