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Former Rams player says Sean McVay could be “one of the best to ever do it”

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By: JasonDalessandro

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Andrew Whitworth spoke on the “Games with Names” podcast about what makes McVay so special as a coach

On the heels of Sean McVay being called the NFL’s “best recruiter” Tuesday, the Rams head coach found more love headed his way, this time by one of his former players. Andrew Whitworth, who was the first free agent signing of McVay’s Rams tenure, was on the “Games With Names” podcast to discuss the Rams Super Bowl LVI victory.

Hosted by former Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, the two began to speak about McVay, and what makes him stand out as a leader. While reflecting on the 2021-22 championship season, Whitworth extended some heavy praise to his former head coach:

“Like I’ve said, I think Sean McVay’s story is not finished. It’s going to be special to watch this guy keep going because, and I’ve told him multiple times, if he has the passion to coach for a long time, he’ll be one of the best to ever do it. I’m pretty confident in that.”

Whitworth also talked about his experience early on with McVay, which was a unique situation as the left tackle was eight years older than his head coach. McVay, at the time, was the NFL’s youngest head coach at only 30-years-old.

“I got signed there and, you know you join the youngest head coach, and here you are, you know I’m eight years older than this guy and, you know, I’m the left tackle.” Whitworth continued “but I got to be around, and see him, and it injected, I mean, probably the last five years of my career, the most energy, most enthusiasm and just affection and love of the game that I’ve ever had in my entire football career being around Sean McVay.”

It wasn’t just McVay’s energy that stood out to Whitworth early on though, it was his special ability to communicate with the team.

“[McVay] is one of the rarest people I’ve ever had the opportunity to be around, from that focus level, but also the ability of who he is as a communicator, and how you can articulate and bring juice every single week. Like when you walk out of one of his meetings, you’re not only like prepared for the game, you walk out feeling like, man, you are king kong. Like he just has this ability to make you feel the most positive, just infectious energy, about your team and your group.”

In one specific example, Whitworth explains how early on after joining the Rams, he caught McVay watching film of himself from a previous team meeting earlier in the day. McVay was watching his own words in an effort to make sure he was communicating exactly what he wanted to say, and in a way that would make the team buy into it full-heartedly.

“It’s 4:30 in the afternoon in late April, and he’s got something on the TV I can’t see, and I’m like what’s going on on your screen? [McVay] turns the screen to me and he’s watching our team meeting.” Whitworth continues “He’s like, I go back and watch every single time I speak to you guys, because I want to break down how I communicate every single day the message, and what it is that I meant to set out with an intent to make sure you guys walk out of the room and felt it, and if I can’t feel it, then I want to critique myself harder than I critique anybody else.”

The now 38-year-old head coach looks to only be getting better too, as many would argue that 2023 was actually McVay’s best display of coaching skill yet. With no money for free agents, and no picks in the first two rounds of the draft, as well as the NFL’s second youngest roster, most analysts were projecting LA to be a four-to-five win team. Despite this however, McVay was able to will his team from a 3-6 start to finish with a 10-7 record that included a playoff berth.

This season the Rams have been active in free agency, retooling the offensive line and defensive backfield. On top of the new additions, McVay will also have his first ever first round selection in the NFL draft as a head coach. It will be interesting to see how he is able to mold this new team, which is already being pegged as early Super Bowl contenders.