weather icon Clear

Fast-talking Sean McVay looks to lead Rams to Super Bowl win

ATLANTA — Sean McVay speaks without a space bar between sentences, his clauses crammed together like vehicles on a Los Angeles interstate. The quick cadence creates bumper-to-bumper thought traffic. His words speed at 75 mph, somehow still reaching their destination without collision.

It is here, in his energetic but elegant linguistic commute, the Los Angeles Rams coach seems so inviting.

Keep up. Follow his active mind.

Come see where it goes.

McVay is the first Los Angeles coach to lead his franchise to a Super Bowl appearance since the Raiders’ Tom Flores was victorious to conclude the 1983 season. At 33, he is the youngest head coach in the title game’s 53-year history. McVay moves quickly in both career accomplishment and verbal presentation, the latter serving as part of what distinguishes him from his Sunday counterpart.

That and experience.

On Tuesday, McVay acknowledged the latter.

He referenced the concept of “chasing ghosts” in regard to his team’s preparation to face the New England Patriots. Both clubs have two weeks to plan. While the Patriots may have this schedule down to a science, given this is their fourth Super Bowl in five years and ninth in 18, the concept is fairly new to McVay.

And there is much to study.

Under coach Bill Belichick, the Patriots are the contortion artists of the NFL, bending their scheme and personnel usage to seize what they consider to be advantageous matchups, often surprising opponents along the way. McVay and his staff must be ready for whatever version of their opponent they will see.

As he speaks rapidly, McVay seems to understand and revel in the task.

Belichick, he is often reminded, is twice his age at 66.

“There’s a lot of instances, especially when you have two weeks, where you have those contingency plans, but you also don’t want to chase ghosts,” McVay said of overpreparing. “It’s something that we’re figuring out right now. But you can’t have enough respect for what they’ve done in that identity shift, specifically when you just look at these last couple games when you look at what they’ve been able to do against two of the best offenses, without a doubt, in the playoffs. That’s why it’s a great challenge for us. That’s why they’re here consistently.”

McVay is part of Raiders coach Jon Gruden’s tree.

His first NFL job came under Gruden as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ assistant wide receivers coach in 2008.

Like Gruden, McVay seems comfortable when standing in front of cameras on center stage. He has a rapid-fire style, however, that distinguishes him from others and certainly Belichick.

Belichick speaks from the far-right traffic lane. He sees the speed limit sign and minds it. This week, McVay was asked a question about whether the Rams would celebrate a Super Bowl on Sunday with an eventual visit to the White House, the sort of question that might elicit a pause, frown and eight-word response from Belichick.

McVay jumped on the question once completed.

What followed was 118 words in 28 seconds.

“Yeah, I think the biggest this is, if we’re fortunate enough to win this game, then we talk about what’s next with regard to those steps, and that’s exactly how we’ll approach it,” McVay said. “The first thing is we’ve got to win this game, and that’s going to be a great challenge for us. So, that’s really kind of where we’re at, solely focused on trying to win the game against an excellent football team that’s been doing it as well as anybody over the last 10 full years, and the luxuries or some of the opportunities that are presented as a result of winning that are things that we’ll have to filter through as an organization after this.”

McVay moves fast.

On Sunday, he looks to cross the finish line.

Contact reporter Michael Gehlken at mgehlken@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GehlkenNFL on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Super Bowl protest in New Orleans raises $57k for community

Thousands of people attended the city of New Orleans’ protest parties on Super Bowl Sunday, and many of those who attended a special fundraiser contributed more than $57,000 for a foundation that works to improve the community.

Rob Gronkowski hit by beer can during Super Bowl parade

Rob Gronkowski, the New England Patriots’ star tight end, says he got hit in the face by a can of beer thrown during Tuesday’s Super Bowl victory parade in Boston.

Huge crowds pack Boston streets for Patriots’ Super Bowl parade

A party atmosphere enveloped the city as fans clad in team garb packed sidewalks and stood on tiptoe for a glimpse of quarterback Tom Brady, coach Bill Belichick and the rest of the team. Red, white and blue confetti rained down.

ALS patient dies in ‘freak accident’ on way to Super Bowl

A man with Lou Gehrig’s disease who dreamed of going to the Super Bowl secured tickets from a charity, but was killed when the minivan he was traveling in caught fire on the way to Atlanta.

Patriots’ McCourty twins say they won’t visit White House

New England Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty said Monday he won’t go to the White House if the Super Bowl champions are invited by President Donald Trump, and teammate and twin brother Jason said he highly doubts he would make the trip.

Super Bowl receives lowest number of viewers since 2009

The New England Patriots’ competitive but action-starved Super Bowl victory over the Los Angeles Rams was seen by 100.7 million people on television and streaming services, the smallest audience for football’s annual spectacle in a decade.

Super Bowl handle of $145.9M falls short of Nevada record

A game that set a Super Bowl record for futility fell well short of setting a Nevada record for betting handle. The books won $10.7 million on the game, which was the lowest-scoring Super Bowl ever, for a 7.4 percent hold, or win percentage.

Adam Levine’s Super Bowl nipple reveal prompts backlash

First, critics panned Maroon 5’s Super Bowl halftime performance. Then social media folks went full-on snark over Adam Levine’s throw pillow-like tank top design. Then he peeled off the busy brown shirt and the snark turned to outrage over his exposed nipples.

Thousands join New Orleans’ Super Bowl boycott party

Still stinging from having a berth in Super Bowl LIII ripped away from them, thousands belonging to Who Dat Nation joined together Sunday in a sign of solidarity and boycotted the game turning, off televisions and partying like it was Fat Tuesday.