Sean McVay recalls the “ridiculous” time he was called a better player than Calvin Johnson

Marist School via ESPN

Rams coach Sean McVay is the youngest coach in NFL history and easily the youngest to reach the playoffs, and he got so far, so fast in coaching in part because he never had any illusions about having a future as an NFL player.

In a good look at McVay’s background, Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times writes that during his senior year in high school, McVay quarterbacked his team to the state championship and was named 2003 State Player of the Year in Georgia, beating out future Lions All-Pro receiver Calvin Johnson. McVay knew then that he wasn’t actually in Johnson’s class as a player.

That was ridiculous,” McVay said. “He was a five-star recruit, best receiver in the country, and here I am, just a tough competitor that’s on a state championship team. Really what that was is it was a reflection of the team success we had, and then we were able to have some good stats because we won the state championship. But I don’t think anybody would have sat up there and said, ‘We think Sean is a better player than Calvin Johnson.’ It was more of a successful team, so let’s go ahead and give the award to the quarterback.”

That modesty is characteristic of McVay, who typically blames himself when things go wrong for the Rams but is quick to credit others when things go right. He’s been that kind of leader since high school.

24 responses to “Sean McVay recalls the “ridiculous” time he was called a better player than Calvin Johnson

  1. I like this McVay character. When I heard he rushes the Rams to the line so they can communicate to Goff where the weakness in the defense is before the 25 second mark on the playclock (when the communication is shut off), he earned my respect. Doesn’t say a lot for Goff, but McVay deserves all the credit in the world for the Rams success.

  2. I wish my Packers had a good humble coach. But we don’t. We have a McMuffin.

  3. Wasn’t sure about this guy when he was hired but it’s pretty clear he’s a very good HC. Hopefully this will get owners to start looking at new blood instead of recycling average coaches. An owner may miss on an untested guy but they can also hit big like LA did.

  4. Sounds like the usual lazy analysis we get from the media, QB on best team must be the best player. Same type of thing often happens for Heisman voting, MVP, etc.

  5. I don’t think Sean McVay is a one hit wonder. He’s going to continue to get better and better. If you think Gruden got a good contract, wait until McVay signs his next deal. His will probably be 10 years $250 million. Kroenke isn’t going to let this kid get away.

  6. Class act, hard to root against him but Zim and the Vikings will take the Rams down again if they meet. Vikings, Rams and Eagles are going to be the teams to beat in the NFC for years to come

  7. I really like McVay. Wish he didn’t coach the Rams LOL. Even last week placing backups in the game against the Niners, you can hear him on mic’d up saying how humbling that game was. That’s a scary thought for the NFC. With Shannahan’s coaching starting to shine through Jimmy, The NFCW is looking like the original division rivalry is gonna be a dogfight for many years to come as both teams are quite young.

  8. That modesty is characteristic of McVay, who typically blames himself when things go wrong for the Rams but is quick to credit others when things go right. He’s been that kind of leader since high school.

    How refreshing. I forgot people can be decent and good like that.

  9. I doubted McVay when he was hired as soon as I heard about his age.
    OBVIOUSLY I was wrong.
    OBVIOUSLY McVay understands life, people and football better than the rest of us.

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