Sean McVay: I got out-coached

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Rams coach Sean McVay’s coaching acumen has been praised far and wide over his two seasons in Los Angeles, but no one is singing his praises after Super Bowl LIII.

The Rams managed 260 yards of offense in their 13-3 loss to the Patriots and McVay didn’t hold back when it came to assigning blame for the loss. He said in his postgame press conference that “I got out-coached” and criticized himself for not doing more to get running back Todd Gurley “in a flow” during the game.

“I’m almost numb … They did great job but it was mostly result of me doing a poor job calling plays and not giving us a chance to win. I don’t know how you ever get over this,” McVay said in an interview with Ed Werder of Westwood One.

At 33 years old, McVay should have a long run ahead of him to prove he can find a way to get past this loss and learn from what went wrong to do a better job of coaching in a big game.

86 responses to “Sean McVay: I got out-coached

  1. I love the honesty and can’t even be mad. He did enough to keep it close, but that’s never a winning strategy against Belichick. Wade called a great game, but McVay played way too conservative. Congrats to the Patriots and I’m sure we’ll be back next year. Go Rams!

  2. No kidding. Said exactly two weeks ago that if he went into that game talking about we’ll do what we do, they’d lose. That’s exactly what he did, and Belichick put a clinic on for him. Goff looked like a deer in headlights after the helmet communication went off every play because he had no clue what Belichick was going to bring next to him.

  3. Doug Pederson proved the best way to beat Belichick is to be very aggressive………..but I almost saw Andy Reid in his coaching style tonight. I did not see McVay take one chance……….very conservative game plan in a big game.

  4. For a team to be unworldly dominant for so long in a salary cap league says 1 thing louder than everything else….the coaching in the NFL outside of New England is so bad, so awful, so hideous that it is mind boggling. How can the coaching be so poor that no one can compete with this team?

  5. They did great job but it was mostly result of me doing a poor job…
    ————————————-

    First part-true. Second part-grow up. It just doesn’t matter.

  6. I do not think you are the first or last coach to be beaten by Bill and Tom. NE is a true sports dynasty much like the UCLA basketball team was when coached by Wooden.

  7. McVay overthought the game and by doing so, he exposed the weaknesses of his QB and skill players. Contrary to Romo, the Rams waiting until the helmet communication was switched off was a mistake. Belichick’s players are too well prepared to be affected by that, but it allowed the Pats defense to catch their breath in between every play.

    What made Brady better than Manning, by far, is his ability to switch to playing on instinct instead of having to methodically analyze every play. Only Jim Kelly has ever come close to running a no huddle offense as well as Brady. I hate the patriots, but can’t help by appreciate and admire their intelligence and guts. It’s why they’re the best dynasty ever. Congratulations to a helluva team!

  8. If ever experience in big games was a factor, it was this Super Bowl. Brady alone had more SB appearances than the entire Rams team and Belichick didn’t see anything on the field all night that he hadn’t seen before. The Patriot defense was outstanding and no small part of that was coaching. McVay’s right, he got outcoached badly but hey….that’s not so much a knock on him as an acknowledgement of who Belichick is.

  9. I think he’s a very good coach, very humble, and is in the top tier of coaches. I think he had to be conservative with Goff. Goff wasn’t ready to process everything and you can tell that he didn’t have as strong a grasp on the game as what Nick Foles did last year for his team. We’ll have to see what comes out about Gurley…he couldn’t have been healthy.

  10. That boring game left me numb too, Sean.

    But the true story about Gurley needs to come out. It seems almost certain that he was hurt but I would still like to know.

  11. I love Coach Mcvay’s honesty. Don’t feel bad he will learn.’
    He is a very bright coach that will understand that in games
    Like a Super Bowl you have to let it rip. He will do that
    should he get there in future.
    The hard part is keeping the team together and getting back to
    the Super Bowl. I’m betting he will get back.

  12. I was with saints fans and boycotted this superbowl. I could give a careless about superbowls till brady stops being in them.

    Thank god I missed this comically bad superbowl.

  13. Just glad for Jason McCourty. He waited ten years to be a champ. The Patriots is just ridiculously great. I hope my favorite Julio Jones would go to the Pats to be champion. What are the chances? Nil. There are rookies in the Pats who are now champs and will have their rings. Congrats to the GOAT! Greatest Of All Teams.

  14. Congrats Patriots. BB shows why he is the best. Its a shame the NFL deprived us of the match up between the best offensive creator in the last 15 years and the best coach of all time. Im not one of these crazy Saints fans who thinks there is no way they would lose this game…maybe they would have lost by 21, we’ll never know- but Sean Payton wouldn’t have rolled over like that in a big spot.

  15. Never mind being out coached, your QB played about as bad as he could. It was a horrible game and the worst Super Bowl I haven ever seen.
    Boring isn’t even the right description of the game.
    Congrats to the Patriots for finally doing something.

  16. Coach McVay, a LOT of teams, players and coaches will start winning Super Bowls once Belichick scowls at the grass for the last time, and retires.

    Kills me to say it (as an Arizona fan) but the LA Rams will be a tough team for quite a while. But that’s what you want in football. See you in the fall.

  17. This one was for the Saints. Next time don’t coach your players to be such incredible cheap shot artists. We all saw it again tonight; just cut it out.

  18. “Geez, No Gurley all game? Then he is in with 1 minute left & down 10!
    I mean, there is no explaining that one”

    No, there is explaining for it and we’ve seen it before with the offensive coordinator fired in Minnesota this season. I saw it for 14 years with Andy Reid in Philly. These “offensive genius” new-school play callers get caught up in trying to be explosive in the passing game to the point that the running game (that would help the passing game) slowly and surely disappears and you become one dimensional. The benefits of play action cant be overstated but these guys lose that weapon when they have their QB throw on every play.

    Mcvay had all game to hit the reset button and establish the run. Gurley had plenty of burst but he was way underused. Lesson learned. Too late.

  19. It was more than being out coached. Your team was outplayed when it counted. The defense where on the field so long that they were sucking wind just as the Chargers and the Chiefs defense was

  20. Well, it didn’t help that the Patriots defense morphed into some dominant monster in the post season. Constantly disrupted the offensive line. And mcvay was too predictable. I basically could tell what play was coming sitting on my couch as a casual nfl fan. He let belichick dictate the game and that was the difference. Speaking of gurley… the one big run he has in the 4th quarter got called back due to one of their worst phantom holding calls ever. Completely changed the game.

  21. I’m not a coach, but it appears they failed to attack the secondary after Chung went out. Maybe his replacement played well, but that’s the first thing a coach should try after a defensive player is injured.

  22. Belichick and co. were very confident all week. All smiles, all relaxed. He clearly saw something in Goff that he liked and it showed. The kid crumbled under pressure. Honestly, shouldn’t be a lot of shame losing to the best to ever do it, but after all the praise McVay got this one’s gotta sting.

  23. At 33 years old, McVay should have a long run ahead of him to prove he can find a way to get past this loss and learn from what went wrong to do a better job of coaching in a big game.
    ————————————————-
    Maybe. He had an all star cast of players, from the punter, kicker, D Lineman, CB’s, RB’s and still couldn’t get it done. He’ll never have a roster with this many great players b/c of free agency and the salary cap. LA went all in this year and came up just short so we’ll see how good a HC McVay really is. He’s a very good offensive mind but as a HC the jury is still out.

  24. When you only put 3 points in the biggest game of your life and your thought of as an offensive genius, only shows you’ve got a long way to go to be a great coach. This team was a little over rated to begin with.

  25. So much for the ‘WONDERBOY’ coaches…i.e….Arizona..hint, hint. McVey is a good coach who I believe will continue to be successful and will eventually win the ‘BIG ONE’, but as of now, there’s something to said for experience!

  26. The Rams are done. They wont be back for the playoffs even. Their win now roster is gone. Their offseason consist of unloading all of their players they rented and signing Goff to a huge deal.

  27. lifelongwhodat says:
    February 3, 2019 at 11:16 pm
    Congrats Patriots. BB shows why he is the best. Its a shame the NFL deprived us of the match up between the best offensive creator in the last 15 years and the best coach of all time. Im not one of these crazy Saints fans who thinks there is no way they would lose this game…maybe they would have lost by 21, we’ll never know- but Sean Payton wouldn’t have rolled over like that in a big spot.
    ———————————
    Payton rolled over when he called the pass play on the non-DPI call. He should have been running there to set up the FG, burn the clock down and win the game. Payton made that call.

  28. I agree 100% with McVay. Goff was never going to have a chance if you have to drop back on 3rd and 7+ out of shotgun. That’s not his game. McVay knew he had to scheme stuff up on 1st and 2nd down and he didn’t. He didn’t run a single misdirection run, didn’t involve the tight ends in the gameplan, didn’t involve the backs in the passing game (something Pats struggle with) and didn’t throw intermediate routes outside the numbers until the 4th quarter. Every passing attempt through 3 quarters was in the middle of the field where Belichik had a safety lurking to take away crossing routes (which he always does). McVay had 2 weeks to prepare and ran exactly 1 new play (the screen to Cooks). Andy Reid put up 37 yards of offense in a half of football 2 weeks ago. Mcvay put up 60. I find it hard to believe Reid & McVay are this bad, but I find it even harder to believe the Pats are a better defense than the ’85 Bears or ’00 Ravens, but that’s how they played in the playoffs.

  29. 8oneanddones says:
    February 3, 2019 at 11:35 pm
    I’m not a coach, but it appears they failed to attack the secondary after Chung went out. Maybe his replacement played well, but that’s the first thing a coach should try after a defensive player is injured.
    ————————–
    Except that Duron Harmon is a better coverage safety than Chung.

  30. I think this is the start of McVay coming up small in the big games. I don’t see him getting back as he’s all hype and couldn’t get it done after going all in this year.

  31. I think this is the start of McVay coming up small in the big games. I don’t see him getting back as he’s all hype and couldn’t get it done after going all in this year.

  32. jlgmr777 says:
    February 3, 2019 at 11:46 pm

    So much for the ‘WONDERBOY’ coaches…i.e….Arizona..hint, hint. McVey is a good coach who I believe will continue to be successful and will eventually win the ‘BIG ONE’, but as of now, there’s something to said for experience!

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    I totally agree. Many of the new Head Coaching hires have been so called Sean McVayesque type of coaches, particular Kliff Kingsbury in Arizona and Zac Taylor in Cincinnati. These coaches I don’t doubt will be successful, but I don’t understand what the allure is when they have yet to prove that they can win, particularly in the case of Kingsbury, who didn’t win (35-40 in six seasons at Texas Tech) at his last stop which was in the college ranks. This level overall has an inferior level of talent vs. The NFL!

  33. ricko1112 says:
    February 3, 2019 at 11:06 pm

    As a Patriots fan… The Rams will win a championship soon…

    As a Patriots fan: I highly doubt it, but that’s just my opinion.

    Pats will be back next year, but win or lose, the Rams will not be a part of it. Look for the Seahawks…..

  34. “didn’t involve the backs in the passing game (something Pats struggle with)”

    It might have been hard to see from the TV broadcast but he tried, and every time there was an LB or S flying in to make the play. Goff was smart enough to not go there.

  35. That’s a bad memory to overcome going forward , the front office included . That kind of loss can cause complications .

  36. Please stop the B.S. all teams could argue if this play went
    this way..or of the refs called this or that. I am a Cowboy fan
    and I watched a catch by Dez Bryant get ruled incomplete.
    Then I watched a ref call an illegal substitution after the Cowboys
    threw a pass to the 5 yard line. The specific penalty had not been called
    in over 3 years… it involved an alleged illegal substitution ..even though
    the QB Dak Prescott was not in the huddle, after the season the Comp
    committee abolished the penalty, which meant all the coaches on the
    Committee knew it was a bull crap penalty. None the less it cost the
    Cowboys at least a field goal ( it would have been first and goal at
    around the 6 ) bottom line it was a disgessionary call,that one ref decided
    to call. A Call not made in 3 years ..guess which ref made the call three years
    ago. One of the officials was candid enough to say he had never called the
    penalty, saying it extremely technical and digressionary.
    So we could go in and on with bad Calls or no calls.
    Stop!!

  37. Nice of him to take the blame and take some of the heat off the offense, but they didn’t lose mostly as a result of him doing a poor job calling plays. They lost mostly because the Pats D EXECUTED. They didn’t even miss a beat when Chung went down. I thought that might turn the game around a bit. Chung takes on the tight ends and does a pretty good job limiting them throughout the game. I thought they’d test his replacement and find a chink in the armor. Thankfully that didn’t happen.

  38. For those that are criticizing McVay for playing tight to the vest and not playing aggressively, consider that McVay had very little opportunity to be aggressive in this game. Belichick and the D took those opportunities away. What, McVay’s going to run a fake on 4th and 16? Perhaps if the offense could sustain a drive, those opportunities to open up the playbook and take those chances would have arrisen. The Pats D made it where the Rams could barely do basic things on offense. So McVay is going to run a trick play or something when Goff is struggling to complete ANY pass and the Pats are living in the offensive back field? Not sure this can all be pinned on McVay. I credit an ingenius defensive game plan by the Patriots more than anything.

  39. Wasn’t there a detailed article by Peter King in FMIA last week, in which discussed McVay’s and Belichick’s relationship? The two exchanged texts, emails and phone calls after every game all season. Belichick, the old defensive master, was probing the mind of McVay, the young offensive genius, asking him about innovations and strategies, new formations and designed plays. That was smart of Belichick, but stupid of McVay.

    The two, of course,had no idea at the beginning of the season that they would be coaching against each other in the Super Bowl. But Belichick had the advantage—he had been tracking new offensive trends by keeping in touch with one of the brightest young coaches in the league. When it came time to play the game, he had two weeks to prepare, an entire pre-season, regular season, and playoffs worth of game film to study. Of course he outcoached his understudy–more often than not, the master teaches the student a hard lesson.

    Belichick now has 8 Lombardi trophies, 2 with the Giants as defensive coordinator and 6 with the Patriots as head coach. He is the winningest coach in the Super Bowl era. But if you ask him, he would say the greatest coach ever was Tom Landry. Belichick built the 2000s Patriots on the 1970s Cowboys. Landry, through his obsessive/compulsive study of game film, not only came up with idea of keys and reads, but he invented the 4-3 defense (and later the Flex, which no one else could coach), revitalized the shotgun, introduced situational substitution, the man-in-motion, and the deep speed threat. Landry conceived 21st century football in the 1960s. There is no football team at any level, from junior high through the pros, that does not incorporate his ideas.

    Landry led his team to 5 Super Bowls, but only won 2. Belichick has led his team to 9 Super Bowls, and only lost 3. He joins Landry as the only head coach to hold the opponent to a single field goal in the Super Bowl.

    Offense wins games, but defense wins championships. McVay had been communicating with Belichick all season long, telling him about offensive innovations. Of course he was shut down in the only game that mattered. Belichick, following Landry, is a defensive master. You don’t talk to a guy like that about your offense all season long and expect to win. The only thing left is for the student to learn.

  40. The Rams are not going away any time soon.
    Healthy RBs and a deeper rotation…John Kelly should be ready, right? Cooper Kupp returns, add some depth on the O line.(Those vets are great, but they need a blow sometimes.) On D, a bigger Linebacker, a better performing CB2. That’s really not a lot. If better than half of those tweaks are made, they beat the Patriots handily.

  41. Saints would have scored more than 3 points!
    That’s a given.
    Should have been Saints-Pats

    ps-
    Payton did call a running play, Brees audible out of it because of the alignment the Rams shifted into…

  42. The Rams hung in there for at least 3 quarters, going toe to toe with two of the greats Brady and Belichick. If a couple of plays would have went the other way the Rams could have either tied or won. Cooks had that ball in the end zone.

  43. Terrible game by McVay. He’ll bounce back for sure but i dont think anyone expected that !

    As much as i hate the Pats i have to give them credit, great gameplan on defense and through gritted teeth i have to say they totally deserved that win. Specially after beating the Chiefs in the AFC Game. God that hurts saying that

  44. The Rams offense is very different without Cooper Kupp. It’s like taking Edelman away from the Patriots.

    McVay has many more good years ahead of him. I respect him taking a lot of the blame for the loss, but most of it goes to a QB that wasn’t ready for that big stage. Gurley’s knee obviously needs some attention. He isn’t right. The Rams D did what they needed to win. This falls mostly on Goff. Very good QB who just wasn’t ready for the bright bright lights.

  45. sdcharger123 says:
    February 3, 2019 at 11:45 pm
    The heavy use of CJ Anderson instead of Todd Gurley was weird to say the least.
    ————————————————————————————

    Gurley actually had more carries than Anderson. Rams just could not get anything going on the ground, and not much more in the air.

    The Pats defensive game plan was obviously to make Goff, and not the Rams running game, defeat them if he could. Good defensive game plan obviously.

  46. annes22 says:
    February 3, 2019 at 11:16 pm
    Never mind being out coached, your QB played about as bad as he could. It was a horrible game and the worst Super Bowl I haven ever seen.
    Boring isn’t even the right description of the game.
    Congrats to the Patriots for finally doing something.

    ————

    How can someone call a SB that is basically a tie game until newrlynthe end “boring”? It was a chess match until the end and BB checkmated McVay

  47. This is what you get Sean when you make your QB stick to called plays and fail to teach him to read defenses so he can audible. Defenses have learned to sit back and not show alignment until 15 seconds left on the play clock.

  48. georgeremus says:
    February 3, 2019 at 11:07 pm

    For a team to be unworldly dominant for so long in a salary cap league says 1 thing louder than everything else….the coaching in the NFL outside of New England is so bad, so awful, so hideous that it is mind boggling. How can the coaching be so poor that no one can compete with this team?

    Doug Pederson did it – and he did it with his back up QB. That is all.

  49. The same people calling the Super Bowl “horrible” and “boring” because of the low scoring would have been whining about “no defense anymore” if it was 45-42.

    Some people just lead miserable lives and like to complain about everything.

  50. Either Todd Gurley is injured or McVay out-coached himself in the NFC Championship and Super Bowl. With no Gurley to use as an outlet for swing passes or screens, Goff was a sitting duck for the Patriots rush. Why didn’t McVay have Goff roll out a little more, left or right, to avoid having to throw most of his passes with a hand in his face or backing up? I get that he is not a mobile QB but he can move around a little to buy time. The Rams offense missed Kupp near the end of the season and then couldn’t survive not having Gurley at full strength for the last two post season games. And if the rams were hiding the extent of Gurley’s injury, the NFL ought to be concerned given all the money wagered on the Super Bowl.

  51. baldbuc says:
    February 4, 2019 at 12:30 am

    So, are all the teams that hired a ”McVay clone” nervous right now?
    ___________________________________________________________________

    They should be! Innovation is great but there is something to be said for experience. Another poster stated that McVay was playing checkers when Belichick was playing chess. In summary it’s not about a Head Coach’s actual age per se but the amount of time he has actually spent coaching NFL football!
    per se but the actual amount of time you have spent coaching football

  52. davew128 says:
    February 4, 2019 at 12:02 am
    8oneanddones says:
    February 3, 2019 at 11:35 pm
    I’m not a coach, but it appears they failed to attack the secondary after Chung went out. Maybe his replacement played well, but that’s the first thing a coach should try after a defensive player is injured.
    ————————–
    Except that Duron Harmon is a better coverage safety than Chung.

    ***********************************

    And, Harmon was the DB blitzing Goff on that play where he threw that pick to Gilmore which essentially iced the game.

    Next man up matra indeed…

  53. freefromwhatyouare says:
    February 4, 2019 at 6:24 am
    The Rams offense is very different without Cooper Kupp. It’s like taking Edelman away from the Patriots.

    —————————————————————

    Not the same. Take Edelman away and Pats are left with essentially nothing as far the WR position goes.
    Take Cupp away and Goff still has Cooks, Woods and Reynolds each of whom is far better than Hogan, Dorsett, etc.

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