Rams coach Sean McVay won’t play his starters in the preseason. And he won’t apologize for it.
McVay knows that there are people out there who think the preseason is increasingly becoming a ripoff for fans, who buy tickets to watch a bunch of players who will get cut at the end of the month. But McVay said that the Rams have a core group of starters who have played together long enough that they don’t need the preseason, and don’t need to risk injuries to play exhibitions.
“Not to say there’s not an appreciation for what the preseason entails and playing real football,” McVay said. “I think there is a lot of merit to that. But when you look at some of the continuity now that we have on both sides of the ball coming back, and you say, If something were to happen, is it really worth that risk in our mind? We just felt like that answer is no. That’s the approach that we’re taking, I totally understand if people don’t agree with that, but we always make decisions that are in the best interests of our team. That’s just really for this unit. Does that mean we’ll always have that luxury? I think if you have a different number of returning players, then the narrative on that is a little different.”
The Rams got to the Super Bowl without the starters playing in the preseason last year, so no one can say they needed it. NFL teams may increasingly follow McVay’s lead, and the preseason may become increasingly pointless.