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CS Part 3: The Many Facets of a Head Coach in the NFL

January 31, 2021 03:34PM
What Score do you give McVay as Rams Head Coach?
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13 votes were received.

Being a head coach is a very hard job. Harder still in the NFL where you have a large team of players and coaches.

I'll attempt to break down all the primary aspects of being a head coach and give my opinion on how McVay does on each of these aspects.

Off the Field
- Preparing Coaches:
11+ coaches and assistants on a team. They need to know clearly their responsibilities for each day of the week. They have to be ready to review the film and get their players better across a myriad of metrics.
- Effective workouts and health management:
Players have to get stronger in a smart and building way without sustaining injury over a grueling 16+ game season and off-season. It's important to keep players engaged and stimulated while giving enough different drills and scenarios to help foster growth in players old and new.

Overall I feel that this is where McVay has shined the most. He immediately removed the "country club" attitudes of Jeff Fisher and set a new bar of expectations. His teams come to the game seemingly well prepared and focused. Health has been an overall boon under McVay (minus 2019 oline). This alone is worth wins in the NFL against the teams that aren't well coached and prepared. Give him an A here.

In the Locker Room
- Team Culture:
Establish a mindset for the team to get better and how to handle adversity. What is the common goal everyone is working towards? Do actions follow words?
- Handling Difficult Players
Toxic personalities must be suppressed or removed. Distractions must be minimized or redirected.

Pre-Goff the last few weeks I would have said this is a huge strength of McVay. It's still pretty good, but there are a few red flags now. Gurley handling looked poor but appeared to be more Gurley's attitude. Now we see it again with Goff so that is reflecting on McVay. Overall McVay has had a 'we not me' attitude and it has worked well. McVay is the type to lead by example by being the hardest working guy in the room. He has built a strong culture in the rams quickly this is worth wins every season. I'll give him the A- here with the caveat that he appears to be trending downwards with time.

In the Press Room
- Controlling the Narrative
- Avoiding the Traps

Overall McVay is pretty good in the pressroom. He gives out praise and more often then not takes blame first. This has seemed to shift just a bit this season. His frustration was showing more. Stress of coaching finally starting to wear on him? He is pretty good at coach speak and no reason this can't be a strength as he continues to get a feel for how the press will use his words. Give him a B+ on this, the probably least important part of being a head coach.

In the Board Room
- Hiring Coaches
Who do you hire? Friends? Proven Winners? Upstarts? See thread: CS Part 2: What to look for in the next great coordinator
- Draft/Trade Planning
A head coach has to have an identity for the team. What type players do you want on your team? What will you sacrifice in favor of? Speed vs Strength? Youth vs. Experience?
- Contracts
Head coaches need to communicate their vision for how they want the money allocated. Who to keep and pay and who to let walk or trade.

It was clear from day one that McVay wanted players and coaches that are smart football junkies and team leaders. He cares about PFF scores even at the college level or for trades. He wasn't looking for the fastest or most athletic guys (SeaHawks draft on SPARQ scores). Others want biggest/strongest. Turnover began quickly with guys like Greg Robinson did not fit the mold. Overall the rams have done well in building a team that is competitive. We've seen some holes at certain positions. We've seen them get pushed around by very physical teams. We've seen them overpay guys they trade/cut shortly after.

Work to do here but overall McVay with Snead and team have put together a good team 4 years in a row. I expect year 5 to be pretty similar. They don't have the draft capital or cap space to make the roster the best in the league. I'll give him another B+ with the trend in the right direction. #1 Defense is pretty impressive.

Game Day
- Inspiring Leadership
Help your team be their best. Help them play hard against the best and easy teams.
- Decision Making
Use metrics or gut, but make the right call most of the time. Put your team in the position to win.
- Adapting to Opponents
Understanding their game plan quickly and adjusting. Understanding the coaches across the field and knowing if they will go for it or not.

McVay's track record when leading at the half is extraordinary. They typically are well prepared and haven't really been blown out too much. They've had a few games where they fell back big early and came roaring back. Some would fault Goff or Defense for the early holes.

On the flip side, there are a lot of questionable play calls. They rarely blow out opponents since 2018. They also lose to teams with losing records while beating those with winning. Baffling. Lastly, his old friends seem to know how to beat him time and again. When losing, his teams struggles to get back quickly.

On game day, I feel like he is a C+. Having someone else to do the play-calling may be a huge weight off his shoulders. He could focus on many more aspects of the game.

Final Thoughts and Grade
Overall McVay is a very good coach with room to continue growing. If Stafford makes McVay's game day and win ratio better then how can he not be an A coach next season? A few red flags this year keep him from getting the A score. Now that Goff is gone, we will see how much was Goff and how much is McVay.

Topic Grade Weight
Off the Field 95 25%
Locker Room 90 20%
Board Room 88 20%
Game Day 75 25%
Press Room 88 10%
Total: 100%
Average Grade: 86.9

  CS Part 3: The Many Facets of a Head Coach in the NFL

BearlyThere128January 31, 2021 03:34PM