Sean McVay’s Path In The NFL Mirrors Many All-Time Greats


At Sean McVay’s age, most current head coaches were either assistants or coordinators, or even still playing before they made a big step. The first year coach of the Rams is the youngest in NFL history, even though two starter’s on the team’s offensive line are older than him. That’s not what’s an important here — the important thing is for McVay to turn this team around after finishing with a 4-12 record in 2016 and bringing them their first winning season since 2003.

Being a young coach guarantees nothing, but McVay’s legacy remains a mystery. He reached the coaching ranks faster than his counterparts, but how and why is McVay the right man for the job?

Temple Days

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Temple made a bold move by naming Bruce Arians their head coach at the tender age of 31. They plucked him from Bear Bryant’s dominant Alabama football program, compiling a 27-39 record in six seasons with the Owls. The only downside to Arians’ tenure came in 1986 when the Owls had to forfeit their wins due to Heisman runner-up Paul Palmer signing with a sports agent before his eligibility expired.

Success Before The NFL

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Jay Gruden was once a quarterback for the Tampa Bay Storm in the Arena Football League, winning four titles in the process. He showed no mercy in 1998 when he went up against his old team as the head coach for the Orlando Predators, winning 62-31 in the third largest blowout in ArenaBowl history.


Failure Before Success Is Key

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Believe it or not, Bill Belichick worked for one depleted Giants team as the linebacker/special teams coach in 1983. Despite the presence of a young Lawrence Taylor, New York finished with a 3-12-1 record, their worst record in a 16-game season. Things would turn around for the Giants when the drafted Carl Banks in 1984, then win Super Bowl XXI in 1987.

Like Father, Like Son

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Kyle Shanahan has football in his blood thanks to his father, Mike, who coached for the Raiders, Redskins, and Broncos. Not many remember that Kyle became the youngest offensive coordinator when the Texans promoted him from quarterbacks coach in 2008. By the time he was 31, Shanahan was the offensive coordinator for the Redskins before moving on to become the 49ers head coach.