With the start of the 2022 NFL season just over two months away, all 32 teams are looking to make their mark across the league’s landscape. Having already assembled the majority of their respective 90-man rosters, the process for teams’ determining which players will be chosen to represent each franchise for the upcoming season is about to begin; as training camps are set to open in late July.
Though the players on the field ultimately make or break the plays, they are most often put in the position to either succeed or fail by their head coach. Strategies, schemes and decisions can sometimes be the difference between victory and defeat. Unsurprisingly, teams with the right coach for the job are almost always the most successful.
In an effort to evaluate which of the NFL’s 32 teams are best positioned for coaching success, CBS Sports submitted their pre-season rankings for each of the league’s head coaches. Their assessment was divided into four tiers and each coach was ranked from worst to first based on how they would "draft" them for this season. CBS based its evaluation on the criteria of both trust and positioning for success.
For the defending Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams, it should come as no surprise that coach Sean McVay ranked second on their list.
CBS Sports’ Assessment on McVay:
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2. Sean McVay (Rams)
Season: 6th with Rams and as HC
Career record: 55-26 (.679) | Playoffs: 7-3 (1-1 in Super Bowls)
Boy Wonder officially went from phenom to contemporary great by getting over the hump and turning his bet on Matthew Stafford into a Super Bowl ring. He may be more conservative than most think, and he's occasionally a streaky play-caller, but what else can you ask of him at 36? Players easily gravitate toward his devoted but fun-loving approach, and while he's been blessed with star-studded lineups courtesy of Les Snead, he consistently capitalizes on his starters' skill sets (think Stafford, Jared Goff, Odell Beckham Jr.). The only reason you wouldn't "draft" McVay as both your short- and long-term leader is because his instant ascent has afforded him the flexibility to consider an early retirement.
Heading into the 2021 season, expectations for Los Angeles were already high; especially in the wake of trading for former Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford in the offseason. McVay and the Rams started strong, jumping out to a 7-1 record to start the season. Impressive wins over the Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Seattle Seahawks had both fans and media analysts talking about a Super Bowl berth at the proverbial midway point of the season.
However, the Rams struggled a bit from that point on, losing 28–16 to the visiting Tennessee Titans in Week 9, as well as a demoralizing 31–10 loss to their divisional-rival San Francisco 49ers. Following their third-straight defeat [this time, to the Green Bay Packers on the road by a score of 36–28] the Rams fell to a 7–4 record.
However, McVay kept the Rams on a straight path. Los Angeles finished the regular season with a 12-5 record, capturing the NFC West division title. The Rams marched through the playoffs, defeating the Arizona Cardinals, the Buccaneers and the 49ers, en route to a berth in Super Bowl LVI. McVay won his second conference title, before leading the Rams to a 23-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, in which a late touchdown secured the victory for Los Angeles. The victory made McVay the youngest head coach in NFL history to win the Super Bowl at age 36.
As expected, the Rams should once again be in the mix of elite teams contending for a Super Bowl title. Despite some key roster losses, McVay’s leadership continues to give Los Angeles the chance to win each game they play.