The 36-year-old head coach is yet to call his first play, draw up his first adjustment or deliver his first fiery Super Bowl speech before the big game versus the Cincinnati Bengals — and he’s already made history.
Super Bowl history, that is. And he’s the first head coach — which includes Bill Belichick, Bill Walsh, Tom Landry, even Vince Lombardi — to accomplish this feat.
What Record did McVay Shatter?
Via Jeff Kerr of CBS Sports, McVay’s second Super Bowl appearance now puts him in this category: The youngest head coach in NFL history to make it to two Super Bowls.
McVay hasn’t hit his 40s, plus is a year into his mid-30s, and yet he will soon taste his second big game of his young coaching career — a career that began when he was 22-years-old.
And, as noted by Kerr, McVay has done it this time around with a roster where the average age is a decade younger than him.
How has McVay’s Game Plan Altered This Week?
McVay also gets this advantage with the Rams compared to their opponents representing the AFC: Home rest.
The Rams don’t need to hop on an airplane this time and fly all the way to the eastern time zone like they did for Super Bowl 53 against the New England Patriots in Atlanta. Barring L.A. traffic, they also don’t need to take a three-hour bus ride.
This time, the Rams have a shorter trek from their Thousand Oaks facility to the site of the big game, since it’s at the “Rams House.” McVay understands the benefit of being at home despite being the designated “visitors” for the game.
“I think the benefit of being able to stay at home is that you really do have the two weeks of preparation. But, we kind of got three or four extra days last week where guys got bodies turned over, got them refreshed and rejuvenated with this being our 21st game that we’ll be playing on Sunday, so we did get a jump on the preparation,” McVay told reporters via Zoom on Monday, February 7 during Super Bowl kickoff week. “If you were to put a percentage on it, probably 80% of the game plan went in and then Wednesday will represent, kind of, the finality of the plan and then we’ll put some final touches on it.”
He also wants his guys to be in a relaxed, but focused state given the myriad of activities that go on during Super Bowl week.
“I think that’s important to be able to give these guys clarity — let them go play with a quieted mind and then be able to adjust and adapt accordingly,” McVay said.
And again, to reiterate, McVay is a veteran coach of the Super Bowl now…since he’s in the record books for being the quickest head coach to reach two Super Bowls before he hit 40.
“I’ve talked about this before the last time we had played New England: We tried to say ‘let’s get everything in knowing that once you get to Atlanta, there’s going to be a lot of different distractions and things like that,” McVay said.
That’s when he admits his past mistakes from his last big game appearance.
“I kind of kept tinkering and tweaking (the game plan), and I think that wasn’t the right approach,” McVay said. “Trusting these players, trusting the preparation that we have and then being able to put the final touches on it I think will be the best way for our guys to go play the best of their ability and if that happens, then I think good things will happen for the Rams.”