GREEN BAY – Sean McVay joked during his Tuesday news conference with reporters that he’s too young to have a coaching tree.
At the same time, the Los Angeles Rams’ 32-year-old coach couldn’t be happier about Matt LaFleur becoming the first former assistant from his coaching staff to get his own NFL job.
A little more than a year ago, McVay and LaFleur teamed up to engineer one of the most impressive one-year offensive turnarounds in NFL history.
With McVay calling plays and LaFleur serving as offensive coordinator, the Rams became the first team in the Super Bowl era to go from last to first in scoring in a single season. In doubling their points per game from 14.0 to 29.8, Los Angeles improved its win total from 4-12 in 2016 to 11-5 in 2017.
While McVay is currently preparing for Saturday's NFC Divisional playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys, he praised LaFleur on the eve of his close friend’s introduction Wednesday as the 15th head coach in Packers’ franchise history.
“He is one of my closest friends, so to see that for him, you couldn't be more excited,” said McVay, who 24-8 in his first two seasons with the Rams. “He's a great football coach. Got a great understanding from offensive football. He's just such a great guy. He cares about people.”
As McVay embarked on his first head-coaching opportunity with the Rams, one of the first moves he made was to install LaFleur as his offensive coordinator.
The two cut their teeth as NFL assistants on Mike Shanahan’s coaching staff in Washington from 2010-13, with McVay serving as tight ends coach and LaFleur handling quarterbacks.
Over the past decade, the two have gained a reputation for being among the NFL’s brightest offensive minds. More than just exceptional X’s and O’s, however, McVay says the Packers are getting a great man – on and off the field.
“He's going to be honest with his communication and then he's going to be invested in working really hard to try to put guys in good spots,” McVay said. “But when you see those types of things you can't do anything but just be really happy for a close friend. I love his family. His wife Brie, his two boys Ty and Luke, so it's an exciting thing for the Packers and for Matt for sure.”