How Rams’ hiring of Sean McVay turned with power dinner at Spago, co-starring Fergie, Josh Duhamel and Wolfgang Puck
By Rich Hammond
Sean McVay dined with an NFL legend, got inadvertently feted by a celebrity chef and rubbed elbows with two Hollywood A-listers, then returned to his hotel room and hoped for the phone call of a lifetime.
January 2017. What a month for McVay. He started it as a well-regarded but relatively unknown assistant coach and, within two weeks, he became the youngest head coach in NFL history.
One dinner, last Jan. 10, changed McVay’s life, and as the Rams prepare for their first playoff game in 13 years, Saturday night against Atlanta at the Coliseum, it’s fair to think that night might have changed the course of the franchise. It’s the night McVay aced the test be needed to pass in order to coach the Rams.
“It was such a whirlwind,” McVay recalled this week, almost one full year after his league-rattling hiring.
First came the appetizers, so to speak.
The Rams fired Jeff Fisher on Dec. 12, 2016 and compiled a list of potential replacements, most of whom were young NFL assistants with no head-coaching experience. McVay appeared to be a footnote on that list.
He had developed a good reputation in two years as Washington’s offensive play-caller, both for his football acumen and his personality. McVay also had a pedigree because his grandfather, John McVay, was a longtime executive with the San Francisco 49ers.
Still, he was 30 years old. He would get a couple interviews, league pundits figured, then be a more serious candidate after the 2017 or 2018 season. The Rams had heard good things, though, so after Washington ended its season on Jan. 1, McVay flew to Los Angeles to meet with Rams executives.
An initial dinner in Santa Monica on Jan. 4, with McVay, Chief Executive Officer Kevin Demoff, General Manager Les Snead and Senior Assistant Tony Pastoors went well. A more […]