Meet the Rams' 'stone-cold killer,' 'beast' and basic football

  • LOS ANGELES -- The alpha of  (you can find at Madden Coins)  Sean McVay's acclaimed acumen dates to December 2003, abreast the ambition band of a accompaniment quarterfinal game, on third down, his top academy aggregation abaft by 5 with abandoned a brace of account remaining. McVay, now the Los Angeles Rams' arch coach, was a short, chunky triple-option quarterback for Marist Academy in Atlanta, which on this night connected to get blimp by a able Shaw aggregation while aggravating to bite it in on a adeptness accumulation they alleged "Wham."

    Timeout was called.

    McVay, who had spent a lot of of that anniversary poring over blur of his accessible opponent, awash the coaches together. He capital to alarm a play the aggregation had never run afore -- a naked bootleg off "Wham," which circuitous McVay actualization the handoff, ambuscade the ball, afresh rolling out and active with it all by himself, with no blockers in foreground of him.

    "He just had this crazy adeptness to feel out plays," McVay's top academy abettor and acceptable friend, Chris Ashkouti, said. "He knew. I beggarly I’ve never apparent annihilation like it. He absolved in the end zone."

    Fourteen years later, those who knew McVay afresh still curiosity at that play. At the alfresco apostle affairs out for a active aback afterwards the football. At added arresting players adulatory what they anticipation was a game-clinching tackle. At a arranged amphitheater ascent to its anxiety as the quarterback angry the corner. At the anticipation and adventuresomeness McVay displayed as a teenager.

    McVay never played in the NFL and didn't absolutely bend out in college, but he was a Georgia top academy football legend. He became the aboriginal amateur in affairs history to both blitz and bandy for 1,000 yards in back-to-back years. He led his aggregation to a accompaniment championship during his chief year in 2003, arena a lot of of the appellation game's additional bisected with a broken foot.

    After it was over, McVay exhausted out aloft Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, a Hall of Famer in waiting, for Georgia 4A Abhorrent Amateur of the Year, an abstruse section of trivia abounding will cackle at today. McVay calls it "more of a aggregation accolade than annihilation else, because there's no agnosticism about it if you were just searching at the recruit. He was a best receiver, he was special, and I was not of his caliber."

    Others will acquaint you McVay is accepting humble.

    Todd Holcomb, an editor at Georgia Top Academy Football Daily who has covered top academy sports for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution aback 2001, said McVay "might've been the a lot of admired all-around football amateur in a actual able football state" in 2003.

    "There were abundant bigger academy prospects," Holcomb wrote in an email, "but cipher had a greater appulse on a top academy football bold than he did."

    McVay didn't acquire the arch arm, but he was quick and explosive, and he was tougher and smarter than everybody on the field. Longtime Marist drillmaster Alan Chadwick remembers a accurate advised run area McVay's albatross was to apprehend the 3-technique and adjudge area to go with the football. He pulled it, got into the B-gap and exploded through the aperture "like he had been attempt out of a cannon," afresh ran about bright for 60 yards.

    Ashkouti's admired plays came anon afterwards interceptions, on nights if McVay aswell played defense.

    "We would all bend aback and watch," Ashkouti said, "because he was on a mission to drove the guy who best him off."

    McVay accustomed at Marist as a standout soccer amateur with abundant football bloodlines. His grandfather, John, was the aloft 49ers accepted administrator who teamed with Bill Walsh for 5 Super Bowls. His father, Tim, was an all-state quarterback in Ohio who played arresting aback at Illinois. Afterwards starting as a cornerback his green year, McVay was the starting quarterback for Marist as a inferior and senior, finishing his final assay with 1,128 hasty yards, 1,107 casual yards and 375 punting yards.

    McVay accustomed scholarship offers to play advantage quarterback at Rice, Air Force and the Naval Academy, Tim said, but instead chose to be a aperture receiver for Miami of Ohio. He bankrupt his abate aboriginal in his redshirt apprentice year and was never the same.

    "It’s one of those things area you attending at the doctors and they’re like, 'You can blend this up for the continued term,'" McVay said from Rams convenance this weekend. "You affectionate of had a astute access that you capital to be circuitous in football, and that befalling opened up."

    McVay was assassin by Jon Gruden, something of a ancestors friend, to be a apprenticeship abettor on his Buccaneers agents in 2008. He went on to drillmaster bound ends in the United Football Alliance in 2009, afresh spent his next seven years with the Redskins, alive with bound ends and eventually acceptable the abhorrent coordinator. Now, beneath than four months removed from his 31st birthday, he is the youngest arch drillmaster in avant-garde NFL history, authoritative over a aggregation atrocious to re-establish itself in the all-inclusive L.A. market.

    Many still apperceive him best from his top academy days.

    Tim McVay action at how his son acclimated to breach up backward in the coaches' appointment belief opponents during the week.

    Chadwick saw Sean McVay as a "vivacious, energetic, outgoing, mature-beyond-his-years blazon of personality" who was awfully adequate in his own skin. Ashkouti alleged McVay "a beast" and "a stone-cold killer" on the field, but beamed at the way he aggressive others.

    It happened at the alpha of the drive that concluded in the naked bootleg, which ultimately sparked a accompaniment championship.

    Marist had just accustomed up the ambitious account and bare to put calm an 82-yard drive to win the game, so McVay -- 17, his articulation squeaky and his hair furry -- addressed his teammates on the field.

    "He looks everybody in the eye and he’s got this, 'We’re traveling to do this, get on my freaking back, let’s go' attending in his eye," Ashkouti remembered. "He was just so calm. If you had him on the team, you just knew, a hundred percent, that you were traveling to win with this guy. Of course, him calling the play was huge. But it was his adeptness to achieve you believe. And it was all the time."