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    Sean McVay Says 2023 Was His Most Rewarding Season as Rams Head Coach – ‘I Was Proud as Hell of That Team’

    After defying low expectations in 2023, Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay is calling it the most fulfilling season of his career.

    The Los Angeles Rams didn’t enter the 2023 season with high expectations, but they still ended up in the postseason. According to head coach Sean McVay, it was the most rewarding year of his head coaching career, even over his Super Bowl-winning season of 2021.

    Why Sean McVay Is So Proud of Last Year’s Rams Team

    Going into 2023, many predicted that the Rams could end the season with a top-five pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. In 2022, the Rams finished third in the NFC West with a 5-12 record. Following that season, superstar cornerback Jalen Ramsey was traded for contract reasons.

    Then, to top everything off, quarterback Matthew Stafford was coming off a mainly lost 2022 season due to injury, and many were concerned he might not play at a high level in 2023 due to his age.

    All of that, plus a roster with many unknown names, meant expectations just weren’t very high for the Rams.

    However, Los Angeles ended up winning 10 games and earned a Wild Card spot in the playoffs. In addition to the team’s success, the Rams had three AP All-Pros and four Pro Bowlers.

    McVay reflected on what the Rams’ 2023 season meant to him during a recent appearance on the “Green Light Podcast” with Chris Long.

    “The best part about last year is that there was real adversity,” said McVay. “I think that’s when you find out about people. It’s like, when you’re in the storm, how do you handle that stuff?”

    “I was proud as hell of that team, you know. Even though we’ve had some other seasons that we might have gone further, [It was] probably my most rewarding season as a coach,” said McVay. “I think a lot of it was because, and I had mentioned it before, you know, in the midst of so many good things going on here, I lost my way a little bit.

    “2022 really exposed me, you know, where the results weren’t what we wanted, but I was exposed in terms of my shortcomings, some of my insecurities, and I really had to address that,” said McVay. “Last year reminded me of why I love this s*** so much because of those players.”

    A big reason for the Rams’ newfound success was the development and burst onto the scene of their 2023 rookie class. Led by Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate WR Puka Nacua, who earned All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors, the class also saw notable production from OG Steve Avila, LB Byron Young, and DT Kobie Turner.

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    In addition to the rookie class, Stafford and Aaron Donald both came back from injury and performed at as high a level as they could’ve hoped for. Oh yeah, there was also a massive breakout season from second-year running back Kyren Williams, who ended the year as an All-Pro and Pro Bowler alongside Nacua.

    All of that combined for what was a surprising season for the Rams, but one they will look to build on going forward.

    Expectations for the Rams in 2024

    The expectations for the Rams in 2024 are much, much different than they were in 2023.

    With a lot of talent returning healthy (Williams, Stafford, that 2023 rookie class), LA is expected to take a step forward and compete for not only the postseason again, but even a chance at the NFC West title.

    However, to win the division, they’ll have to overtake the San Francisco 49ers, who were in last season’s Super Bowl. Additionally, the Seattle Seahawks return a strong roster, and the Arizona Cardinals could pose a threat with a healthy, young roster.

    In terms of the Rams’ roster, there was a wrench thrown in on their offseason hype. Donald, who is one of the best defensive players in NFL history, decided to call it a career and retire earlier in March. As a result, there would be a nearly irreplaceable hole left on Los Angeles’ roster.

    Despite that, the Rams started things off with a busy free agency by adding Darious Williams, Kamren Curl, Jimmy Garoppolo, Tre’Davious White, Jonah Jackson, and Colby Parkinson. They also extended guard Kevin Dotson.

    KEEP READING: Breaking Down the Los Angeles Rams’ 2024 Schedule

    Following free agency, LA also put together what could potentially be a strong draft class. They started things off by adding two FSU trench players in EDGE Jared Verse and DT Braden Fiske. Following those two, they added RB Blake Corum, S Kamren Kinchens, EDGE Brennan Jackson, DT Tyler Davis, K Joshua Karty, WR Jordan Whittington, C Beaux Limmer, and G KT Leveston.

    All in all, the Rams return a strong roster and added a strong mixture of experienced veterans in free agency and more highly talented youth in their draft. If McVay and the team’s coaches can put together the level of development they did last season, they’ll be in for another very good season in 2024.

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