Sean McVay Named Rams Head Coach

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist

This is a 2016 photo of Sean McVay of the Washington Redskins NFL football team. This image reflects the Washington Redskins active roster as of Monday, June 13, 2016 when this image was taken. (AP Photo)
Uncredited/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Rams fired head coach Jeff Fisher on Dec. 12. John Fassel stepped in as the interim head coach and held that position for the remainder of the 2016 season, but with the regular season over, the Rams have found a replacement.

Continue for updates.

McVay Named Rams Coach

Thursday, Jan. 12

The Rams announced Thursday that Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay would be the team's new head coach.

Bleacher Report NFL Insider Jason Cole reported McVay was the front-runner to land the Rams job, although he noted age and experience concerns remained:

Jason La Canfora of reported the Redskins were bracing for the Rams to name McVay as their next head coach.

Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports tweeted Wednesday that McVay was "expected to be among finalists" for the Rams job. Tom Pelissero of USA Today reported McVay had a second meeting with the Rams and that things were "heating up."

ESPN's Adam Schefter later reported that if McVay got the job, he would want Wade Phillips of the Denver Broncos to be his defensive coordinator.

On Jan. 9, Mike Silver of reported McVay "crushed" his first interview with the Rams.

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Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported Jan. 7 the Rams are doing their homework on McVay because they believe he could work well with Jared Goff after developing Kirk Cousins.

Mark Maske of the Washington Post reported McVay interviewed with the team Jan. 5.

Lynn Linked to Rams

Thursday, Jan. 12

ESPN's Josina Anderson, citing sources, reported Anthony Lynn, who served as the Buffalo Bills' interim head coach to end the regular season, will have a second interview with the Rams this week.'s Peter Schrager previously reported Lynn interviewed with the Rams on Jan. 8.

Shanahan Reportedly Unlikely to Be Interviewed

Wednesday, Jan. 11

An interview with Shanahan is "in limbo" for the Rams at this time, according to La Canfora on Wednesday.

On Jan. 7, La Canfora reported Shanahan's interview with the Rams was postponed because of bad weather.

Current Super Bowl rules won't allow Shanahan to interview again until Super Bowl bye week if the Falcons make it that far, per La Canfora.

On Jan. 2, Schefter reported the Rams had requested to interview Shanahan.

Gruden Reportedly Not Among Suitors for Rams Job

Wednesday, Jan. 11

ESPN analyst Jon Gruden met with the Rams, but a source said he was acting in an "advisory capacity" and is not a candidate for the head coaching job, per Robinson.

The Los Angeles Times' Sam Farmer first noted on Dec. 12 that Gruden's name had been circulating as a potential target:

Those close to Gruden have indicated he would listen to a Rams pitch, however, and that he might be interested in a return to coaching after seven years as color analyst for ESPN's "Monday Night Football." He knows quarterbacks, turned around a dead-in-the-water Oakland Raiders franchise and won a Super Bowl in Tampa Bay at the end of the 2002 season (by beating his former Raiders team).

It's worth noting that Gruden and Kevin Demoff, the Rams' top executive, worked together with the Buccaneers.

Rams Considering Vrabel

Monday, Jan. 9

Albert Breer of The MMQB reported that the Rams have requested to interview Houston Texans linebackers coach Mike Vrabel after the Texans' matchup with the New England Patriots on Jan. 14.

Rams to Meet with Austin

Sunday, Jan. 8

Schefter, citing league sources, reported on Jan. 8 that the Rams will interview Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.

Marrone to Interview

Saturday, Jan. 7

Former Bills head coach Doug Marrone is scheduled to interview with the Rams on Sunday, per Schrager.

Goodwin to Meet with Rams

Thursday, Jan. 5

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin interviewed with the Rams on Jan. 5.

Fassel Interviewed with Rams

Tuesday, Jan. 3

La Canfora reported the Rams met with Fassel on Jan. 2.

Wilks Linked to Rams

Tuesday, Jan. 3

Rapoport, citing a source, reported the Rams interviewed Carolina Panthers assistant head coach Steve Wilks on Jan. 3.

Payton Considering the Rams?

Monday, Jan. 2

Rapoport reported on Jan. 2 that the Rams have not been in contact with the New Orleans Saints about head coach Sean Payton. For his part, Payton denied any rumors of his interest in the Rams job, per Kristian Garic of WWL Radio.

On Jan. 1, Rapoport provided additional insight:

Multiple sources say there is mutual interest between the Saints coach and the Rams organization. The ball is now in Saints GM Mickey Loomis' court. If he decides he's willing to part with Payton for moderate compensation, Payton would be the clear front-runner to take over for the job opening created by the firing of [Fisher].

Loomis would have to decide if he wants to keep a coach who would prefer to be somewhere else. There has been no contact yet between the Rams and the Saints, who would have to work out a deal to send Payton to Los Angeles. Payton is also owed $40 million by the Saints, and they could decide to let him go because that's an incredible price tag for a coach who last went to the playoffs in 2013 and won a Super Bowl in 2009.

Sources also say the Saints are tiring of Payton's open flirtation with jobs and might be ready to end the era and move on as the team's rebuild is almost complete. Last year, speculation on Payton's future center upon the Rams, Chargers, 49ers and Colts. None of it came to fruition. However, there is a renewed fervor this year.

Rapoport, citing multiple sources, reported Dec. 24 the Rams' vacant position is one "Payton is monitoring with sincere interest." Rapoport continued:

For Payton to become the team's new head coach, it would take significant maneuvering behind the scenes to work. One source described the prospects as not imminent or likely but "possible." The Rams, of course, would have to decide he's their overwhelming No. 1.

Payton hasn't been shy about his openness toward landing on the West Coast (his daughter lives in California), and there was plenty of interest last year in possible openings with the 49ers or Chargers, as well as the Colts. ...

The Saints would demand compensation to allow Payton to leave, but it might not be much. If he really wants out, the Saints aren't likely to hold him hostage, pay him his huge salary and ask him to coach the team when he wants to be elsewhere.

The way a deal would work, theoretically, is the Rams and Saints would agree on compensation first (draft picks or players). Then, the new team and Payton would work out a contract. Finally, the Saints would receive its picks.

La Canfora first linked Payton to the Rams on Dec. 18, while Robinson also mentioned Payton was a possibility Dec. 19.

Rivera Mentioned as Possibility for Rams

Saturday, Dec. 24

Rapoport reported current Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera is a "name to watch" for the Rams. "With a large Hispanic population in L.A. and a young team, it would fit," Rapoport added.

Rams Not Fixated on High-Profile Names?

Saturday, Dec. 24

Schefter, citing league sources, reported "the team's focus so far has been on several NFL assistant coaches." Schefter continued:

The Rams have looked into Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph and Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator [Anthony] Lynn, who square off Saturday in Buffalo, as well as offensive coordinators [Josh] McDaniels of the Patriots and Kyle Shanahan of the Falcons, sources said.

The Rams have cast a wide net to find a replacement for the fired Jeff Fisher, and are not zeroing in on the more popular coaching candidates.

High-Profile Names to Consider the Rams?

Sunday, Dec. 18

On Dec. 18, Fox Sports' Jay Glazer reported the Los Angeles job could draw some high-profile candidates (via Florio):

The Rams job will cause multiple big-name coaches currently under contract with NFL teams to try to get to Los Angeles, given the size of the market, the sizzle of L.A. and the potential to win with players like Jared Goff, Todd Gurley and Tavon Austin on the roster—along with a potent defense led by Aaron Donald.

Carroll Reportedly on Rams' Wish List

Tuesday, Dec. 13

Robinson reported Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll is a name that "intrigues the power brokers inside the franchise."

However, Robinson noted Carroll recently signed an extension through 2019, "making it even more unlikely" the coach would leave for his division rival.

Ultimately, Carroll ruled out any chance he'd want to coach the Rams when speaking to reporters Dec. 13.

Harbaugh to Remain at Michigan

Tuesday, Dec. 13

Breer described Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh as a perfect fit for the Rams on Dec. 12, adding that he expected the team to make a phone call. However, he noted "there's no indication Harbaugh is ready to leave his alma mater to return to the NFL."

Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman noted Dec. 13 a source close to Harbaugh texted him, saying: "Jim isn't leaving Michigan. He may never leave Michigan."

"People are talking about [Harbaugh]," Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson said Dec. 12, per Farmer. "That would be a good fit. He develops quarterbacks. He had Alex Smith in San Francisco. He had an offensive line he had to rebuild. It's almost the same situation you have here."

While Harbaugh has had a lot of success with Michigan (20-6 record) and the San Francisco 49ers (44-19-1), it's hard to imagine him leaving his alma mater.

Rams COO Comments on HC Search

Monday, Dec. 12

Demoff told reporters not to assume the franchise will hire an offensive coach.

"You may find an unbelievable head coaching candidate who you meet with and believe is absolutely perfect for the Los Angeles Rams who has a defensive background," Demoff said, per Farmer. "I think what's most important is they have a plan to maximize the offense."

Initial Targets Reported, Speculated

Monday, Dec. 12

Breer listed Shaw as an option but said he is another coach who hasn't shown he's thinking about changing jobs.

Shanahan and McDaniels are also considered possibilities.

With young talent like Goff and Gurley, it would make sense for the team to target a coordinator like McDaniels or Shanahan.

Farmer also noted UCLA head coach Jim Mora is a possible candidate while mentioning former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner and former Rams head coach Mike Martz.

The organization will be hoping the appeal of Los Angeles and a new stadium will be enough to lure the biggest names available.