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Last week, the Rams broke some news that on its surface was inevitable but to hear it get announced still felt great to hear. The Rams extended both head coach Sean McVay and GM Les Snead. McVay and Snead worked in tandem to take the Rams to a 26-10 record and a Super Bowl appearance. This brain trust continues until 2023 and by then they could raise a banner in the new stadium. Fans weren’t surprised this happened but given the recent history of the Rams franchise, it’s incredible they finally found stability and competence.

McVay and Snead both together and separately are deserving of their unreported yet lucrative deals. McVay turned 33 this year and like Dirk Diggler, his success can only continue to grow and grow and grow and grow. He’s done something that many coaches older than him have struggled to do and that’s build a winning culture. His players bought in instantaneously and he’s proven time and time again that he is constantly learning. He started out by demonstrating that he knows what he doesn’t know and that’s the defense. Hiring Wade Phillips and giving him total autonomy was both an egoless gesture and proof he knows what he’s doing. After seeing his acolytes, clones, and imitators get lucrative deals to cosplay as McVay, surely the original model deserved a massive payday.

For Les Snead, this four-year extension brings his redemption full circle. After all, his time before the McVay and Snead show was marred by gambles and faith placed in the wrong people. Snead came to the Rams in 2012 and he immediately made his presence known. He made the infamous RGIII trade, which to this day really only landed them Michael Brockers, was more or less a success. The problem was he also kept Jeff Fisher around until Eric Dickerson forced his hand. He also made the reverse RGIII trade to land Jared Goff which at the time looked desperate.

Snead, however, evolved. When he hired McVay it was looked at as a head-scratching move especially since Kyle Shanahan was available. That obviously turned out well and Snead used that draft to primarily give Goff some weapons after his disastrous rookie year. In fact, as a drafter, he’s largely been successful and now he has been able to put together a team that matched draft success with on-field success. He made a point to be Sympatico with McVay which is something he clearly wasn’t with Fisher. Snead has brought up how he and McVay constantly talked about their football philosophy and it shows.

The other thing Snead did was recognize what Howie Roseman of the Eagles, and John Schneider of the Seahawks, have done, and agreeing that is where the league is going. It was critical to surround a rookie QB on a cost-controlled deal with as much talent as possible to maximize the Super Bowl window until they have to pay said rookie QB. It’s worked. They made a Super Bowl last year and this season the team is primed for another run. Snead has also been smart about who he is extending and when.

McVay and Snead can continue their football philosophy because they have Brandin Cooks, Todd Gurley, Aaron Donald, Robert Woods, and Rob Havenstein locked in for the next half-decade. None of those deals (well maybe Gurley) are cap killers and give the team flexibility in the future which they especially need next year.

When discussing the importance of the McVay and Snead extensions Snead told Business Insider, “Our extension represents continuity. I think probably the best payout or the most useful dividend that continuity brings is ultimately we get to keep the right people around.” He nailed it. Having the kind of continuity from the field to the front office is crucial. Snead took his lumps early and McVay seems to have taken his failures to heart and there is no telling how lucrative this partnership can really get. As with Kirk and Spock, this is a friendship and partnership that will define them both.

For fans, having watched almost 20 years of on-field and front-office dysfunction it’s nice to finally have what all the other successful teams in the league have, stability. Sure, McVay needs to make another leap as a coach and Snead has a lot of big decisions to make next year and beyond, but one thing is certain, as long as McVay and Snead are on the same page the story can only have a happy ending.

Chauncey Telese

Author Chauncey Telese

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Sports Al Dente 2019

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