Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay recently hosted a “Chalk Talk” virtual leadership summit for Southern California High School football coaches. High school coaches from Azusa, Riverside, Upland, South L.A., Anaheim and other cities tuned in and gleaned knowledge from McVay’s coaching experiences.
Prior to taking questions from the coaches, McVay shared his coaching journey from his job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to his stint in the United Football League. He also acknowledged the Gruden family for helping build his coaching foundation.
Coaches asked McVay about technical plays, like the backside three-technique and drills for quarterbacks. Some asked questions about dealing with losing playoff games, boosting morale and the importance of 7-on-7 competitions.
McVay also touched upon building relationships with teammates virtually. He noted that the quarantine allowed him to bond with his players differently than in previous years.
“You’re getting a chance to really ask questions,” McVay said. “We believe every day starts with building and developing relationships.”
One coach has only had seniors as quarterbacks for the past few seasons. When he asked if he should develop a younger player to play quarterback, McVay mentioned how the position should be given to someone who can execute wins while identifying potential signal callers.
“I think ideally, you got a young guy that I can have run the show for the next three years, but you might have a senior who’s a better player,” McVay said. “I think that if that player gives you the best opportunity to win and to do the things that you’re trying to get done and accomplish … that’s really what I would say.”
Among the people who tuned in for the Chalk Talk was a student who inquired about coaching fellowships and internships. McVay, with the help of community affairs and engagement manager Johnathan Franklin, worked to provide resources for the youth.
McVay also stressed the importance of coaches networking with other coaches and building a strong relationship with their assistant coaches. In order to keep up with his entire roster, he appointed 13 players as a leadership group; McVay noted how they are a “great reflection of the 90-man roster.”
“That’s why it’s so important for us as leaders to be connected with those key members of your coaching staff, those key members of your team,” McVay said. “Then your relationship and your feel for those guys will then have a trickle-down effect where those people influence and affect the other guys.”
McVay walked coaches through his pure progression plays and talked about his offensive philosophy of marrying the run game with the passing game.
“We want to make our core runs and the play actions look exactly the same where you can put that defense in conflict because everything defensively is reactionary,” McVay said.
While McVay gave High School coaches advice, it is unclear if the 2020-2021 CIF football season will begin in late August. The CIF will make their decision on whether to continue the fall sports as scheduled on July 20.