Sean McVay praises Patriots for Super Bowl LIII performance, notes he can learn from experience

Ryan Hannable
February 28, 2019 - 11:19 am

INDIANAPOLIS -- Super Bowl LIII is probably a night Sean McVay would like to forget.

McVay's Rams fell to the Patriots, 13-3 and the three points were were the fewest in Super Bowl history. It was even more disappointing considering they were the No. 2 ranked offense during the regular season. 

When speaking Thursday at the NFL combine, the young coach praised the Patriots.

“Really, I think what they did such a nice job of is they played a loaded front structure, which is something that we expected,” McVay said. “And they went with really, [in] the early downs, more of a top-down principle where they were playing some quarters structures, kind of similar to what Chicago had a little bit of success with. But Chicago mixed that up and did some other things. [The Patriots] kind of exclusively stayed in that in those early down and distances, and unfortunately, we didn’t really ever make them pay.

"And that’s where it’s a great opportunity for you, No. 1 as a coach, to look inwardly and say, ‘How can we use these as learning opportunities to make sure that if these things do come up in the future, we’re putting our players in a position where they’re better ready to execute on the fly and adjust?’"

McVay also noted several things from the AFC championship against the Chiefs, as well as the divisional round win against the Chargers.

“They were mostly playing more man principles against teams like the Chargers in Kansas City in the playoffs, and they played a little bit different front structure,” he said. “Basically, against the Chiefs in the AFC championship, it wasn’t until, like, the 22nd or 23rd snap that you even saw a snap of zone. They were mostly doubling Tyreek Hill north and south where they had somebody over the top always, and then they’d put in their good matchups with who they felt like based on, whether it was [Travis] Kelce or Sammy Watkins — [Stephon] Gilmore traveled with him. So they did an excellent job, and that’s what makes them great coaches. You’ve got to tip your hat off to those guys.”

With that being said, McVay is going to take what he can from the entire experience and learn from it moving forward. After all, he's just 33 years old.

“Absolutely. I think really every single week provides a learning opportunity, whether it be good or bad," McVay said. “The Super Bowl was a great experience. I think any time you’re navigating through a two-week preparation, there’s always some different elements that, when you look back, you say, ‘All right, this worked out. This didn’t.’ And a lot of that entails the feedback that you get from the coaches and the players if you are fortunate enough to get in that situation again. So I certainly learned a lot.”

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