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#pounditMonday, January 30, 2023

Sean McVay names 1 key factor behind Rams’ terrible season

Sean McVay on the sideline

Dec 1, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Many things have gone into the Los Angeles Rams’ remarkably poor Super Bowl title defense, but coach Sean McVay thinks one issue in particular loomed large from the start of the campaign.

On Monday, McVay admitted that quarterback Matthew Stafford not throwing for the entire offseason had a negative impact on the team’s offense. Stafford dealt with an elbow injury that remained a concern for the team during training camp, and apparently significantly impacted his offseason prep.

“I definitely think it had an impact because you talk about rapport, establishing a rapport, a rhythm, a comfort not only with, everybody wants to talk about he and Cooper [Kupp], but even just some of the newer pieces,” McVay said, via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. “Yeah, otherwise I’d say, ‘Why the hell do we practice?’ I think it definitely had an impact without a doubt.”

McVay added that the decision to place Stafford on injured reserve and effectively end his season now was partially motivated by a desire to avoid a repeat of the situation this offseason.

Some might argue that the injury itself was a bigger deal, but Stafford’s lack of a connection with some receivers was evident early. Allen Robinson was hyped up throughout camp, but the newly-acquired wide receiver tallied at least 25 receiving yards just once in his first five games of the season. One could argue that might have been a different story had Stafford been able to work with him more.

McVay did not have any real worries about Stafford at the start of the season, or if he did, he hid them well. In retrospect, he was perhaps a bit too bullish about things.

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