2016 ScheduleAll times ET

2016 Schedule
4-12, 3rd in NFC West
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3hAlden Gonzalez

How Sean McVay became the NFL's newest prodigy

Sean McVay grew up around Bill Walsh's 49ers, and those who know him say his passion for the game and rare self-assurance stoked his rapid NFL rise.

Alden Gonzalez ESPN Staff Writer 

Sean McVay's defensive coaching staff is taking shape, though the paperwork isn't finalized on these guys just yet. Wade Phillips has agreed to be the defensive coordinator. Joe Barry, fired after two years as Redskins defensive coordinator, will come in as assistant head coach and linebackers coach, a position group he has spent 16 years coaching. Bill Johnson, one of five Saints assistants let go recently, will coach the defensive line. Mike Waufle previously held that job for the Rams, but was hired by the Bills. Something to keep in mind about assembling a staff: Teams are only required to allow assistants to interview for and take head-coaching jobs, not anything else. So, for example: A team can block an offensive line coach from being poached to become offensive coordinator, even though it is a promotion. That's why it's so hard for new head coaches to assemble their first staff.

ESPN Stats & Info

No experience necessary for new hires

Of the five head coaches hired this year, only Doug Marrone has previous experience, and he has only two years, at that. The 49ers have shown interest in two candidates with previous experience: Josh McDaniels and Tom Cable.

Alden Gonzalez ESPN Staff Writer 

Some things to know about Sean McVay: He's read many books on leadership, he loves John Wooden and Bill Walsh, he had only been to Southern California once before, and, as you might expect, he doesn't have any hobbies outside of football. "My dad always jokes with me, 'You are a total vegetable other than with football.'"

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And then there were the Niners

With the Chargers' hiring of Anthony Lynn to his first head coaching position, the 49ers sport the lone head-man vacancy across the NFL.

Alden Gonzalez ESPN Staff Writer 

More Snead: "I'm well aware of the magnitude of the opportunity and know the responsibility that comes with it."

Alden Gonzalez ESPN Staff Writer 

Rams GM Les Snead didn't know if he would be back while they were interviewing coaching candidates. His approach, he said, was to simply help COO Kevin Demoff get it right. "I would rather get it right and not be a part than get it wrong to be a part. ... It's not about me. It's about we, and this is a very collaborative organization."

Alden Gonzalez ESPN Staff Writer 

Rams COO Kevin Demoff summarized the hiring of a 30-year-old coach this way: "The terms you saw were brilliant, genius, star. Jon Gruden suggested he was special. Those are amazing adjectives when you talk about describing someone. When you ask people for the negatives, they always say, 'He's young.' We always looked at that as just another descriptive word."

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McVay stresses the importance of culture (1:19)
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Will a 30-year-old coach be accepted in Los Angeles? (3:17)
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Will youth be better served this time?

The mantle of the NFL's youngest head coach ever is passed to Sean McVay, by the Rams. That previously hasn't been a comfortable fit across the league.

Alden Gonzalez ESPN Staff Writer 

Demoff: "You were always worried about making sure that Jared had continuity." Demoff brought up the relationship between Sean Payton and Drew Brees, and Jon Gruden with Rich Gannon. "Getting that right pair with the quarterback was imperative."

Alden Gonzalez ESPN Staff Writer 

Rams QB Jared Goff spent two hours breaking down film with Sean McVay last week and was blown away. "Right off the bat you could tell that his knowledge is extremely high. Far higher than a lot of guys."

Alden Gonzalez ESPN Staff Writer 

Sean McVay spoke to Eric Dickerson on the phone yesterday and said he's looking forward to forging that relationship. Smart.

Alden Gonzalez ESPN Staff Writer 

Agent Bob LaMonte first met Sean McVay over lunch four years ago. He left thinking, "This guy is the next Jon Gruden."

Alden Gonzalez ESPN Staff Writer 

The Rams had an interview scheduled with Kyle Shanahan for Sunday, but Stan Kroenke offered Sean McVay the job over breakfast Thursday morning. "We knew we had our guy," Rams COO Kevin Demoff said.

Arash Markazi ESPN Senior Writer 

Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke, Kevin Demoff and Marshall Faulk took Sean McVay to Spago's after his interview on Tuesday. While they were there the restaurant's owner and celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck came to greet the table. "So Wolfgang comes out like he always does and he recognizes Stan, Marshall and maybe me a little bit and he's talking the whole time about how we need to find a coach," Demoff said. "I'm sure when he looked at Sean he had no clue Sean was interviewing to be the head coach. He came back 2-3 times and he kept saying how we needed to find that right coach and wishing us luck. As we're leaving Sean said, 'I don't think that guy knows that I'm interviewing to be the head coach.' You had to laugh. It'll be interesting if Wolfgang sees a TV today."

Alden Gonzalez ESPN Staff Writer 

John Fassel will return as special teams coordinator, Les Snead confirmed. Hiring of an offensive coordinator could take a while. Not much urgency there because Sean McVay will call plays.

Nick Laham/Getty Images
3dMike Sando

Diversity alliance lauds NFL's recent hiring cycle

Vance Joseph of the Denver Broncos and Anthony Lynn of the San Diego Chargers joined a short list of minority candidates to land their first NFL head-coaching jobs.

Arash Markazi ESPN Senior Writer 

Jared Goff said he's sure Sean McVay is tired of the Jon Gruden comparisons but can see it as well.

Team Stats

Passing Yards184.431st
Rushing Yards78.331st
Points For14.032nd
Points Against24.623rd

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