Sean McVay lost Super Bowl LIII to Bill Belichick before the game even started. Prior to kick-off, the Rams’ impressionable young coach kept directing an uncomfortable amount of compliments towards Belichick.
Then the Rams lost 13-3.
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In a new ESPN feature story, McVay tells Seth Wickersham he hasn’t rewatched Super Bowl LIII in its entirety, and probably never will. It’s a performance McVay would like to forget.
“The game itself was a blur, a schooling by Bill Belichick so thorough and traumatic that to this day, McVay hasn’t watched it in full,” writes Wickersham. “He felt he coached ‘like an amateur … so in over my head,’ and he swore that it would never happen again.”
On that front, McVay is living up to his word. The Rams defeated the Bengals in last season’s Super Bowl, cementing McVay’s place among the NFL’s coaching greats. Los Angeles has gone 55-26 over the last half-decade and 7-3 in the playoffs, including two Super Bowl appearances.
McVay won his rematch against Belichick in December 2020, with the Rams defeating the Patriots 24-3. Afterwards, Belichick showered McVay with praise. “Great job. You killed us. You had a great plan,” said Belichick.
Wickersham highlights McVay’s respect for Belichick. The two coaches have grabbed beers, with the interaction leaving McVay “floored” by Belichick’s “staggering football knowledge attained by singular devotion and ethic.”
With that in mind, we can put away the notion that McVay was laughing at the Patriots when they selected Cole Strange in the first round.
The piece illustrates the mental toll of coaching on McVay, leaving him to sleep only a few hours per night.
McVay, by the way, is 36 years old. Belichick is 70.
The Rams may be better than the Patriots right now, but McVay still has decades to go to match Belichick’s longevity.