As soon as it was announced that Jay Gruden was becoming the next head coach of the Washington Redskins, rumors began to swirl about his potential coaching staff. One of those rumors was that tight ends coach Sean McVay was being elevated to offensive coordinator.
In Gruden’s introductory press conference, however, he said that he had yet to make a decision on his coaching. He added that he planned to interview everyone on the staff for their respective positions, make a couple of phone calls to some friends, and then he would go from there. On Tuesday evening, Jason La Canfora first reported that the Redskins were promoting McVay to the vacant offensive coordinator position.
McVay will be turning 27 years old later this month, so he’s a young gun in the coaching ranks stepping up into a big time position. McVay has been an offensive assistant with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the UFL Florida Tuskers, so it’s safe to say he hasn’t quite gotten the responsibility that comes with being an offensive coordinator. Not to worry, however, as he’ll get eased into it thanks to Gruden.
Since Gruden will be calling the plays, that’s just one less thing for McVay to be worrying about. He’ll be aiding in implementing the offense, as well as being Gruden’s right-hand man when dealing with offensive matters. Players on the Redskins have raved about McVay as a coach, so he’s already got the support of the team, even if a handful of them are older then him. For what it’s worth, Niles Paul called McVay a “genius.”
McVay is regarded as an up-and-coming coach in the NFL. The Redskins made sure that he stuck around when the Mike Shanahan era ended and it doesn’t really come as a shock that his name was the first one up for the spot formerly held by Kyle Shanahan. When the McVay rumors first came out, former Redskins tight end Chris Cooley told ESPN that, “He had the highest understanding of an offense of any coach I’ve ever been around.” Cooley went on to say that if anybody on the coaching staff had a shot at becoming a head coach, it was McVay.
With McVay being much younger than Gruden, by about 20 years, that may help with the bond between the coaching staff and quarterback Robert Griffin III. Believe me, I’m just as tired of talking about Griffin as you are, but he’s an important part of the team and it’s important to take into account how each move will affect him. This one certainly impacts him as he, Gruden and McVay will have to become quite close in the coming weeks and months.
Since McVay and Griffin are close in age, it’s not crazy to think that will help build a strong bond between McVay and Griffin and, consequently, the rest of the coaching staff. We saw what happened when that relationship goes sour last year. Now that more respected coaches have been put in position, some that can relate to Griffin, it’ll be interesting to see if they have that problem again.
It’s easy to disagree with this hire since McVay is so young, and it’s okay to question his credentials. However, every coach needs an opportunity. It’s obvious that Gruden isn’t the only person that sees something in McVay since front office people, players and coaches around the NFL have talked so highly of him. Before completely writing him off, give McVay a chance to prove his worth as an offensive coordinator.
The Washington Redskins are taking steps in the right direction. First, they hired an offensive-minded head coach that is quarterback-oriented to help improve RG3. Now, they’ve elevated a young hot-shot coach in McVay to be the offensive coordinator. It should be interesting to see how they fill out the rest of their coaching staff.