INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay has been rather chipper recently. On Thursday, McVay admitted that new quarterback Matthew Stafford has brought it out of him.
During a news conference at SoFi Stadium conducted by the Super Bowl host committee, McVay was asked for his thoughts on Stafford.
“I think I’ve been very happy,” McVay said, smiling. “Everybody says, ‘Man, you just seem like you’re in a better mood this offseason,’ and I said, ‘Damn right I am.'”
Two weeks after losing to the Green Bay Packers in a divisional playoff, the Rams traded quarterback Jared Goff, two first-round picks and a third-round pick to the Detroit Lions in exchange for Stafford.
Goff, the No. 1 overall pick in 2016, had spent five seasons with the Rams, including four with McVay. However, after winning back-to-back division titles and an NFC championship together, their relationship began to falter after a difficult loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII. Ultimately, Stafford’s request for a trade after 12 seasons with the Lions marked the end for Goff in L.A.
With Stafford’s arrival, the Rams are hopeful to return to the Super Bowl, which will be played next February at SoFi Stadium.
“This guy, he’s a special guy,” McVay, 35, said about Stafford. “I think one of the best ways that I can describe him when you hear people that have been around him, there’s a known confidence where when he walks into a room, you feel his presence, but he’s got a great humility about himself. Everybody loves being around him, and he’s one of those guys that’s a true igniter. He makes everybody around him better.”
Stafford, 33, said working with McVay has been “great.”
“Obviously I’ve got a lot of respect for what he’s been able to do and accomplish at a young age as a head coach in the NFL and gotten to play against some of his offenses at certain times, so I got a lot of respect for him,” Stafford said. “It’s been great working with him and just trying to get this thing rolling.”
The Rams will conclude their offseason program Thursday with a mandatory minicamp practice at SoFi Stadium in front of an anticipated crowd of about 30,000.