Sean McVay is a master at getting Rams WRs matched up on LBs

Cameron DaSilva
Rams Wire

There’s a lot that goes into being a great head coach. Not only do you have to be a leader that players want to follow, but you must possess the ability to draw up smart plays and make wise decisions in crunch time.

Sean McVay checks all of those boxes (and others), but what sets him apart as one of the best coaches in football is his ability to put his players in the best spots to succeed. After losses, and even some wins, McVay often talks about his failure to put players in good spots.

He probably doesn’t give himself enough credit in that area because when it comes to setting up his receivers for success, no one’s better than McVay.

Timo Riske of Pro Football Focus shared some data about which receivers have the highest rate of their routes run against linebackers in coverage. Cooper Kupp came in at No. 1 with a rate of 21.3%, and Robert Woods was fifth (17.7%).

Getting receivers matched up on linebackers is easier said than done. It’s not as simple as lining up a wideout in the slot and hoping the linebacker takes him in coverage. McVay motions Kupp (and other receivers) around the formation constantly, even lining them up in the backfield where a linebacker is typically going to draw them in coverage.

Just look at this play from early in McVay’s tenure in 2018. It’s a tight formation and Kupp is in the slot, sending him on a shallow cross where Anthony Barr has no choice but to pick up the receiver and attempt to cover him down the field.

The result is a 70-yard touchdown.

McVay is the best coach in the league when it comes to giving his wide receivers favorable matchups, and it all goes back to his creativity when designing plays. Football is a game of matchups and when you have a 260-pound linebacker trying to cover a shifty receiver, the offense is going to win that battle more often than not.