A trying season for the defending-champion Los Angeles Rams now appears to be headed for an offseason of some murmurs and tumult.
Head coach Sean McVay plans to take some time away following the conclusion of the year to evaluate his future, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday.
Rapoport added that McVay allowed himself a similar period of reflection last year and will likely do so going forward each season provided he returns. Still, the prospect of the youngest Super Bowl-winning head coach in NFL history mulling his future has to be the source of some angst for a Rams fanbase that witnessed 10 straight losing seasons before McVay arrived.
The 36-year-old has a 60-37 overall record and two Super Bowl appearances on his resume, but he also has gone 5-11 this season, his most trying campaign yet.
"I think that acknowledgement helps me work through it," McVay said Friday about his openness that this season has been challenging, via The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue. "It doesn't mean that it changes the passion and the love that you have for it. But to sit up here and say that this hasn't been challenging because so much of it is predicated on -- like, even the comment that I made the other day when the question was asked – we're charged with trying to be able to win football games.
"That doesn't mean that I feel like a failure, it means that we haven't lived up to the expectations. There's a lot of reasons for that. But it doesn't change your passion, your competitiveness."
McVay's near-obsession with coaching -- his passion to compete -- is part of the reason he earned the Rams head coaching job as a 30-year-old in 2017. It also offers an explanation for the potential burnout that might cause a figure as successful as McVay to need time for reflection every summer.
There's also the challenge of rebuilding an underperforming roster with the league's 11th-least cap space and no first-, fourth- or fifth-round pick in the 2023 draft. The dearth of resources is a byproduct of all-in moves that resulted in a Super Bowl, but it also makes the road forward that much tougher.
Much like last offseason, rumors of potential television deals possibly luring McVay away will persist.
"I think it's flattering," McVay said. "There are always going to be things that you kind of anticipate and expect that are gonna come up, because I haven't run away from the fact that down the line or, you know, whenever that is, that's something I've been interested in. But (I) want to be here right now, focus on that, and that's where I'm at."
McVay's mind remains on finishing out the season strong on Sunday against Seattle. Wherever it takes him after that will play a major role in Los Angeles' ability to rebound next season and beyond.