The Los Angeles Rams have turned to an up-and-comer who has made a name for himself as a skilled offensive coordinator to turn around a franchise that is coming off its 10th consecutive losing season.
Former Washington offensive coordinator Sean McVay, who turns 31 on Jan. 24, was hired by the Rams Thursday, becoming the youngest head coach in NFL history. Former USC coach Lane Kiffin was 31 years old when the Oakland Raiders hired him in January 2007.
He's actually younger than two of the Rams' players, defensive linemen William Hayes and Eugene Sims.
McVay started out his NFL career in 2008 as an assistant with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before joining the Washington Redskins as offensive coordinator. He spent three seasons leading the Washington offense, and might inject some life into a Rams attack that has failed to consistently put up points.
The Rams' offense has finished last in the NFL for two consecutive seasons. Quarterback Jared Goff was the No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft, but he struggled in his half-season as their starter, while top running back Todd Gurley had a dismal second NFL season.
McVay could be well-equipped for the job of tutoring Goff: In Kirk Cousins' two seasons under McVay as the Redskins' starting quarterback, he twice broke the venerable franchise's records for yards passing and completions.
McVay is a relative youngster, but he comes from a football family. His grandfather, John, spent 21 seasons in the San Francisco 49ers' front office as a top executive.
The Rams relieved Jeff Fisher as head coach Dec. 12 near the end of a disappointing season, the team's first in LA since they left for St. Louis in 1994. Fisher, 58, tied the NFL record for career losses by a head coach when the Rams were humiliated by the Atlanta Falcons 42-14 at the LA Memorial Coliseum. The loss dropped the Rams to 4-9 on their way to a 10th consecutive losing season at 4-12.
McVay wowed the Rams' top brass during two recent interviews, according to The Associated Press. The Rams have a 12-year playoff drought.
The announcement comes on the same day the Chargers announced they plan to move to Los Angeles for the upcoming season. The team, which also will be hiring a new head coach, will play at the StubHub! Center in Carson before joining the Rams at a new stadium in Inglewood.