Champion Rams look at a plan to ‘do it all over again’

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LOS ANGELES – Around kl. 9 PT Monday, about 14 hours after the Los Angeles Rams won the Super Bowl LVI, Sean McVay posed for photos with the Vince Lombardi Trophy, calling it an “incredible honor” to stand on the podium reserved for the game’s winning coach and MVP.

“It’s also painful to have a team to win a championship and then get you in the next morning, hold a press conference so early,” joked McVay.

As the Super Bowl champions do, the Rams had parted ways the night before to celebrate their second title in franchise history and their first since moving back to Los Angeles from St. Louis. Louis in 2016. That celebration continues with a championship parade on Wednesday that will culminate at the LA Coliseum, where the team played before moving into owner Stan Kroenke’s $ 5 billion SoFi Stadium in 2020.

Then the Rams – represented by McVay, Super Bowl MVP Cooper Coup and management Monday at the Los Angeles Convention Center – will shift their focus to all the major obstacles they will have to overcome to repeat in 2022, a feat that only one NFL teams – the New England Patriots in 2004 and ’05 – have retired in the last two decades. It may prove particularly challenging for the Rams given all the resources they sacrificed while going all-in to win in 2021, and now with the recent emergence of questions about two of their most important pieces.

McVay openly considered his coaching career last week, and his comments came on the heels of sources repeating to ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry that the coach has considered moving to the broadcast booth. The Super Bowl pregame show brought a report from NBC that Aaron Donald might retire if the Rams won, an opportunity that the star’s defensive tackle neither confirmed nor denied afterwards.

Asked about these situations on Monday, Rams COO Kevin Demoff chalked them up to a long season, expressing an absence of concern.

“You’re talking about 26-27 weeks in a row where these guys might have had a goodbye weekend off,” Demoff said. “And you’re talking about an Aaron who works slowly with his craft in the low season, and for Sean who burns the midnight oil, I think all these guys are wiped out. And I think when they get to that point, petrol tanks empty ….

“… Someone once told me: The hardest thing about winning the Super Bowl is that you wake up the next morning, and that’s the next season. It’s over. And to be fair, I think it’s scary in a to some extent when you wake up this morning and you realize, “I have to go and do it all over again,” and you do not have the energy. So I think the talk is actually natural. looking at someone like Aaron Donald and what he has achieved, this was obviously a heirloom. “

McVay spoke last Friday about trying to find an ideal balance between his professional and personal life as he prepares to get married this summer and eventually start a family.

“I agree,” Demoff said. “I do not think Sean’s current pace is sustainable in terms of how much work he puts in if you want a family … But I think the one thing is that these guys all love football, they love being near each other, they live by each other Sean has been saying all year: We win with our people and they win together I think all of these are natural questions that are hard to answer at the moment and “One month away, two months away from everyone, and I think things will feel a lot better.”

Demoff provided unspecified answers to separate questions about whether the team could give McVay and Donald contract extensions this offseason. McVay’s current deal and that of general manager Les Snead both run through the 2023 season.

“While many, many things have changed over the last five years, we’ve had an incredible, unwavering leadership from Sean and Les,” Demoff said, “and it goes without saying that we want it to continue. . “

Donald has three years and $ 55 million – none of which are guaranteed – left on his 2018 extension.

“I’ll have to look, I think he has a few years left,” Demoff said of Donald. “The one thing I remember from 2019 is, when you get to the Super Bowl, everyone is worthy of getting things looked at and improved, and that year we lost. So definitely, when you win, everyone on the team deserves probably a profit.I think it goes back to the question of: How do you put together a team that can compete in 2023 and 2024? And how do you reward the people who deserve to be rewarded? Which is all 53 players and that as many as 20 coaches. “

The Rams face major contract issues with some of the other players who were key to their Super Bowl races, including wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., a pending free agent. Beckham’s situation could be further complicated by the knee injury he suffered late in the first half on Sunday after scoring the game’s first touchdown.

McVay had not updated Monday on the injury.

“My heart goes out to him,” he said. “Love Odell. Really grateful for all the many contributions he has made. We would not be champions without him.”

Outside linebacker Von Miller is another marquee player who is slated to become a free agent. Left tackle Andrew Whitworth has a $ 17 million cap that could put him at risk of being released if he does not retire in advance. Other O-line starters Austin Corbett and Brian Allen are also unsigned after 2021.

The Rams are currently above the 2022 salary cap and are not expected to pick from the top 100 in the April draft, having swapped their next two first-rounders for quarterback Matthew Stafford, as well as this year’s second- and third-rounders for Miller. ESPN’s Kevin Seifert had the Rams last in a recent ranking of each team’s offseason capital.

“But part of the joy of this group is finding a way to do things that are uncommon,” Demoff said. “That’s what I love about working with Sean and Les and [vice president of football and business administration Tony Pastoors] and with Stan – the impossible becomes possible.

“I’ve seen some charts that show resources out of season, and if there’s a bottom of it, we’re like below what we’re out on the other side. But at the same time, I think we have eight draft picks. We’ll see on the pay ceiling and what can be done.But the one thing I want to say and that is such an honor to Stan and Sean and Les and the players: This is a place where the players want to be.one players, other players.and when you watch the scenes from last night, this will only make it more desirable to be a Los Angeles Ram.And when you start with that premise, there are many things you can get done to improve your chances of hopefully returning to this press conference next year. “

Another offseason mission for the Rams will be to take advantage of what Demoff called a “great opportunity” to build what is still a lukewarm fan base in Los Angeles, a market that the Dodgers and Lakers have long owned. Demoff reiterated that it will not happen overnight.

“Obviously, this is a leg up to really build our band, our team, our organization,” he said. “Maybe when you walk into a school, the kids are a little more excited to see you. But our work in LA has just begun. We’ve had amazing first six years … but all that is the effort of the table. To be a successful franchise here.And I expect us to work just as hard this offseason, working harder to build fans, to compete, to develop the next generation.It’s going to require a wealth of work from everyone.

“But it can probably wait a few days.”

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