Pete Prisco: Sean McVay Could Be The Next Nick Saban

The 32-year-old McVay has more in common with the Alabama icon than you would think

Taz and the Moose
October 29, 2018 - 7:25 am

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The Los Angeles Rams (7-0) are the last undefeated team in the NFL, and Sean McVay is the main reason why.

“I’ve heard a lot of good things about him going way back,” CBSSports.com NFL columnist Pete Prisco said on Taz & The Moose. “I didn’t know he’d be this good, but there were all these hints that he’d be special. The guy has a memory like you wouldn’t believe. He memorizes everything. But here’s the thing that people don’t know about him: Yeah, he’s a great play-caller, and he’s not afraid, but his practices are situationally the best practices I’ve ever seen in my life. Everything is situational football. I love that. I think it’s great. If I was a coach, that’s the way I would practice. So he’s ahead of the curve there.”

McVay, 32, also isn’t as buddy-buddy with the players as many might assume.

“He’s very discipline-oriented,” Prisco said. “People think he’s friendly, he’s the players’ friend and everything; I’ve heard stories where he is one of those guys that can turn on them in an instant if he doesn’t like the way things are going. I think there is a nice balance there between being that guy and being a guy that they can relate to. He’s got the perfect balance for that.”

In fact, McVay has drawn comparisons to another elite coach, albeit one who is more than twice his age.

“Someone told me don’t be surprised if 10 years down the road people are talking about him the same way they talk about Nick Saban in terms of the demeanor and the attitude and everything else,” Prisco said. “That’s how tough he can be on his football players when need be.”

While the Rams are 7-0, the Giants are a disaster at 1-6. Prisco doesn’t think New York will trade Eli Manning, but he does think Manning is at the end of the road.

“I think he’ll retire,” Prisco said. “That’s just my gut instinct. I think he will walk away. The Giants’ thing will be over with, and then he’ll move away from the game. The Giants are in total rebuild mode, as you guys know, but they drafted this year with the idea that they were going to be able to make a run with Eli. Clearly that didn't work out. Now looking back on it, should they have drafted a quarterback? Yes, obviously they should have taken a quarterback. But maybe they didn’t like any of the quarterbacks that were there after Baker Mayfield when they picked. Maybe they thought they were all average at best. 

“The problem with that scenario is this,” Prisco continued. “This draft class isn’t very good. If the kid from Oregon, (Justin) Herbert, goes back to school, it’s not a good class at all. So I think they’re going to be searching for that quarterback going on into 2020. To me, if you can have a chance to solve the quarterback position for the future, you have to do that. I think they blew it last year. You never take a running back No. 2 overall. I’m sorry. The kid’s a good football player, but the value of the position isn’t there.”

In the AFC, meanwhile, the Raiders (1-5) are in full rebuild mode after trading Amari Cooper to the Cowboys.

“It’s a dumpster fire for this season, but it makes sense when you look at it on the surface,” Prisco said. “Once they let Khalil Mack go – and there’s debate on whether that was a good decision – I don’t think it was because you don’t let pass-rushers get out the door. But once they did that, they had to get into a total rebuild mode. I understand it from that standpoint. Now they have five first-round picks in the next two years, they’re getting ready to go to Las Vegas, they’re rebuilding that team – and the best way to rebuild that team is with draft picks. I know the people of Oakland can't be happy about it, but it makes a lot of sense.”