There are very few things that are similar about Sean McVay and Bill Belichick on the surface. McVay has three playoff games under his belt while this is Belichick’s ninth Super Bowl appearance as a head coach. McVay is already the youngest coach ever to reach the Super Bowl, whereas Belichick is trying to become the oldest to win one.
However, as different as they are in age and personality, they do both share the passion for winning and have a mutual respect for each other. McVay has talked at length about Belichick, paying him and the Patriots compliments left and right. It’s not a one-way street, of course, because Belichick does the same.
McVay revealed to Peter King of NBC Sports that Belichick texted him after just about every Rams game.
“I’ve gotten to know Bill —we talked at the combine last year—so that’s been cool.
“He was really great in the conversation we had, really enlightening,” McVay said. “This is wild: This season, he has basically texted me after every one of our games. After we beat Minnesota in September, he texted, ‘Man, you guys are really explosive and impressive and fun to watch. Congratulations—keep it rolling.’ For him to even take the time to say congrats, it’s pretty cool. That’s one of the things I like about our business, our fraternity of coaches. As competitive as it is, guys find time to share when they can. I’m still young, still figuring it out. That stuff’s been really helpful to me.”
This isn’t the first time McVay has faced Belichick, though it is with both being a head coach. The Patriots faced the Redskins back in 2015 when McVay was Washington’s offensive coordinator. New England blew the Redskins out, 27-10, which McVay called a “very humbling day.”
It was McVay’s first real taste of the Patriots and Foxborough and everything the dynasty was about. When Tom Brady was introduced at Gillette Stadium, McVay was tempted to clap for him, making him wonder how the Redskins were going to win that day.
“Oh yeah, that was a … I’ll tell you what. Not good,” McVay said. “And our touchdown that day was a cheap touchdown, last minute, in a two-minute drive when the game was over. Coach Belichick and Patricia took us to the woodshed. Very humbling day.
“Couple things. That was the first time I’d been to Foxboro. You come out for warmups, before actual team warmups. That song by Jay-Z, ‘My name is Hov,’ starts blasting in the stadium, and you see Tom Brady walking out by himself. Fans are going crazy. I’m in the corner of the field like, Oh man! I wanna clap for him! Then you’re thinking, like, Oh crap. How we gonna win this one?
McVay’s first taste of the Patriots’ greatness was not a pleasant one, but he’ll have a chance to avenge that loss and beat a coach that he has so much respect for in Belichick. And by all means, he’s ready to do just that.