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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Sean McVay Clone Who Worked For Sean McVay Insists He Won't Try To Be Sean McVay

Illustration for article titled Sean McVay Clone Who Worked For Sean McVay Insists He Won't Try To Be Sean McVay
Photo: Joe Robbins (Getty Images)

Meet Zac Taylor, the Bengals’ new head coach. His name will rarely be more than five words away from “Sean McVay” in any broadcast of his team’s games. Although it seems very obvious that his connection to his former boss was the reason Taylor went from being the Rams’ QBs coach to fielding interviews for a head position so quickly, he asserted in Tuesday’s introductory presser that he would not try to emulate McVay.


The 35-year-old Taylor will be the second-youngest head coach in the NFL—as has been drilled in your head already, McVay is the youngest at 33—and he’s an offensive-minded coach (although the Rams scored three points in the Super Bowl), but he will not try to be like the guy who’s two years his junior. Via Katherine Terrell of ESPN: 

“[McVay] was an unbelievable resource as the process unfolded,” Taylor said. “Any question I had, he was an open book. ... So, no, he wasn’t pushing me along. He knew I wanted to be a head coach. And he wanted me to be a head coach. And when the interview request came in, he did sit down and say, ‘Here is what I went through. Here’s experiences that may help you.’

“But at the same time, if I try to be Sean McVay, I’m going to fail. To be quite honest with you, we’re different people. I’ve learned a lot from him, but I’m going to be Zac Taylor and do the best I can my way. And not my way, it’s the Cincinnati Bengals way, right? Everyone’s on the same page and we’re going to get the most out of everybody here.”

Got it? The 30-something offensive whiz whose first coaching gig was working under his future father-in-law will be nothing like Sean McVay. Swell. Two different people. Glad that’s settled already.

If you’ll recall, Lions head coach Matt Patricia, before he turned into a schoolmarm who was somehow tardy to class, said something quite similar in regards to his mentor almost exactly a year ago:

“The way that he looks at the game, his vision of the game, the way that he sees the game move and change before it actually does is unbelievable,” he said. “I’ll say this: there is one coach Belichick. That’s it. He’s amazing. He’s in New England. I’m Matt Patricia. I’m kind of my own person. I’m my own guy. I’ve got my own style. But I will certainly take all those lessons that I’ve learned. From how to teach and coach, and the fundamental beliefs that we had in New England, which I think are strong.”

The new crop of head coaches has learned their own names. Noted. Even if Taylor is adamant that he doesn’t want to be compared to McVay, he might have a hard time convincing everyone else. Check back here for next season’s Bengals-Rams game, as we see if the booth can reach four McVays per minute.