LOS ANGELES — Sean McVay, the youngest head coach in modern NFL history, was named Coach of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America on Thursday, a testament to the Los Angeles Rams‘ stunning turnaround under his watch.
The Rams finished 11-5 in McVay’s first season, winning their first division title since 2003 and becoming the first team in the Super Bowl era to go from last to first in scoring in consecutive years. McVay, who turns 32 next Wednesday, inherited a franchise coming off 10 consecutive losing seasons and led it to a plus-149 point differential.
The Pro Football Writers also named Howie Roseman, the Philadelphia Eagles‘ executive vice president of football operations, as Executive of the Year and Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur as Assistant Coach of the Year.
Roseman’s Eagles host Shurmur’s Vikings in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday, with kickoff set for 6:40 p.m. ET on FOX.
The Eagles’ ascension essentially began with Roseman trading up to draft franchise quarterback Carson Wentz with the No. 2 overall pick in 2016. Roseman made several savvy moves in 2017 — trading for defensive tackle Tim Jernigan and running back Jay Ajayi, and signing free agents like wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, defensive end Chris Long and current starting quarterback Nick Foles — which helped the Eagles finish with a 13-3 record and the top seed in their conference, despite Wentz’s season-ending knee injury.
Shurmur, expected to be the next New York Giants head coach, steered a Vikings offense that finished seventh in offensive points per game (23.31), 11th in yards per game (356.9) and third in third-down conversion percentage (43.5). The Vikings are one win away from playing the Super Bowl in their home stadium despite losing starting running back Dalvin Cook early on and being led most of the year by journeyman quarterback Case Keenum.
McVay’s work was even more impressive.
Under his watch, Jared Goff proved to be a franchise quarterback, Todd Gurley established himself among the NFL’s most dynamic running backs, and the Rams finally made headway in the nation’s second-largest media market. They went from averaging an NFL-low 14.0 points per game under Jeff Fisher in 2016 to 29.9 points per game under McVay in 2017.
The Rams were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Atlanta Falcons, but they led the NFL with six players on the Pro Football Writers’ All-NFL team — Gurley, offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, defensive tackle Aaron Donald, kicker Greg Zuerlein, punter Johnny Hekker and return specialist Pharoh Cooper.
The Pro Football Writers of America and the Associated Press have tabbed the same MVP each of the past 13 years. The two entities have named the same Coach of the Year after 16 of the past 17 seasons.
The AP awards will be announced during the NFL Honors awards banquet on Feb. 3.