BUCKHEAD, Ga. — A lot has been made about the matchup of head coaches in Super Bowl LIII. It’s easy to see why. Their public styles are poles apart, their approaches to coaching seem very different, and the gap in their ages is the largest ever in a Super Bowl. Whoever wins on Sunday will become either the oldest or the youngest coach ever to hoist a Lombardi Trophy.
Another difference, of course, is their resume. This will be the ninth Super Bowl as a head coach for Bill Belichick, 66, and he has won five of them. And it is why Sean McVay, 33, dispelled any comparison between himself and his upcoming adversary.
“I’m not even close to being mentioned in the same breath as Coach Belichick and what he’s done,” McVay said on Thursday, the final day of media availability for the Rams.
The two do seem to share a healthy respect for each other. McVay revealed earlier in the week that he regularly receives text messages from Belichick after games.
“For him to even take the time to text me after a game, it means a lot because of the respect I have for him,” McVay said. “He’s been doing it at such a high level for so long, it means a lot. You respect your peers, and he’s somebody I have a lot of respect for.”
There’s also, apparently, a lot more that they have in common in their coaching philosophies.
“When you look at Coach Belichick, the best thing he probably does is the relationship with his players and then also the expertise that he possesses in the game of football,” McVay said. “How to set up game plans, how to put players in a position to consistently succeed. Having a standard and having a process that they’re committed to. In a lot of ways, that’s very similar to what we try to implement with the Rams.”
McVay seemed humbled that his first Super Bowl is against such a standard-bearer in the profession. Certainly he would rather it be against someone less decorated, less challenging.
Rams cornerback Aqib Talib has played for both Belichick and McVay. He summed up their meeting as “an up-and-coming great coach versus the greatest coach.”
Mentioned in the same breath? If McVay wins Sunday, he may be on his way to sharing that breath with Belichick.