THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Sean McVay's grandfather, John, is a humble man. But he allowed himself what he playfully called an "I Love Me Room," which he would fill with collectibles from his time as a New York Giants head coach and a San Francisco 49ers executive. McVay has one now, too. It's the family room of his Encino, California, home. And in there now is a football, gifted to him by Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke in the aftermath of Sunday's 46-9, season-opening victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
"We'll see if I can get enough stuff to have like what my grandpa did," McVay said with a smile late Monday afternoon.
The 31-year-old McVay had pretty much forgotten about his first win as an NFL head coach by then, but the football world was still captivated by what he did with a Rams team that generally lacked life as it navigated through a 4-12 record last year.
The Rams -- last in the NFL in yards in each of the past two seasons and outside the top 20 in offensive DVOA in each of the past 10 -- scored more points in their first game under McVay than they did in their last four games combined last season. Their four wins in 2016 came by a combined 18 points, 19 points fewer than their margin of victory on Sunday. Jared Goff went from having a passer rating of 63.9 as a rookie to having a passer rating of 117.9 in his first game as a second-year player. It helped give the Rams their highest-scoring opening game of the Super Bowl era.
McVay was able to at least enjoy all that with his parents, who flew in from Atlanta. He watched the Cowboys-Giants game with them on Sunday night, then showed up at the team facility the next morning and got back to work, with his phone blowing up.
"It’s been really cool just to see the amount of people that are reaching out, texting you just to say congratulations, that are happy for you," said McVay, the youngest head coach in modern NFL history. "There’s been a lot of people that have reached out that I’m very appreciative of."
One of those who reached out was his former boss, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden, who will face the Rams in Week 2 for a game that McVay has been thinking about for quite some time. McVay admitted that "it'll be weird to separate the emotional aspect" from his second game as an NFL head coach, but he's confident those feelings will dissipate upon kickoff.
"I’ve got a great relationship with a lot those people in Washington and I’m always pulling for those guys, except for this coming week," McVay said. "There’s a handful of people that I still keep in close contact with. I'm looking forward to seeing them and looking forward to getting past this game. Then we can kind of try to be able to help each other out as we move forward."
The Rams weren't perfect on offense in Week 1. They averaged only 1.9 yards per rushing attempt and committed seven penalties, two glitches that McVay continually brings up. But the Rams' passing game flowed in a way it rarely did last year, with Goff completing 21 of 29 passes on a turnover-free day and four players catching for at least 50 yards. The pocket was clean, the receivers were open all over the field. And the defense -- without Aaron Donald, who is expected to play in Week 2 -- dominated from start to finish, returning two interceptions for touchdowns, forcing a fumble, causing a safety and registering four sacks.
Veteran outside linebacker Robert Quinn credited McVay and longtime defensive coordinator Wade Phillips for how they "raised our accountability level, our standards."
McVay prefers to keep the focus on his players.
"You certainly want to continue to raise the standards and the expectations, but I think those guys did a great job," he said. "There’s a lot of confident individuals in that locker room. And while you certainly don’t ever take for granted a win and how important and how hard they are to come by in this league, it’s very important to realize that it’s one week."