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Rams HC Sean McVay Calls Mike Tomlin A Mentor And ‘A Great Example For All Leaders’

Sean McVay is coaching in his second Super Bowl since being named head coach of the Los Angeles Rams in 2017. He nearly won in 2018 at the age of 33. He is now 36 and has his second (and final) shot to become the youngest head coach to ever win a Super Bowl, in doing so surpassing a mentor of his—Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, who still holds that record since his win in 2008.

Speaking to the media yesterday, McVay was asked about the prospects of surpassing Tomlin as the youngest head coach, and he shared his thoughts on Tomlin as not just a peer, but also as something more than that.

Mike is one of the more impressive people I’ve ever met”, he said. “He’s been great to me. I couldn’t be more grateful. I got a chance to know him a bit a few years ago through Raheem Morris. He and Raheem are really close. And then at different functions when you become a head coach and you have that interaction”.

“One of the things that’s been great about Mike is he’s so willing to share, really put his arm around you and be a mentor and answer any questions that you have”, he went on. “His leadership, his command, his mental toughness, how that relates to the way that his teams play, the way they respond from the good and the bad, I think he’s one of the best leaders that this sport has to offer. Really, sports in general”.

McVay has an overall 55-26 record in his five seasons with the Rams, with no losing seasons. He has three division titles, and a 6-3 postseason record, with half of those wins, of course, coming this year during the current run that has taken them to Sunday’s game.

Tomlin had similar success in his coaching career, reaching and winning the Super Bowl in year two, and making it back in year four, going 12-4 the next season after that as well. But it’s been bumpy since then. The wins have come, the division titles have come, but he’s only made one conference finals since.

Still, he holds no less respect amongst his peers in spite of his recent postseason track record, seemingly. Certainly not from the likes of McVay, the younger coaches who came into the ranks watching him going to Super Bowls.

“Any time that you’re in a room with Mike Tomlin, you always know that he’s in that room”, McVay said. “He’s got such a great presence, but also humility. And it’s a fine line in how you balance that, and Mike is a great example for all leaders as far as how you are demanding but uplifting to your players, how you’re so steady and so mentally tough in those moments when your team needs it the most, and that consistency that he’s had throughout the course of his tenure there. This guy’s a stud in every sense of the word and really grateful for the mentorship and friendship that he’s provided me since I’ve gotten to know him pretty well over the last few years”.

While quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is retiring and general manager Kevin Colbert is vacating his chair, however, it doesn’t appear that Tomlin, soon to be 50, intends to go anywhere anytime soon. He loves the game too much, whether or not Steelers fans love him back.

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