Sean McVay pulling for Zac Taylor 'after this week'

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
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With a three-game losing streak stopped by a lopsided victory against the Falcons, the Rams have packed some positive momentum with them for their trip to England.

Many believe that momentum will carry past this week when the Rams (4-3) take on the Bengals (0-7), one of two remaining winless teams in the NFL world. But Sean McVay isn't looking beyond Sunday's date with Cincinnati at Wembley Stadium and it's for a familiar reason.

"That's never been an issue," McVay said in regards to his team being complacent and overlooking an opponent -- via team transcript. "There is too many good coaches and players in this league, no matter what the record is. When you flip on the film for the Bengals, they are a very competitive team. They do a good job, and I think our guys understand the urgency that's necessary for us to continue to build on last week's performance. I trust the veteran leadership that we have that, that won't be an issue with us."

It's of note that McVay points out there being too many good coaches in the NFL to overlook any team. Of course, McVay thinks highly of the Bengals' coach, as it's the former Rams coach's assistant, Zac Taylor. Taylor coached alongside McVay in Los Angeles for the previous two seasons and he's rooting for him to turn the Bengals around -- after this Sunday.

"I think if there is anybody that is meant to handle a little bit of adversity the right way as a leader with a consistency approach, to continue to just battle and come on the right end of it, I think it's Zac," McVay said Friday via team transcript. "Hopefully, he'll get that thing going after this week."

Taylor, 36, was an assistant wide receiver coach for the Rams in 2017 and a quarterback coach in 2018. Now, he'll face the 33-year-old McVay on opposing sidelines in a battle between the two youngest head coaches in the NFL.

The Rams are looking to right the ship in an all-of-a-sudden stifling NFC West a season after advancing to the Super Bowl, while the Bengals are simply looking for win No. 1 as they are off to the worst start in franchise history under a first-year coach.

While Taylor's imprint on the Bengals remains in question, McVay believes he played an important role in the Rams' success.

"He's been instrumental in a lot of the things that we've been able to do since I've got to L.A. with this coaching staff and this group of players," McVay said. "Really great coach, great person more importantly. I think he's got a consistent demeanor. Like I've said a couple times before, he's extremely secure in himself."

Now opponents, McVay and Taylor will reunite for the first time in England of all places, with fortunes having changed largely for both since last they coached together. At least for 60 minutes of game time, the reunion will take a backseat and only after the dust has settled and presumably a handshake has been had at midfield will McVay settle back in to pulling for Taylor, a former assistant and a now a new opponent.

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