Sean McVay: Kyle Shanahan ‘is an excellent coach,’ but he’s not in my head

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The connection between Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan goes way back to their days in Washington when they were on the same coaching staff under Mike Shanahan in 2013. They were both eventually hired as head coaches in 2017 – McVay by the Rams and Shanahan by the 49ers – which has brought them together in the NFC West once again.

In the last five years, Shanahan’s 49ers have owned the Rams. They’re 7-3 against McVay’s team since 2017, including a current six-game winning streak. There’s no doubt the 49ers have had the Rams’ number, but McVay won’t go as far as to say Shanahan is in his head.

“No. What I do have is respect for these guys,” McVay said Wednesday. “They’ve done a great job. You look at it, you got to play well in that three-and-a-half-hour window that we’re allotted. You look at the last time that we played them, didn’t finish the game. This is a really good football team. We have a lot of respect for them. We’re competing and preparing to the best of our ability to go out and see if we can advance. But this is a really good team. Kyle is an excellent coach. They’ve got great players, great coaches, good schemes. It’s why they’re in the NFC Championship.”

The Rams will try to snap their six-game skid against the 49ers on Sunday in the NFC title game with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. They’re the favorites in this game, holding a 3.5-point edge at sportsbooks, but the 49ers are used to being underdogs.

They haven’t been favored since Week 17 against the Texans, being listed as road underdogs to the Rams, Cowboys and Packers in the last three weeks. The last time they were favored against the Rams was in Week 16 of the 2019 season, a game they won 34-31 as 7-point favorites.

There’s never been a better time for the Rams to end this losing streak to the 49ers, and you can bet McVay would love to take down Shanahan, too.

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