INDIANAPOLIS – Each year, the NFL Combine begins with a slew of press conferences from head coaches and general managers around the league.
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay was one of the first to take the podium on Wednesday. It was an opportune time to ask one of the NFL's heralded offensive minds about the San Francisco 49ers new franchise quarterback. McVay and the Rams saw Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 17, a game in which the 49ers routed Los Angeles' backups, 34-13.
"He's a natural thrower of the football," McVay said. "He can move around and buy time with his legs. He can change the launch point, and he showed great feel for the play action game. You see why they're excited about him."
Garoppolo threw for 292 yards and two scores in the blowout win. Still Los Angeles remains the current king of the NFC West after claiming the divisional crown with an 11-5 record in 2017. The Rams narrowly edged the 49ers, 41-39, on "Thursday Night Football" in Week 3. Garoppolo's arrival completely changed the landscape of what appears to be an emerging rivalry in the NFL.
Two teams with young, budding quarterbacks, led by a pair of offensive masterminds who also happen to be good friends. The Rams head coach wouldn't necessarily subscribe to the Garoppolo/Kyle Shanahan vs. Jared Goff/McVay rivalry, but he did concede that the bi-annual matchup should provide a great challenge.
"I always joke with Kyle that I wish we were in another division," McVay said.
McVay was keen to note that Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks will remain a force in the division. Seattle has won four NFC West titles with six playoff appearances since Carroll arrived in 2010. McVay also shared his belief in Arizona Cardinals new head coach Steve Wilks.
"That division as a whole, you're excited about the competitiveness," McVay said. "It's going to be a great challenge for us going against those three teams."