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Rams win three big awards, with Donald, Gurley and McVay getting NFL hardware

Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Football

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Los Angeles Rams are not playing in the Super Bowl, but a postseason awards haul on Saturday once again illuminated that they have the leadership and talent to contend for a spot in coming years.

Sean McVay was announced as the Associated Press coach of the year, running back Todd Gurley offensive player of the year and defensive tackle Aaron Donald defensive player of the year during the NFL Honors show at the University of Minnesota's Northrop Auditorium.

It was the first time that one team has swept all three awards.

"It's a great night for the Rams organization," McVay said after the show.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who will lead his team against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, won the most valuable player award. Brady, 40, also was the MVP in 2007 and 2010.

McVay, at 31 the youngest coach in modern NFL history, took over a team that had not been to the playoffs since 2003, and led the Rams to an 11-5 record, the NFC West title and their first playoff appearance since 2004. The Rams lost to the Atlanta Falcons in the wild-card round.

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McVay, also the play-caller, transformed an offense that ranked as the NFL's worst in 2015 and 2016, and turned it into the league's highest-scoring unit, averaging 29.9 points a game.

McVay also was instrumental in quarterback Jared Goff's ascent from struggling No. 1 overall pick in 2016 to a top-10 passer. Goff attended Saturday's ceremony.

"This is the ultimate team award," McVay said. "It's very humbling and flattering to receive this, but this is a reflection of our team and our organization.

"Great coaches, great players and I'm just happy to be a part of it ... Great players like that make you a better coach."

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