LOS ANGELES — Since 2017, when the Rams made him the youngest coach in modern NFL history, Sean McVay has built a well-earned reputation for being a players' coach.
For longtime McVay observers, his ability to connect and to manage nearly every personality ranked among his strong suits.
Did trading running back Cam Akers dent that reputation?
McVay was asked Thursday if he considered the Akers situation a failure on his part.
"I wouldn't say that — I think that's kind of an easy narrative," McVay said. "What we're interested in is making decisions that we like are in the best interest of the team. And there's a lot of layers to it. But I am grateful for Cam, and I wish him nothing but the best moving forward."
McVay, as is his habit, has not publicly discussed the "layers" that ended the tenure of a player who seemingly was beloved by teammates.
But the NFL, of course, never stops. A player suffers an injury, another steps up. A team trades or releases a player, it plugs in another.
That is the case for the Rams, who traded Akers to the Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday in a deal that also involved a swap of future draft picks.
Kyren Williams moves into the starting role for the Rams heading into a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night. After the second-year pro scored three touchdowns in the first two games, there is much for fans to be excited about.
But when it comes to Rams running backs — or all but a few NFL running backs — projecting anything beyond the next week or two is foolish.
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