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How did Rams' Sean McVay become the NFL's youngest coach?

Sean McVay is younger than two Rams players.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams Training Camp Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Sean McVay was hired by the Los Angeles Rams in January, less than two weeks before his 31st birthday. A 30-year-old head coach topped the record for the youngest in NFL history — a mark that was previously held by Lane Kiffin, the former coach of the Oakland Raiders who was hired a few months before his 32nd birthday.

The Rams are a young team. With an average player age of 25.09 years, the Rams have the second-youngest roster in the league, according to Philly Voice. McVay is younger than two players on the Rams roster: 32-year-old center John Sullivan and 35-year-old offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth.

Whitworth spent the last 11 years of his NFL career with the Cincinnati Bengals before joining the Rams in March. But he said he wasn’t fazed by the youth of his new head coach.

“Age kind of goes out the window when you hear him speak,” Whitworth told Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports in August. “And he handles himself in a way that you realize quickly that he's a guy who is so sharp and ahead of the game and you give him that instant respect."

Whitworth has raved about the young head coach and even compared his consistency to Alabama’s Nick Saban.

How did McVay become an NFL head coach so fast? McVay played wide receiver for Miami of Ohio from 2004 to 2007, then joined the Buccaneers as a coaching assistant after he graduated in 2008. The coach of the Buccaneers at the time was Jon Gruden and his younger brother Jay Gruden was another offensive assistant.

When Jay Gruden became the head coach of the United Football League’s Florida Tuskers in 2009, he scooped up then-23-year-old McVay to be his tight ends coach. A year later, McVay was back in the NFL as an assistant tight ends coach for Washington.

Jay Gruden eventually got the head coaching job in Washington after a successful stint as the Bengals’ offensive coordinator and he promoted McVay — 28 at the time — to become the team’s offensive coordinator.

Under Gruden and McVay, the team turned to Kirk Cousins at quarterback and improved from No. 26 in the NFL in scoring in 2014 to No. 10 in 2015. That rise and his work with Cousins convinced the Rams that he’d have a strong chance at grooming Jared Goff and turning around the team’s last place offense from 2016.