When the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots meet in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Feb. 3, it won’t be the first time that Sean McVay and Julian Edelman have stared at each other from opposite sides of the gridiron.
At 33 years old, McVay is currently the NFL’s youngest head coach, and he’ll be the youngest ever to coach in a Super Bowl. That age makes him more of a peer to players in the league than the coaches. At 66, Bill Belichick of the Patriots is twice the age of McVay, the head coach of the Rams.
McVay even shared the field with some of the NFL’s current players, including Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman.
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Back then, in 2006 and 2007, Edelman was a quarterback for the Kent State Golden Flashes and McVay was a wide receiver for the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks. They clashed twice on the football field in some good, old fashioned #MACtion.
Super Bowl 53:— Kyle Brandt (@KyleBrandt) January 22, 2019
First time McVay and Edelman have faced off since 2007 in the MAC.
Johnny Lawrence vs. Jason Street ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/xEYbiFj6Gu
Edelman and the Golden Flashes bested McVay and the RedHawks in their first meeting on Sept. 16, 2006 at Yager Stadium. Then a sophomore, the versatile Edelman ran for a touchdown and threw for another as Kent State won 16-14. Edelman totaled 305 yards of total offense in the victory, while McVay caught four balls for 47 yards and also hauled in a pass for a two-point conversion play.
The RedHawks won the next matchup on Oct. 6, 2007 at Dix Stadium. McVay caught three passes for 37 yards as Miami won 20-13. The RedHawks’ defense kept Edelman out of the end-zone, but he still threw for 260 yards and scampered for 93 yards.
McVay graduated from Miami in 2008 and then began his NFL coaching career as an assistant wide receivers coach under Jon Gruden with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He joined the Washington Redskins' coaching staff in 2010 as a tight ends coach and climbed the ranks to offensive coordinator. The Rams hired him as their head coach in 2017 and he was named AP NFL Coach of the Year last season.
Somehow this game is on YouTube. McVay and Edelman! pic.twitter.com/DQFKJ3orNA— Chris Wittyngham (@ChrisWittyngham) January 21, 2019
Edelman, now 32 years old, was a seventh-round draft pick by the Patriots in 2009, but a guy – you may have heard of him – named Tom Brady was playing quarterback, so Belichick converted the 5-foot-10 Edelman into an explosive slot receiver. Since entering the league, Edelman has caught 499 passes for 5,390 yards and 30 touchdowns. He has helped the Patriots win two Super Bowls.
While McVay has orchestrated many touchdown drives in the NFL, he was never able to find the end-zone in college. He finished his Miami career with 39 catches for 312 yards.
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On Super Bowl Sunday, McVay won’t be strapping on pads to stop Edelman from catching a plethora of passes himself, but he’ll have a hand in designing schemes to contain the former do-it-all Kent State quarterback.