Sean McVay Reached Out to Bill Belichick After Draft-Day Misunderstanding

It was a video clip that seemingly got out of hand. It happened on Day 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft right after Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots made their first pick. The cameras turned to Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay and GM Les Snead, catching their reaction to the selection.

McVay and Snead appeared to make fun of New England’s selection of offensive lineman Cole Strange. Many mock drafts had Strange lasting until the third round. McVay insisted he wasn’t making fun of Belichick, the Patriots, or Strange. He reached out to the Patriots coach to clear the air.

Sean McVay seemingly mocked Bill Belichick’s first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft

In case you missed it, the Patriots may have reached with their first-round selection in the draft. Many eyebrows were raised when Belichick and the Patriots selected UT-Chatanooga’s Strange with their first pick. When the pick was announced, cameras caught McVay and Snead’s reaction.

“How ’bout that?” McVay said. “And we wasted our time watching him, thinking he’d be at (pick) 104, baby.”

Then McVay burst out in laughter.

Patriots fans weren’t laughing. Many were surprised at the pick, believing Strange would have been there one or two rounds later. Belichick and the Patriots took some heat for the pick, but the head coach justified his selection.

“Yeah. I mean, we felt like that was a good — a guy that fits well — Cole fits well into our team and our system,” Belichick said per NFL.com. “Obviously think he’s a good player.

“It’s a composite of work with any player, so whatever opportunities you have to evaluate him, you evaluate him. Senior Bowl was part of it. That was definitely a move up competitively.”

Sean McVay reached out to both Bill Belichick and Cole Strange to clear up any misunderstanding

Head coach Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams speaks to media during the Super Bowl 56 head coach and MVP press conference at Los Angeles Convention Center on February 14, 2022, in Los Angeles, California. | Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images.

Many believed McVay and Snead were taking a shot at either Belichick or Strange or both. The Rams’ duo made it clear that wasn’t the case. After Day 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft, Snead explained the situation and said McVay reached out to both Belichick and Strange.

“I think this should be said,” Snead said, per Chris Mason of Mass Live. “Because of how that video went viral, in fun — that was the chemistry between us going through this process trying to evaluate. But I know Sean talked to Cole this morning, did talk to Coach Belichick (Friday) morning, just to say, ‘Hey, there was nothing — we really like that player.’

“Sean was just in jest at myself for, ‘Hey, why did we waste our time on him again?’ And I can say this: A long time ago, I forget when it was, but the New England Patriots drafted a guy named Logan Mankins from right up the road in Fresno.

“He was a left tackle, they moved him inside, and about 10 years later he had a lot of Pro Bowls and (went to) Super Bowls. So I think that’s a very, very similar pick for those guys.”

McVay said he would never disrespect Belichick

McVay, fresh off a Super Bowl-winning season, lost to Belichick in Super Bowl 53. It was one of the ugliest Super Bowls, but Belichick found a way to shut down McVay’s potent offensive attack in a 13-3 victory.

The Rams coach said he wishes the video didn’t come across the way it did.

“What I would add to that is: I wish that it wouldn’t have gotten misunderstood,” McVay said. “It was more of a reflection of — I was actually giving Les some (expletive) because when we started watching him, I think we both were in agreement there’s no way he’d be there because we like the player so much.

“And if there’s anybody that has more respect for Coach Belichick, what he’s done, than I do, I’d like to see him. Because I have tremendous respect for this profession, for the players that play at this level, and I would never want it to get misunderstood for Cole Strange or the Patriots organization, that anything but respect for the player.

“That was my reaction, and any misunderstanding was my fault for the way that I probably communicated that.”

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