Much has been written about Sean McVay's meteoric rise through the NFL coaching ranks as the LA Rams make their second Super Bowl appearance under his guidance. But signs of his game smarts and leadership abilities can be traced all the way back to his days as a high school quarterback and defensive back for the Marist War Eagles where he led the team to a state championship and was named the top high school player in Georgia in 2003. Host Jon Nelson digs into the GPB archives for some of his top plays and talks with McVay's legendary Marist coach Alan Chadwick.

Sean McVay as a Marist Football player and Rams head coach

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Sean McVay was Marist football's starting QB and DB in 2002 and 2003.

Jon Nelson:  Welcome to another round of the Football Fridays In Georgia podcast here at Georgia Public Broadcasting. Thanks for accessing us however you are doing so. Large device or small within the confines of your home or remotely on your favorite device, this one's a little different. This time I get to sit in the Hanna Chair. Commander Sandy is staring at me, sitting in the Hannah chair because Hanna is hanging out with her twins as she should. She's hanging out with her husband, John and the twins and making sure that their transition into Georgia high school football and covering it on a daily basis, Sandy, is what it should be. It is a gradual process. You have the twins. They're here in the off season making sure that you ramp up their knowledge and their coverage by the time we get to August. Both the twins and Hanna are ready to go. What do you what do you think? Is that a safe place?

Sandy Malcolm – Producer:  Yeah, I think that's very safe. I think I've seen all the beautiful pictures over social media of the twins. No, no. I think she yeah, she's getting them ready. You know, they'll be they'll be in game shape by August.

Jon Nelson:  So with Hannah, not here, we've decided to go a little different and we're going to cover the Roman numeral classic Super Bowl LVI out in Los Angeles, where it's a home game for the Los Angeles Rams as they get to take on the Cincinnati Bengals. And I know that there are a lot of connections with Georgia high school football. C.J. Uzoma comes to mind the big tight end for the Bengals, who says he is not going to miss the biggest game of his football career because he was injured in the AFC Championship Game. He says he's not going to miss this one. C.J. has been part of our coverage for basically the last decade from his time at North Gwinnett. But we're going to focus on the other sideline and catch up and find out kind of about the head coach of the Los Angeles Rams, Sean McVay. This one should be a good one. Matt Stewart, the play-by-play voice of Football Fridays In Georgia here at Georgia Public Broadcasting. He's going to hang out with us in a little bit and we get to catch up with his coach, with Sean McVay, coach from his time at Marist. Alan Chadwick is our big guest this week when it comes to the Football Fridays In Georgia podcast, so it's a bit of a setup. We're going to look back at the junior and senior seasons of Sean McVay through our eyes here at Georgia Public Broadcasting, and some help from our friends at Fox Five Atlanta. We got to broadcast the semifinals and the finals in the higher classifications in the early 2000s, and we got to have moments like this at the Georgia Dome. Sean McVay chasing after six points.

Announcer (GPB Sports 2003 State Semifinal game - Marist vs Thomas County Central): From the 12. McVay will keep it, McVay at the ten, McVay at the five he's in for the touchdown! Sean McVay, the senior doing what he does best and Marist answers are their third straight third down conversion. You know Sean McVay is a four-five guy. He ran that like he's four-three. He really turned the corner. Well, talking to the Marist coaches, they said, not only is this kid talented, but he's the smartest football player that they've ever seen. He loves to hold the football and make it happen.

Jon Nelson: And so of course, when you're the smartest football player they've ever seen. Here's a piece of trivia for you. Calvin Johnson was playing at the same time that Sean McVay was down at Sandy Creek High School. The answer to who was the Georgia High School Player of the Year senior season was not Calvin Johnson. It was Sean McVay for plays like this.

WATCH: The Rematch - 2003 State Semifinal game between Marist and Thomas County Central

Announcer (GPB Sports 2003 State Semifinal game - Marist vs Thomas County Central): I talked to some of the coaches on the Marist sideline prior to the game, and they said simply, they think Sean McVay is the number one player in the state. It is knowledge to run this action offense that's unprecedented.

Jon Nelson: And we'll get into that discussion with Marist head coach Alan Chadwick coming up in just a little bit and what it takes to master this particular kind of offense. So fast forward a little bit to McVay's time as the head coach for the Los Angeles Rams. First time he was the head coach for the Rams in a Super Bowl. Our friends over WAGA TV Fox 5 in Atlanta decided to test Sean McVay's memory, and here's what Justin Felder found out about it.

Fox 5's Justin Felder with Sean McVay (January 2019): We got War Eagles head coach Alan Chadwick to give us some plays to test McVay's memories. Oh geez, here, I knew this would be where we would go. Play number one '03 against Shaw High School third round of the playoffs, the go ahead touchdown. Wham naked that was hard run action fake [Coach Chadwick: and come to the sideline. He wants to go wham naked and the coordinator and I look at each other just kind of shrug our shoulders. Say, OK, go with it.] Chris Davis, Chili Davis, did an excellent job selling it and walked right in where, you know, I think anybody could have made that play based on the sell that our offensive line and our backs had. This look about, right? It looks about right, and it's a good look. There's some good circles, too. All right. Play number two 2003 Southwest DeKalb season opener second quarter on your 38, they run the option. You were up 14-0. Yeah, it's an offset gun. Call it fake 38 and there was an option to the left on the left sideline. [Announcer call: McVay still on his feet across the 30]. Going for a perfect 3-for-3. This is the tough one is the really tough one 2003 Thomas County Central. They beat a couple of times right in a row. The state semis down 14-7, 42-yard line, twenty-four seconds left. What do you remember? Rollout pass right. Anderson Russell caught it for a big touchdown. Kind of got tipped that actually.. but he was running a wheel route down the right sideline run. [Coach Chadwick: Something like this and then the trail right there on this particular case, because of the pressure and all the avoiding things that he had to do, he had to redirect end up throwing it right about the two-yard line on the last play in the first half.] You skipped the best part the finish. What's that? What happened to you on the sideline? Oh, I got waylaid too.

WATCH: The 2002 State Semifinal game between Marist and Thomas County Central 

Jon Nelson: And we had that game on Georgia Public Broadcasting from the Georgia Dome. Here's our version of how that play against Thomas County Central happened under the Big Top.

Announcer - GPB Sports 2003 State Semifinal game - Marist vs Thomas County Central:  2nd and 16, 30 seconds to go rolling out McVay, he's in trouble they string him out. McVay trying to get outside, trying to get outside down the field. He's got a man wide open. Touchdown, Marist. Wow! Anderson Russell somehow got behind the secondary and the War Eagles come up with a huge play.

Jon Nelson: And if you were listening closely to the Justin Felder piece that we just ran, you might have heard a familiar voice. Southwest DeKalb and Marist play number two, had this guy calling play-by-play of that game. Matt Stewart, the play-by-play voice of Football Fridays In Georgia here at GPB, called Sean McVay as a Marist quarterback all that long time ago. What was it like? What was it like, Matt, to see Sean McVay work that offense?

Matt Stewart:  Well, to be honest with you, I could not for the life of me. Remember calling that game and you had to show me the clip. And indeed, it is my voice on that game. Maris and Southwest DeKalb from CSS days. So, yeah, I couldn't remember it for the life of me. And I mean, I've seen video of Sean McVay run that offense.  And I know that I called some of his games. He was just, I mean, he was a great option quarterback. He was a great option quarterback and ran that option perfectly. And obviously, we've detailed how smart he is and doesn't forget plays. I forget games. He forgets. He doesn't forget a play. I forget whole games.

Jon Nelson:  You and me, both brother.

Matt Stewart:  So, I mean, he's remembering specific plays within a game 20 years ago, and I can't even remember that whole season. But yeah, he's pretty phenomenal. And obviously that's reflected in the fact he's back in the Super Bowl again. And he's I was listening to sports talk radio. I know shame on me, but I was listening to sports talk radio and someone made a comment that I thought was pretty funny. Everything that Sean McVay breathes on, you know, kids, you know, all of a sudden that guy, his coordinators, his assistant coaches, you know, are golden. They're the guys that are coveted. They're the guys that people want to hire.

Jon Nelson:  Well, and I mean, if you think about Sean, it's a guy with amazing recall, but you know, and we have Alan Chadwick coming on a little later on here in the show. But to run that offense, regardless of who you are to run that Alan Chadwick vear, where the guy has the the old buck and a quarter staff that you know from the old Daffy Duck cartoon, where he anticipates that he has to drop that that big wooden staff between the back heel of the quarterback and the three point stance of the A back to make sure the spacing is correct first and foremost. But to have a quarterback like that that can run that offense that is so precise and do it so well, I mean, it's you've got to have the right guy to do it. And Sean McVay was that guy in '02 and '03.

Matt Stewart:  He was. And that's the thing that's phenomenal. I know we're talking about Sean McVay, but also just about the Marist program and running that offense is precision and the timing of that offense. I know people look at that and they said, Oh, it's so old school. Nobody runs that anymore. And that's not because it's, it's not because it's not a great offense is because a hard offense. It's hard because the precision and the timing has to be such. It's hard to teach. It's hard to teach that discipline. And quite frankly, you've got to have guys in your program a long time. You know, from middle school in order to be able to run it at the precision and timing level that is needed to be a state championship contender.

Jon Nelson:  And he's a guy who is calling his own plays. He's he's having conversations with Coach Etheridge and Coach Chadwick, and he's like, Well, why don't we do this? Here's a guy doing that in high school, and he's dialing up the right place.

Matt Stewart:  Well, when you got somebody in there who's smart like he is and I mean, really, quite honestly, we just don't see enough of that anymore, whether it be the quarterback in high school college or the pros or the catcher in high school college or the pros making their own calls. But really, honestly, who better to make those decisions as to what's the best place to run than the person who's actually in the middle of the fray, who's right there and sees so much better and so much more than the coach or even The O.C. can see from up in the press box because he's right there at the line of scrimmage and he can look across and he can see what's happening. He feels the timing, he feels the precision of it, and we've gotten away from that. We've taken that decision making ability away from our quarterbacks in high school and away from our quarterbacks in college and the same thing with catchers in high school and in college. And it does him a great disservice when they, quite frankly, they're just as capable of of doing it as the guys in the old days were. But, you know, we've got so much coach control anymore, but it does take it. Not everybody can do it. And coaches have taken this responsibility because, quite frankly, they've got guys in the position who can't quite handle it well. McVay was a guy that obviously could handle it and could go to coach Etheridge and could go to Coach Chadwick and say, "Hey, you know what? We ought to run this play."

Jon Nelson:  So then let me ask you this when it comes to the success that he's had as quickly as he has had it. And I mean that, you know, chronologically, yes, he's in his late 30s, but you know, he's been a coach for 15 years. And in his limited time as being a head coach with the L.A. Rams, he's been to two Supers. He's going to have been in two Super Bowls. Does this surprise you that Sean McVay has been as successful as he has, and I mean that in accomplishments and getting head coaching jobs? His progression has his progression surprised you at all?

Matt Stewart:  The progression only surprises you because of the age thing, because we naturally assume that it takes X amount of time in order to do these things. So that's where the, you know, that's where that's where the surprise comes in. But really, it isn't. It really isn't about age and it really isn't about experience from the standpoint of you've got to log this number of years. It's the experience comes from being in it and living it, knowing it, coaching it. So, you know, a guy his age certainly can't have enough experience to be there and live it and know it. And you have to understand that, you know, McVay's progression goes all the way back. Who knows how far it actually goes back with his roots in the National Football League from his grandfather. You know? So, who knows how long this kid has actually been absorbing and soaking in the game, maybe even before consciousness, before it consciously knew he was doing it? He was doing it already, and he's just got so much in him, you know, from from before a formal teaching standpoint, he was learning the game long before, you know, while most of us were still playing Wiffle ball and he was probably still playing Wiffle ball with his buddies, he was already absorbing and learning and knowing the game.

Jon Nelson:  So, let me ask this when it comes to the Roman Numeral Classic this weekend, what kind of a game are you expecting?

Matt Stewart:  Wow. I mean, I think it's going to be a great game. But I, you know, we always go on to almost every Super Bowl thinking it's going to be a great game and sometimes it isn't, and sometimes it is. But I don't see to have

Jon Nelson:  Stephen Gostkowski outscoring his own team in a Super Bowl with his offense. You end up with that kind of points.

Matt Stewart:  No, I mean, I think, you know, I think it should be a great game with great storylines because, you know, Joe Burrow and what and what what Coach Taylor, Zach Taylor's been able to do with the Bengals in a short amount of time and turning that franchise around. It's a great story. We've seen them go on the road, and when they went to Kansas City, down 18 looked like they were dead in the water. They got that one stop right there and I even tweeted this, you know, when they got that stop at the goal line and the Chiefs, you know, flubbed up the last opportunity to score there. When you know, they didn't score the touchdown much, much less did they not score a touchdown. They didn't get three out of it. And that turned out to be a huge deal at the end of the game because it went to overtime. You know, so to be down like they were to come back and win, and it wasn't just about their offense, it was about their defense to figuring out what it took to stop the Kansas City Chiefs. Will they be able to do the same thing against the L.A. Rams? Will they've been able to do it up to this point? So yeah, I think so. I mean, I think it will be a great game, but I haven't even made a decision yet as to who I think you know is going to win. I know the Rams are favorites. I haven't I haven't, haven't dived into it far enough to make a make that all important decision as to who's going to be the team, I think, to win the Super Bowl. And that is an important decision as we all know. Yes. You know, we we got a hold out and study everything and figure it out, although I'm sure I don't know that anything's going to change between now and Super Bowl Sunday. But I just haven't made my decision yet.

Jon Nelson:  Matt Stewart play by play voice of Football Fridays In Georgia here at GPB. Getting to share experiences with me considering that we've seen Sean McVay as a high school quarterback and we're now seeing him as a successful NFL coach. Thanks for hanging out with us on the show. We'll catch up with you soon because it never really go for.

Matt Stewart:  I will. I will say one more thing. Yeah. You know, I find the the L.A. Rams very unsuitable because I'm a longtime Atlanta Falcons.

Jon Nelson:  You're going out in the West material.

Matt Stewart:  I remember how they used to pummel and destroy the Atlanta Falcons. But yeah, you got Sean McVay, you got Matthew Stafford, you got Leonard Floyd. You got what? Sony Michel. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, you do. Sony Michel's there, too. You know, you got all these former connections to, you know, if not the state of Georgia, but through the Georgia Bulldogs, at least make them a little bit more rootable. I'm not going to ever say that I like the L.A. Rams. It's hard to say that because they've inflicted too much damage on my Falcons.

Jon Nelson:  spoken by someone who was raised in the Atlanta area in the days of the old NFC West.

Matt Stewart:  Exactly. So, yeah, but I mean, they make them rootable. Stafford and McVay make them rootable for me.

Jon Nelson:  Be good, my friend. We'll catch up soon.

Matt Stewart:  Yes, Sir.

Sandy Malcolm – Producer:  Jon, it's been. It's been fun going back. Listen to all these clips and reminiscing about this. You know, I have to admit listening to that, there was one clip that did catch my attention. Oh yeah, Jake, you got that one

Announcer (GPB Sports 2002 State Semifinals: Marist vs Thomas County Central):  Solid first half great decision-making by Sean so far. Well, he's doing a good job. I just hope he can give it up. Second half have a long way to go. Now, let's talk about Sean a little bit. He took a shot to the hand with a face mask. How is he physically? He's fine. He's the toughest kid we got and he's the best one we got and he's going to be back out there this hour.

Jon Nelson:  So, let's see. That would have been so well. You got to have you got to have a third question ready for Alan Chadwick some time. So you've got to be ready to go rapid fire because that's what he'll give you in return. Let me see if I can remember that had to have been in my Johnny Cash stage, I believe. Black suit. Black shirt. Jerry Garcia tie, if I'm not mistaken,

Sandy Malcolm – Producer:  You were looking and sounded good. OK, but what? What was that 02? So you were in high school?

Jon Nelson: Yeah, no, no, I was not. Not by any stretch of the imagination. No, Sean McVay was in high school. I was not. Simply put, I probably just had had a haircut leading into the semifinals, so I probably had as much hair then after a haircut as I do now, naturally, 20 years later. So now, yeah, though, that's a good pull. Send any and all clip ideas to Commander Sandy here at GPB and Jake the Snake four for pulling that one out. That was a good flashback.

Sandy Malcolm – Producer:  You remember that game at all, do you? Do you remember?

Jon Nelson: I mean, I remember when I got when I went back to look at the '02 game as we were looking at clips. I remember doing the post-game interview with Ed Pilcher, Thomas County Central, after they won 35-34, and the quote were were. I mentioned it's like, you know, why did you go for two more? Pilcher goes. Yeah, I'm tired, I want to go home. That's what I remember about that game. It was an amazing game. So back and forth. But yeah, just the frankness of Ed Pilcher, who knew he was in a battle in overtime. Yeah, I'm tired. I want to go home when you have something like that. And I remember 2003, and I'll be sure to bring this up with with coach Chadwick coming up around the corner. For those of you that don't know and I'll make this short, is a story time with Jon for this week. When you when you're at Hugh Spalding Stadium on the campus of Marist, The Marist School, it literally it's in a holler. The stadium is off the side of a hill and literally when the wind comes in one side and goes out the other, you feel it. I mean, it was that game against Statesboro in 2003, when they won the Championship game. You felt it. And I mean, it was I had to go sit in the car and thaw out. But I will definitely ask Coach Chadwick about that coming up here in just a little bit. But now that was a fun pull. This is what happens when you can subscribe to the GPB Sports YouTube channel and you can find things or when you have the tape library that we have. I can get I can get to reminisce about things that are 20 years old and I'm not talking about my suit. You want to bring in our final guest here?

Sandy Malcolm – Producer:  Sounds good. Yeah.

Jon Nelson: It's time for our final guests and it is a fantastic guest. Alan Chadwick, the head coach of the Marist War eagles who gets to reminisce about Sean McVay. Now, it's time to catch up with the man who knows Sean McVay better than any of us. Marist head coach Alan Chadwick, Coach thanks for hanging out with us on the podcast or Super Bowl week.

Marist Head Coach Alan Chadwick:  Thank you, Jon. I appreciate it. Enjoy your being here.

Jon Nelson: All right, so let me let me go back. We show leave in this particular episode leading up to you. We've done some of the highlights from 2002 and 2003 leading into this interview with you. What was your first impression of Sean?

Marist Head Coach Alan Chadwick:  Well, you know, he didn't play seventh grade football. He started playing in the eighth grade and I don't remember a whole lot about him back at that level, but I just know at the ninth grade, he just started to show signs of of athleticism, explosivity. He could. He could. It's extremely quick. He'd always played a lot of soccer growing up, so he was very good with his feet and very quick and athletic. So that was the first real inclination that I had, that he was going to be a pretty decent player. You always worry about his size. He was not real big. But then moving into the sophomore year, he became a player for us in the secondary and starting the secondary for us as a sophomore. So, just to just extremely quick, athletic, intense, knowledgeable player as well.

Jon Nelson: You mentioned intense and knowledgeable, and for me, with the offense that you've run, you have to be almost a three dimensional thinker to grasp what you want and make sure that you're decision making in the vear is what it is because it's snap decisions and you have to monitor basically three separate things going on at any given time. And you've got to have somebody who's got a lot between the ears to manage the quarterback position for you.

Marist Head Coach Alan Chadwick:  No question because they can, you know, defenses can align, over shift, over play certain play, and then you've got to be able to get out of it and go the opposite way or even change the play completely into something else. And he was capable of doing that, and he was just very adept at that because he grew up around football. He grew up with his dad, played football and of course, his grandfather and all that. So he was very adept at being a, you know, a coach on the field for us. And that that came to light in numerous occasions.

Jon Nelson: Well, do you remember the first time that happened where he suggested something and you're like, OK, that's that's an interesting suggestion. We'll go ahead and run with it.

Marist Head Coach Alan Chadwick:  Well, I can remember that the same team were playing Shaw for the semifinal game out here. We had driven down, we were behind about four points. We're driven down to about the three yard line and a couple plays and kind of get stopped and called a time out and Sean came over to the sideline and myself and Paul Etheridge, our offensive coordinator just kind of looked at each other and talked about a couple of different plays and scenarios and Sean says let's run naked boot.  So, Coach Etheridge and I looked at each other and said, OK, sure, go ahead, say all right go with it. And so naked boot it was just a front out wham play where he just faked the off tackle power play to two backs leading through and a running back take him back. And then he just keeps on his hip and puts out the back door. He went in completely untouched. The entire Shaw defense had just flown to the other side of the ball, pursued to the point of attack, and even the corner from the backside was completely fooled and Sean just kind of walked in the end zone held above held above his head and we win the game. So it's just a, you know, he just had a feel for where everybody was and what they were doing and what they might do and any kind of. Kind of has that same feel going on today, doesn't he?

Jon Nelson: Yeah, he does get into that in just a little bit, but let's talk about 2002 and 2003, his junior year in his senior year. What was it like there on campus for Mary's football? I know that the 2002 season ended in that absolute instant classic with you and Thomas County Central, where Ed Belcher just basically said, I went for two because I was tired and I wanted to go home.

Marist Head Coach Alan Chadwick: Right?

Jon Nelson: And then you guys beat Statesboro in '03 for the title. The last one that you got before 2021, what were those two seasons like with him at the helm?

Marist Head Coach Alan Chadwick:  ] Well, very enjoyable because we knew we had some good teams, both of those two years. We had a pretty talented squad, both offensively and defensively. We just could never stop Thomas County Central on the defensive side because they were so good on offense, running the split back vear and Sean was the leading for us. I mean, he was the one that everybody looked to and looked up to and gravitated towards. He was a leader from the start. And he had a couple of exceptional years. And then that his senior year, we're able to finally beat Thomas County Central in in the in the Dome and then go on to win the state championship next week. With Sean and Sean actually in the state championship game, broke his foot and was limping through the whole fourth quarter. We were barely hanging on and he was gutting it out with a broken foot and was just hobbling around all over the field. And we were very fortunate then to hold on and not have to score late or something like that because it would have been very tough to do. The very difficult to do with him banged up the way he was.

Jon Nelson: Especially when it was 74 below zero in that valley. That was Hughes Spalding that night that I specifically remember was how cold it was.

Marist Head Coach Alan Chadwick:  I didn't. I didn't feel a thing. I was. I didn't feel a thing.

Jon Nelson: Winning titles will do that.

Marist Head Coach Alan Chadwick:  Yeah, yeah, exactly. I just remember after the game and all of a celebration going on, the snow was coming down. So that was, you know, was pretty unique setting right there for us.

Jon Nelson: When he went to college. And, you know, when he was a quarterback in the MAC, did you did you sense a career path for him where he was going to be a coach that was going to be basically on a rocket ship for promotions and people getting to see his knowledge base to where he would be very successful at a very young age? Did you see that?

Marist Head Coach Alan Chadwick:  No, not really. You know, he left school up in Ohio, at Miami of Ohio, and that's a long distance away. We don't see a whole lot of their games on TV, so it's kind of like he kind of fell off the map for a little bit. You know, some of the other coaches stayed in touch with him, but he played receiver, didn't play quarterback. He moved to receiver, and you can never expect anybody to be on a rocket ship the way he's been and and reach the level and he's reached in such a short period of time. I don't think anybody could have foreseen that. Yes, he had great skills and great vision as a quarterback and the great leadership abilities. He had the total package. But so many of our kids don't really go into coaching, you know, they're more on a on a business adventure to try to get out in the world and make money, and he's able to parlay coaching into making money at the same time. So we're very, very happy for him.

Jon Nelson: Is he still on your speed dial and are you still on his speed dial on your cell phones?

Marist Head Coach Alan Chadwick:  Yes, very much so. I don't bother him very much. I did reach out to him and text him after that come back, come from behind when they had to kick late in the NFC Championship game or the wild card game, whatever it was, and then then last week after actually it was just last Friday it reached out to him to say Good luck. Go, finish the drill. We're all pulling for you here at Marist. So and then he texted back about a day and a half later. So yeah, it was. He's very appreciative. He did come back last spring. To receive an alumni award, and he also spoke at graduation for our seniors last year, so it was great to have him back and a lot of his buddies came back for that as well. It's a matter of fact during that in that NFC Championship game last week against. Who were the San Francisco, San Francisco. They showed tha his dad up in the box. Yeah. And there were five of his high school buddies up in the box with him, all the xxx boys. Chris Davis, Chris Card. I mean, they're all up in there having a heck of a time and just being so excited for the Rams and for Sean.

Jon Nelson: What was the first piece of advice that you gave him as a coach? Not necessarily as a player, but coach to coach? What was the first piece of advice that you gave him that you think stuck?

Marist Head Coach Alan Chadwick:  Well, I don't really know that I actually did. I mean, it wasn't like he came to me and said, Coach, I'm thinking about getting into coaching. He had contacts and connections all over the country, and I can just remember he went into the NFL for the first year because he knew the Gruden's. And then he went into the Arena League for a couple of years and then went back with one of the Gruden's at Washington. So he had his own plan, his own portfolio, if you will, about what he wanted to do, and I don't think there's anything that I could have told him that would have made any kind of a difference one way or the other. He was he was on a fast track to get into the NFL, and I think that's what he really wanted to do. And and I think it's pretty obvious that he's the right man for the right job.

Jon Nelson: What do you think his Marist legacy is?

Marist Head Coach Alan Chadwick:  I would just say, yes, his leadership ability. His ability to have everybody rally around him and believe in him. We had we even had players who wanted him to be the starting quarterback as a sophomore. And I kind of thought back on that because we had a senior that I felt like deserved that opportunity. And so when he is a sophomore and could be playing over a senior, I think that speaks pretty highly of how much everybody believed in him, both coaches and players. And you know, when you look at what he's doing is energy is enthusiasm, his knowledge, his repertoire of remembering play formations and situations and all that is just extraordinarily off the charts, I mean, I can't remember what I had for breakfast yesterday, and I can, you know, I can remember a few plays here and there, but not like that to the extent that he can.

Jon Nelson: Well, and we ran the piece that was put together by our friends over at Fox 5 with Justin Felder from Media Day a couple of years ago in the Super Bowl was here in Atlanta, and you gave Justin those ideas for, you know, down situation and the end result. And Sean's recall is it's insane because he knows exactly what the play was and the result was, and he has. It's almost like a a photographic memory of the playbook and the play. And that's just that's unheard of.

Marist Head Coach Alan Chadwick:  I know, I know. And I've got those films and I look at them over and over and down to time, things like that, and I still can't pull all that together. I wish I had that kind of recall.

Jon Nelson: When it comes to an individual like, Sean, what do you say? I asked about his legacy, but at the same time, what do you think the message is for anyone who is in high school of a certain age who may not be the tallest, he may not be the strongest, he may not be the fastest, but he's one of the smartest guys out there. What do you think the message is for someone who sees as Sean and can be that? What do you think? What do you think that message can be when you see a Sean McVay and see his level of success to other high schoolers, considering he came back and talked to Marist?

Marist Head Coach Alan Chadwick:  Well, just I would say that just to give it all you've got, you know, to work hard every single day. And that's what Sean did. I mean, he was a complete athlete that worked extremely hard, wasn't just talented and gifted on the field, but he he produced himself into a really good player. The explosion, the quickness, his workouts in the weight room, it was very intense and everything that he did. And he always gave 100 percent in practice and workouts and games. He never held anything back. And I think that's the legacy that he's the impression of. The legacy that he left with me is just his overall intensity and his work ethic and his drive to be successful was just practically unmatched. We have a lot of kids who have that same kind of thing, but he certainly was one of a kind when it comes to those attributes.

Jon Nelson: So, do I even dare ask what you think the score is going to be this weekend?

Marist Head Coach Alan Chadwick:  Oh, I don't know. You know, you can't ever count Cincinnati out the way they're playing. You can't count Joe Burrow. He's a phenomenal athlete. He's going to be around for a long time, and they just seem to find a way. I think it's going to come down to, you know, Matthew Stafford is going to have to play very well. It's going to take care of the ball, protect it. And I think if they do that, then they get a chance to win that 10, 10, 12 or 14 points or so.

Jon Nelson: So, so the most important question that I have here in this interview is my last one. Are you going?

Marist Head Coach Alan Chadwick:  No, but I told somebody, if Sean wins, one gets one under his belt and he comes back to another one a third time, I'm going to reach out to the man to take it on that third time. Let's let let's let him get the monkey off his back first before I put that pressure on.

Jon Nelson: Well, coach, it's fantastic to catch up with you and get all this inside about a very special quarterback for you in a very special person, not just a quarterback there at Marist. Thanks for hanging out with us here on the Football Fridays In Georgia podcast, letting everybody know what what makes Sean McVay tick and what he's meant to the program. Thanks for coming on with us.

Marist Head Coach Alan Chadwick:  Thank you, Jon. Appreciate all you do for high school football.

Jon Nelson: Very cool stuff from Alan Chadwick. That was that was cool to be able to catch up with Coach Chadwick and sit there and and kind of break everything down from Sean's beginnings to, you know, playing on defense and being one of the top defensive players in the state to where he was as a quarterback. That was very cool.

Sandy Malcolm – Producer:  Very interesting. Yeah. It's just great insights and amazing that he remembers all the things that he remembers. I know we talk about McVay and his sort of photographic memory, but you know, that guy's been around a long time.

Jon Nelson: OK, and so here's the math. I did the math on this. And so looking at Alan Chadwick right now when it comes to Georgia high school football coaches win loss record of 409-75 second all-time on the list, winning percentage of 84 and a half percent and 845 winning percentage. Larry Campbell, the legendary head coach at Lincoln County 477-85 in his tenure. Winning percentage 847. Yes, so that two 1000th of a percentage point separating those two and 68 wins, did I do that right? 79 from 77 68 and do the math right? OK, so 68 wins Alan Chadwick to catch up with Larry Campbell, 69, to be the all-time winningest head coach in the state of Georgia. And I'm looking forward to seeing how far Alan Chadwick can go.

Sandy Malcolm – Producer:  It'll be fun, fun to see. Yeah.

Jon Nelson: So all right, so let me open up everybody's mic. Get Super Bowl predictions here before we go. And all right, so Commander Sandy, since your mic is open first, give me a Super Bowl prediction here.

Sandy Malcolm – Producer:  That's a tough one. I do like Joe Burrow. I have to admit it's just fun, fun to watch, you know, and his receivers, I mean, they're they're fun to watch, but I don't know. I think L.A. being there before, I think it's their time. So I'm going to go with L.A. Like 27-21.

Jon Nelson:  I was going to say, I don't think there's going to be a lot of points scored in the first half, I think it's going to be in the second half snake. What do you think? So he's hiding. I was going to say, Jake, where's that? Where's your Mike on the Mike? That's the beauty of these things. So he so

Sandy Malcolm – Producer:  He's sticking with the Falcons.

Jon Nelson: He's sticking with the Falcons. Oh, by the way, story time with Jon before we go real quick. I was in Boston for the Falcons Patriots Super Bowl. I was catching up with a friend of mine because I know we're in that week. We're in Super Bowl week. It's catching up with a high school friend of mine. So, the boss and I go up to Boston and it was one of the wildest social experiments I've ever had. Seeing the Super Bowl with the Patriots and the Falcons from Boston because we were up there for the the college hockey tournament, the Bean Pot, which is a bucket list item and honestly should be for anybody and everybody. But we're up there to see the social experiment happen. Go from that magic number that no one likes to repeat as a Falcons fan to the other result. But anyway, that was one of the coolest things since we're in Super Bowl week. I'm a, you know, I have to go with the Rams here. I honestly do. I think that it's going to be something in the low 20s. I think you're right. I think it's going to be somewhere in the probably 27-21 range. I don't know what the total is in front of me, but I'll go with that. But yeah, I think that the Rams win and I think that they probably will. It'll be more than the three and a half that we're looking at right now on the board. So, I'll go with the Rams. I'll say the nice thing and go with the Rams in this one because I want Sean to get one and I want kind of Coach Chadwick to get one by six degrees of separation here, and I want him to have that association with the Super Bowl champs.

Sandy Malcolm – Producer:  Yeah, I think that's a good call.

Jon Nelson: All right. So we're off for the remainder of the month and we're coming back next month, right?

Sandy Malcolm – Producer:  Yes.

Jon Nelson: OK. And then we'll come up with all kinds of various topics and things like that to talk about over the spring and summer to get you ready. Because high school football here is 24-7 365. It does not stop and neither do us here at Georgia Public Broadcasting. So like friend, be a part of the conversation for the Football Fridays In Georgia podcast. Knock it down on your favorite podcast. Reserve it. So when you have new podcasts for anything here at Georgia Public Broadcasting, you can do that. You can market. You'll know when that happens. So it's Facebook, it's Twitter, it's Instagram. If I missed any other social media, there's just those three on the YouTube channel. Subscribe to the YouTube channel so you can see everything else that's going on here at GPB. So for Commander Sandy, for Outlaw Jesse, for King James, for Jake the Snake and Mr. Wonderful Michael Harris. That's another round of the Football Fridays In Georgia podcast Super Bowl Edition. Enjoy the Roman numeral classic fox from Los Angeles. Play it safe everybody. We'll see you next time.

The Football Fridays In Georgia podcast is a production of GPB Sports written and hosted by Jon Nelson and Hannah Goodin. Jake Cook is the engineer and editor and Sandy Malcolm is the producer. Subscribe to the podcast on Apple, Spotify or whatever platform you use for your podcasts. You can listen to past episodes and subscribe on our website as well.