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Sean McVay: Cole Strange comments were “misunderstood”

Mike Florio and Myles Simmons look back on a busy first round at the 2022 NFL Draft with a round of Which Doesn't Belong and Why.

On Thursday night, video of an overly jocular (and quite possibly overserved) Rams coach Sean McVay and G.M. Les Snead made the rounds regarding their surprise that the Patriots used a first-round pick on offensive lineman Cole Strange.

While not making any picks (because eff them picks) and possibly after mixing up a frozen concoction or two (or five), McVay and Snead noticed that Strange went to the Patriots while meeting with reporters.

“And we wasted our time watching him thinking he’d be at 104 maybe,” McVay said.

Some regarded it as criticism of the Patriots and/or Strange. After Friday night’s draft proceedings, McVay and Snead addressed the reaction to their remarks about Strange.

“Because of how that video went viral in fun, that was the chemistry between us and us going through this process trying to evaluate,” Snead said Friday night, “but I know Sean talked to Cole this morning, did talk to Coach Belichick this morning just to say, ‘Hey, we -- there was nothing -- we really like that player.’ Sean was just 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. About 10 years later, he had a lot of Pro Bowls and Super Bowl.”

McVay chimed in after Snead finished.

“I wish that it wouldn’t have gotten misunderstood,” McVay said. “It was more of a reflection of, I was actually giving Les some, you know, a hard time 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. 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.”

Some indeed interpreted the comments as disrespectful to Strange. Others did not. The more significant aspect of the clip for many was that Snead and McVay indeed seemed to be, as the saying goes, three sheets to the wind. McVay, as we joked on #PFTPM last night, came off as happy drunk. Snead, based on how he was talking, seemed to be trying very hard to not slur.

I don’t know that they definitely had been drinking on Thursday night. Not that I care whether they were. I was. And I was on Friday night. It’s legal, and it’s fine if done responsibly. But it was funny, and that’s what made the clip go viral. It wasn’t what they said, but how they interacted.

The best part of all of it is that it gave me a chance to introduce Myles Simmons to Foster Brooks.