Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay and San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan know each other all too well. The two spent four years together with the Washington Football Team, they were both part of the round of head coaching hires in 2017, and since then, they’ve been rivals on opposing NFC West teams.
This offseason, both coaches found themselves in a situation where they wanted to upgrade their quarterback position. And when they both found out that Matthew Stafford was available in late January, they went into action. The two chatted about that weekend experience on the Flying Coach podcast to tell how it all unfolded from Cabo.
Here’s a transcript of that conversation, which you can listen to at the 36:17 mark in the episode.
McVay: “What did you think when you saw that we traded for Stafford?”
Shanahan: “You don’t want to get me started, dude. That was frustrating. I was actually, I was in Cabo. I was watching it all. I never studied Stafford that hard...”
McVay: “Wait, so you were actually in Cabo when we were down in Cabo?”
Peter Schrager: “The wrong hotel, Kyle.”
McVay: “I was just glad he wasn’t staying at El Dorado.”
Shanahan: “I remember looking through it, because everyone was telling me it was a possibility (the Detroit Lions would trade Stafford). Stafford’s the man. I studied him hard coming out of college, and you always played against him so you know how good he is. But to know he might be available and to spend two weeks really watching him, Sean, yeah, he’s better than I had realized. He was the man, and he’s actually underrated to me.
“So I know how good of a guy you got. I know how good he is at play action. I know how smart he is. Not only does he got a big arm, but he’s got touch and he knows where to go with the ball.
“I was trying to get involved in it. Someone who had knowledge on the situation—I remember us talking to (Stafford’s agent Tom) Condon, everyone just to find out when it was happening. I remember Saturday, I was so stressed out, and finally we talked to someone—it was like seven at night—and they’re like, ‘No, nothing’s happening. At the earliest, til tomorrow, so you can finish your night.’
“So I’m like, ‘Alright, I’m done.’ Put down my phone. Talk to (his wife) Mandy. I’m like, ‘Alright, let’s go out to dinner. Let’s have some drinks.’ A half-an-hour later, my buddy calls me, he’s like, ‘I’m just telling you, if you want Stafford, you need to get a hold of him right now.’
“I’m like, ‘What do you mean? No, we just talked to people. I can sleep on this. We’ll talk to him tomorrow.’
“‘I’m just telling you, you need to talk to him right now.’ And I knew it was all over.”
Mcvay: “If it makes you feel any better, it came together faster than I thought, too, Kyle.”
Shanahan: “The fact that I was Cabo, man. I would have been there and made it really awkward between you two to enjoy it. You would have had to tell me to leave.”
Reports are that the 49ers never made an official offer to the Detroit Lions, but it sounds like Shanahan would have had he not taken the night off a little too early.