Super Bowl 2019: Sean McVay's debt of gratitude to his LA Rams 'get-back' coach

Six days a week, Ted Rath's job is strength coach with the Los Angeles Rams - but on game days, his role becomes perhaps even more important to the Super Bowl-bound football team.

In the NFL, he's known as a 'get-back' coach.

While most teams have a designated staff member to keep players from encroaching onto the field during games, Rath has the responsibility for steering Rams head coach Sean McVay out of harm's way.

Six years ago, Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin was nearly run over by Baltimore kick returner Jacoby Jones and was fined $100,000 for his trespass.

But the biggest threat to errant coaches is the side-line officials that patrol the no-fly zone between team boxes and the playing field.

"I was probably the most difficult one to deal with when I was on the field, because you're always trying to get closer to the action," McVay told NFL Films. "As a coach, I always try to be aware of our get-back coach.

"It's one of those thankless jobs that you only get recognised if you're not getting it done."

After guiding the Rams to a league-leading 13-win/three-loss record this season, McVay, 33, was named NFL Coach of the Year and will be the youngest head coach to ever coach a Super Bowl.

American football is in his blood. Grandfather John McVay coached the New York Giants for two seasons and later helped mastermind one of the NFL's greatest dynasties at the San Francisco 49ers during the 1980s.

"He is good at pretty much everything else in life, but the one thing I would say Sean McVay is not good at is his situational awareness of the actual side-line in games," Rath told NFL Films.

"I spend most of my time, when the offence is on the field, standing right behind Sean and literally ripping him out of the way when the officials are about to run into him, just so we don't get a penalty.

"There is an art to it - it is kind of like a dance, maybe a tango."

While coaches don't appreciate their players staying too far and earning unwanted penalties, they are often the worst offenders themselves.

Thank goodness, McVay has his trusty sidekick to save his blushes.

"He's never told me thank you, but I stand by him all game and prevent penalties, so you're welcome, Sean."


Join us on Monday for live updates of Los Angeles Rams vs New England Patriots at Super Bowl 2019.