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Rams' Sean McVay is no longer the youngest head coach in NFL

Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo gestures on the sideline during a game. Coach Bill Belichick is in the background.

Sean McVay for seven years held the mantle as the youngest coach in the NFL.

On Friday, the Rams coach passed the torch to Jerod Mayo, who will replace Bill Belichick as coach of the New England Patriots.

McVay, 37, was born on Jan. 24, 1986, Mayo on Feb. 23, 1986.

Friday also marked the seven-year anniversary of McVay’s hiring, at age 30, by Rams owner Stan Kroenke.

“I was certainly really young, 30 was young,” McVay said. “That’s crazy when you think back. Sometimes I look at Mr. Kroenke, I say, ‘What the hell were you thinking?’ ”

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Kroenke apparently made a good choice.

On Sunday, the Rams play the Detroit Lions in an NFC wild-card playoff game at Ford Field. It is the Rams' fifth playoff appearance under McVay, a run that included two Super Bowl appearances and one Super Bowl title.

On Wednesday, McVay paid homage to Pete Carroll, 72, who will no longer coach the Seattle Seahawks.

“Coach Carroll is a stud,” McVay said, “and if I'm sitting up here being able to do that as long as he did, holy s—, will that be impressive.”

McVay on Friday also spoke fondly of his respect for Belichick, 71, and retired Alabama coach Nick Saban, 72.

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“With coach Belichick, he has been so great to me,” McVay said, adding that while his loss to Belichick in Super Bowl LIII was humbling he valued “the relationship that we’ve been able to develop, the way that you can almost feel like he’s done so much for this game, that it almost felt like he was giving back to the game with the information that he shares and how he’s always treated me.”

McVay expects to see Belichick on a sideline again.

“I’d be surprised if he’s not still coaching because of the way that he does it at such a high level,” McVay said.

Does he hope it’s in the AFC?

“I am hoping that,” he said.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.