A new branch from the Sean McVay coaching tree has emerged.
Announced on Wednesday, via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport, the Minnesota Vikings will be hiring current Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell as their new head coach.
Despite being rumored to strongly consider Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh as their next head coach, the Minnesota Viking’s plans came to a crumble when reports surfaced on Wednesday that Harbaugh was headed back to Ann Arbor.
Guiding LA’s offense and first-year Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford in 2021, Kevin O’Connell, 36, helped foster a top-3 passing attack in the League.
Stafford accrued 41 passing touchdowns (career-high) under O’Connell’s tutelage. The coordinator has worked under Rams HC Sean McVay for two seasons and previously worked with Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins as Washington’s quarterbacks coach in 2018.
Vikings fans will likely be elated by the O’Connell hire following former Minnesota HC Mike Zimmer’s defense-first approach for the span of eight seasons, and after the team announced vetting defensive coordinators Patrick Graham and Raheem Morris for the coaching gig.
Graham led a quasi-successful campaign as the New York Giants’ defensive coordinator the past two seasons. A glint of optimism on the team during Joe Judge’s disastrous two years as head coach, Graham is rumored to potentially return to Big Blue as part of Giants HC Brian Daboll’s coaching staff.
This season, Raheem Morris took over the Rams defense after former DC Brandon Staley fleeted across town to coach the Chargers. Morris was heir to Staley’s league-leading defense from 2020 and kept the unit on track as a top-5 NFL defense in 2021.
Minnesota will not be allowed to officially hire O’Connell until after Super Bowl 56 — where the Rams will face off against the Cincinnati Bengals from SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.
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