Rams Assistant Expected to Take NFC Job After Super Bowl: Report

Rams coaches

Getty Members of the Rams coaching staff during the NFC title game played on Sunday, January 30.

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay will be coaching against a former assistant of his on Sunday, February 13 in Zac Taylor with the Super Bowl title on the line.

After the game, McVay is expected to lose another key assistant on his staff. This time it’s offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell.

Reported by the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport on Wednesday, February 2, the Minnesota Vikings are expected to offer the Rams’ offensive coordinator their open head coaching job.

A deal can be finalized under one condition: Following the Super Bowl between the Rams and Cincinnati Bengals.

And O’Connell’s name immediately surfaced following one prominent head coaching name reportedly turning down what was offered by the Vikings.

High Profile NFC Head Coaching Contender Staying Put

One of the hottest names in the NFL head coaching search was former San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh.

The 2013 NFC champion with the ‘Niners, who also took the franchise to three straight NFC conference title game appearances, met with the Vikings’ brass for nine hours according to Pelissero. However, a deal never was offered — which officially puts Harbaugh back at his current post at the University of Michigan.

According to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, O’ Connell was among two Ram assistants who were considered finalists for the open Vikings head coaching post. The other was defensive coordinator Raheem Morris.

O’ Connell’s Rise Through the Coaching Ranks

O’ Connell became a red-hot name in NFL head coaching circles for the work he’s done for the NFC champions.

The 36-year-old took an offense that improved to No. 8 overall from their No. 10 ranking from 2020. The Rams additionally ranked No. 5 in passing offense and were one of three NFL teams that crossed 40 touchdown passes (41 total).

And that came in the first season with Matthew Stafford taking the quarterback reins. Now, the former NFL quarterback O’Connell, McVay and the Rams have helped get the 13-year veteran Stafford to his first career Super Bowl.

The native of Knoxville, Tennessee attended San Diego State where he threw 7,689 yards, tossed 46 touchdowns, had 34 interceptions and played four seasons with the Aztecs according to Sports Reference.

He entered the NFL as a third rounder drafted by the New England Patriots at No. 94 overall of the 2008 draft — originally selected to back up Tom Brady.

However, O’Connell would end up in Detroit the following season where he briefly backed up Stafford. He was then traded to the New York Jets in September 2009.

O’Connell didn’t take long to dive into coaching, taking the QB coach job with the Cleveland Browns in 2015. In the next four seasons, he served on the 2016 San Francisco 49ers staff then spent 2017-2019 with Washington until joining McVay’s Rams staff.

Rams Insider Hints at Possible O’Connell Replacement

Does McVay have someone lined up to take over the offense?

According to Rams insider Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic, there are two names worth watching for the in-house promotion.

“Rams RBs/asst. HC Thomas Brown would be the obvious internal promotion in my opinion,” Rodrigue tweeted. “But I would expect Sean McVay to show substantial interest in Liam Coen, his former QBs assistant (2018 and 2019) who OC’d for Kentucky last year.”

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