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Rams finalizing deal to make Kevin O’Connell the new OC

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  • Rams finalizing deal to make Kevin O’Connell the new OC

    Per Adam Schefter...

    “Rams are finalizing a deal to make former Redskins offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell their offensive coordinator, per source. O’Connell succeeded McVay as OC in Washington, now will work with him in LA.”

  • #2
    I do not know anything about him, but I am happy that we are getting a dedicated OC!


    • #3
      4 things to know about new Rams OC Kevin O'Connell
      Cameron DaSilva
      5 hours ago

      For the first time since 2017, Sean McVay will have an offensive coordinator. The Rams are hiring Kevin O’Connell to take over that role next season, effectively replacing co-coordinators Shane Waldron and Aaron Kromer.

      This is a major change for McVay and the staff, though it’s likely one that doesn’t come with the head coach giving up playcalling duties.

      O’Connell, 34, was most recently the Redskins’ offensive coordinator, and has been a coach in the NFL since 2015. Here are four things to know about him as he joins the Rams.

      He joined Redskins when McVay left
      O’Connell was hired by Jay Gruden and the Redskins in 2017 to take over as their quarterbacks coach. That same offseason, McVay left to become head coach of the Rams, so they never worked on the same staff.

      O’Connell worked his way up the ranks fairly quickly, though. He became the pass game coordinator in 2018 and was promoted to offensive coordinator this past season. During his time in Washington, he worked with quarterbacks such as Kirk Cousins, Alex Smith, Colt McCoy, Case Keenum and Dwayne Haskins.

      He is a former third-round pick at QB
      O’Connell is a former quarterback, himself. He came into the NFL as a third-round pick by the Patriots in 2008, which at the time was the earliest the Patriots had drafted a quarterback since Tom Brady took over.

      O’Connell only played two games in his career, never making a single start. He bounced around the league for a few years, but his only game action came in 2008 with New England. He completed 4 of 6 passes for 23 yards and one first down.

      Coincidentally, he’s the second former Patriots draftee to join the Rams’ staff, along with Zac Robinson last year.

      He doesn’t have much playcalling experience
      O’Connell only took over as the offensive play caller after Gruden was fired by the Redskins after five games last season. Under interim head coach Bill Callahan, the Redskins would become a more run-heavy offense, which jived with O’Connell’s style.

      Here’s some background on O’Connell, via The Athletic.

      O’Connell believes in establishing the running game and being a run-first offense. He and Callahan see eye to eye on that particular aspect. What’s different is O’Connell’s belief in using a quick game, with play-action passes and passing more on first down, to get his quarterbacks comfortable and into a rhythm.
      The Redskins went 3-8 in their final 11 games with O’Connell as the play caller, with the offense not improving until after their Week 10 bye. Haskins did his best work with O’Connell at the controls, which is encouraging.

      Has primarily worked with QBs at NFL level
      O’Connell’s coaching background goes back to the position he played in college: quarterback. He got his start with the Browns in 2015 as their quarterbacks coach, working with the likes of Johnny Manziel and Josh McCown. He then became an offensive assistant with the ***** in 2016 before joining the Redskins in 2017 as their quarterbacks coach.

      The ***** offense ranked 27th in points scored in 2016, but that was hardly due to poor quarterback play. Colin Kaepernick threw 16 touchdown passes and only four interceptions that year, going 1-10 as a starter.

      O’Connell clearly knows a lot about the quarterback position, having been around it his entire career. Hopefully that will help get Jared Goff back to the way he played in 2018.


      • #4
        Josh McDaniels' preferred offensive coordinator, Kevin O'Connell, takes a different job
        Jacob Camenker
        NBC Sports Boston
        Jan 10, 2020, 10:14 PM

        On Friday night, the Los Angeles Rams made the move to hire Kevin O'Connell as their next offensive coordinator. O'Connell spent the 2019 season as the Washington Redskins offensive coordinator and will now work under Sean McVay.

        O'Connell, 38, was a former New England Patriots third-round draft pick in 2008 but spent just one season as a backup quarterback with the team before bouncing around the NFL.

        And while O'Connell was only with the Patriot short-term, his hire on Friday actually may actually be of some significance for the team.

        As the MMQB's Albert Breer detailed on NBC Sports Boston's "Boston Sports Tonight", O'Connell was going to be McDaniels' offensive coordinator if he got the Browns or Panthers job. So could O'Connell taking another job signal that McDaniels isn't the favorite in Cleveland?

        And so my guess, and I don't know this, but my guess is that if Kevin O'Connell had an offer on the table from the Rams -- and let's remember, that's also going to be a non-play-calling job -- if he had an offer on the table from the Rams, chance are he checked in with Josh first.

        And at the very least, it seems likely that Josh didn't walk away from the meeting today with the job. Now what I can say, there were good feelings coming out of the meeting. I also think Kevin Stefanski, the Vikings offensive coordinator, is still in this. I would also say that the ***** defensive coordinator, Robert Saleh, is a dark horse here.

        Essentially, it's impossible to know if O'Connell's hire means anything about McDaniels at the moment. As Breer said, he probably checked in with McDaniels before taking the job. And McDaniels did meet with the Browns for seven hours on Friday and him joining the Browns may be one of the two "likely results" for this hiring situation.

        But if McDaniels doesn't know definitively whether he has the job or not, O'Connell would probably have trouble turning down a coordinator spot with the Rams.

        The McDaniels situation will likely have a resolution at some point in the coming days. The only way it could extend further is if the Browns favor either Stefanski or Saleh and the team of their favored coach advances in the playoffs.

        But if that happens, the answer on the Browns coaching search will likely become clearer. And the longer there is no news about the hire, the better it will be for the Patriots' chances of keeping McDaniels.


        • #5
          The Rapid Rise Of Kevin O'Connell
          By Kyle Stackpole & Jake Kring-Schreifels
          Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019 01:42 PM

          Just two years ago, the Redskins lost their young offensive coordinator in Sean McVay to the Los Angeles Rams. He’s gone on to excel as a head coach, taking the team to a Super Bowl in his second season.

          Now, the Redskins have another young assistant looking to leave his mark and show similar promise. In February, they promoted quarterbacks coach Kevin O’Connell to offensive coordinator, shifting Matt Cavanaugh into a senior offensive assistant role.

          The 34-year-old O’Connell has continued to climb through the coaching ranks since he joined Washington, moving from quarterbacks coach to passing game coordinator last year. Now he’ll have a chance to run the entire offense with a plethora of dynamic weapons.

          “Being a coordinator in my opinion, it’s about putting the people, your personnel, in situations where they can be successful,” he said. “Ninety percent of that in my opinion is the quarterback, and if the quarterback has success, the other ten guys around him if they’re doing their job will feel that success as well.”

          Due to the variety of season-ending injuries last year, O’Connell received a very unique assignment in 2018. After losing starter Alex Smith and reliable backup man Colt McCoy for the season, the Redskins turned to O’Connell’s former Jets teammate Mark Sanchez and then journeyman Josh Johnson in an emergency late-season situation.

          Sanchez weathered the storm but in his second game was replaced by Johnson, who led the Redskins to a crucial 16-13 win in Week 16 against Jacksonville that kept the team’s playoff hopes alive. O’Connell showed he was able to adjust his system and provide a game plan to any quarterback that was under center come Sunday.

          “One of the things that I enjoyed about Alex [Smith], and really Colt [McCoy], was when we came out of Richmond with those two in the room, you really felt like Colt knew how we would play the game without Alex, and could step into that role and play that role,” O’Connell said. “Every coaching point Alex got, Colt got. We felt like we could maintain that, but you lose Colt and you’ve got two guys coming in that have not been a part of the organization.”

          O’Connell entered the NFL after being selected by the Patriots with their third-round selection in 2008, and he credits his relationship with Patriots offensive mind Josh McDaniels to developing his knowledge of the game.

          “I’m still very close to Josh McDaniels, who was obviously a huge reason why I got drafted there,” O’Connell said. “He was the quarterbacks coach and coordinator at the time, obviously Tom Brady being there, being around him for a year and a half, almost two years -- it’s not by accident the players that go through there try to emulate what he does.

          "He takes a lot of the reps, and it requires you to do a lot of learning in the classroom, and it requires you to learn an offense where one guys been doing it now, and I mean this was 2008, but you start talking about one guy running an offense for 20 years, I can remember in college running an offense for two or three years and you feel like you have it mastered, so you can only imagine where they have gotten to, and the volume they are able to carry.”

          O’Connell has spent nearly his entire NFL coaching career grooming quarterbacks, starting as the Cleveland Browns’ quarterbacks coach in 2015, continuing as an offensive assistant for the San Francisco ***** and most recently serving as the quarterbacks coach in Washington the past two seasons. And before breaking into the coaching ranks, he was one of those signal callers, playing for six different NFL franchises from 2008 to 2012.

          These roles included a specific set of responsibilities, such as honing in on the fundamentals of the position and recognizing various blitzes and coverages. Cycling through passing progressions and making the correct reads were also of the utmost importance.

          As the offensive coordinator, O’Connell will now have “more freedom to do more X’s and O’s and more game planning,” head coach Jay Gruden said. For the first time in his career, O’Connell will analyze the offense with a much broader perspective.

          “During the week, instead of putting tape together for Case Keenum and Colt McCoy as far as what to see on first and second down, he’s looking at how to put in the plays for third down and schematically, the best ways to attack the defense,” Gruden said.

          “It’ll be great. He’s very, very bright, knows what we’re looking for, the types of defenses we see week in and week out and the plays that we like that we think fit for the style of defense that we see -- protection wise, how to pick up certain blitzes -- so I think it’ll be a big-time help.”

          O’Connell liked what he saw throughout the offseason workout program, which began in the meeting room during Phase 1 in mid-April and transitioned to the practice field for Phase 2 two weeks later. Then came OTAs, then minicamp. Each session provided further insight into the offense he’ll be tasked with running this season.

          Among the wide receivers, O’Connell witnessed the potential of a fully healthy Trey Quinn in the slot, the promise of rookies Terry McLaurin and Kelvin Harmon and the abilities of veterans Paul Richardson and Josh Doctson and second-year wideout Cam Sims on the outside. There are several capable options at running back, too, which was evident during minicamp in early June. And that’s not even including 2018 second-round pick Derrius Guice, who is expected to be back to 100 percent during training camp.

          As for the quarterbacks, O’Connell still worked closely with the group throughout the offseason and said they’ve done “a heck of a job the whole spring.”

          “This is really where the learning curve goes a thousand miles a minute, because we can talk protection now, we can talk situational football,” O’Connell said during offseason workouts in June. “In two-minute there were five things that came up in those two-minute drives where we had to go back and talk about, you know, you can’t run with no timeouts in the red zone. Late in the two-minute drive you can’t do things that they know, but they’re so focused on plays, so focused on progressions and flipper calls and protections that they forget about playing football sometimes.

          "So, we’ve got to circle back and make sure we hit all those. The spring is a great time for teaching, but also there’s an end game in mind in getting all these guys to compete for the job come training camp.”

          One of those quarterbacks is first-round draft pick Dwayne Haskins. His skillset throwing the football is obvious, O’Connell said, and he rarely makes the same mistake twice. O’Connell also noticed that Haskins attacks every workout with a sense of urgency and efficiency rarely seen among rookie signal-callers.

          “I’ve been really impressed with his ability to go through [quarterbacks] coach [Tim] Rattay’s individual drills and really not waste any time out there, knowing that every moment matters for him,” O’Connell said. “Sometimes rookies can swim a little bit with all the information we’re throwing at him and want a little bit of a deep breath and say, ‘Hold on, let me get ready for this next period.’ But he hasn’t been like that at all. It’s just, ‘What do you got for me next, let’s go.’”

          The competition between Haskins and offseason signee Case Keenum is set to intensify during training camp, and joining them will be McCoy, who by then will be fully recovered from the leg injury that ended his 2018 campaign in December. As the only signal-caller with experience playing in Washington’s system, McCoy will add another dimension to the most highly anticipated position battle in Richmond, Va. It’s one that will shape the offense and determine the team’s level of overall success.

          O’Connell will be in charge of facilitating this unit, and regardless of who winds up under center, he already has an idea of what he wants the Redskins’ attack to look like in 2019.

          “I think going back through the years of Coach Gruden’s offense here, when those skill sets have been there, you guys can probably remember some of those explosive plays really started to show up, which I know me, personally, would really like to get back to.”


          • #6
            I really like this move. Seems like he'll be an excellent fit for what the Rams need alongside McVay. While O'Connell might not be calling the plays, I think he will heavily influence the game planning ahead of time and be a voice McVay will listen to in critical situations and if the offense gets off track mid game.


            • #7
              An endless cycle.

              Just looks like another guy that will leave after a year or two of success due to HC offers.


              • #8
                Based on what I've read it's hard for me to do anything but take a "wait and see" approach. There is nothing here that tells me we've landed the next special coordinator. Need to nonetheless put trust in the organization for making the right hire. Let's hope so.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
                  Based on what I've read it's hard for me to do anything but take a "wait and see" approach. There is nothing here that tells me we've landed the next special coordinator. Need to nonetheless put trust in the organization for making the right hire. Let's hope so.
                  This hire was never going to someone intended to be the "next special coordinator". The Rams don't need that, they have McVay.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RamFan_Til_I_Die View Post
                    I really like this move. Seems like he'll be an excellent fit for what the Rams need alongside McVay. While O'Connell might not be calling the plays, I think he will heavily influence the game planning ahead of time and be a voice McVay will listen to in critical situations and if the offense gets off track mid game.

                    Hopefully Coach McVay will help O'Connell help him play-calling wise.

                    M U S T unfold, develop the Rams potential at offense!


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RamFan_Til_I_Die View Post
                      This hire was never going to someone intended to be the "next special coordinator". The Rams don't need that, they have McVay.
                      I tend to agree. It would seem to me this hire is all about giving McVay someone to bounce ideas off of, help with gameplanning and scheming, and potentially to assist Goff since his background is more in the QB realm. The driver of this offense will always be McVay, so trying to find another offensive wunderkind isn't the goal. Though it's possible O'Connell does enough in the role to pull a LaFleur and gets a better job out of it in a couple of years. But that's the nature of all good teams and their coaching staffs.


                      • #12
                        Correct me if I am wrong but didn't the Redskins fire their HC? And the usual way someone is shown the door is because is because their team under performs? I watched the Redskins this past season and their entire offensive scheme at best could only be described as a total dumpster fire

                        Look its pretty darn simple when it comes to success and failure when it comes to offense. You either script your offense to what you "wish" they could do or what they "can" do...if you want a clear picture the former best describes the entire 2019 Redskin offense-- all of it wishful thinking

                        Lets take a look at the Redskins, Cowboys, Eagles and Giants... was there any team in that division even worth taking seriously as a problem team going into the playoffs--no everyone with the slightest bit of football understanding whoever represented that division was nothing more then a doormat. So look deeper within that joke of a division and see just how well the Redskins played against their division opponents... they totally and completely suxed and that is putting it kindly

                        An OC has to be able to identify what an opposing defense can do, find its flaws and weaknesses and put their offense in favorable matchups to exploit …. and just where in the course of the 2019 season where really the Redskins in doing just that? This hire is totally based on the notion GRUDEN circus and nothing the other coaches did could get some glimmer of hope


                        • #13
                          That was my point- that O'Connell presided over a team that was 3-8 during his time as a play caller and he's presided over the likes of the immortal Colt McCoy, Johnny Manziel and Josh McCown among others. Kirk Cousins remains an enigma. Case Keenum is what he is. Dwayne Haskins has shown us nothing so far. Not exactly a reason for a fan who knows nothing else about the guy to be brimming with confidence that he'll be the salve Goff needs.

                          I am all for McVay hiring a 2nd set of eyes and appreciate that O'Connell will not be the primary play caller. I just hope that this guy brings something to the table that belies his past track record. Right now, he's just another young guy who hasn't done anything.


                          • #14
                            A coordinator can only be as good as the talent he’s given. In the case of O’Connell he’s not got much to work with on the Redskins. We could have had this same debate 3 years ago concerning McVay. Time will tell as has been said but judging him now seems ridiculous.


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                              So who do you hope for as our OC?
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