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Head Coach Spot Filled: Minnesota Vikings Hire Kevin O'Connell

(Image credit Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Written by: Nicholas Mullick

The Minnesota Vikings had undergone a tremendous amount of change letting go of GM Rick Spellman and Head Coach Mike Zimmer. One of the many questions that they had is who will replace both of them. Well, we found out who the Vikings GM is after they hired Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. Today it was confirmed that the Minnesota Vikings' new head coach will be Kevin O’Connell. To be honest this was known for many weeks but I decided to hold off on releasing this article until it was officially announced by the Minnesota Vikings as the NFL is a business and things could change at any moment. But it has now been official that Kevin O’Connell is the head coach.

Kevin O’Connell made his mark in the NFL as a player drafted by the New England Patriots in the 3rd round 94th overall. O’Connell also played with the Detroit Lions, New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, San Diego Chargers. His playing career came to an end mainly due to constant injuries.

Once his playing career ended Kevin O’Connell decided to become a coach in the NFL. He started by being the QB coach of the Cleveland Browns during the 2015 season. In the 2016 season, he worked with the San Francisco 49ers as a special projects offensive staff member. O’Connell then was hired in 2017 as the quarterback coach of the Washington Redskins. In 2018 O’Connell got promoted as the passing game coordinator for the Redskins.Once again O’Connell got promoted as the offensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins in 2019. Next, he would work with Sean McVay with the Los Angeles Rams from 2020-2021 and was a part of the Rams offense that won Super Bowl 56. So in total, he has 7 years of experience coaching in the sport of football.

Now many people are calling this the cliche ohh he is a disciple from a good head coach. Hiring one from the Belichick tree, what makes you think McVay will be any different. Well, easily the problem with the Belichick disciples is excluding Brian Flores (I still can’t believe the Dolphins fired him) they try to copy everything about Belichick. Plus we don’t fully know how disciples from McVay will do. Excluding Zac Taylor and maybe Matt LaFleur there really isn't that much experience to fully determine how a tree will be. Plus I am not going to call O’Connell a McVay disciple as he only worked with him for two seasons.

I really like this hire as he is a young offensive-minded coach that the Vikings had to hire. Especially as the Vikings needed a change with their offensive scheme as Mike Zimmer failed to adapt to the new NFL. It has to change and I feel O’Connell could change it up. The question I ask is will Kevin O’Connell transitioning this offense result in the Vikings blowing it up in the offseason? It will be a battle for another season of contracts, especially if Kirk Cousins wants to keep his 100% fully guaranteed contract. I wonder if the Vikings are going to test and see who fits or doesn’t. If the season goes bad then the Minnesota Vikings will completely blow it up for next season. I think the defense for the Minnesota Vikings should absolutely be blown up for next season.

Now there are a few concerns that I have with Kevin O’Connell. One clear thing was how bad the offense for Washington was when he was the offensive coordinator for the team. In fact, I remembered at one point the offense was ranked last in both total offense and in scoring offense. Now keep in mind he worked with Colt McCoy, Case Keenum, and Dwayne Haskins. But excluding last season O’Connell was not able to improve and fix Jared Goff and the Rams got lucky that the Lions were looking to rebuild and trade Stafford. The point is he really only had one season of coaching where the team was completely successful and the team improved.

Overall though I like this move by the Vikings. I want to say congratulations to Mr. O’Connell for acquiring the position as the head coach for the Minnesota Vikings. Hopefully, he proves me wrong with my concerns about him and brings success to the Minnesota Vikings organization. I wish him luck during his tenure as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings.



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