A former quarterback at San Diego State and third round pick of the New England Patriots in 2008, O’Connell has worked his way up from a QBs coach with the Cleveland Browns in 2015 to being head coach of the Vikings in short order.
O’Connell spent one season with the Browns, one season with the 49ers, and three seasons with Washington prior to joining Sean McVay’s staff as the offensive coordinator in 2020. With Matthew Stafford as the quarterback in 2021, O’Connell star really began to rise, as Stafford threw 41 touchdown passes, Cooper Kupp won Offensive Player of the Year, and the Rams became Super Bowl champions with a 23-20 victory over the Bengals.
He will now reunited with Kirk Cousins, his former starting quarterback when he was QBs coach for two years and OC for one year with Washington. It’s not 100-percent certain though that Cousins will be the starter in Minnesota for the entire year, with some suggesting a trade and a rebuild in order for the Vikings.
O’Connell joins new GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah in Minnesota.
O’Connell is the third offensive coach who worked for McVay to become a head coach, joining Matt LaFleur of the Packers and Zac Taylor of the Bengals. Former pass coordinator Shane Waldron is the offensive coordinator of the Seahawks. O’Connell is expected to hire Rams tight ends coach Wes Phillips as his offensive coordinator, leaving one less option for McVay.
McVay could have blocked that by promoting Phillips, but he may have his eye on someone else.