LA Rams: Kevin O’Connell smoothing Matthew Stafford’s transition

There is a bit of a question mark over the role of LA Rams’ offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell, particularly due to the fact that one of his primary responsibilities upon his hiring was to work closely with former quarterback Jared Goff.  How did that turn out in the end?  Well, it ultimately led to a frustrated head coach Sean McVay insisting upon competition for the position before trading Goff and three draft picks to the Detroit Lions for veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford.

So what is the new list of duties?

Well, clearly working with Goff either did not help, or it accelerated the decision that Jared Goff was not the right quarterback for the very complex decision tree that overlays the LA Rams offense after each snap of the football.   And it’s an offense that will be just as complex to learn for each NFL quarterback who plans to have a football hiked to him.  Right now, that quarterback is Matthew Stafford.

Interpreter

Think of Kevin O’Connell as an interpreter. He is the guy who translates the Rams offensive playbook install to the offense. He has the responsibility to free up head coach Sean McVay from the detailed offensive work to handle the overall head-coach work.

“At the end of the day, it’s just being an extension of him. It takes a lot to do that,” O’Connell said when he was officially introduced earlier this month. “The experience and the success that this offense has had, you really want the players to look at you as an extension of the head coach.” – per Stu Jackson from therams.com team website

Right now, there is plenty of work for everyone on the staff. With a new quarterback, there is the entire renovation work to the playbook to incorporate his strengths for veterans. With the Rams’ new quarterback, there is a host of formations and plays that have been developed for the existing roster that Stafford must now learn by heart.

There will be plenty of time to train everyone on the new plays. Right now, the key is to open the dialogue, clarify objectives, and layout the timetable for landmarks. So far, the LA Rams have done that.  Offensive players are as excited to unleash this offense as defensive players were to unleash their defensive schemes in 2020. Let’s see how it unfolds.