LA Rams OC Kevin O’Connell likely next Vikings HC
The LA Rams have been the incubation chamber for a host of head coaches since head coach Sean McVay was hired in 2017. Of course, expect business to pick up considerably now that the team’s Super Bowl LVI opponent is none other than the Cincinnati Bengals. Why? Well their head coach, Zac Taylor, is one of the head coaches in the NFL who was hired off McVay’s staff. And he has the Bengals competing in Super Bowl LVI, just three seasons after taking over with the Bengals.
Taylor is not the only coach to show up huge after departing the LA Rams coaching staff. There is Matt LeFleur, head coach for the Green Bay Packers. There is Brandon Staley, head coach for the Los Angeles Chargers. Now? It appears that another member of the LA Rams coaching staff is a front runner to take over as the head coach for the Minnesota Vikings.
The Minnesota Vikings interviewed Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh but concluded that dialogue on February 2nd with no offer forthcoming. In the aftermath, O’Connell was quickly named as the current front-runner.
Business will pick up after SB LVI
Of course, the Vikings cannot make a formal offer until after the Rams play in Super Bowl LVI. But that does not prevent the team and O’Connell’s agent from hammering out a deal that both sides agree to before that occurs. Per NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero, and repeated by The Athletic’s Minnesota Vikings correspondent Chad Graff, the Vikings and O’Connell have neared that agreement.
It should come as no surprise that Kevin O’Connell is likely to depart. His name has come up early and often as teams have created shortlists of candidates they wish to interview. While he has been the name already linked to hiring on in a new role, he will likely not be the only one.
A month ago, we compiled a list of LA Rams five coaches who were rumored to be persons of interest or directly linked to new roles after the season ends. O’Connell is just one of the five, and now that seems all over but the shouting. Ironically, one of the finalists that O’Connell has gotten the nod over is fellow Rams coordinator Raheem Morris.
Look for more defections after Super Bowl LVI. Not only will coaches be pried away for significant coaching roles, but all 32 NFL teams will be seeking to reload their coaching roles with new faces to fill holes and bolster 2022 production. That could mean another wave of outbound coaches to come.
Of course, with the number of promotions from the Rams coaching staff to other NFL positions, the Rams should be front runners as they, in turn, seek to fill their own coaching needs.