Coaching Notes: O’Connell, Rams, Flaherty, Giants

We heard last month that new Chargers coach Brandon Staley was interested in bringing OC Kevin O’Connell with him from the Rams, but that Sean McVay had blocked the lateral move. McVay confirmed that news when speaking to the media earlier this week, and indicated that he’s putting more on O’Connell’s plate to keep him happy. McVay said his top offensive deputy will have more responsibility this upcoming season, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic tweets.

The Rams head coach stressed how important it was for the team to retain O’Connell in the face of the Chargers’ advances. It doesn’t sound like he has any intention of giving up play-calling duties anytime soon, but at least O’Connell will be more involved in the operation. McVay let his old OC Matt LaFleur leave to go to the Titans for a lateral move since it came with play-calling responsibilities, but he wasn’t as keen to see O’Connell walk out the door. O’Connell, still only 35, was Washington’s OC in 2019 before getting bounced with the rest of Jay Gruden’s staff and then getting picked up by McVay.

  • O’Connell isn’t the only one getting additional responsibilities on the Rams staff. Running backs coach Thomas Brown has now been given the title of assistant head coach, tight ends coach Wes Phillips has been named passing game coordinator, and defensive line coach Eric Henderson has been promoted to run game coordinator, the team announced. Knowing the history of McVay’s staffs, each of these guys will probably be head coaches by 2022. All jokes aside, Phillips is the son of former Cowboys head coach and Rams DC Wade Phillips, so it’s interesting to see him rising up through the ranks if nothing else.
  • The Giants are bringing a familiar face back into the fold. Former New York offensive line coach Pat Flaherty will return to the team in an advisory role, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com tweets. It’s notable because Flaherty was such a staple of those Eli Manning era Giants teams, serving as their offensive line coach for all 12 of Tom Coughlin’s seasons as head coach from 2004-15. As such, Flaherty won two Super Bowls with the team. The Giants had a lot of drama in their offensive line room last year, and are probably hoping the seasoned vet Flaherty can be a stabilizing presence. He was the Dolphins’ offensive line coach in 2019.
  • In case you missed it, the Eagles did in fact request an interview with Eric Bieniemy for their HC vacancy, putting to rest a mini-controversy.
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3 comments on “Coaching Notes: O’Connell, Rams, Flaherty, Giants

  1. bradthebluefish

    I doubt Brandon Stanley, a DC coach, would want to call plays on offense. Meaning that Sean McVay declined letting Kevin O’Connell be a play called. Not cool.

    • amk1920

      Please, McVay is sick of the NFL treating his staff like a coaching farm. If it’s a promotion no problem but no lateral moves at this time.

  2. bigeasye

    Meanwhile McVay announced that Water Person Bobby Boucher will be promoted to Lead Hydration coordinator and has blocked a lateral move to the University of Louisiana even though he would have had water pouring and cup sorting responsibilities.

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