Vikings Hire Kevin O’Connell

It’s officially official. On Wednesday, the Vikings officially announced the hiring of Kevin O’Connell as their new head coach. 

We are ecstatic to add Kevin as our head coach,” said Vikings owner Mark Wilf. “He is a strong leader, an innovative coach and an excellent communicator. Kevin played the game at all levels, which gives him a unique connection to players, and he is highly respected throughout the league. Vikings fans should be excited for the future of this team under Kevin’s direction.”

The Vikings shook hands with O’Connell two weeks ago, though they had to wait as his Rams went on to win the Super Bowl. As LA’s OC, O’Connell guided the unit to place No. 9 in total offense (372.1 yards/game). Meanwhile, his veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Cooper Kupp both enjoyed career years. Even when Odell Beckham Jr. was taken out of the championship game, the Rams’ offense still had enough juice to top a tough Bengals team and win it all — that’s a testament to the team’s remarkable depth, as well as O’Connell’s coaching.

O’Connell will be the Vikings’ first offensive-minded head coach since Brad Childress.The past two HCs — Mike Zimmer and Leslie Frazier — were known for their defense but did not deliver the desired results in Minnesota.

Although O’Connell is respected all around the NFL, he’s only been a play-caller for a three-month stretch, doing so after Washington fired Jay Gruden early in the 2019 season. Sean McVay kept the laminates in Los Angeles, but he’s always been a huge advocate of O’Connell, encouraging other clubs to consider him for head coaching jobs. That surely helped his case in Minnesota, though the Vikings didn’t need much convincing.

As I spent time with Kevin during the interview process, it became immediately clear he will be a great partner in building this football team for long-term success,” said new Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. “He understands what is critical to leading a team that wins at the highest level, and he has an ability to simplify the complex, which will help us in problem-solving in all football areas. He is a genuinely positive person who will help create a high-energy internal environment.”

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