The Los Angeles Rams are hoping to shake things up after a sub-par 2019 campaign. After letting a number of coaches go, the Rams have brought in a new crop of coordinators, many of which are young and untested.
One of those young coaches is offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell. He has bounced around the league as an assistant and quarterbacks coach but got his start in the NFL as a player.
After spending four years at San Diego State, O’Connell was selected in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He only would play two games with them, or with any team, before going from team to team as a third-string signal-caller. Despite not having much success on the field, O’Connell did his best to apply himself off the field.
According to Stu Jackson of TheRams.com, O’Connell was okay playing behind others as it helped him prepare to be a coach:
“Towards the end of my playing career, I really had to kind of embrace that supportive third quarterback role,” O’Connell told theRams.com, recalling the story more than eight years later. “I did a lot of things to help the defense, I did some quality control work in that setting, just because I loved it.”
Because of what O’Connell described as confusion on some offensive sets during his time in college, he began to keep notebooks containing information on all things football. Through his professional career and short coaching career, he has kept up that habit.
With plenty of information from a number of teams, O’Connell should be able to bring some valuable insight to the Rams this season.
O’Connell began his coaching career as a quarterbacks coach with the Cleveland Browns in 2015. The following year, he became an assistant for the San Francisco 49ers before settling in with the Washington Redskins the last three seasons. He moved up the ranks on the Redskins’ staff, starting as a quarterbacks coach, then an assistant and eventually becoming their offensive coordinator last season.
While Washington was one of the worst teams with one of the worst offenses in 2019, Rams head coach Sean McVay must have seen something he liked. McVay has played a very direct role in selecting his coaches this offseason after letting go of veteran coaches like Wade Phillips.
Although the Rams’ coaching staff is very young, hopefully the youth movement can lead to some renewed vigor from both sides of the ball.