The Los Angeles Rams came into the 2019 season with high expectations after going to the Super Bowl a year ago. Unfortunately, the organization took a collective step back as they finished 9-7 and missed the postseason for the first time in the Sean McVay era.
McVay has decided to make some wholesale changes to his coaching staff as defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, special teams coordinator John Fassel and running backs coach Skip Peete will all not be returning to the team in 2020.
The new coaching staff will be much younger as McVay has wasted no time finding a replacement for Phillips, reportedly hiring 37-year-old Denver Broncos outside linebackers coach Brandon Staley.
It appears McVay is not done making additions as Ian Rapoport of NFL Network is reporting that he has also hired 34-year-old Kevin O’Connell to be his offensive coordinator:
Kevin O’Connell has been out in LA interviewing with Sean McVay, who was stretched thin last year. As part of his quest to rectify it, he’s hiring the respected O’Connell. https://t.co/9Bwav4F9xh
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 11, 2020
McVay and McConnell know each other because they both worked on the Washington Redskins staff under Jay Gruden at different times. McConnell has experience as a quarterbacks coach, passing game coordinator and offensive coordinator in Washington. He was previously an NFL quarterback for five seasons and an offensive assistant with the Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers.
McVay has not had an offensive coordinator the last two seasons after Matt LaFleur left. That did not seem to matter when the Rams ranked second in both yards per game and points per game en route to the Super Bowl in 2018, but this season those numbers dropped to seventh and 11th, respectively, so it is nice to see McVay bringing in another bright offensive mind.
It is unlikely that McVay gives up playcalling duties to O’Connell, but having two smart minds being able to collaborate should only do wonders for Jared Goff and the Rams offense.
More changing will likely be made to the Rams’ coaching staff in the near future now that McVay has his coordinators in place.