The Denver Broncos have cast a wide net in search of their next head coach interviewing 10 candidates around the league. One is Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell. Will he be the one to stop the revolving door?
Kevin O’Connell took the offensive coordinator role for the Los Angeles Rams in 2020. He started his coaching career in 2015 as the quarterbacks coach for the Cleveland Browns after spending six years as a quarterback himself.
In Los Angeles, O’Connell doesn’t call plays, but he is heavily involved in the weekly offensive game planning and works extensively with the quarterback group.
When Brandon Staley left the Rams and took the head coaching job for the Chargers, he tried to take O’Connell to be his offensive coordinator until Sean McVay blocked the interview, so it’s clear that McVay holds him in relatively high regard and speaks highly of him any time when he is asked.
What is interesting about McVay blocking the Chargers from interviewing Kevin O’Connell is after the 2017 season McVay let then offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur take the same job in a lateral move to the Tennessee Titans, wanting to “help him grow.” His not doing the same for O’Connell leads me to believe McVay really doesn’t want to lose him.
With the Broncos’ future at the quarterback position being a big question mark, O’Connell is my preferred choice for head coach if they were to draft one in the upcoming draft or next years’.
Being a former quarterback in the league helps tremendously when being a play-caller. Seeing an offense through the perspective of your quarterback makes it much easier to simplify things for them and help them compartmentalize the offense.
There are a number of former quarterbacks turned head coaches that were successful on offense. Frank Reich, Doug Pederson, Jim Harbaugh, Gary Kubiak, Tom Flores, etc.
If O’Connell was to take the reigns, the offensive scheme we would see would be the same that McVay runs now.
The Rams’ core identity is a wide zone offense with play-action concepts built off of those zone plays. More specifically, Sean McVay is one of the best coaches in the NFL now at identifying the defensive front and knowing how to attack it with play-action or zone runs. That is something that the Broncos hope rubbed off on O’Connell.
Another thing they hope rubbed off on O’Connell is Sean McVay’s infectious personality and ability to connect to his players. General manager George Paton was previously quoted looking for leadership first in the coaching candidates.
O’Connell’s leadership qualities are a bit unknown, but former players and Sean McVay rave about him.
If the Denver Broncos wind up hiring odds-on favorite Dan Quinn as the team's new head coach, who will they hire as offensive coordinator?
Kevin O’Connell is an interesting candidate and may be a dark horse for the Broncos.