Kevin O'Connell, who served as Washington's offensive coordinator a year ago, was one of the many members of the Redskins staff in 2019 that was not retained under the new regime of Ron Rivera.
Rivera considered keeping the 34-year-old as his offensive coordinator but ultimately hired former Panthers' OC Scott Turner to fill the position. Days later, O'Connell was hired by the Los Angeles Rams and Sean McVay, who served as the Burgundy and Gold's offensive coordinator prior to being hired as the Rams head coach in 2017.
On Wednesday, the Rams formally introduced O'Connell, along with three other staff hires. McVay, who did not hire an offensive coordinator the past two seasons, spoke glowingly of O'Connell.
"I’ve always watched him from afar," McVay said. "I’m a fan of coaching, I’ve been really impressed with from when he was a player and the seamless transition that he’s made into coaching – his mastery of the position. Just the charisma, the presence, all those things were things that excited you about getting an opportunity to work together."
Although the two never crossed paths in Washington (O'Connell joined the Redskins staff just days after McVay left for LA), the two have known each other for quite some time. McVay said that once they met, they immediately clicked, and have a lot of "similar connections."
McVay raved about O'Connell's ability to communicate with his players, and believes the addition of the offensive coordinator will be an enormous help for quarterback Jared Goff.
"His ability to communicate, his big picture, I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for [QB] Jared [Goff] to work with someone like him, because of some of the things that he’s done, that maybe I haven’t gotten exposed to," McVay said.
Despite the Redskins' offensive struggles a season ago, the 34-year-old was strongly considered for the same role under Rivera. O'Connell was given full play-calling reigns following the departure of Jay Gruden in Week 5, and showed growth in the role throughout the season.
Many believed he would have the chance to remain in Washington and grow as a coordinator alongside young quarterback Dwayne Haskins. Now, O'Connell will be tasked with getting Goff to return to his 2018 form, when he led the Rams to the Super Bowl.
McVay is considered one of the young, bright offensive minds in the sport. His immediate success as a young head coach sparked a trend in the NFL, paving the way for guys like Matt LaFleur, Zac Taylor, Kliff Kingsbury and Joe Judge to all earn head coaching jobs before their 40th birthday.
Despite the great reputation McVay has in the sport, he expressed his desire to learn from O'Connell.
"I’m really excited about learning from him, working together and us positively pushing each other, to ultimately figure out what’s the best version of the 2020 Rams offense and how does that look as we continue to try to put that together with our players in mind," McVay said.
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