October 2, 2022

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Minnesota Vikings introduce new coach Kevin O'Connell on Thursday

Minnesota Vikings introduce new coach Kevin O’Connell on Thursday

The Vikings plan to introduce Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell as their new head coach on Thursday, league sources told ESPN’s Adam Shifter.

The Vikings weren’t allowed to advertise that they were hiring O’Connell while the Rams was still playing in the post-season, but they could do so anytime now that the Los Angeles season is complete, culminating in a Super Bowl LVI win.

Rams holds team meetings and exit interviews on Tuesday and will hold a victory parade in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

O’Connell, 36, was one of four nominees to receive a second interview with the Vikings, along with Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, then-Giants defense coordinator Patrick Graham and Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh.

O’Connell is expected to take Rams coach and passing game coordinator Wes Phillips with him to Minnesota as the offensive or passing game coordinator, league sources told Shifter.

O’Connell becomes the second coordinator in two years on the Sean McVay crew to get a head coach job, joining former Rams defense coordinator Brandon Staley, hired by the Chargers last year.

Sources told ESPN that the Vikings also had their own defensive coordinator for O’Connell staff, to finalize a deal with Ed Donatell last week.

O’Connell replaces Mike Zimmer, who was sacked last month after eight seasons. The Vikings finished with a record 8-9 and missed the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

O’Connell finished his second season as the Rams offensive coordinator since joining the franchise in 2020. Prior to that, he was with Washington for three seasons, as offensive coordinator in 2019, passing as game coordinator in 2018 and quarterback coach in 2017.

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He was the NFL quarterback, taken by the Patriots in the third round of the 2008 draft and also spent time with the Lions, Jets, Dolphins and Chargers in five seasons until 2012.