The Sean McVay coaching tree could take root in Denver.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Monday that the Broncos have requested an interview with Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell regarding its head-coaching vacancy. O'Connell is among eight reported candidates under consideration to replace Vic Fangio, who was fired Sunday.
A former journeyman NFL quarterback, O'Connell transitioned to coaching in 2015, when he became the Cleveland Browns' QBs coach. He spent time in San Francisco ("special projects") and Washington (OC, QBs coach, passing game coordinator) before landing in Los Angeles in 2020 to work alongside McVay.
Despite his title, the 36-year-old does not call plays for the Rams — that's McVay's responsibility — but he does take an active hand in game-planning and is credited with helping to develop the team's signal-callers, including starter Matthew Stafford, who ranked second in the league this season in touchdown passes (41) and third in passing yards (4,886).
O'Connell is such a valuable resource that McVay blocked him from an OC interview with another team last January.
"Kevin's a great coach," McVay remarked in March, via TheRams.com. "He's our offensive coordinator. He has a huge say and a huge influence on how we want to operate, and I think even more so moving forward. ... He understands how valuable he is to me and to the Rams and we talked about all those things, but I think it's a credit to the respect that he's garnered around the league. What I would say is he's our OC and that's why we blocked him (laughs)."
O'Connell is, as of this writing, one of four offensive-minded assistants targeted by Broncos general manager George Paton, who's also put in for interviews with Packers OC Nathaniel Hackett, Cowboys OC Kellen Moore, and Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy.
“The offense—we need to upgrade the offense. We know that," Paton said during Sunday's press conference announcing Fangio's dismissal. "Whoever we talk to, they’re going to have to have a plan for our offense. If they’re a defensive-minded coach, they’re going to have talk about their plan—they’re offensive coordinator and his coaching staff and what his vision is with our personnel."
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