Kevin O’Connell is reportedly close to being named the Washington Redskins quarterbacks coach. He is a high upside young coach that could work out well with the team.
On Friday evening, the Washington Redskins added a new coach to their staff that could have a big impact. The team elected to hire Kevin O’Connell as their quarterbacks coach. The news broke via Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports.
O’Connell is a former NFL quarterback who played parts of five seasons with six different teams. He was initially a third round pick by the New England Patriots in 2008 and was expected to e one of the backups for Tom Brady. In a single season with the Patriots, O’Connell logged only six pass attempts in two games. They were the only games he would ever play in the NFL.
Over the next four years, O’Connell bounced around between five teams, landing on their active rosters and practice squads. By 2012, he was out of the league. He just never panned out as a passer, due to issues with inaccuracy and lack of pocket presence.
That said, O’Connell has been a hot coaching candidate, and has a couple of years experience in the NFL. During the 2015 season, O’Connell worked as the quarterbacks coach of the Cleveland Browns. O’Connell had the distinct pleasure of working with the trio of Josh McCown, Johnny Manziel, and Austin Davis. Surprisingly, O’Connell was able to get some production out of them and was the least of the team’s problems.
In 2016, O’Connell got an offensive assistant job with the San Francisco 49ers. He did a decent job working with the quarterbacks there, and he proved that he could be a quality coach in the NFL.
The addition of O’Connell also virtually ensures that Matt Cavanaugh, the former quarterbacks coach, will be promoted to the offensive coordinator position. That was always the likely option as soon as Sean McVay left, but this move helped to solidify that possibility.
At the end of the day, this move makes a lot of sense for Redskins. O’Connell is a high upside young coach (31 years old) who could be an offensive coordinator someday. Bringing him onto the staff should help Kirk Cousins‘ development. It will be interesting to see if this pans out, but for now, this looks like a good move.