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Rams reportedly blocked offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell from interviewing with Chargers

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The Los Angeles Chargers have agreed to terms with former Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley as their new head coach, but they failed to poach a different coach from their in-city rival. On Tuesday, Albert Breer of the MMQB reported that the Rams had blocked offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell from interviewing for the same job with the Chargers. Breer reports that the Rams value O’Connell and the job he did for them this past year, and they don’t want to lose him. However, the lines of communication remain open, so things could change. But this is where the Rams stand now. Since this would have been a lateral move for O’Connell, Rams head coach Sean McVay would have had to approve it. He has done this before, however, like when he gave the Tennessee Titans the thumbs up to hire Matt LaFleur back in 2018.

While O’Connell has been an offensive coordinator for two years with the Washington Football Team and the Rams, him joining the Chargers would have been a bit of a promotion. Since Staley is a defensive-minded head coach, O’Connell would have likely been the offensive play-caller — a role he does not have with the Rams — and be in charge of the development of second-year quarterback Justin Herbert

O’Connell started off his coaching career in 2015 as the Cleveland Browns‘ quarterbacks coach, and also spent a year with the San Francisco 49ers as an offensive assistant before joining Washington in 2017. He served as the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach, but Washington head coach Jay Gruden then promoted him to offensive coordinator so he didn’t lose him to another NFL team. When Gruden was fired in Washington, O’Connell also reportedly received some consideration for the head coaching job. 

As far as the ongoing search for an offensive coordinator, current Chargers offensive coordinator Shane Steichen could be retained. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports that he remains a strong internal option. The Chargers did hire a defensive-minded head coach, but that doesn’t mean they are ignoring the offense.




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