Josh McDaniels’ preferred offensive coordinator, Kevin O’Connell, takes a different job

On Friday night, the Los Angeles Rams made the move to hire Kevin O’Connell as their next offensive coordinator. O’Connell spent the 2019 season as the Washington Redskins offensive coordinator and will now work under Sean McVay.

O’Connell, 38, was a former New England Patriots third-round draft pick in 2008 but spent just one season as a backup quarterback with the team before bouncing around the NFL.

And while O’Connell was only with the Patriot short-term, his hire on Friday actually may actually be of some significance for the team.

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As the MMQB’s Albert Breer detailed on NBC Sports Boston’s “Boston Sports Tonight”, O’Connell was going to be McDaniels’ offensive coordinator if he got the Browns or Panthers job. So could O’Connell taking another job signal that McDaniels isn’t the favorite in Cleveland?

And so my guess, and I don’t know this, but my guess is that if Kevin O’Connell had an offer on the table from the Rams — and let’s remember, that’s also going to be a non-play-calling job —  if he had an offer on the table from the Rams, chance are he checked in with Josh first.

And at the very least, it seems likely that Josh didn’t walk away from the meeting today with the job. Now what I can say, there were good feelings coming out of the meeting. I also think Kevin Stefanski, the Vikings offensive coordinator, is still in this. I would also say that the 49ers defensive coordinator, Robert Saleh, is a dark horse here.

Essentially, it’s impossible to know if O’Connell’s hire means anything about McDaniels at the moment. As Breer said, he probably checked in with McDaniels before taking the job. And McDaniels did meet with the Browns for seven hours on Friday and him joining the Browns may be one of the two “likely results” for this hiring situation.

But if McDaniels doesn’t know definitively whether he has the job or not, O’Connell would probably have trouble turning down a coordinator spot with the Rams.

The McDaniels situation will likely have a resolution at some point in the coming days. The only way it could extend further is if the Browns favor either Stefanski or Saleh and the team of their favored coach advances in the playoffs.

But if that happens, the answer on the Browns coaching search will likely become clearer. And the longer there is no news about the hire, the better it will be for the Patriots’ chances of keeping McDaniels.

Josh McDaniels’ preferred offensive coordinator, Kevin O’Connell, takes a different job originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

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