According to Ian Rapoport, the Jacksonville Jaguars are interested in interviewing Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell for their head coaching job.
Last week, it seemed a foregone conclusion that Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator — and former Jaguars' quarterback — Byron Leftwich would be the Jaguars' next head coach. Multiple sources and reports confirmed that Byron would be the next coach in Duval. But as the week dragged on and no official news came out of Jacksonville, the team's future direction became shrouded in mystery.
Now, after several days without any new developments on the Jaguars' coaching search, Kevin O'Connell appears to be a candidate, but the Jags can't interview him until the Rams season is over, which could be today. They take on the 49ers, who they've lost to six consecutive times, in the NFC championship at 6:30 pm today.
Prior to his coaching career, O'Connell was a quarterback at San Diego State. Drafted by the Patriots in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft, KOC played in the NFL for five years and had stops in Detroit, New York (Jets), Miami, and San Diego. He never played a full game.
The 36-year-old O'Connell has been coaching in the NFL since 2015. He started in Cleveland as the quarterback coach under Mike Pettine. Former Jaguars' offensive coordinator John DeFilippo was the offensive coordinator for the Browns in 2015.
KOC then worked on "special projects" for the 49ers in 2016. In 2017 he was hired by the Football Team as quarterback coach. He served under former Jaguars' offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and steadily worked his way up the ranks, being promoted to passing game coordinator in 2018 and offensive coordinator in 2019. After Gruden's departure from Washington, Sean McVay and the Rams scooped up KOC to be their offensive coordinator in 2020. O'Connell has been the Rams' OC for two years and has overseen offenses that finished 11th in total offense in 2020 and ninth in 2021.
O'Connell was not on the Jaguars' initial list of coaching candidates. He has already interviewed with the Vikings and Texans in this cycle. The timing and circumstances surrounding this report raise more questions than answers.
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