NFL Rumors: Vikings to Interview Rams' OC Kevin O'Connell, DC Raheem Morris for HC

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 31, 2022

Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris looks on during a NFL divisional playoff football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, January 23, 2022 in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Menendez)
AP Photo/Alex Menendez

After the Los Angeles Rams clinched their spot in the Super Bowl on Sunday, the team's two coordinators could be moving closer to a head coaching job.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Minnesota Vikings will reportedly hold second interviews with both offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell and defensive coordinator Raheem Morris to fill their vacancy at head coach.

Both coaches had their first interview before the Vikings hired Kwesi Adofo-Mensah as the team's general manager last week. 

O'Connell is also reportedly a target for the Jacksonville Jaguars opening, but the team didn't request an interview during the initial period, per Schefter, blocking them from formally speaking to him at this time.

The 36-year-old reportedly already had interviews with the Houston Texans and Denver Broncos. The former quarterback was considered a finalist for the Broncos position before the team went with Nathaniel Hackett. 

O'Connell has run the Rams offense the past two years, leading a group that ranked seventh in the league in points scored in 2021. It was a major turnaround with Matthew Stafford at quarterback after the unit finished 22nd in scoring offense a year earlier with Jared Goff under center. 

The San Diego State product also served as offensive coordinator of the Washington Football Team in 2019, but the squad finished dead last in the NFL in points scored and 31st in total yards.

Morris brings experience as a head coach after leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for three seasons and serving as interim coach for the Atlanta Falcons in 2020. The former defensive back has a 21-38 record overall as a head coach.

The 45-year-old is in his first season with the Rams, leading a defense that finished 15th in points allowed. The unit has forced five turnovers through three playoff games and is now one win away from a championship.

Either candidate could follow in the Sean McVay coaching tree, with Matt LaFleur, Zac Taylor and Brandon Staley all getting head coaching jobs after spending time with the Rams.

There will still be plenty of competition for the Vikings vacancy, with Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh among those interviewing for the position, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. New York Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham is also in the mix, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. 

Minnesota is seeking a fresh start after eight years under Mike Zimmer, finishing 8-9 last season.