Report: Kevin O'Connell, Brandon Staley Finalizing Rams Contracts as New OC, DC

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 11, 2020

This is a 2019 photo of Brandon Staley of the Denver Broncos NFL football team. This image reflects the Denver Broncos active roster as of Monday, June 3, 2019 when this image was taken. (AP Photo)
Uncredited/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Rams reportedly found their new offensive and defensive coordinators.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Friday the NFC West team was finalizing a contract with former Washington offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Rams were also planning to hire former Denver Broncos outside linebackers coach Brandon Staley as their defensive coordinator after they did not retain Wade Phillips. Rapoport called it a "surprise hire" and noted it was Vic Fangio's "first branch" of a coaching tree.

There is something of a connection between O'Connell and Rams head coach Sean McVay. O'Connell took over as the quarterbacks coach in Washington in 2017 after McVay left his position as offensive coordinator to join Los Angeles.

O'Connell was also the quarterbacks coach for the Cleveland Browns in 2015 and an offensive assistant for the San Francisco 49ers in 2016.

For Staley, replacing Phillips will be no easy task. The 72-year-old has been a defensive coordinator or head coach in the NFL for all but two years since the 1981 season and helped lead the Rams to the Super Bowl during the 2018 campaign.

However, Los Angeles finished 17th in the league in points allowed per game in 2019 and missed the playoffs. It allowed 44 points in a key December loss to the Dallas Cowboys after giving up 55 and 45 in earlier losses to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Baltimore Ravens.

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Staley's biography on the Broncos official website noted he is a 14-year coaching veteran who held jobs at John Carroll University, James Madison University, the University of Tennessee, Hutchinson Community College, the University of St. Thomas and Northern Illinois University prior to his NFL stint.

He was the outside linebackers coach of the Chicago Bears in 2017 and 2018, helping them win the NFC North in 2018 behind a daunting defense.

The job will be a significant step up for Staley, but if he can spearhead some improvement, the talent is in place for the Rams to make another Super Bowl.