Kevin O'Connell's coaching rise not a surprise to Bill Belichick

By , Audacy

Kevin O’Connell has found success as a coach pretty much everywhere he’s been, and that’s not coming as a surprise to Bill Belichick.

O’Connell got his start in the NFL as a player with the Patriots, backing up Tom Brady for a season after New England selected him in the third round of the 2008 draft. He spent that campaign and the 2009 preseason with the Pats before getting cut and bouncing around for a few years.

But since retiring as a player, he’s become a successful coach. He climbed his way up the ladder with the Browns, 49ers and Washington before landing with the Rams in 2020. He helped build a high-flying offense in Los Angeles, which culminated with a Super Bowl back in February. That propelled him to his current gig as head coach of the Vikings.

Although they’re coming off a drubbing at the hands of the Cowboys, the Vikings sit at 8-2 and are among the top contenders in the NFC. They’ll face the Patriots on Thanksgiving, and Belichick had nothing but good things to say about O'Connell on the “Greg Hill Show.”

“We liked Kevin a lot, drafted him high. Very smart player, was always really good with understanding the things we were doing – passing game, line of scrimmage checks, managing the team, running the offense, things like that," Belichick said. "It doesn’t surprise me that he has adapted well to coaching and to coaching quarterbacks and being part of productive offenses. He’s done a great job, he obviously did that last year with the Rams, last couple of years with the Rams.

“He’s been successful in the places he’s been and moved up quickly, and yeah, I can see why. He’s certainly done a great job this year. They’ve been in a bunch of close games and won all the close ones, he manages his team well and manages games well.

“So yeah, it’ll be a big challenge for us. Their offense, their defense, their kicking game, lots to get ready for in a short week.”

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