New Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell was a quarterback during his playing career, and a quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator before he became head coach of the Vikings this offseason. He has never played or coached on defense.
But he wants the Vikings’ defensive players to know that now that he’s the head coach, he’s taking an interest in both sides of the ball.
“[I want to] be visible to the defense, let them know that I’m learning their side of the ball just as much as they are,” O’Connell said, via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. ”I can complement them on detailed things they can do within our coverages, within a pressure, how we stop the run, and they can look at me as not just an offensive head coach.”
Former Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer was primarily a defensive coach. O’Connell called it “really important” for the defense and special teams to know that their head coach is involved in all phases of the game.