Kevin O’Connell adds three more assistants to Vikings coaching staff

Everything is falling into place for Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell as he continues to add to his growing coaching staff.

On Monday, the team confirmed the hiring of Wes Phillips as offensive coordinator and Matt Daniels as special teams coordinator, both of whom have previously been reported.

However, they also announced that they would be bringing back Daronte Jones as defensive backs coach, along with the hiring of Ben Kotwica as assistant special teams coach and Mike Smith as outside linebackers and playfield specialist. the pass.

These are exciting times for a Vikings team looking to usher in a new era under its Super Bowl-winning head coach.

Jones served as defensive backs coach for the Vikings during the Mike Zimmer era in 2020 before being offered a defensive coordinator position for LSU. After a single season, he’s back in purple and ready to return to his role in the team.

Kotwica’s last job was a two-year stint with the Atlanta Falcons as special teams coordinator before he was eventually fired in 2020. It’s important to note that he was with the Washington Commanders at the same time as ‘O’Connell was there as quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator. So there is clearly some familiarity with the Vikings head coach.

And Smith, the former Green Bay Packers outside linebacker coach, joins O’Connell with the added responsibility of passing specialist. So the opportunity for promotion after coaching in the same position for the past four years must have been tantalizing to the former NFL linebacker.

We’ll see if all of this pays off in the 2022 season.