The Minnesota Vikings added five new coaches to their coaching staff Monday, including offensive coordinator Wes Phillips.
Phillips joins the Vikings after spending the past three seasons with the Los Angeles Rams. Although he spent his entire time as the Rams’ tight ends coach, he worked alongside O’Connell for the past two seasons and served as the passing play coordinator last season.
Son of Wade and grandson of Bum Phillips, Wes is one of two third-generation training trees in NFL history with the Shula family.
The Vikings also attacked an NFC North rival with the addition of outside linebackers coach and pass rush specialist Mike Smith.
Smith played the same role with the Green Bay Packers for the past two seasons, but parted ways with the team earlier this week. Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith became key parts of the Packers defense and Rashan Gary had a career-best season (9.5 sacks) under his watch.
With the Vikings moving to a 3-4 scheme, Smith should play an important role in helping Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr form the offensive defense that Kevin O’Connell mentioned in his introductory press conference.
Matt Daniels will take over special teams after the team failed to retain Ryan Ficken. Daniels has spent the past two seasons as the Rams’ special teams assistant coach and is the second coordinator to make the jump with O’Connell at Minnesota.
Ben Dotwica was also hired as an assistant special teams coach after serving as special teams coordinator for the New York Jets, Washington Commanders and Atlanta Falcons. He spent last season training in the military.
The Vikings also brought back Daronte Jones as their defensive backs coach. Jones held the same position with the Vikings in 2020 but left to become LSU’s defensive coordinator last season. After not being retained by incoming coach Brian Kelly, Jones returns to Minnesota.