Vikings HC Kevin O’Connell is excited to coach Sam Darnold

After moving on from Kirk Cousins this offseason, the Minnesota Vikings signed Sam Darnold to be the bridge guy for J.J. McCarthy. They didn’t just sign him because he’s a quarterback, they believe that he can help them win games this season.

When signing a quarterback like Darnold, it’s important to be upfront with him about the intentions the Vikings have. They knew a quarterback was going to be in play and had open conversations with Darnold about it. Both sides knew what they were getting into and that started a good relationship.

Head coach Kevin O’Connell is excited to coach Darnold this season and really liked him before the 2018 NFL Draft. He spoke to Rich Eisen about it on The Rich Eisen Show on Monday.

“Yeah, I think it started pre draft. You know, just the communication with Sam. When we brought him in here, how confident and excited I am to coach a guy like Sam loved him coming out of the draft and just acknowledging the quarterback journey that he’s been on and we all as quarterbacks in this league, and I use that term loosely for myself because we all you know, go on different quarterback journeys and we learn different things at different times. And then you go from situation to situation where hopefully you find one that is conducive to you kind of putting all of that experience even though he still is a young player, Rich.

“He has experienced quite a lot different offenses, different situations, different teams that he’s been on, and my challenge to Sam really was one of just come in here every day and focus on just getting a little bit better every day a little bit more comfortable in the offense, understanding that we’re going to put you in the best possible situation for you to just go play, throw completions move the team and try to generate some points and our offense with the skilled players around who whoever’s playing quarterback is set up to really just put the ball in play, make great decisions and good things are gonna happen without feeling like you got to put the weight of the world on your shoulders, snap in and snap out.”

Darnold’s experience in his six-year career is really important with him coming into the building this year. Having had to learn numerous offenses will help his transition. It also makes a big impact on the development of J.J. McCarthy, as Darnold can be a massive positive influence on the rookie.

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The entire Vikings organization is behind Darnold and has faith in him, and that includes O’Connell.

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