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Kevin O'Connell Adds Passing Game Coordinator Duties


Kevin O'Connell recently completed his first season with the Redskins as the team's quarterbacks coach but will now also be the passing game coordinator per head coach Jay Gruden.

Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden announced during his season-ending press conference on Tuesday that the team has added the role of passing game coordinator to the duties of quarterbacks coach Kevin O'Connell.

O'Connell recently completed his first season with Washington's coaching staff.

Gruden said that he is "very excited" to retain O'Connell after a recent report surfaced that new UCLA head coach Chip Kelly was interested in adding him to his coach staff as the school's offensive coordinator.

O'Connell joined the Redskins last January as the team's quarterbacks coach after Matt Cavanaugh was promoted to offensive coordinator in place of the departing Sean McVay.

In his first season with the Redskins, O'Connell helped Kirk Cousins reach his third consecutive 4,000-yard season. The Michigan State product passed for 27 touchdowns – eighth-most in the NFL – while also rushing for a career-high 179 yards with four touchdowns.

"He's clearly demonstrated that he's got the ability to really steal you some yards," O'Connell said last year. "You're not going to live and die with it with his ability to throw the football and our offenses ability to traditional run the football behind our offensive line with our backs we have. We really want to pick our spots and I think if he's smart about it."

Cousins also used his legs to extend plays, as was the case on two separate throws against the Los Angeles Chargers, for example, when he hit Niles Paul for a 16-yard gain on a fourth down throw before giving himself extra time to find Vernon Davis for a 23-yard touchdown.

Additionally, the Redskins were able to improve their red zone offense with O'Connell joining the coaching staff, as Washington's scoring percentage inside the 20-yard line was nearly 55 percent after being just 46 percent the year prior.

O'Connell played five seasons in the NFL before transitioning over to the coaching ranks with the Cleveland Browns in 2015.

During the 2016 season, O'Connell oversaw special projects for the San Francisco 49ers. 

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