ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that the Minnesota Vikings "are planning" to introduce Kevin O'Connell as their new head coach on Thursday.
Furthermore, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport says the plan is to introduce O'Connell Thursday so he can partake in the Rams' Super Bowl parade Wednesday.
The reports help ease some of the anxiety brewing among Minnesota fans after numerous reports have suggested that Rams head coach Sean McVay isn't sure if he'll return next season. And if McVay doesn't return, it would create a logical path for O'Connell to possibly stay in Los Angeles to become head coach of the Rams.
One would assume a 36-year-old like McVay would have zero questions about returning to coach the Super Bowl champs, but he answered with a "we'll see" when asked by the L.A. Times and later added that he's "just enjoying this moment right now," coming on the heels of speculation that a broadcasting career could beckon.
Whatever happens in L.A., any speculation about O'Connell is (so far) driven by anxiety rather than reputable reports. But the Josh McDaniels debacle with the Colts in 2018 should heed a warning to anyone who thinks a coaching hire is a done deal until contracts are signed.
Let's go back to Feb. 4, 2018, when Schefter and other NFL insiders reported that McDaniels was leaving his role as offensive coordinator of the Patriots to take the head coaching job with the Colts. "Maybe an announcement Tuesday and a presser Wed or Thurs.," said Colts insider Mike Chappell, who oh by the way is in the broadcasting hall of fame.
Even on Feb. 6, the day McDaniels wound up backing out of the agreement, Schefter reported that McDaniels had accepted the Colts job.
The McDaniels situation was crazy to the point that four assistant coaches had agreed to deals with the Colts under the impression they'd be working for McDaniels. The Vikings, without O'Connell formally introduced, have reportedly agreed to deals with a handful of assistants, too.
So while there are encouraging signs that O'Connell will wind up coaching the Vikings, it might not be a bad idea to throw caution to the wind until the deal is done.