With a number of Minnesota Vikings coaches departing before the arrival of new head coach Kevin O’Connell next week, at least one member of the current coaching staff will be staying put.
Reports have surfaced that the Vikings will be retaining wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell, which has to be considered a significant win for O’Connell as he prepares to take over the team.
McCardell took the job as the Vikings’ wide receivers coach last year after a four-year stint doing the same job with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He had a noticeable impact on the Vikings’ receivers this season, the most significant of which might have been the leap that K.J. Osborn made in his second season. Osborn, who was a disaster as a return specialist as a rookie and didn’t catch a single pass that season, became the most productive WR3 that the Vikings have had in a very long time in 2021. He finished the year with 50 receptions for 655 yards and seven touchdowns.
Sure, he did some pretty solid work with Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, too. . .but those guys already had pretty impressive track records. Osborn didn’t, but he really blossomed under McCardell’s watch and he might not be done yet.
McCardell might be in line for much bigger things down the track, but for now it’s pretty great to see that he’s going to stay on and continue working with Minnesota’s wide receiver corps. We’ll see if they’ll be able to take another step forward in 2022.