Kevin O'Connell promoted by Redskins to offensive coordinator

The Washington Redskins promoted Kevin O'Connell to offensive coordinator on Tuesday, a move they hope injects a youthful spark to their offense and perhaps helps replace what they once had in Sean McVay, the team's former offensive coordinator who now is head coach of the Los Angeles Rams.

O'Connell, 33, replaces Matt Cavanaugh, who now becomes the team's senior offensive assistant. O'Connell had served as the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator in 2018.

The Redskins also announced defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, whose contract had expired after this season, would return.

Other teams had inquired about trying to hire O'Connell as an offensive coordinator, sources said.

His ascension comes less than a week before McVay, who ran the Redskins' offense from 2014-16, coaches in the Super Bowl. Whether O'Connell is on a quick path to a head coaching position remains to be seen, but the Redskins hope he can supplement coach Jay Gruden's offense with some new ideas.

It has not yet been determined whether O'Connell will call plays, according to sources. Cavanaugh did not, but McVay did during his three seasons as coordinator.

The Redskins are coming off a third straight non-playoff season. Their biggest issue on offense this past season was injuries. They started four quarterbacks in addition to losing multiple starters. They also finished 28th in yards per game and 29th in points after finishing 16th in both categories the season before.

Even when they had starting quarterback Alex Smith entering Week 12, they only ranked 26th in yards per game and 25th in points.

O'Connell joined the team as quarterbacks coach in 2017. The Redskins added passing game coordinator duties a year ago to keep him from leaving to become UCLA's offensive coordinator.