Vikings Hire Keenan McCardell

Jan 21, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver coach Keenan McCardell during the AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

 

The Minnesota Vikings have added a notable former player to the coaching staff – at the wide receivers coach position. Longtime Jacksonville Jaguars [among other teams] wide receiver Keenan McCardell will be a part of Minnesota’s 2021 offense.

 

It not immediately clear who McCardell will report to as the offensive coordinator position is unfilled. Super Bowl champion head coach, Gary Kubiak, retired at the conclusion of the 2020 season. His son, Klint Kubiak, is the frontrunner to replace his father, but that has yet to be confirmed.

 

McCardell, the Player

 

McCardell, a UNLV alumnus from the 1991 NFL Draft, spent 16 years in the NFL as a player. His destinations [in order] included Washington, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, San Diego, and rejoined Washington to end his career.

With the Buccaneers, McCardell won a Super Bowl with John Gruden and former Vikings quarterback, Brad Johnson. Tampa Bay defeated the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII, 48-21.

The new Vikings wide receiver coach tabulated 11,373 receiving yards in his career – the 35th-most in NFL history. That figure places him in the all-time arena with players like Chad Johnson, Calvin Johnson, and Rod Smith.

McCardell also grabbed 63 receiving touchdowns during his 16-year tenure. The ranks 69th all-time, among the likes of Keyshawn Johnson, Demaryius Thomas, and Shannon Sharpe.

 

McCardell, the Coach

 

Spending four seasons as wide receivers coach in Jacksonville, McCardell is now heading about 1,400 miles north to Eagan, Minnesota. Before that stop with the Jaguars, McCardell coached former Vikings wideout Stefon Diggs at The University of Maryland. Diggs was traded to the Buffalo Bills in the spring of 2020 for [what turned out to be] Justin Jefferson, defensive end Kenny Willekes, and three more 2021 draft picks.

A native of Houston, Texas, McCardell began his coaching career in Washington as a wide receivers coach – just before the arrival of Kirk Cousins and Robert Griffin III to the franchise. McCardell also won a Super Bowl ring as a player with Washington Football Team during the 1991 season – a game that took place at the Vikings old house, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. It was his rookie campaign, and he spent the season on injured reserve.

McCardell joins a Vikings offense that is in flux for offensive leadership. The offensive coordinator has yet to be named, but he will inherit a wide receiver room of Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson, Bisi Johnson, and Chad Beebe.

Recently with the Jaguars, McCardell coached the likes of D.J. Chark, Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrook, Donte Moncrief, Allen Hurns, Collin Johnson, and Laviska Shenault Jr.