Kevin O’Connell Channels Hollywood for Recent FAs

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings head coach was in the mood Wednesday to channel his former Hollywood team, the Los Angeles Rams, onboarding a couple of free agents from the 2021 Super Bowl champions.

Foremost, the Vikings signed wide receiver and special teams specialist Brandon Powell for 2023. Details on that acquisition can be read here. And, yes, he’s the guy who returned a punt return touchdown against Minnesota in December of 2021 as a member of the Rams.

After that, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah put pen to paper with linebacker Troy Reeder, also a performer for the 2021 Rams.

Kevin O’Connell Channels Hollywood for Recent FAs

The Athletic‘s Alec Lewis tweeted, “The Vikings have agreed to terms with LB Troy Reeder. Played last season with the Los Angeles Chargers, was with the Los Angeles Rams before that. Ties between Reeder and new Vikings assistant LBs coach Thad Bogardus.”

Channels Hollywood
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports.

Reed, 28, most recently played for the 2022 Los Angeles Chargers, mainly as a special teamer. He played 62 defensive snaps (6%) and 313 special teams plays (68%). It is unclear if Reed will be on tap to play as a starting off-ball linebacker or resume special teams duty in Minnesota.

An undrafted commodity from Penn State, Reeder became a Ram in 2019 and stayed for three seasons, overlapping with O’Connell, the team’s offensive coordinator, from 2020 to 2021. During Los Angeles’ Super Bowl run two years ago, Reeder played about 60% of all defensive snaps on Sean McVay’s team, a meaningful amount as a starting off-ball linebacker. Because he thrived in 2021, he might end up starting on defense for the 2023 Vikings. We shall see.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports.

After the Reeder addition, this is the Vikings linebacking corps as of March 22nd:

  • Brian Asamoah
  • Jordan Hicks
  • Troy Reeder
  • Troy Dye
  • William Kwenkeu

That group will grow before the summer, perhaps in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Vikings have a prime draft spot to explore the selections of players like Trenton Simpson from Clemson or Drew Sanders of Arkansas. About two weeks ago, Adofo-Mensah cut ties with longtime linebacker Eric Kendricks, who joined Reeder’s old team, the Chargers, about a week later.

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

Here’s the Pro Football Focus tale of the tape for Reeder:

  • 2019 = 28.6
  • 2020 = 60.4
  • 2021 = 46.7
  • 2022 = 77.8 (limited snaps)

Generally speaking, Penn State linebackers have a long and rich history in the NFL. Jack Ham, Dave Robinson, NaVorro Bowman, Matt Millen, and Micah Parsons, for example, can tell you all about it.

The length and financial terms of Reeder’s deal were not immediately available.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by