Vikings Add 18-Year Veteran QB to Their Coaching Staff

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Last week, the Minnesota Vikings made notable additions to their coaching staff by bringing in Shaun Sarrett and Henry Schneider IV.

It seems that Minnesota is not quite done in that department, though, as they have added an 18-year veteran QB to their coaching staff as this year’s quarterbacks coach. That current coach and former quarterback is Josh McCown. In addition, the Vikings have given Chris O’Hara, who is entering his third season with the team, the position of passing game coordinator.

Vikings Add 18-Year Veteran QB to Their Coaching Staff

Veteran QB
Aug 22, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Josh McCown (18) throws a pass against the Baltimore Ravens during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings tweeted the news on Tuesday afternoon: “The #Vikings have named Josh McCown as quarterbacks coach and Chris O’Hara as pass game specialist.”

McCown, a product of SMU and Sam Houston State, is well known for his nearly two decades spent as an NFL journeyman. He largely served as a backup QB throughout his career, spending 17 seasons at the NFL level and another in the UFL. He played for a total of 12 different teams, including the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions, but he was never with the Vikings as a player.

Over the course of his NFL career, McCown appeared in 102 games and made 76 starts. His teams went 23-53 in those starts, and in total, he completed 60.2% of his passes for 17,731 yards along with 98 TDs compared to 82 INTs.

Nov 9, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterbacks coach Josh McCown watches his team play against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

McCown actually played for his new boss, Kevin O’Connell, during one season of his playing career. That occurred during the 2015 season when McCown started eight games in Cleveland and O’Connell was the quarterbacks coach. McCown would also spend the 2016 season with Cleveland while O’Connell departed for the San Francisco 49ers.

Most recently, McCown has served as the QBs coach for the Carolina Panthers where he worked under Frank Reich and attempted to bring along 2023’s first overall draft selection, Bryce Young. That season did not go particularly well as Carolina finished with the worst record in the NFL at 2-15.

For Vikings fans hoping that the team drafts Drake Maye, this hire will be particularly exciting. During 2019, McCown was an assistant coach for Myers Park High School in Charlotte, North Carolina. Maye was the quarterback of that team.

Oct 29, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterbacks coach Josh McCown behind quarterback Bryce Young (9) during wam ups at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Another notable connection that McCown has is to Sam Darnold, who he was the backup to during the 2018 season. Tom Pelissero of NFL Network recently connected Darnold to the Vikings as a potential bridge QB option if they were to move on from Kirk Cousins and search for another veteran starter in free agency.

Regardless, the Vikings have brought in a fresh face to their coaching staff with plenty of connections around the NFL. McCown will turn 45 years old on July 4th.

Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Reference.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.