Keenan McCardell enters his second season with the Minnesota Vikings in 2022 as wide receivers coach, bringing eight years of NFL coaching experience to the club. A two-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl champion, McCardell played 17 seasons in the NFL as a WR from 1991-2007.
Under the direction of McCardell, the wide receivers group turned in another impressive season, with new career highs. WR Justin Jefferson posted another record-setting season, finishing with the second-most receiving yards in the NFL (1,616), trailing only Rams WR Cooper Kupp who had 1,947. In Week 9 at Baltimore, Jefferson became the second-fastest wide receiver in NFL history to 2,000 career receiving yards, doing so in only 24 games. Jefferson passed Hall of Fame WRs Jerry Rice, Randy Moss and Rams WR Odell Beckham, Jr., to set the NFL record for most receiving yards in a player's first two seasons in the league with 3,016. In addition to being named to his second consecutive Pro Bowl, Jefferson was also named NFC Offensive Player of the Month for the month of November when he caught 24 passes for 464 yards and 3 touchdowns. Jefferson's 464 yards are the 3rd most in November in franchise history, trailing Moss' 473 receiving yards in 1998 and 510 in 2000.
In 2020, McCardell coached a Jacksonville receiving corps that saw WR DJ Chark become the first Jaguars player since WR Allen Robinson (2015-16) to have consecutive seasons with 5-plus receiving touchdown. WR Laviska Shenault, Jr., had the second-most catches by a Jaguars rookie (58), and he was the third rookie in team history with 600-plus yards and 5-plus touchdowns.
In 2019, the Jaguars were one of three teams in the NFL to have three wide receivers with at least 650 receiving yards. WRs Chark (1,008), Chris Conley (775) and Dede Westbrook (660) became the first trio of wide receivers in franchise history to record at least 600 receiving yards apiece. A 2019 Pro Bowler, Chark had 10 catches of 30+ yards, tied for fourth in the NFL. Chark joined former WRs Robinson (13 in 2015) and Jimmy Smith (12 in 1998) as the only Jaguars players with 10 or more such catches in a season.
In 2018, McCardell called upon his youngest Jags receivers to fill the void. Westbrook set career highs and led the team with 66 receptions, 717 receiving yards and 5 TDs. Westbrook joined Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill as the only players in the NFL with 500+ receiving yards and a punt return TD in 2018.
Despite having 5 wide receivers on Injured Reserve during the 2017 season, including Pro Bowl WR Robinson, McCardell's unit helped QB Blake Bortles achieve a career-high completion percentage. WR Keelan Cole set the team record for receiving yards by an undrafted rookie receiver (748) and ranked eighth in NFL history in the category.
Prior to Jacksonville, McCardell coached the wide receivers at Maryland from 2014-15. He oversaw the development of WR Stefon Diggs, whose 62 catches led the team and he ranked fourth in the Big Ten with 79.2 yards per game. Diggs had four games with 100+ yards and earned Second-Team All-Big Ten from the league coaches.
McCardell spent two seasons (2010-11) with Washington coaching wide receivers. In 2011, the overall unit had 346 receptions, the second-highest total in team history at the time and eclipsed the 4,000-yard mark. In 2010, his receivers set a then-franchise record for receptions in a season (349). McCardell's unit led the NFL with nine catches of 50+ yards.
McCardell played in 209 career NFL games with 168 starts, amassed 883 receptions for 11,373 yards and 63 touchdowns. McCardell played for five franchises in his 17 seasons.
McCardell played in Jacksonville from 1996-2001 and ranks second all-time in receptions (499) and yards (6,393) in Jaguars history including a career-best 94 receptions for 1,207 yards in 2000. McCardell earned his first Pro Bowl selection in 1996 after totaling a team-best 85 receptions for 1,129 yards. He had consecutive 90+ catch seasons in 2000 and 2001 and was voted No. 7 on the Jaguars All-25, by members of the local media.
McCardell joined Tampa Bay from 2002-03, played in San Diego from 2004-06 and finished in 2007 with Washington. While in San Diego, McCardell was teammates with Vikings Radio Network analyst Ben Leber.
In his debut season in Tampa in 2002, the Bucs went 12-4 in the regular season en route to a winning Super Bowl XXXVII over Oakland, catching both of Tampa Bay's scoring passes in the game. In 2003, he went to his second Pro Bowl following an 1,174-yard, 8 touchdown season on 84 catches. McCardell caught a career-best nine touchdowns in San Diego during the 2005 season.
McCardell entered the league in 1991 after being drafted by Washington in the 12th round of the NFL Draft out of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. He spent his rookie season on Injured Reserve for a club that would win Super Bowl XXVI over Buffalo at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.
Upon finishing his playing career, McCardell began coaching by completing a Bill Walsh Minority Fellowship with the New York Giants during the team's 2009 training camp. He also coached the West wide receivers in the 2010 East-West Shrine Game.
McCardell worked in broadcasting as a studio analyst for Comcast SportsNet for Washington's kickoff show in 2008 and served as a college football analyst for the Mountain West Network in 2009.
McCardell and his wife, Nicole, have four children: daughters Keandra, Nia and Nakeeya', and son Keenan II.