Raiders News: Josh McDaniels mull on QB2 question

Raiders HC Josh McDaniels Remains Uncommitted On QB2 Dilemma

The 2023 NFL preseason was a sparkling showcase for Las Vegas Raiders rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell. Meanwhile, Brian Hoyer was every bit his 37-year-old self, as we all expected. Still, head coach Josh McDaniels has remained relatively uncommitted to naming an “official” QB2.

Long before the preseason even started, it didn’t take a genius to know that Jimmy Garoppolo would be the starting signal-caller on Week 1. Despite injury concerns stemming from his final days as a San Francisco 49er, “Jimmy G” was always going to be No. 1.

The real question was what would happen with the position further down on the depth chart. O’Connell was seen as an intriguing prospect but far from a “finished” product; even so, the man dominated headlines this past month.

After a highly publicized and productive run, O’Connell suddenly became the heir apparent. However, McDaniels has pumped the brakes on all of that. Well, at least for now.

“To me, I’ve always looked at it like, we have a starter, and then everybody behind him is going to be ready to go. Obviously, we’ll have to declare what we’re going to do as we head into the regular season on a week-to-week basis. I think Brian [Hoyer] has done a good job with his opportunities; he knows that. And then Aidan [O’Connell] is continuing to learn and develop. There are some other factors there, and I would say that sometimes you don’t look at it that way because you’re evaluating the play on the field. But as you head into the regular season, nobody but the starter gets many opportunities in practice.”

QB2 was never really a positional battle for the Raiders

Hoyer’s familiarity and rapport with McDaniels and his system were clearly factors in his signing. The Raiders needed a proven veteran to do two things: be able to jump in if Garoppolo were to go down, which is far from a long-term solution. The second and most important was to help ease O’Connell’s transition to the professional ranks. In many ways, McDaniels’ words are no surprise—the plan is working, Hoyer is in tow, and O’Connell will be QB2 soon enough.

Despite some fans feeling Hoyer is a waste of a roster spot, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. O’Connell had a brilliant showing, but it was still the preseason—people need to keep things in perspective.

Garoppolo is far from a sure thing; his past injuries indicate it’s only a matter of time before he succumbs to some ailment. Hoyer is still the better option if things go awry; considering the Raiders’ weapons, he just needs to stay out of the way and not turn the ball over.

Aidan O’Connell “might” be the future, but Josh McDaniels will be taking his time. In a perfect scenario, AOC4 won’t even see the field in 2023; Brian Hoyer and Jimmy Garoppolo will hold down the fort.

*Top Photo: Getty Images

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