Raiders quarterback Aidan O'Connell

Veteran Ex-Raider Speaks Out On Current Raiders Signal Caller Aidan O’Connell

Impressing a 38-year-old quarterback with 15 years of NFL experience under his belt, in addition to being part of a Super Bowl-winning squad, is no easy feat. Aidan O’Connell, after only one season as a pro, did just that. Earlier in the week, ex-Raiders signal caller Brian Hoyer joined SiriusXM NFL Radio to talk about his now-former then-rookie teammate with Amber Theoharis.

In a word, Hoyer described what O’Connell was able to accomplish as a fourth-round pick as “tremendous” – although he admits there may be some bias in his words.

“At the beginning of the year he was third on the depth chart, and then he ended up finishing the entire year,” the veteran quarterback noted of O’Connell’s rookie season. “To see his growth and what he was able to do as a fourth-round pick was tremendous.”

I know he hasn’t shown it as much as Gardner Minshew has throughout his career, but I know the guys really gravitated towards the way Aidan took over and his leadership as a young player.”

Hoyer was named the starting quarterback heading into the Raiders’ Week 7 contest against Chicago in Jimmy Garoppolo’s absence. Garoppolo returned one week later to play the Lions in Week 8, but a 14-26 loss sealed the fate of both Garoppolo and now-former Las Vegas head coach Josh McDaniels. Antonio Pierce then took over as the team’s new head coach and promoted Aidan O’Connell to QB1 for the remainder of the season.

Veteran Brian Hoyer believes the future is bright for Raiders QB Aidan O’Connell

After three weeks of being the third quarterback on the Raiders’ depth chart, O’Connell earned his first chance to start ahead of Week 4. The rookie posted 238 passing yards and one interception en route to a 17-24 defeat against the Los Angeles Chargers.

From Week 9 onward, after being crowned the team’s official QB1, O’Connell totaled 1,905 passing yards alongside 11 touchdowns and five interceptions.

Things really took off for the fourth-rounder in the last six games of the season, where he tallied nine touchdowns and one interceptions for 1,272 yards and a quarterback rating of 93.7.

Despite his statistical success, the rookie often looked rookie-like through this stretch. Against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 14, O’Connell led the team to a goose egg on the scoreboard. He also added an interception to his day that resulted in only 171 passing yards on 32 throws.

Although the Raiders came out victorious against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 16, O’Connell was far from the reason why. The Purdue alum totaled 62 passing yards in the first quarter of the contest, then went the remaining three quarters without a single completion.

Still, O’Connell largely outperformed his expectations as a fourth-round selection after one season. It’s easy to see why Hoyer has nothing but good things to say about the 25-year-old signal caller.

*Top Photo: Chris Unger/Getty Images

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