Raiders DE Maxx Crosby Delivers Strong Statement on Aidan O’Connell

aidan oconnell

Getty Las Vegas Raiders QB Aidan O'Connell.

The Las Vegas Raiders made a major change at starting quarterback with the decision to play rookie Aidan O’Connell over Jimmy Garoppolo. Against the New York Giants in Week 9, he made his case to keep the starting job going forward as he completed 16-of-25 passes for 209 yards in the 30-6 win.

Raiders players have been high on O’Connell and star defensive end Maxx Crosby had a lot of praise for the rookie.

“He is a stud,” Crosby said of O’Connell on the November 6 episode of the “Pat McAfee Show.” “He doesn’t carry himself like a rookie. That’s the first thing I can point to. When he first got here, he carried himself like he was a vet. He comes in, he’s super calm. Doesn’t let anything get to him. He gets ripped on in meetings, poker face. Doesn’t have any reaction. Seeing a young guy like that is super rare, especially playing quarterback.”

The fourth-round pick out of Purdue isn’t the most athletic quarterback and doesn’t have a huge arm. However, he spent five years in college so he’s experienced and isn’t afraid to move the ball downfield. He’s got work to do as his stats weren’t overly impressive but he’s off to a strong start.

Aidan O’Connell Talks Unique Situation

Aidan O’Connell had only started one NFL game earlier in the season against the Los Angeles Chargers. The start against the Giants was different as it was the first time he had a coaching change during the season.

At Purdue, he was coached by Jeff Brohm for his entire tenure. O’Connell wasn’t necessarily prepared for this situation but the support around him helped him succeed.

“It’s a situation I’ve never been a part of,” O’Connell said in his November 5 postgame press conference. “I was lucky to have one head coach my entire time in college, and I was in college for a long time so I got pretty lucky with that. To have a coaching shift this early on was definitely unexpected but I think our guys around me just did a great job of instilling confidence in me and allowing my job to be a lot easier.”

Andre James Praises Aidan O’Connell

With a head coach and quarterback change coming on a short week in the middle of the season, it’s easy to see how a locker room could be divided. However, the team rallied behind Aidan O’Connell and interim head coach Antonio Pierce.

Starting center Andre James was thoroughly impressed with O’Connell.

“I think Aidan did a fantastic job,” James said after the Giants game, via “He went out there and controlled what he wanted to control. His communication was great all night. As far as the offensive line, we had a plan to for 97 [Dexter Lawrence] and the rest of their D-line on top of it. It was really just about communication, being on the same page and at the end of day, executing.”

A big reason for O’Connell’s success against the Giants was thanks to the play of the offensive line. The group didn’t give up a single sack all game and the rookie quarterback had a lot of time to work.

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