Davante Adams Sends Message on Aidan O’Connell Amid Rocky Offensive Start

aidan oconnell

Getty Las Vegas Raiders QB Aidan O'Connell.

Mandatory minicamp is the time for the players to start getting familiar with new teammates and new systems so it’s not expected for a team to be playing perfect football. While the Las Vegas Raiders defense is playing at a high level already, the offense hasn’t been perfect.

The team has a quarterback battle going down between Gardner Minshew and Aidan O’Connell. The latter was with the Raiders last season so he may have a leg up over the veteran. Star wide receiver Davante Adams has been impressed with what he’s seen from O’Connell’s development this offseason.

“It’s more of the comfortability in general within his own skin,” Adams said in his June 12 media availability. “He is who he is now. He’s talking a little [expletive] out there, too. So, it’s a little bit of everything. You’re starting to see more of him versus just the shell of a rookie trying to do everything by the book. That’s what allows guys to get to that next level: once you figure out who you truly are and start to come into your own. … As soon as he got here this offseason, he put his cleats on, strapped them up and you could tell that he was ready to go.”

The Raiders gave Minshew a two-year, $25 million contract in free agency so that would be a big contract for a backup but O’Connell’s going to get every chance to win the job.

Davante Adams Defends QBs

Neither quarterback is running away with the job as both have struggled to consistently complete passes in practice. For his part, Adams isn’t worried and understands the slow start due to the fact that both Minshew and O’Connell are learning a new offense.

“Neither one of those guys has any familiarity with this offense, so they’re taking advantage of all their reps and learning from the mistakes because there’s going to, obviously, be a lot of them,” Adams said. “It’s the hardest position to play in football. It’s not going to be easy, but they’re continuing to push.”

Davante Adams Not Getting Frustrated

There’s no reason for the Raiders to be too concerned about the offense right now. Training camp is when things start getting really serious. Adams has been open about times he’s been frustrated with the team but he’s relaxed right now.

“The frustration comes in midseason when we haven’t made the progress that we need,” Adams said. “At this point, you’re not a very mature or experienced football player if you’re getting frustrated in mandatory minicamp. Obviously, I get frustrated every play if it doesn’t work to a certain degree, but it’s not frustration where you’re losing hope in your teammates or yourself or the potential of what you can do as a team. It’s more like, ‘I’ve got a standard.’ … You’ve got to have realistic expectations at this point, but always keep your standard.”

The Raiders offense struggled last season so they’ll have to show signs of improvement at some point if the team is going to be confident. It’s possible that Las Vegas is a defensive team in 2024 but there’s too much talent on offense for them to not score points consistently.

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