There were some bumpy moments for Aidan O’Connell throughout his rookie season for the Las Vegas Raiders but he appeared to come into his own toward the end of the year. Across his final four starts, he went 3-1 while throwing for eight touchdowns and no interceptions.
Despite the promising end to the season, the Raiders are likely to be in the market to add another quarterback this offseason. If O’Connell hopes to start again, he’s going to have to compete. That’s something that he welcomes.
“I’ve been competing for a long time,” O’Connell said in a January 25 interview, via 8 News Now’s Logan Reever. “There hasn’t really been a lot of years where I’ve been the unquestioned starter going in so I’m used to competing. I had to compete to get to the spot that I’m in. And I also think it would be right to have competition in this league. … It’s my job to try and keep my job.”
O’Connell played well enough down the stretch to earn a chance to compete for the starting job next season but he could face stiff competition if the Raiders draft another quarterback early or sign a proven veteran.
Aidan O’Connell Addresses Antonio Pierce Getting HC Job
Antonio Pierce was a big advocate for Aidan O’Connell during the 2023 season and now that he’s been announced as the full-time head coach, he could give the quarterback a fair chance. However, both Pierce and new general manager Tom Telesco were non-commital on the young quarterback recently.
Regardless, O’Connell is happy to have both of them in the building, especially Pierce.
“Super happy for both those guys,” O’Connell said of Pierce and Telesco, via Vegas Sports Today. “Obviously, A.P., he deserved it. He did a great job being put in the position he got put in this year.”
O’Connell is echoing how many other players on the Raiders roster feel about Pierce getting a chance to be the head coach full-time.
Latest on Las Vegas Raiders OC Search
It’ll be easier to get an idea of what the Raiders could do at quarterback this offseason once they hire an offensive coordinator. Considering Antonio Pierce’s focus is mostly on the defensive side of the ball, the offensive coordinator will be taking ownership of the entire offense.
The Raiders are currently doing an extensive search for an offensive coordinator and they could be narrowing it down.
According to a January 26 X post from Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, the team has interviewed former Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt and is set to interview former Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy.
Breer had also reported recently that Las Vegas is interviewing former Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury.
One thing that all three of these candidates have is that they’ve called plays before. Pierce could prefer experience over going after an up-and-coming coach. It remains to be seen when this search will wrap up but the Raiders will likely try to strike soon as many of the top candidates are getting hired. Kingsbury is the most interesting candidate as his previous head coaching experience could be valuable to Pierce, who is entering his first season as a full-time head coach.
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