Derek Carr & Raiders QB Aidan O’Connell Link up in Viral Clip

derek carr


New Orleans Saints QB Derek Carr.

The Las Vegas Raiders moved on from quarterback Derek Carr last offseason in favor of Jimmy Garoppolo but that didn’t last long. Garoppolo started six games before getting benched in favor of Aidan O’Connell.

Carr was the Raiders’ starter for nine years but the team didn’t give him any breathing room before they gave O’Connell his same No. 4 jersey. Carr has been honest about not being thrilled with how Las Vegas handled his exit but it appears he has no bad blood with O’Connell.

During a February 15 match for the Vegas Thrill volleyball team, O’Connell and Carr were able to link up and appeared to share some kind words, per a video posted to X from 8 News Now’s Logan Reever.

#Raiders QBs of past and present linking up

There’s no reason why Carr and O’Connell would have tension as the former has always been a professional. O’Connell said that the Raiders assigned him the No. 4 jersey so it had nothing to do with what he wanted. The main decision-makers behind Carr getting cut are no longer with the team.

Aidan O’Connell Talks Becoming Starting QB

The initial plans for the Raiders in 2023 had nothing to do with Aidan O’Connell starting games. He began the season as third on the depth chart behind Jimmy Garoppolo and Brian Hoyer.

After Josh McDaniels was fired, O’Connell was thrust into the full-time starting quarterback role and didn’t look back. While there were ups and downs, the young quarterback credited his teammates for helping him with the transition.

“You just kind of get thrown into it,” O’Connell told Heavy Sports in a February 5 interview. “Baptism by fire. I think the whole rookie experience is difficult. You start with preseason, college season, combine training, draft, right into wherever they go. I kind of just had to figure it out as I went along. And guys like [Jakobi Meyers], older guys, who’ve been through the rookie experience in the early years. I think I was in a really cool spot and had a lot of great teammates.”

O’Connell finished 5-5 as the starter with 12 touchdowns to seven interceptions.

Aidan O’Connell Earned Respect of Teammates

From Week 11 to Week 14, the Raiders had lost three straight games and it looked like Aidan O’Connell could lose his starting job. However, his teammates rallied behind him, including wide receiver Jakobi Meyers, who was impressed with how the quarterback handled adversity.

“I’m sure it hurts sometimes when things don’t go your way but with us, he always stayed smooth,” Meyers told Heavy Sports in a February 5 interview. “… It was really cool to just see him go through that. That was a messy message situation. That’s not going to be easy for anybody – a 10-year vet or a rookie. So the way he just stood there, stood tall and took everything that came to him. … Respect to him.”

It remains to be seen if O’Connell will have the opportunity to start next season. He does have athletic limitations but he proved that he can run an offense. There’s talk of the Raiders going after a quarterback this offseason but it doesn’t seem like veterans on the roster would be upset if O’Connell gets another chance to lead the offense.

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