Adain O’Connell Named the Quarterback He Models His Game After, Says His Source of Motivation is to “Glorify God”

Raider fans are still getting to know second-year quarterback Aidan O’Connell, but after a guest appearance this week on The Rush with Maxx Crosby, they can feel like they know him a little better.

O’Connell talked about a wide range of topics with the premier edge rusher in the NFL. Some related to football and some did not.

He talked about his drive to play football and was asked by Crosby to identify his main source of motivation as a player. This was O’Connell’s response…

“I’m a Christian, so definitely to glorify God,” O’Connell said. “I think He has put me in this position for a reason even though I didn’t think I’d get to this position. I’m obviously here for a reason to give glory to His name in success and failure. I think that’s definitely my number one.”

“I know all that my parents did. I grew up one of six kids, so all they did to pour into me… to drive me certain places, to get me to go train, to practices [and] whatever it might be. And even more than that, to support me and tell me their proud of me and that they love me. So to give back to my family I think is huge. I know even when I’m having a tough time, and we might not be willing or whatever it might be, I know that they are loving it. They’re loving the whole situation and that I get to do this, and so to bring them joy even if it’s harder for me is a privilege for me.”

Asked about the quarterbacks that he models his game after, O’Connell said there isn’t a list.

There is only one.

“It was really just Tom Brady to me,” O’Connell said. “That was really it.”

“I’ve seen him a few times last year and it’s crazy meeting the guy that I try to model my game after that I’ve been such a huge fan of for a long time,” O’Connell continued. “To get to hear him talk about the offense I was in last year… that he was in for 20 years… was an awesome dream come true. But at the same time, I’m trying to make my name and carve it out for myself and so it’s a balance of trying to be reflective, like we talked about, and be grateful, but also trying to tackle the task at hand and be the best I can be.”

O’Connell recently switched his jersey number to no. 12, and it’s fair to wonder if Brady had something to do with the decision.

As for the no. 4 part of the equation, O’Connell never wanted to wear Derek Carr’s former number in the first place.

“I just didn’t want to be 4 anymore. I didn’t pick no. 4,” O’Connell said. “I was actually 9 and then Tyree [Wilson] wanted 9, so they gave 9 to Tyree. That was in like the first week I was here last year, and then they gave me 4 and I was a rookie, you kind of just do what you’re told. Then in the offseason, it felt to me this is Derek’s number. He wore it for that long and he’s the franchise leader and all that stuff. It felt disrespectful, so I just wanted to kind of give that back to him…”

x: @raidersbeat