Insider Explains How Aidan O’Connell Was Assigned Derek Carr’s No. 4: “They Were Clueless”

How did Aidan O’Connell end up with the Raiders’ no. 4 jersey just a few months after Derek Carr left the team?

That’s a question many have asked since O’Connell was assigned the jersey prior to the season.

“It was the number that was given to me,” O’Connell said in August. “I really don’t care what number I play with. I’ll play with any number. So, I don’t worry too much about that.”

But is there more to the story? There has to be, right?

According to Sports Illustrated insider Hondo Carpenter, there were conversations about the number O’Connell would receive, but the decision wasn’t intended to be a slight at Carr. This was Hondo’s version of the story on his daily Las Vegas Raiders Insider podcast earlier this week…

“They absolutely did know it was Derek’s number and their process [was] ‘Hey, Derek wanted to go.’ Remember, they circled back. ‘Derek wanted to go, and he didn’t leave us hating him, or him hating us, and since we don’t retire numbers, it’s not going to matter to him. He’s on to his next team, so let’s give [Aiden] that number and move on.’

It wasn’t because it was Derek’s number. They wanted [Aiden] to have a number in certain digits, and that was there. That was it.

They were woefully blind to not think it would be a big deal to the fan base. Either way, the Carr haters would embrace it as ‘Ha Ha, that’s a big middle finger to Derek, and the others say ‘That’s a big disrespect to Derek.’

They did not read the room at all. You may remember when I did my deep dive article about Josh [McDaniels], someone said they thought he was just ‘clueless’ in the mood of the locker room… to Josh’s credit or discredit, he was so centrally focused to his process that there are times with those blinders that he is just clueless.”

Believe what you want, but it would take a special kind of “clueless” to not realize the message being sent by assigning O’Connell the no. 4 jersey.

Either McDaniels was incredibly aloof, as the report stated, or the head coach who was said to “overanalyze everything” was simply pleading ignorance as he knowingly took a shot at Carr.

It might be true that Carr and McDaniels have told people that there were no hard feelings from their time together… but there is also a chance that those messages weren’t entirely true.

twitter: @raidersbeat


9 thoughts on “Insider Explains How Aidan O’Connell Was Assigned Derek Carr’s No. 4: “They Were Clueless”

  1. That explanation is void of common sense. Yes McDaniels purposely gave that number indicating to the world that he could develop the new kid into something better.
    Let us not forget McDaniels planned this with at least 2 weeks remaining last season when he benched Carr. This also provided a slap in the face to remaining players that loved Carr star players who I am certain (which will come out some time in future when their time with Raiders ends) felt disrespected. At the very least it was terrible way to build trust n chemistry with a group you want to give you 150 percent n to lead buying into what he was preaching.
    McDaniels n his ego support deducting his malicious slap against Carr n that conclusion is correctly applied.
    Whether franchise retires numbers or not it takes a person without class n possessing a lot of stupidity to not wait a at least a few seasons to give someone the same number that holds many all time team records.
    Maybe people need to go back n watch highlights of Carr because I will tell you he consistently made great throws, lwd team to many comebacks, n truly loved this organization. McDaniels cared nothing about Raider history n is consumed with only everything Patriots which leaves a question as to why he did not stay in New England n wait out Belichick so he could take over n keep what he believes was the Patriot way (which never can occur again without Brady n horrible Tuck Rule Game that directly led to the so-called Patriot way being created.)
    Lets get this straight McDaniels fully intended, knew what he was doing, n disrespected not just Carr, remaining players, fans, but Raider history when giving away that number the season after Carr left. Ridiculous for anyone to say that McDaniels said or thought well hey Carr wanted to leave when it was clear he was being shoved out the door. McDaniels is mad that Carr did not allow them to get draft pick for him (Who would have in his position – EXACTLY.)

    1. Excellent comment. I’m still mad as hell at Marky for bringing McDoofus into the organization.

    2. Ditto, ditto, ditto and ditto. Oh ya eff McDaniels and ziegler. And eff the patriots and their stupid way.

  2. So what is Mark Davis’ excuse that he didn’t tell his head coach that wasn’t a good idea? I can’t stand Mark for it. No one is arguing that Derek is a HOF qb, but he took the team through its most tumultuous history w/out complaint, playing all except for when he broke his ankle. For many of those years, he was one of only a few watchable players.

    Mark is a stupid man.

  3. I wish to add that writers often point out that while Mark is very different from his father, they do share a trait: they both value loyalty.

    If ever there were a Raider player that exhibited that in abundance it’s Carr. For that reason alone, Mark should have reciprocated with the very easy decision to tell his head coach a number other than 4 for AOC is a nod to the fans who valued Carr for all kinds of reasons, not the least of which is that Carr had always been a Raider fan.

    I’ll also add that Carr, at the time of his benching, was either the only Oakland Raider to be on the Vegas team or one of only two. (I once read there was one other player. Sorry, don’t recall who it was.) It was, I think, especially noted by Oakland fans of the Raiders that the new coaches seemed clueless. After Carr left, and AOC’s number remained #4, I think they concluded that Mark was clueless or uncaring as well. With the Davises one never knows if the arrow valuing loyalty only points in one direction.

  4. It’s pretty easy to figure out. They had a ton of #4 jerseys with Carrs name on them. Need to sell them so why put that number on the rookie? Then if he does well you just change the name plates. And away they go. Usually every decision is linked to $$.

  5. This isn’t the Raiders Football Organization at all. I’ve been a fan since “74 through good times , bad times, but this, this **** here is , I have no words. I’m just sad that Mr. Al Davis is probably turning over in his grave. As many battles Mr. Davis has fought, this is one where he loose and he didn’t have a **** thing to do with it , these fuckers have tarnish this organization for a long time to come.

Comments are closed.