Insider Explains How Josh McDaniels Sabotaged Aidan O’Connell’s First NFL Start

One of the pleasant surprises of the Raiders’ preseason was fourth-round rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell.

In three preseason games, O’Connell threw for 482 yards to go along with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He showed good poise and accuracy, and clearly had the strongest arm in the quarterback room.

O’Connell got his first regular season start in week 4 against the Chargers, but the results weren’t quite as magical. He played reasonably well, but was sacked 7 times and threw a costly interception in the fourth quarter that sealed a 24-17 win for the Chargers.

At the time, it seemed like the game was just a rookie hiccup, but a Sports Illustrated report this week suggested there was something else working against O’Connell in the game.

According to SI’s Hondo Carpenter, Josh McDaniels essentially set up O’Connell for failure with his stubborn game plan against the Chargers.

“When Aidan O’Connell started in a loss to the Los Angeles Chargers after Jimmy Garoppolo was injured, seeds of frustration started to germinate when Josh McDaniels did nothing to alter or change ‘His system’ for the talented youngster,” Carpenter reported on Friday.

“Internally, McDaniels explained that it was ‘the way to learn’ his complicated offense, but many questioned it,” Hondo continued. “When Jimmy Garoppolo was injured again, and the Raiders went north to Chicago, people began to wonder what McDaniels would do. There was excitement around the rookie, but team wide, people didn’t want to see O’Connell thrown into a no-win situation again.”

McDaniels might not have been intentionally sabotaging O’Connell, but it’s starting to feel like he has sabotaged every quarterback he has worked with in Las Vegas.

Popular opinion seems to be that McDaniels will easily find another assistant job when he’s ready, but his maniacal tactics over the last 21 months ought to be enough to make teams think twice.

If someone does end up hiring him again, let’s hope it’s someone in the AFC West.

twitter: @raidersbeat

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10 thoughts on “Insider Explains How Josh McDaniels Sabotaged Aidan O’Connell’s First NFL Start

  1. Josh McDoofus sabatoged Carr last season. He ain’t right in the head. Raiders fans wanted to win. Remember? Just win baby.

    1. He did sabotage Carr because he wanted “His guy” at QB. When Carr called his own plays he did way better but that secretly enraged the “genius” So he ran him off. Carr isn’t Brady or Rogers but hes certainly a very good QB given proper play calling and leadership.
      Im glad the “Patriot Way” experiment is over but it cost us another couple of years.

    2. Agree 100%. The Raiders would have been a playoff contender at bare minimum if they gave Bisaccia the job and kept Carr, All they needed at the end of that season was to beef up the O line and defense. They had all the rest of the tools ready for success.

      1. Agreed. Maybe grab a promising offensive coordinator. Carr was far from their problem and much better than average in the NFL. The team had heart and spark and bowl-cut snuffed them.

  2. Egomaniac is how you would describe Mc Daniel his ego was so big it wouldn’t let him make the right decisions for the better of the team sitting players out not incorporating play makers in the offensive scheme Renfro, Adams. And getting rid of good players Carr and Waller total 🤡 clown. His way of doing things didn’t so leadership so I doubt that he will get another head coaching job serve him right!!!!!

  3. McDaniels was definitely a flop and a big mistake,but Bisaccia? Please,if he is such a great coach,why has no one else in the league offered him a head coaching job yet? He wasn’t the answer either,if he was someone else would have snapped him up to coach.

  4. Mark Davis allows ALL this to happen! Everyone is clowning the clowns that aren’t getting the job done…start clowning the clown hiring all the clowns!

  5. I’ve been a raiders fan for over 40 years. So I can tell you all if AL was here we definitely would not have these type of issues!!!

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