In Round 3 pick 31, the New England Patriots selected San Diego State QB Kevin O'Connell (props to melagrano for fanpost on Kevin ). Raising eyebrows amongst the announcers and guffaws from opposing fans, it seemed on the surface to be a crazy pick, that Belichick and Pioli were loons and they'd spent too much time on Union Street at the Bell in Hand . Oh, ye of little faith. Dost thou realize the anointed pair have a crystal football?
The unproven Matt Cassel is a free agent after the 2008 season and Matt Gutierrez, well, let's not go there. My take on this is Belichick is preparing for the eventual departure of our 6th round hero, Tom Brady. This kid appears to have some skills and can you imagine how good he'll get under the tutelage of #12? There are very few quarterbacks, save the other guy with a horseshoe on his helmet, I can honestly say would be better suited to steer this guy in the right direction.
"That’s the first thing I thought of to tell you the truth: To learn from the best of the best. I’ve been watching [Tom Brady] for a long time and kind of studying the way he plays the game and carries himself and leads his teammates. Not only that, but to play for the coaching staff with Coach McDaniels and Coach Belichick, it’s going to be the best possible situation for me to grow as a player. All I wanted was an opportunity to grow and come in and learn and to able to learn from the best, both coaching-wise and the leader of the football team, it’s going to be a special experience for me."
Kevin was "victim" of a less than stellar offensive line at San Diego State. That means he had to scramble...A LOT! So much so that he led the team in rushing yards:
"I think that at the level in which I played, it gave our offense another option. I think with me being able to run the football as many times as I did or as an option in an offense, it provided a different aspect, a different wrinkle. Hopefully, in the NFL, my goal is just to become the best possible pocket passer that I can be and learn the game and learn the art of playing quarterback at that level. If my athletic ability or mobility can help me to three, four times a game make a play down the line then that will definitely be a strong suit of mine, but I have a lot of things to learn and a lot of different aspects of the game that I want to continue to grow."
I've always appreciated quarterbacks with mobility. It creates many problems for defenses and I like it when our offenses create problems. Watching a quarterback squirt through the line and burn a DB makes me giggle like a schoolgirl, but that's for another post on a different blog. Anyway, this will give NE a year with a raw, young talent and prepare Kevin for bigger things. #12 will retire. It's only a matter of time. And when he does, won't it be nice to have a proven young gun in our stables?
Kevin O'Connell, welcome to the New England Patriots.