Here’s one thing of which Kevin O’Connell is certain: Tom Brady helps his backups’ pursue NFL success, instead of hindering them.
The Washington Redskins offensive coordinator told Bleacher Report’s Mike Tanier this week the New England Patriots quarterback was a great mentor to him when he was a rookie. The Patriots selected O’Connell in the 3rd round of the 2008 NFL Draft, and he remembers Brady and Matt Cassel fostering an excellent working environment for a first-year backup like himself.
“It was awesome,” O’Connell said. “It was very much how you would hope as a young player. It wasn’t like, ‘Hey rook, do this, do that.’ I learned quickly that those guys were going to help me out.”
O’Connell couched his comments on Brady inside an interview, in which he discusses how some starting quarterbacks are better teachers to their younger counterparts than others.
O’Connell appeared in just two games in 2008, and the Patriots waived him during the next season’s training camp. Stints with the Detroit Lions, New York Jets, San Diego Chargers and Miami Dolphins stops that included time with the Jets, Chargers, Lions and Dolphins.
Perhaps Brady’s effect on Jarrett Stidham, who has impressed in training camp and in training camp in the Patriots’ three preseason games, is similar to the one he had on O’Connell.
Stidham, of course, must forge his own career, and the Patriots hope he develops under Brady into a quality NFL signal-caller.