The Time Kevin O’Connell Was a Jets Captain, Provided Insider Knowledge of Patriots

Yesterday, we spent a few moments discussing the video of Kevin O’Connell being cut by the Jets. It’s a unique moment for fans to witness, one that Hard Knocks allows for given the behind-the-scenes nature of the show.

While working on that piece, I came across an old article on PFT that indicated O’Connell – at that time a backup for the Jets – would be a team captain for their Patriots game. Take a look at the description:

Jay Glazer of FOX reports that reserve quarterback Kevin O’Connell, who was acquired by the Jets via trade with the Lions after being waived by the Pats only a year after entering the league as a third-round draft pick, will be named a team captain for Sunday’s game against New England.


O’Connell will serve as the emergency quarterback.  He’ll play only if Mark Sanchez and Kellen Clemens get knocked out of the game.  (That said, O’Connell may enter the game in the fourth quarter, without preventing the Jets from using either of the other two signal-callers.)

Glazer also reports that Jets coaches grilled O’Connell all week, and that they got useful information regarding the Pats’ strategies for picking up blitzes.

Being able to explain New England’s strategies seems to have worked. According to the ESPN game recap, the Patriots had a tough day at the office. The Patriots only had 9 points, all of which came off of field goals. Tom Brady’s completion percentage was below 50% and he didn’t have any touchdown passes. He had an interception and a modest 216 passing yards.

In the end, the Jets won 16-9. Kevin O’Connell certainly seems to have helped the Jets.

Currently, O’Connell ought not be overly concerned with being captain for a game. Indeed, he has much more important issues in front of him. The team is staring down its first preseason game, the first time we’ll get a chance to see what he can do as a play caller. For the most part, the offense will be pretty bland. It’ll be far more important to see the depth guys demonstrate strong technique rather than being able to pull off fancy trick plays.

As the season draws even closer, O’Connell will need to continue making difficult decisions. Cuts will soon take place, which must be one of the more challenging parts of the job. Throughout this process, it will important for Minnesota’s head coach to continue displaying the strong leadership abilities that allowed him to get where he is.