When analyzing the Patriots’ move today – telling quarterback Kevin O’Connell that he will be waived – the first thought that came to mind was: So soon?
The Patriots’ system is complex and I figured O’Connell – with his third-round pedigree – would be given more time to develop. That thought was based on this time last year, when Matt Cassel, in his fourth year with the Patriots, struggled but still made the club.
Two thoughts came to mind when I considered the Patriots’ decision-making with O’Connell:
1) Bill Belichick often talks about the progression from rookie year to second year as the time when players usually make the biggest jump. To give up on O’Connell at this point in the progression is an indication that Belichick felt strongly that things were headed in the wrong direction.
2) Perhaps this means there is another move in the offing. In shaking up the depth chart behind Brady, maybe the Patriots are in the market for a more experienced No. 2 option. As some who commented on the previous blog entry noted, Eagles quarterback A.J. Feeley had past success against the Patriots and could be available. The Patriots director of pro personnel, Jason Licht, used to work for the Eagles so there is some familiarity there.