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Jets expect O'Connell to be more than a spy

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

The New York Jets already had three quarterbacks they liked when they acquired Kevin O'Connell.

Many wonder if O'Connell's value to the Jets is less about his upside and more about his familiarity with the New England Patriots' playbook and offensive philosophies.

Jets coach Rex Ryan shot down that notion Tuesday.

But if O'Connell has some insight to share, Ryan's not going to cover his ears, yell "La! La! La! I can't hear you! I can't hear you!" and run out of the room.

"He's not brought here to be an assistant coach," Ryan said. "He's brought here to be a quarterback.

"Now, will we pump him for information or something like that? Yes. Who am I kidding? If he's got something, then, yes, absolutely. If you've got anything to help us, go for it.

"But that's not why we brought him here."

The Jets were one of five teams to place a claim on O'Connell when the Patriots surprisingly waived him Aug. 30. But he was awarded to the Detroit Lions, who then traded him to the Jets on Monday.

The Jets have said they will go with four quarterbacks -- Mark Sanchez, Kellen Clemens, Erik Ainge, O'Connell -- a second straight year. They kept Clemens, Brett Ratliff and Ainge last year after they traded for Brett Favre.

O'Connell is "a guy that our organization thought a lot of," Ryan said. "It's not unusual to have four quarterbacks. If we have a chance to get a good football player that we think can help us, whether it's immediately or down the road, we're going to try to add that player.

"Our guys are excited about him. Again, he was a third-round pick. New England obviously thought a lot of him. Sometimes you can’t keep all the guys you want, and we were fortunate to add this young man."