Ryan on O'Connell: 'The kid's a Jet'
September, 21, 2009
By Tim Graham | ESPN.com
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
Kevin O'Connell didn't get cut Monday.
One day after the New York Jets played O'Connell's former team, head coach Rex Ryan reiterated the club's intention to keep him around for more than New England Patriots espionage.
"There's no doubt the kid's a Jet," Ryan said.
The Patriots surprisingly waived O'Connell, a third-round pick in 2008, toward the end of the preseason. The Jets put in a waiver claim, but he was awarded to the Detroit Lions, who traded him to the Jets.
Ryan named O'Connell a captain and jumped him ahead of Erik Ainge as the third quarterback for Sunday's convincing 16-9 decision over the Patriots at the Meadowlands.
Some thought it was a psyops maneuver on Ryan's part. Ryan explained O'Connell deserved after a week of helping the Jets' defense prepare for the man he used to back up, Tom Brady.
"He did a great job of preparing our team, running the scout team, putting in some plays that they would check to if they saw certain looks," Ryan said.
"Ainge is our third-string quarterback, but this young man [O'Connell] has got a lot of ability, and it was just something I thought was important.
"I wanted New England to know that this is our quarterback. This is our player. He's on our team now. And for whatever the reason they thought [we were] just going to pick his brain. We got plenty of coaches here, but he was helpful on the practice field."