Gardner Minshew & Aidan O'Connell trade compliments amid Raiders QB competition

Raiders quarterbacks Gardner Minshew and Aidan O'Connell discuss competition during press conference.
Las Vegas Raiders OTA Offseason Workout
Las Vegas Raiders OTA Offseason Workout / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

Speaking with the media today were Gardner Minshew and Aidan O'Connell, the two players in the middle of the quarterback competition. Minshew began his press conference by discussing the energy surrounding the Las Vegas Raiders, a topic that players and coaches have discussed frequently this offseason. Referring to what it was like entering the Raiders facilities, Minshew said:

“So far, with the guys it’s been awesome, the energy [has]  been great. I think we’ve been preparing the right way, guys are showing up ready to work.”

A recurring theme since Antonio Pierce became head coach. When asked what he thought about the quarterback competition, Minshew responded as follows:

"I think we’ve both put together a good camp so far, [we’ve] been pushing each other.”

The quarterback also added, "[O’Connell's] a team guy, we both want to win, we both want to get better.” 

When asked what impressed him most about O'Connell, Minshew responded in line with what we have heard coaches say this offseason:

“He’s super accurate, as a young guy, he really understands football, understands progressions. It’s fun to watch him with the guys, he has a ton of energy and it’s just a lot of fun to be around.” 

O'Connell's thoughts on Minshew & competition

In response to a question concerning Gardner Minshew and the quarterback competition, Aidan O'Connell stated the following:

“It’s been awesome, Gardner is a great guy and what you see is what you get. He’s [Minshew] been awesome with me, I think we do a good job of communicating with each other, what we’re seeing, what we’re thinking on each play, because we are both trying to learn the offense.”

O’Connell also said this about Minshew:

“We’ve both been around long enough, both had to compete our whole lives.”

O'Connell, who will be starting his second season in the NFL, stated that he "feels more comfortable" than he did as a rookie, and his increased confidence was evident even in his interactions with the media. Hopefully, this confidence will carry over onto the field.

Similarities between the QBs

O'Connell and Minshew also praised how impressive the defense is and how practicing against a unit like that everyday can only make you better. When discussing learning a new system both quarterbacks said "voice memo" (listening to a recording of the playbook/play calling) was their preferred method of study. They also referred to experiencing the "ups and downs" and normal struggles in learning a new system, which is expected in June. The competition between the two quarterbacks will continue until one of the players separates themselves.