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Raiders-Chargers: Josh McDaniels says Aidan O’Connell must take better care of ball

“Playing quarterback in our league starts with taking care of the football” -McDaniels

Las Vegas Raiders v Los Angeles Chargers
Aidan O’Connell
Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders 2023 season is quickly spiraling out of control. With their Week 4 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, the Raiders are now 1-3 through the first month of the campaign and have a better chance at the No. 1 overall pick than making the playoffs.

That puts Las Vegas in a position where looking toward the future might be more important than how the rest of the games play out this year, and rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell could be a big part of the team’s plans.

O’Connell made his NFL debut in Los Angeles and completed 24 of 39 passing attempts for 238 yards and no passing touchdowns but a rushing score. He did show signs of a quarterback making his first NFL start in the first half—most notably, three fumbles that led to two Raiders’ turnovers—but rallied in the second half to give the team a chance to tie the game.

However, an interception on what would be the Raiders’ last offensive play helped seal the Silver and Black’s fate.

There was plenty to criticize about O’Connell’s debut, but he also showed fight and made a handful of encouraging plays. But when head coach Josh McDaniels was asked about the fourth-round pick’s performance, McDaniels began his answer by calling out the turnovers.

Below is a look at what McDaniels had to say about O’Connell as well as a few other highlights from the post-game quotes.

O’Connell talks about his last throw and explains what happened on the interception.

Ted Nguyen of The Athletic broke down the pick, too.

Raider Nation is with you Davante Adams, we don’t know what to say anymore, either. The Athletic’s Vic Tafur also followed up with a quote from Adams that read: “We have to be more urgent.”

It was first and goal from the three-yard-line on O’Connell’s interception, so fans are right to question the play call.

First-round pick Tyree Wilson had a few nice plays today, including the one below.

Part of O’Connell’s struggles today had to do with Khalil Mack getting six sacks and the Chargers ending with seven as a team. McDaniels tried to explain why the Raiders struggled to contain Mack.

Most of Raider Nation seems to be calling for McDaniels’ job.

New season, same McDaniels quotes...