|Walter is ‘business’ as usual||08.31.09 at 7:28 pm ET|
FOXBOROUGH — Andrew Walter did hear from Kevin O’Connell after O’Connell was officially released by the Patriots on Monday.
“Just text,” Walter said Monday. “It was a short text.”
Walter didn’t need to go into particulars. The message was pretty loud and clear heading into the final preseason game against the Giants this Thursday at Gillette Stadium. The 27-year-old QB from Arizona State is the new backup to Tom Brady, at least for the moment.
“My role was pretty clear before — continue to learn and develop,” Walter said. “However, it ends up in the end is sort of in my control but out of my control. The number one thing that I’m concerned about right now is after I’m done talking to (media) is to go have a good meeting and then after that, go have a good practice. All short term right now.”
Of course, a trade or free agent signing at quarterback could change all of that but for now, Walter will get the job of running the Patriots offense when Brady doesn’t. There is some irony in the fact that on the day when University of Arizona legend Tedy Bruschi retired from the Patriots, Walter — from Arizona State — might be getting a huge break with the Pats.
“This is my fifth year in the NFL and you see guys come and go,” Walter said. “When you get close to guys, you just have to remind yourself this is a business. That’s sort of outside of the realm of things that I’m concerned with right now and I just have to leave it at that.”
As for his all-important reps this preseason, he hasn’t had that many, going just 5-for-9 for 62 yards, no TDs, no interceptions and a QB rating of 77.1. That compares very favorably to O’Connell, who had a rough time, completing just 12-of-26 passes for 108 yards, no TDs and two picks and a rating of just 25.8. O’Connell, a third-round pick out of San Diego State in 2008, was released prior to his second season in New England.
This was also the second time this summer that the Patriots released a homegrown quarterback as 2007 free agent Matt Gutierrez was released on Aug. 4, the same day Walter was signed as a free agent.
“Those are all coaches decisions,” said Walter, who figures to get a lot of work on Thursday. “I’m a pro. They tell me to play, I’ll play. Watch, watch and stand, stand. It’s coach’s decision and like I said, I’m a professional. Just do what they say and I’ll be alright.”
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