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Jets waive Kevin O’Connell 08.31.10 at 11:52 am ET
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Several media outlets are reporting that the Jets have waived quarterback Kevin O’Connell. O’Connell, a third-round pick of the Patriots in 2008 (94th overall), threw a pair of interceptions vs. the Giants in his lone 2010 preseason appearance.

The Patriots waived O’Connell on August 30, 2009. He was claimed by the Detroit Lions on September 1 and traded to the Jets five days later. O’Connell did not throw a pass for the Jets last season, but was a team captain in the club’s Week 2 win over the Patriots.

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Report: Lions claim O’Connell 09.01.09 at 4:50 pm ET
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According to reports, the Detroit Lions have claimed former Patriots quarterback Kevin O’Connell off waivers. O’Connell was released by New England yesterday after spending just over a year on the Patriots’ roster. O’Connell played in two regular-season games with New England last season. In the 2009 preseason, the 24-year-old out of San Diego State was 12-for-26 for 108 yards with two interceptions.

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Walter is ‘business’ as usual 08.31.09 at 7:28 pm ET
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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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Pats release O’Connell, Hodel at 12:10 pm ET
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The Patriots have just announced they have released quarterback Kevin O’Connell and long snapper Nathan Hodel. Here’s the full text of the statement from the team:
Read the rest of this entry »

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Report: Pats release O’Connell 08.30.09 at 4:09 pm ET
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The Patriots have informed backup quarterback Kevin O’Connell he has been released, according to multiple reports.

The second-year signal-caller out of San Diego State had played in two regular-season games with the Patriots, going 4-for-6 for 23 yards.

With the return of Tom Brady and the offseason trade of Matt Cassel to Kansas City, it was believed that O’Connell had the inside track on the backup quarterback job at the start of training camp. A third-round pick in the 2008 draft, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound O’Connell appeared to be solidly entrenched as the No. 2 throughout the spring practices.

But the 24-year-old has been tremendously underwhelming over the course of the preseason, going 12-for-26 for 108 yards and two interceptions for a quarterback rating of 25.8. (His best series came in the second preseason game against the Bengals — right before the end of the first half, he helped engineer a two-minute drive that got the Patriots within field-goal range.) On Friday night against Washington, he was 3-for-10 for 18 yards and two interceptions.

Barring a trade or the pickup of a veteran backup — something the Patriots have done in the past — it now appears that veteran Andrew Walter moves into the clear No. 2 position behind Brady. Walter was signed as a free agent by New England on Aug. 3. A 6-foot-6, 230-pounder, he spent the last four seasons with Oakland after joining the Raiders as a third-round pick out of Arizona State in 2005. Over the course of the 2009 preseason, Walter has gone 5-for-9 for 62 yards.

Earlier this month, Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked about Walter’s progression within the New England system.

“Andrew gets a little bit better each day,” Belichick said. “[He’€™s] a talented kid, good arm, accurate with the ball, getting used to our offense.

“A lot of the things we do [are] a little bit different from what he did out in Oakland, but he’€™s had experience in the spread offense from Arizona State. So it’€™s not like he hasn’€™t done it before, but not as much recently. He’€™s coming along and working hard at it. I think he’€™s more comfortable in the huddle each day, so that’€™s good.”

In addition, the Patriots have rookie Brian Hoyer, who appears to be slotted at No. 3 on the depth chart for the moment. Hoyer, an undrafted free-agent out of Michigan State, has gone 11-for-19 for 112 yards this preseason.

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Quarterback speak 08.05.09 at 2:12 pm ET
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FOXBOROUGH – Last week Tom Brady gave us insight on what he expects this season, forgetting about 2008 quickly and of course the status of the most famous left knee in New England sports history.

This week, the three quarterbacks backing up No. 12 got their chance at the mic and below is an audio sample of what they said.

Andrew Walter on coming to New England to be Tom Brady’s back-up.

Walter on his relationship with Randy Moss.

Rookie Brian Hoyer on the competition with O’Connell and Walter.

Hoyer on what he can learn from Brady.

Hoyer said it may take a while to be like Brady.

Kevin O’Connell on the adjustments this camp from rookie year.

O’Connell on the competition at quarterback.

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Countdown to Camp: Quarterbacks 07.26.09 at 10:48 pm ET
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With training camp looming at the end of the month, WEEI.com will look at the 2009 Patriots in a daily position-by-position breakdown we’€™re calling ‘€œCountdown to Camp.’€ In today’€™s installment, we take a look at New England’€™s quarterbacks.

CURRENTLY ON THE ROSTER: Tom Brady, Kevin O’€™Connell, Matt Gutierrez, Brian Hoyer.

A LOOK BACK: Brady went down in Week 1 with a left knee injury, and Cassel stepped in to lead the Patriots to an 11-5 record. Cassel, who was dealt to Kansas City in the offseason, finished the season with a 63 percent completion rate, 3,693 passing yards, 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. In limited action, O’€™Connell was 4-for-6 for 23 yards, while Brady was 7-for-11 for 76 yards in almost two quarters of play. Gutierrez did not see any action in the regular season last year, while Hoyer threw for 2,404 yards and nine TDs as a senior at Michigan State.

A LOOK AHEAD: This year, it’€™s all about No. 12. This spring, Brady said he was ‘€œfeeling really good’€ as he went through the organized team activities. He didn’€™t appear to be hamstrung in any way possible, going through every one of the same drills the other quarterbacks went through. Through most of the spring practices, there was the same zip on the football. And there was no discernible limp.

‘€œI feel as good as I could possibly feel — I don’€™t think about it. It doesn’€™t bother me doing anything. It’€™s feeling really good and it’€™s about as good as I can say,’€ Brady said when asked about his knee. ‘€œI’€™m real happy with where I’€™m at.’€

One person who might offer some unique insight into Brady’€™s rehab is Tom Martinez. Brady’€™s personal throwing guru, who currently lives in the Bay Area, said the New England quarterback will likely struggle out of the gate, but finish the year looking like the same old Brady. As a template, Martinez points to the rehab process that Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning went through last season after the Colts’€™ quarterback came off offseason surgery of his own.

‘€œDo I anticipate Brady having trouble? Yes,’€ Martinez said. ‘€œWill he correct it? Yes.’€

‘€œI think if he was concerned and it showed early, I wouldn’€™t panic. The same thing happened with Peyton. He was holding back early last year, not attacking the throw and leaving a little off it. By the end of the season, he was back to where he needed to be.’€

If the Patriots aren’€™t yet comfortable with the idea of O’€™Connell as the No. 2 quarterback, New England could always go out and get a veteran backup. The Patriots reportedly met with Patrick Ramsey earlier this year before he signed with the Titans, while Brian Griese is still available. But at this moment, O’€™Connell is your No. 2. Gutierrez and Hoyer will likely battle for the No. 3 spot — for more on that, click here.

Read More: Brian Hoyer, Kevin O'Connell, Matt Gutierrez, quarterbacks
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