The Chargers signed former SDSU QB Kevin O’Connell, 6-5, 225, to a one-year contract on Monday. O’Connell is perceived to be a two-week rental until presumptive second string QB Charlie Whitehurst (sore MCL) returns to action. O’Connell, however, is thankful to be in San
Diego and looks to exploit the opportunity.
O’Connell was a third-round pick of the Patriots in 2008. The only regular season action in his career came in ’08 when he appeared in two games and completed four of six passes for just 23 yards. He then served as a backup on the Jets for the 2009 and 2011 seasons.
QB Kyle Boller was originally signed on Friday, but Boller had a change of heart and chose to retire. O’Connell, who has strong roots in San Diego, made it known he was interested in the job.
“I used to go to [Chargers] games when I was younger,” O’Connell said. “I have kept in touch with a lot of the guys on the team that I have met training and working out in San Diego. Walking into the locker room here was obviously different than walking in to the locker room
in New York or New England for the first time. There is a sense of familiarity.”
C Nick Hardwick was among a group of veterans who interrupted O’Connell with a cheer in his introductory press conference. “That right there is a perfect example,” O’Connell responded. “I have known those guys for a long time, but to walk in and be a teammate is a whole different story.”
O’Connell spent the offseason working out at SDSU with fellow alumni and current Charger players OL Brandyn Dombrowski and WR Vincent Brown. O’Connell was on the throwing end of Brown's first TD catch in college. “I remember that play,” O’Connell said. “I have been a huge fan of [Brown] since his freshman year at San Diego State and know everyone around here is really looking forward to his career. I am definitely going to lean on him and a few of these other guys to get through this first couple of days.”
O’Connell’s career in San Diego will likely be no more than just a couple of weeks, but his previous NFL experience has taught him that anything can happen. “You might as well just not even worry about what you think may happen or what the situation may be,” O’Connell said. “Just put your best foot forward and put good days together. You don’t
want to leave any stone unturned.”