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Competition isn't new to Aidan O'Connell or Gardner Minshew II

The quarterback competition between Aidan O'Connell and Gardner Minshew II has been a "pick your poison" scenario so far.

The two have displayed different skill sets and leadership qualities on the practice field. O'Connell is your more traditional pocket quarterback with pinpoint accuracy and above average throwing power. He has a quiet confidence in the huddle, meticulously trying to read the defense.

"I think he's super smart and he's super accurate," Minshew said about his teammate. "As a young guy, he really understands football, understands progressions, timing, and it's fun to see him interact with the guys. He has a ton of energy."

Minshew, on the other hand, is a gunslinger. If there's a play to be made, he'll make it – even if he needs to use his feet to extend it. He's vocal in the huddle and loves to let his hair flow in the Las Vegas heat.

"Gardner is a great guy. Really, what you see is really what you get," O'Connell said. "He's been awesome with me. I think we do a good job of communicating with each other about what we're seeing and what we're thinking on each play."

In many regards, they're pretty similar. This certainly isn't either of their first rodeos when it comes to a quarterback competition, both climbing their way up the depth chart through their collegiate careers before becoming Day 3 draft picks. Both were also thrust in the limelight their rookie seasons: Minshew started 12 games for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019 and O'Connell took over the starting role in Week 9 last season.

For the two Raiders quarterbacks, competition is honestly all they've ever known.

"That's not unique to us," O'Connell said of the QB battle. "That's in any position really, especially in this sport. Only one quarterback can play. Our stories are kind of both underdog stories, having to work to get to the point where we're at now."

Quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello also recognizes that "the style of play is probably a little different" with each of the two quarterbacks. Nevertheless, he's been pleased with the competitiveness both have brought to the table and believes either would be a capable option as the ultimate starter.

"They're both incredible, good personalities. They balance each other well," Scangarello said last week. "They're different how they approach it. They're different how they play, but their mindsets are similar. They're bringing out the best in each other. We've thrown a lot at them and they've handled it well. But I feel like we've got great opportunities for one of these guys to lead us to do some great things."

Along with O'Connell and Minshew, the quarterback room rounded out by Anthony Brown Jr., who played for the Baltimore Ravens last season, and UDFA Carter Bradley from South Alabama. From all accounts, the room is enjoying each other's company while also learning from each other.

As each quarterback continues getting reps, the competition will intensify – which is great news for the 2024 Las Vegas Raiders.

"As any real competitor, you don't want them to get worse, you want yourself to be better," Minshew said. "So the better he is, if I'm beating him out that means I'm just raising it that much more. That's just how I've always viewed it. If he's pushing me, he's completing every pass, I've got to figure out a way to do better. I think that's only way to really ever improve."

Head inside Intermountain Health Performance Center to view photos from day eight of OTAs.

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