So our new franchise QB has his own tutor, a guy by the name of Ken O'Brien. Okay. But how impressed should we be about this guy? Well, I hope this post can better enlighten us as to who he is in regards to football.
(All information via Wikipedia & Pro-Football-Reference.com)
Ken O'Brien was drafted by the NY Jets in the first round (#24) of 1983 (ahead of Marino) and played for 9 years. He made two Pro Bowls (back when it mattered - '85 & '91). Statistically, he appears to have been a pretty solid QB for his career. Obviously, with Elway and Marino in the league with him his whole career, he rarely lead in any passing category. His major accomplishment (provided his peers) was leading the league in passer rating in 1985 with 96.2 (now the 90th ranked rating all time).
His career passing rating is 80.4. Career completion % is 58.6 (peaking at 62.2% in '86). He lead the league in INT % three times (low being good, obviously). That's the good. He's a former 1st rounder that was fairly accurate and generally made good decisions with the ball. So him tutoring Locker in these areas is all positive.
Now the less good... O'Brien's career record is 50-59-1. He only made the playoffs twice, losing in both appearances. He also played on a team that finished with a winning record only twice (one playoff team was 8-8). But we need to keep in mind he was in the same division as Marino and the Pats that lost to the Bears in a Super Bowl. Then at the end of his career he had Jim Kelly's Bills in the division. Not a huge thing, but can better keep things in perspective. Also, for comparison's sake (note different decades usually yield different "passing eras"), McNair finished with a 60.1 completion %, Aikman a 61.5%, Marino 59.4%, Moon, 58.4%. (Chad Pennington has the top career % with 66.)
Some cool facts and quotes:
Inducted into the College Hall of Fame ('97)
Cal Aggie Athletic Hall of Fame ('90)
He is the only quarterback to pass for 400 or more yards (431) in a game and earn a perfect NFL 158.3 rating.
In the old QB challenge of the 90s, O'Brien was the champion of the 1st competition. In the second year, he more than doubled the next contestant by hitting all targets and a near-perfect on the 50 yard target (close to the bull's eye).
April 26, 1983 "Who's he?" - Don Shula when the Jets took Ken O'Brien with the 24th pick in the 1983 draft, leaving Dan Marino for the Dolphins (3 picks later)
So there you go. Jake Locker is being tutored by not only a former player, but a pretty good one. He apparently was pretty hot stuff in college and was better than average in the NFL. Hopefully, O'Brien's work meshes with that of the coaching staff - or that he continues to work with him if able and/or necessary.
Locker - by all accounts - has the physical skills and is a dedicated student. In a few years, we should all be extremely happy. ...And we can thank O'Brien for helping develop our QB.