When the New Orleans Saints visited Green Bay for a preseason contest in August, then-Saints quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan didn't have one of his better days. He completed just seven out of the 20 passes he threw, including two interceptions along with 132 yards and a touchdown in the Packers' 19-14 win.
After being traded to the Packers Monday, O'Sullivan said that he's ready for another chance in Lambeau Field, his new home stadium.
"That definitely was not one of my highlights of the preseason," said O'Sullivan. "It was one of those things where that's a tough place to go in and play for other teams, and I definitely experienced it first hand."
O'Sullivan, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound quarterback in his third season in the NFL after being drafted by New Orleans out of the University of California-Davis in the sixth round in 2002, is coming off his second consecutive impressive preseason, where he led the Saints with 471 passing yards and a pair of scoring throws.
Although he has yet to play in a regular season game as he was the number three quarterback in his time with the Saints, the quarterback's confidence has not wavered, and in fact got a shot in the arm with a standout performance last spring with the Frankfurt Galaxy of NFL Europe, a team he guided to a championship game appearance.
"I don't think that I've ever been too lacking in confidence, but it was something going over there and playing after not playing for a couple years," O'Sullivan said. "You forget how much you enjoy getting out there and being competitive, flying around and having fun - just being able to play.
"It's such a different role if you're not asked to play consistently and perform at high level when you're the backup, and especially when you're the third guy. It was something I really enjoyed and we had a lot of fun going over there and winning a lot of games."
GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman said Monday after announcing the trade that the confidence that the passer shows was part of the reason he made the decision to acquire O'Sullivan.
"He is somebody that we have had our eye on," said Sherman. "We watched him during NFLE, watched him during the preseason, and have studied him as we study a lot of players in this league.
"I remember in our ballgame, he didn't play a great game against us, but he throws a pass and slides like he's sliding into second base on our sideline, claps his hands, and gets up kind of cocky a little bit. I remember that part of him. I've also been studying his tapes. He has a quick release, he has good feet, and he seems to be a good leader. He has a number of things that are attractive in the study of him."
Another member of the Packers who has had a chance to study the newest member of the organization is safety Darren Sharper, who worked as a television analyst for two of O'Sullivan's games in Germany.
"I had a chance to analyze his games when I went to Germany when he was playing for Frankfurt in NFL Europe," Sharper said. "When I met him, I got a little idea of how he is. One thing I do know is that he's a very talented quarterback. He's a leader, similar to Brett, kind of one of those guys who's a tough-as-nails quarterback. He can throw the ball well and makes smart decisions. I definitely think it's a good addition."
While he didn't yet know Monday exactly what his role will be with the Packers, O'Sullivan did know that whatever it turns out to be, he'll be ready and willing to give the team all he's got.
"My approach is going to be to come in and play as well as I can in whatever role they ask me to play," he said. "I'm going to go there and try to do the same things that I always try to do and just play well and do whatever the team asks me to do."