"I put on about 40 pounds my first two years of college and I redshirted my freshman year, so I had that time to get used to everything and see it all go down," he said.
"I’d say the jump to the pros is similar to the jump from high school to college. I love football and I love what I do, but you don’t realize how much you have to put into it growing up. You think it’s all just playing games and having fun, but you don’t realize it’s all day every day."
Chiefs head coach Todd Haley echoed O'Connell's thoughts of moving from college to the pros when he said, "There’s a major learning curve for any rookie in this league, but especially at a position like tight end where you have blocking and pass-catching responsibilities and you have to read what the defense is doing to know exactly what you're supposed to be doing on offense.
O'Connell wasn't a featured part of his college offense so he said coming to the NFL and starting at the bottom of the food chain wasn't a big deal to him.
He appears to have the right attitude for the Haley/Pioli regime. He told the newspaper, "I just want to get as good as I can at as many things as I can … I want to be a good overall player and do whatever I can to help."
Haley said O'Connell was making progress and learning more about the Chiefs system everyday.