Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Plot Thickens

Is no news still good news on the QB front? Even by my rather flexible standards, this is getting weird. Over the past few months, I posed two frontrunners to compete for the Raiders’ QB job: Kitna and McCown. I also posed Mike Martz as a possible kick in the pants for the coaching position. And now they’re all in Detroit? The Lions!? My analytical skills must be warped. Maybe my world is being secretly manipulated by space aliens. Or maybe Mat Millen and the Ford family subscribe to Raider Take. Maybe Matt Millen is a space alien. But I digress...

I like Andrew Walter. I like the way he casually swatted defenders away during his exhibition snaps against the 49ers last year. However, I’m getting a little tired of the “Start Walter!” battle cries, as if it were that simple. You’re going to hand over the 2006 Raiders offense (including an impatient Randy Moss) to a third-round draft pick who has never taken a snap in a regular season game, and who has been injured for two straight years, and in the wake of three brutal losing seasons? Fine, so what’s your plan B if Walter doesn’t rise to the occasion or goes down again? Shouldn't we have someone whom Walter has to beat for the job, just in case he doesn't beat that person for the job, in which case we would really need that person?

Frerotte? Harrington? Griese? Collins redux? I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want my signature on those plan Bs.

Are we really getting down to Aaron Brooks or Patrick Ramsey? I’m still hearing the desperate screams of Schaub! Favre! I have no evidence that these guys are available, do you? I can scream too: Manning! Brady! Roethlisberger!

As for Tui, I’m sorry, he’s a class act, but if the Raiders had confidence in him, why did they get Collins in the first place instead of installing him as the starter in 2004? Why did they yank him after one start in 2005? And why haven’t they just named him their starter for 2006?

At this rate, it’s looking more and more like Vince Young, Matt Leinart or bust. Which, in fact, might be just another brilliant Mr. Davis move in the making.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

RT: While it's true that starting Walter is a risk, it is also true that the Raiders are long overdue to groom a young Qb for the future. If you accept the fact that the Raiders are probably not going to win the SB next yr, then whats wrong with using a season for Walter to get some battle scars. Besides, Kitna, & Mcnown exposed themselves as players only after money. Why else would they condemn themselves to football hell, where it is possible both will be backups. This shows me they lack the fire, desire, & winning spirit we were looking for in the first place. I'm glad these guys grabed the money and ran to become losers in Detroit. I don't want these clowns anywhere near the Raiders. Give me Andrew "Sky" Walter anyday, a young Raider Jedi, who can learn the ways of the Force from the beginning until the end.

2:54 PM  
Blogger Doobie said...

I'm all for drafting a Leinart or Young if they fall to us, but I wouldn't throw them to the fire in their first year. Nor would I task Walter with holding down the fort while Leinart/Young get ready. Running a team with two rookie QBs like that could be dangerous. This is why we need to get an experienced QB in there, be it for a long term solution or just for a quick fix until a better QB comes along.

So since the thought of KFC returning induces vomiting in most, and a lot of people aren't sold on Harrington (he wouldn't be able to provide veteran leadership anyway), why not Brian Griese as that quick-fix option? He still has some familiarity with the divison, having played for the Broncos all those years.

Depending on the price, maybe Al could mimic what Millen did and go with *two* veterans, especially if they can't land a franchise QB in the draft. Don't forget, the Raiders had a similar situation in 1980 when Al/Flores turned to Plunkett (a washup who was acquired in 1979) to lead the Raiders when Pastorini went down instead of turning to Marc Wilson, who they had just drafted 15th overall. And we all know how that season turned out.

If it came down to it, would a Griese/Harrington/Walter option look *that* bad for 2006?

3:21 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Raider00, I like Walter and would love to see him step up into the starting role.

My question is: what's your plan B if he doesn't rise to the occasion or gets hurt (again)?

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RT: For plan B, the Raiders can still deal for Parick Ramsey. It would only cost a 5th round pick at the most, and he's just as good, probably even better then, Kitna, & Mcown. He would be a good insurance policy if Walter were to go down.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

I have been racking my brain on the QB dilemma and here is the best I can come up with;

Trade for Patrick Ramsey (5th round pick) and sign Aaron Brooks to a 1 year, incentive laden contract. Release Tui. Start Brooks in 2006 and have Ramsey and Walter duke it out to start in 2007. If Brooks gets injured, Ramsey or Walter could step in.

Sign Brooks or Griese and draft the best available QB with the 7th pick. Release Tui. Start Brooks or Griese and have Walter & the drafted QB vie for the starter's role in 2007.

Sign Brooks or Griese. Swing a major trade with New Orleans for the #2 pick and take Leinart. Release Tui. Give Leinart a shot at starting in 2006 with Brooks or Griese to fall back on.

I realize that some of these options probably don't sound so great right now but it looks like 2006 will be a bridge year to 2007. My gut instinct tells me that Walter won't be ready in 2006. We need to "rent" a veteran QB for 2006 to have one of the following things happen;

- a better QB free agent class market in 2007

- Walter or Ramsey or another drafted QB more ready to take the helm in 2007.

8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the Ramsey/Walter plan much better than any plan involving Brooks, but its gonna be tough to get a QB to come here as a bridge til Walter is ready--according to McCown it's why he went to Detroit.

I still think Al is gonna pull a Leinart out of his hat--he is a "seasoned rookie" having started 3 years at the highest level in CFB. I don't see a problem with him and Walter and an emergency guy being the only QB's

6:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it just me or does anyone else wonder if maybe Al is thinking of somehow luring Bret Favre (I've thought this ever since he came into Oakland after his dad died and lit us up like a barn soaked in kerosene).

I also think Aaron Brooks or a trade up in the draft are possibilities, but knowing Al he wants a proven starter.

RaiderOO, your comment about Kitna and McCown being after the money hence them signing in football hell is somewhat true, but remember, we've shared the cellar with the Lions the past three years.

10:24 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

So much for the Ramsey option. The Jets picked him up for a paltry 6th round draft pick.

Does this pick up by the Jets mean that the Raiders would only be battling Tennessee for the Saints #2 pick?

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Losing Ramsey really stings. The options now are to stay at #7, and pick either Young, or, Cutler. However, if we do this, we would lose out on a top defensive player. I don't see the Saints moving all the way down from 2 to 7, so if we want Lienart, we would have to pry him away from the Titans at #3. I don't see the sense in signing Griese, or, Brooks, two journey men who have no future. Might as well throw Walter into the fire right now. The only other thing is to trade for Harrington, and hope his poor play was the result of being on such a terrible team. That's all I've got, anyone have any other ideas ?

12:53 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

As we ponder the narrowing options, perhaps Plan A has always been to pick a QB in the first round?

If we in the Raider Nation didn't see it coming, how could we have, given the Raiders' penchant for veteran QBs and their longtime aversion to picking QBs high and grooming them for long-term starting (see failed Marinovich experiment) ?

I have serious doubts about Harrington. Word was that Martz had planned on tearing down his mechanics and rebuilding him, because the guy has become a mechanical wreck. I could be mistaken, but our new QB coach has never been a QB coach before. Here, bud, rebuild Joey Harrington. Tall order. Too tall.

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No!No!No! What good is two totally green QBs. Why do we need to blow a precious #1 pick on a rookie QB who won't play when we already have Walter? Get a babysitter QB, give them incentives, lots of money for a year whatever.Brooks or Ramsey or resign Collins. We need Leinart/Cutler/Young plus Walter like another hole in the head. We need Hawk, or Huff or Fergeson--one of them will be left at #7 pick.

1:17 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Doc, Ramsey is gone to the Jets. This isn't my plan I'm talking about. I'm simply trying to divine the Raiders' plan, which so far has consisted of cutting Collins and not signing Culpepper, Brees, Kitna, McCown, Ramsey and others.

1:21 PM  
Blogger Doobie said...

In case no one saw it, it appears Mr. Ratto has chimed in on the QB situation. I tend to disagree with this scenario, as I simply can't see Al drafting a QB with the intention of starting him in September.

I don't know guys, as each day passes and another QB goes off the board, the more apparant it seems that KFC will be returning behind center at a significantly reduced rate. No one else seems interested in him as a starter except for the Ravens (Fassell), so I can see them getting him on the cheap. I can see this happening regardless of whether or not they draft a QB, simply because they need a veteran on this roster.

And if they do draft a QB, I wonder if Walter could exist in that scenario. As I mentioned before, it's dangerous to have two inexperienced QBs on your roster. Whatever youngster they decide on, they need to have two veterans in the mix.

Maybe they can package Walter in a bid to swap picks with Tennessee and snatch Leinart from the 3 slot. I think a decent signing for a 3rd stringer would be Jamie Martin, the ex-Ram.

So if they can pull off a trade like that with Tennessee, I think I'd be content with a 2006 depth chart of:

1. Collins
2. Leinart
3. Martin (or other experienced QB)

This way we could start KFC, but Leinart would be right there behind him.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to KFFL, Atlanta wants a first rd pick for Schaub. Also, Minnesota wants to pkg #17, 45, 48 to move up. Lets say we trade #7 to minny for those 3 picks, get Schaub for #17 and have 3 high to mid rd picks in 2nd rd?

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you ever had a doubt Ray Ratto was truly clueless as a Brokeback Mtn. boy shopping at Victoria's Secret, here's his take on the Raider's QB draft possiblities:

"If they trade up in the draft from their current position of seventh to second, they want Jay Cutler of Vanderbilt."

"If they trade from 7 to 5, they want USC's Matt Leinart. If they stay where they are, they want Vince Young of Texas."

If you have to have the absurdity of Ray's hypothesis explained to you, please do us all a favor and don't bother watching (much less reading or commenting about) this year's NFL Draft.

On another note, given Al's penchant for starting nary a rookie QB, it seems more than strange to think he would enter the season with Tui and Walter and Leinart/Young/Cutler as the three on the roster.

They would have exactly two NFL starts between the three of them...

Not saying it couldn't possibly happen--anything is possible, I suppose--but do you really think this will fly with the old geezer?

4:57 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

That's a very good point, Stick 'Em, about having a QB roster with two starts between the three of them...I'm wondering the same thing as our other options quickly whittle down to names like Frerotte, Griese and Brooks. Are we missing something?

5:12 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Having 3 inexperience QBs on the roster (with or without Tui) to open the season seems highly unlikely when you attempt to get into the mind of Alvin Davis. I could see the following 3;

1. Brooks
2. Walter
3. Young (with 7th pick)

I'm like you RT. I feel like I'm missing something. The current landscape doesn't quite add up.

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The absurdity of the Rat's latest babbling is not only the notion the Raiders would have three green-as-the-grass QBs on the roster (though this is a difficult idea to wrap your brain around in itself. After all, Al does chant, "Just win, baby. NOW!" like a Buddhist monk every morning. A rookie QB guarantees anything but immediate wins.)

The point Ray makes which bares no actual resemblance to reality is the notion the Raiders have to move up to #2 to draft Jay Cutler, while moving up to #5 would gain Al the spot to draft Matt Leinart .

Even a casual follower of college football and the draft knows Leinart is the top QB available.

So the real question for Ray is not, “Which QB will the Raiders acquire?”

The question at hand is, “Did Ray get the license to write his column from sending in three box tops from Capt. Crunch…or does his daddy own the paper?”

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW, CJ, the name is "Allen".

"Alvin" is one of the Chipmunks.

But we'll look at Brooks, as you wish...

~Uncle Al

10:02 AM  

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