Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Quarterback Crossfire

Culpepper dealt to Miami. Brees signs with New Orleans. Kitna signs with Detroit. The QB market is getting leaner by the minute. I'm not going to bring up Josh McCown again. Oops, I just did. The rumors about Mr. Davis being fascinated with Vince Young will gain increasing traction, if only by default. Are the Raiders, with their famously impatient "win now" mentality challenged by three straight losing seasons, ready to hand their 2006 QB reins to a rookie (or virtual rookie, such as Andrew Walter)?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well you can't say the Raider Nation hasn't seen the whole spectrum of emotions this offseason. Now we wait for the "New" QB to lead us out of the basement of the AFC West. The Daunte story looked weak from the beginning and it was not Al's choice...Perhaps to drive down the Collins contract. This seems to have the whole Raider Nation holding their collective breath, the return of Collins AGAIN! We have seen this before.........Yes, this is the Raider way........Wait and see.........Wait.............and Wait, as the list of the best free agents grows shorter. I have confidance in Lombardi and I think he is the one person in the organizaion that Al will listen to. No mater what, the Raiders have been the most "out of the norm." of all teams in the league. Gotta love the Raiders

11:51 AM  
Blogger js said...

Now that Culpepper and Brees are out of the picture, it looks to me like the Raiders will have to step out of the norm--they'll have to commit to developing a quarterback of their own. I just don't see a free agent out there who'll help us win now. Josh McCown has a live arm, but in many ways he's still developing, and I don't see paying big free agent money for unproven talent, especially when the Raiders have so many other holes to fill. (My guess is that with the free agent pool so shallow, McCown's asking price will be very high.)

Maybe Walter is the guy, or maybe Davis is smitten with Vince Young. And now that the Saints have Drew Brees, maybe they'll trade down and allow us to pick up Matt Leinart. If you're thinking abut this year, it looks tough; but if you're thinking abot the next 5-10 years, these aren't bad choices to have. Whatever happens, let's hope rumors of Collins's return are just rumors.

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget that Pat Ramsey is still available. He's young, and has a pretty good arm, and some upside. Probably can get him for a 5th round pick. In any event, he would be a huge upgrade over KFC. Well, even the corpse from Weekend at Bernies would be a huge upgrade over Collins. At this point, I wouldn't mind watching Tui, Walter, and Ramsey, fight it out for the starting job.

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we need a young QB with fire so we can win again

7:08 PM  
Blogger Raider Raza said...

Damn Raider Greg you put a scare in me there with the KFC resurrection crap, but then I realized that the resurrection makes sense but it's Gannon who will unretire, right the ship and finish what he started.

Or maybe Walter showed some upside during the season. But from what I hear he didn't get many snaps in practice cause he played mostly with the scout team and he was hurt. So we really only saw him play in two preseason games so its hard for me to think that is our projected QB.
Is the Atlanta back up still available????
or maybe since we know Atlanta needs receivers. Maybe Vik for Moss straight up trade. One thing for sure the coliseium would be sold out.

I don't know whats going to happen but the suspense is killing me, Gotta love the Raiders...

7:55 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

The past few days have been interesting, exciting, and nerve racking. At least we inked OG Toniu Fonuti to help protect whoever takes snaps from center.

I'm beginning to wonder whether Al Davis has been laying in the weeds, keeping his cards concealed because he plans to pull off a major trade on draft day to take Matt Leinart.

What I don't understand and somewhat troubled by why at least a few QBs (ie. McCown and Ramsey) haven't been scheduled to visit Oakland.

This is a very similar scenario to our HC search. There is no down side to scheduling a few in person visits to get a better read on pulse of the QB market.

The personal interview is a great opportunity to evaluate potential QBs. My occupation is a corporate recruiter. If I have 3 candidates that I'm considering for an opening, I'm going to bring in all 3 for in person interviews. It doesn't necessarily mean that any of the 3 will be eventually hired but it certainly helps to get a better idea what makes the person ticks and whether or not the person is the right fit for the job/employer.

9:49 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Although unconfirmed, one forum (Raider World) is saying that it has been reported on the NFL Network by Adam Scheftner that McCown is scheduled to visit Oakland. I would love to see McCown inked to a deal by Al.

It would be so refreshing to have a QB who plays with energy, enthusiasm, and desire. It will be nice to have a QB with the ability to scramble, improvise, and make plays when the protection breaks down. Instead of "Staute of Liberty, the frozen corpse in the pocket", we would have a mobile QB with a good overall skill set and physical tools to compete.

10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the topics on KNBR tonight is that the Raiders should rebuild NOW! Folks, we all agree that this is a team that CANNOT afford to rebuild. Not now. This is such an idiotic comment! The lawsuits with the city/county have been settled and now the Raiders are in Oakland on borrowed time. The lease ends in 2010. They will be selling their OWN tickets for the first time since their return. They cannot hope to have any sellouts if they market this team as a rebuilding organization. THAT alone will take up the remaining 5 years of the lease at the coliseum. Al Davis himself has said that "we have 5 years to make this thing work" which translates to "if you people (fans, to whom he doesn't give a fat rats ass about by the way) don't sell this place out I'm outta here!" How can you possibly sell out a stadium if you rebuild?

Vince Young: Al Davis will make the biggest mistake of his career if he gets Vince Young. There is a reason his stock is falling and I truly hope that the Raiders don't find that out first hand. If they don't do something spectacular by the time the draft comes, my dream of having AJ Hawk is out the window. So what comes next? We need a QB.

I say give Walter a chance. If not do what you can to get #2 overall pick from the New Orleans Saints. KNBR says that the Titans are looking at Ferguson. Why trade for #2? Because the Titans (#3 pick) offensive coordinator Norm Chow who was Leinart's OC at USC is just waiting to pounce on this kid for a reunion. Since the Saints don't need a QB, it makes sense for them to trade down. Why not offer our #7 over all along with a receiver ie: Porter (so Brees would have someone to throw to. Heck give 'em Porter AND Gabriel, they both drop balls) for the Saints #2? We have receivers galore. Why not give Morant and Francis a chance?

If the Saints want too much ie: this year's 1, a 2 plus some players AND next year's 1 I say screw you NO. Let's take our chances with Walter and get Hawk. Shell's first year won't see the playoffs anyway. Might as well give the kid a shot.

I am just not convinced that Young will be a good enough NFL QB. There is already an over-rated guy like that in Atlanta by the name of Mike Vick. Leinart is ready to start in the NFL right NOW. Heck, Culter might be ready to start now as well. Vince Young is NOT. I'd take a chance at Cutler before I take one on Young. Al F-ING Davis needs to stop falling in love with players just because they can run a 4.3 40 but can't play football.

I have a feeling that something BIG is brewing though. Perhaps the Raider's patience will pay off after all. the only thing is this waiting - I'm sure it's killing all of us.

12:34 AM  
Blogger Doobie said...

If the Raiders take a QB with the 1st round pick with the intent of starting him this year, I'd be shocked. This is...and always has been...a team built for "now".

As much as we'd like to see Walter or Tui get their chance, it's not going to sit well with the veterans on the team, and especially not with Randy Moss. Likewise if we draft Leinart, Young or Cutler...people aren't going to have the patience to watch them develop under fire.

Not only that, but the last time the Raiders took a QB with a Top-15 pick was Marc Wilson in 1980. And before that it was Roman Gabriel who went 1st overall in 1962. The Raiders simply don't have a history of taking a QB with a high pick. I'm sure there are many factors here... such as availability of talent...but I think the major factor has always been that Al Davis wants results NOW. He's historically gone with the veterans because he doesn't want to spend time developing QB's...he'd rather take an immediate impact player with a high pick. He'll let other teams draft a QB and then sign them when they're FAs or when they've been discarded (Plunkett, Gannon, etc.)

I know everyone hates when I say this, but of the available talent right now it makes the most sense to re-sign KFC. I think we're falling into the "grass is always greener" mentality. The truth is now that they've blown their chance with Culpepper, nobody in the remaining pool of players is much better than Collins. They'd be signing a near equivalent player who would then have to be taught a new system. And if the OL does indeed get fixed (with Shell and Slater, there can't be any more excuses), Collins' performance might be greatly improved. How quickly we forget Collins' first half before the OL completely broke down on him. And if the OL *doesn't* get fixed, exactly how much better would the new QB perform?

At least with KFC, you can buy yourself another season (or two) before another, better, free agent hits the market. Heck, signing KFC might even allow them to draft and actually develop a QB of their own. Not only that, a Leinart, Young or Cutler on the bench might light a fire under KFC's ass. Look what Rivers' presence did to Drew Brees.

5:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is Mel Kiper's take on the Raiders QB situation:
"What happens in Oakland, which right now has quarterbacks Marques Tuiasosopo, Andrew Walter and Reggie Robertson on the roster? They had interest in Culpepper but didn't want to give up a second-round pick.

The Raiders still could get a quarterback without moving up. The question is: Do they want to get Leinart? I think Leinart is the best quarterback in this draft. To me he most resembles, coincidentally enough, former Raiders QB Ken Stabler. Leinart is the same type of QB: pocket passer, smart and very accurate.

If Oakland wants the best quarterback in the draft, it will have to move up to No. 2 to get him. If the Raiders want the second-best quarterback, they can stay where they are and still probably get the quarterback they want."

Matt Leinart is in play and grades out higher than Big Ben in Pittsburgh when he came out...and that worked out OK. If we can move into the #2 hole, I say go for it and let Leinart have the ball...

6:51 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Doobie - I understand your point about "the grass being greener on the other side". However, in this case I don't agree.

KFC's stats were good in the 1st half of last season but the team's record was still 3-5. I'm not placing all of the blame on KFC's doorstep but I do think it is the QB's responsibility to rally the troops and ultimately find a way to win.

KFC's inability to lead the team and 7-21 overall record are a couple reasons why a replacement is desperately needed. His lack of pocket awareness, penchant for turnovers, lack of mobility, inability to audible or improvise severly limits the offense's productivity and performance.

However, the primary reason he shouldn't be re-signed is that KFC has become a symbol or representation of the Raiders losing ways the last 2 years. There would be a sense of gloom as long as he is around. He doesn't have the personality traits /leadership abilities to inspire the rest of the team.

Most fans want the 2006 season to be a fresh start and to have a sense of hope. As long as KFC is around, a black cloud will hang over the organization.

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

doobie must have been smoking a doobie to want kfc to come back. like i said, IF davis wants to get a QB to start right away, he should do what he can to get the only one ready to start RIGHT NOW - leinart. if not and he is willing to see what walter has to offer, then let's build that defense (hawk or williams) and go from there. if the whiners get either one of there guys - i'll have a $hit fit!

2:21 PM  
Blogger Doobie said...

Scorpio, I'm merely predicting the course of action that Al Davis is going to take based on his track record.

If I had it my way, we'd have Al giving the reigns over to another young promising coach ala Gruden and letting *them* run the team the way they best seem fit, preferrably with an emphasis on rebuilding the team with youth. But since that whole concept went out the window last month, I can only guess as to what's best for this team from Al's perspective.

I, personally, wouldn't mind seeing Walter given a chance. Nor would I mind seeing the Raiders draft Leinart or Young, letting them start, and sucking it up while they go through their growing pains knowing/hoping that they'll be an all-star QB in about two years. But given Al's history, as well as his current commitment to the veterans to win now, I don't see them putting the ball in a rookie signal caller's hands. You just can't do that in this kind of situation, unless you trade your veteran all stars for draft picks and begin a rebuilding process.

And since "rebuild" has never been in Al's vocabulary (unless you're talking about a stadium), we can only evaluate what veterans are available at this point to lead this team in 2006. Unfortunately, I think Al's best option is KFC, for the reasons I satated in my previous post.

3:11 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

I think that Al's WORST option, bar none, is to re-sign KFC. This is the worst option from every conceivable vantage point;

Physical: KFC's lack of mobility, foot speed, quickness, etc. stacks the deck against our O-line who have to hold the block an extra second or two. KFC's limited mobility directly affects the scope of the plays that can be called and effectively executed. I can count the number of plays he has made when the protection scheme has broken down on one hand. His inability to adapt and improvise when the protection breaks down is killing the Raiders. Instead of making a play to keep the chains moving, KFC chucks it into the 1st row.

Mental: Poor decision maker, horrible pocket awareness, unable to read coverages or go through his progressions, can't audible out of bad plays. etc.

Heart: KFC is not a leader. The Tin Man plays with no heart, desire, or passion.

Performance: KFC was given a 2 year tryout and failed miserably winning a mere 25% of the games he started.

The other 52 players: Does KFC inspire them or bring a sense of confidence? No, and no.

Ticket Sales: There is no question that re-signing KFC would hurt ticket sales.

Public Relations: Try spining this to the buying public.

Raider Nation Faithful: Re-signing KFC is one quick way to turn off your most loyal supporters.

What options are better than re-signing KFC? Here is an even better question. Name any single option that isn't better than re-signing KFC?

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree Calico J. Perhaps the best reason is that Andrew Walter would win more games then KFC. There is no doubt in my mind about this. How can anyone expect KFC, who is 33 yrs old, and been in the league for 12 seasons, to be anything more then he's been so far.......MEDIOCRE.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets go with Walter, we need defence in the draft

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doobie--past history seems to favor your arguments but Calico has so clearly laid out KFC's shortcomings, I have to believe they are obvious to the front office as well. So to win now and do it without KFC, what's needed is a game manager at QB, someone who can get the ball to the playmakers without losing the game, and someone who has some juice...so is such a player available? Aaron Brooks? No. Patrick Ramsey? Jury's still out--when he played in DC he was known for strong arm and poor decisionmaking [remind you of anyone?] but in his defense, Redskins O-line at that time was a sieve, so Ramsey is no sure thing. McCown? Possible--has fire, good arm, can run for a couple first downs a game, decisionmaking questionable...an upgrade over KFC. McCown might be good and he would have his teammates respect because he has passion, but he left town without a deal yesterday. Question to be asked--how much better will he be than Walter eight games into the season? There's no other viable veteran candidates--the draft options are obvious. It will take this year's and next year's #1 to move up to 2, or it will take a defensive starter [like Asomugha or Washington or Morrison] and this years #1 to move up to get Leinart. And don't forget that with this strategy someone hot for Leinart can jump over us to #1 by throwing the world at Houston [See Orlando Pace/Darryl Russell]. So to me it looks like Raiders go McCown and Walter and grab a defensive beast at #7; or go for Leinart [keeping Walter in the mix like SD did with Brees/Rivers] and deal with the D in Round 2 and beyond. What say you Raider Nation?

6:12 AM  
Blogger Doobie said...

Well, take another one off the board...McCown signed with Detroit.

So with the Lions signing both Kitna AND McCown, this will probably mean Joey Harrington now enters the mix of available talent. The intriguing thing about this is that Harrington is a former #3 overall pick who is now being discarded by the team that drafted him. Jim Plunkett was a #1 overall pick in 1971 who was discarded by both the Patriots and the 49ers before striking it rich in Oakland.

Could Harrington be another Plunkett? I, for one, wouldn't mind finding out. This is a move I can see Al making...taking a chance on trying to make him another successful reclamation project.

10:38 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

I would be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed that McCown signed with the Lions. A 2 year contract at $6M total is all it took to get him to sign.

Since the available QB market is so limited, Harrington is worth considering. In 4 years as a starter, he won approx. 32% of the time (18-37 record) which doesn't exactly make me jump for joy.

Maybe I need to clear my head and reload my thoughts later. With Culpepper being picked up for a mere 2nd rounder, McCown being signed for cheap, Fonoti failing his physical, the signing of a LB who hasn't played since 2003 (Crockett) this has not been a stellar week.

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, out of left field we have our new QB. Joey Harrington. Now, before you scream, this is vintage Al (remember Plunkett???). Typical, great player went to bad team with poor coaching. Tons of dropped passes which kills a young QB. You sign the kid for three year, 3M SB, min base first year, 2M second year, and then 6M third year. Looks like an 12M deal but is really 5M over the first 2 years while we see what we have. Him and Walter battle it our for the right to start.

Ramsey is also possible as he will likely cost a number 5 and he is also a good choice.

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah this is turning out to be a nightmare free agent period for the raiders so far. i think though that if KFC re-signed i'd commit suicide! naw - heck no i wouldn't commit suicide for KFC!

the other name i hear come up is shaub from atlanta. they're NOT giving him up that's for sure - according to espn's latest article. which brings up my next topic: vince young.

atlanta doesn't want to trade shaub because he is an insurance policy in case vick gets hurt, which being a runner first he will be most of the time. which vince young is also - a runner. would you vyoung to the raiders fans want your multi-million dollar rookie qb risking life and limb running 99.99% of the time? don't think so. then where'd we be? right back to square 1.

so unless davis moves up to #2 and gets leinart, it looks like we're set with walter. if that's the case, i hope we end up with hawk! a couple of years ago i was screaming for al to take sean taylor. we got gallery. up to now, we still don't know what we are getting in gallery.

you guys know i do a lot of al davis bashing. i'm laying it low for now in the hope that he would do something sensible in this draft. with all this free agent activity happening around us by the other teams, i STILL feel that something BIG is brewing.

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harrington's o-linemen hate him, he plays scared and has a weak arm. And those are his strong points...

This is still a banner FA week due to the release of he who shall not be named...[lest he return]

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

not gonna be Gus--Al's too smart. Gus once knocked his head against a concrete wall in celebration of a TD and concussed his own self. Not bringing the potato salad to the Mensa family picnic.

PS-- It won't be Griese either--anyone who can't navigate Terrell Davis's driveway [on foot] after a few beers isn't Raider material

12:23 PM  
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