Glass Half Empty: Quarterback
My reputation as a blind optimist has been forever soiled by Glass Half Empty Week. I’m now known as the cranky pessimist who is raining on everyone’s parade, right on the eve of training camp no less. I can’t win. Woe is me. I shall die a martyr.
On that note, I am looking forward to next week, when I can return to regularly scheduled optmisim. But hereafter, when people accuse me of putting lipstick on a toad, at least I’ll be able to say: “Look here, I was a pessimist once. For a whole week!”
But for now, I must finish my dirty work. I considered selecting special teams, and specifically Sebastian Janikowski, for Glass Half Empty treatment today. But that would be like shooting fish in a barrel, wouldn’t it? Too easy.
I thought about selecting our defensive line and linebackers. DT is an area of concern, although a healthy and motivated Warren Sapp can still do some damage. I’m not sure that rookies Howard and Bing should be counted on to make a big difference at the linebacker position, at least not this year. The book on Howard is that he has great talent but raw skills. Bing is a fourth-round pick who is being converted to OLB. These guys might be running around like beheaded chickens for a while.
So where does that leave us? Well, you didn’t think I’d let this week go by without engaging the most inflammatory topic known to Raiders fans, did you? I speak, of course, about the quarterback position.
Allow me to shield my ears as many of you shout: Andrew Walter!!! Andrew Walter!!! Hey, I love the idea of Andrew Walter as savior, too, but shouldn’t we at least wait for him to be officially elevated from third string to backup before we declare him the savior of the franchise? Shouldn’t we wait for him to take his first snap in a regular season NFL game? Shouldn’t we wait for his first injury-free season after suffering significant injuries over the past two years (one at ASU, the other in Oakland)?
If Andrew Walter is indeed our QB of the future, shouldn’t he be clearly competing for the lead role as he enters his second season? Yet it's looking more and more like Aaron Brooks was brought in to lead the team. Consider Carson Palmer, Eli Manning and other so-called QBs of the future. Did their teams bring in high-priced free agent starters as they began their second seasons?
Which, of course, brings us to Aaron Brooks. I’m personally psyched to see what he can do with this team. I’m convinced that he is a major upgrade over Collins. I’m….Wait, I forgot: pessimism, pessimism. Brooks is a castoff from the New Orleans Saints, much maligned in the Big Easy for his questionable decision-making, his casual attitude and his general underperformance. Of course, throwing to Moss, Porter, Gabriel and Curry might admittedly cure some of those ills. But all of them?
Oh, yeah, and we passed on Matt Leinart in the draft. I'm sure you won't pay any attention to Cardinals games over the next few years.
So who is going to lead us to the promised land anytime soon? Tui? You think? Walter? If so, why not start him now and get the ball rolling? Or Brooks? Based on what—the assumption that he will reinvent himself?
And thus concludes my role reversal as a temporary pessimist. Is your glass empty yet? Here, let me refill it—just short of halfway, of course.
P.S. Stay tuned for the final installment of Glass Half Empty on Friday, in which I will turn these pages over to your darkest fears.