Monday, August 28, 2006

Jeff George: Unsolved Mystery

So I step away from the desk for a while, and when I return, I’m met with an explosion of email about…the Raiders signing Jeff George! That’s it, I’m never leaving my desk again, for fear of what I might find when I return.

Some of the emails expressed pure outrage, other mere curiosity. I don’t really have a take at this point, not until I have more information. It’s sort of like stumbling upon a cactus in the North Pole or a cat that recites Shakespeare. You just have to scratch your head until you find out what the hell is going on.

According to one report: “George was signed as an emergency measure in light of backup Andrew Walter experiencing soreness in his right (throwing) shoulder this past week, a person in the front office said.”

Could that be the whole story? A little soreness in Walter’s shoulder, and next thing you know, we pull Jeff George out of the ice chest? Does that sound right to you?

I wonder if this is part of a larger plan that involves Tui (as Doobie noted in an earlier comment). I wonder if Walter’s injury is worse than originally reported, or if his general proneness to injury is causing deep concern. I wonder if the Raiders feel that, if Brooks were to go down, they could capture some of that old George to Moss magic from 1999?

But the answer could be just as stated: George is simply an act of mere caution, an insurance policy, someone to help keep balls flying during practice. If that’s the case, then I’m not worried about having Jeff “The Original KFC” George rattling around the bottom of the depth chart. He’s been doing the same thing on the Bears and Seahawks for the past several years, to no ill effect.

I’ve always kind of liked Jeff George, in a perverse sort of way. The eye black, the grimace, the rocket arm, the slumped shoulders, the passive ability to work the media into an utter froth. He may not be a leader, but he's a great cartoon character.

So I say: Welcome back, Jeff George. You are now the equivalent of a meteorite that has suddenly crashed through the house of the Raider Nation. We’re peering through the hole in the roof, scratching our heads, wondering where you came from. But you’re a Raider once again, so put on that eye black and keep that practice squad warm.


Blogger Raider Raza said...

I scratch my head too.
Is Tui demanding out; is walter more seriously than we know; Is Brooks hurt???
What the hell is going on???
Is Shell trying to scare the O-Line??
Is our line going to be so powerful and mighty that they can protect for 4-5 seconds for George to throw.
Are we throwing George out to the wolves to protect our QB's against seattle so they don't get hurt like Phillip Rivers..
I don't feel good about this at all..

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your analogy of a meteorite through the roof is perfect...I am in total shock and I'm sure this is on the lips of the entire RAIDER NATION worldwide...


I can see no possible reason to bring this re-tread back.

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know the Raiders go their own way, but for me, this puts a little damper on what has been a great preseason.

Just when the Raiders seem to be headed for a great future, they can't keep themselves from having one eye on the past.

What's Rusty hilger, & Billy Joe Hobert doing these days ??

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WTF? KFC Original Recipe is back? The only difference between George and Collins is that George complains more. Both of them suck.

We pass on drafting Leinart because we're set at QB, and then we sign Jeff George because we're short at QB?

Gee, who's better? Jeff George or Matt Leinart? Hmm.

Did they sign George so the defense would have a tackling dummy? He's about as mobile as ... the Tin Man. Is he really the best QB out there that we could pick up? Maybe we should be glad they didn't bring back Rob Johnson. What's next? Todd Marijuanovich?

This just ruined my day.

6:19 PM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

I just pulled a message via voicemail. I thought for sure my best friend was hoping I'd bite on his little joke.

Then I logged on to

Before looking any deeper I rushed to "RT's place", hoping to find some hidden wisdom in this bizarre pre-season decision.

There is no answer. This is truly stranger than fiction, as the saying goes.

Is it possible that the Devil required this trade to rid Oakland of Pouter?

6:28 PM  
Blogger js said...

Well, this is weird. I haven't the foggiest what to make of it either. Bizarre, but, as RT says, probably harmless.

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


7:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about Marc Wilson? Is he available?

7:37 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

RT - I love your sense of humor and apt metaphors.

Yes. Jeff George, Part Deux is bewildering. However, before anyone get's their panties in a bunch, let's see if he even makes the final roster.

My best guess is that the Raiders will roll out JG over the next week to 10 days to see if he a viable, serviceable emergency QB. If not, it looks like the Raiders will be waiver hunting for another QB.

I suspect that Walter's injury is more severe than what we were led to believe this past week. When he sat out vs. Detroit due to a "tired" arm, that definitely threw up some red flags.

As far as Tui, he is a fish out of water in a vertical passing attack. I like Tui as a person but he has absolutely no place on our roster.

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Calico Jack, that there is something a little more serious with Walter's arm that nobody is going to say, unless it ends his career.
But why George? Wasn't Vince Evans available? What about Hosstettler? Or even Jay Schroeder? Did they even chat with Plunkett and Stabler before they went to George?
The only word I could think of when I heard was "decrepid."
Even though I don't think Tui is a fit in this system, and we should trade him and Pouter for something note worthy at QB, I think I'd give Tui a chance before JG. There is only one QB comparable to JG, and he may sign with the Titans, KFC!
I'm not as concerned right now. I want to see what becomes of Walter. But this "arm" situation scares me, and obviously it scared the front office.

5:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a possibility . . .

Maybe George was signed to give him a look at the Raider Playbook, introduce him to the team, get him familiar with the modern terminology, etc. Then he goes away during the final roster cut.

Then . . .

"IF" something were to happen to Brooks/Walter during the season, the Raiders have a back-up waiting in the wings - already familiar with the the system.

At least that's what I hope the scenario is! (smirk)

6:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walter says his arm is fine--that can only mean JG is here to see if he is a better #3 option than Tui. As has been said before, he may not even make the final cut. This is harmless unless he somehow winds up on the field in a game that counts, yikes!

6:44 AM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

Ripped from the headlines at

Titans Sign Veteran QB Collins
The Titans have agreed to terms with 11-year veteran Kerry Collins to create competition at quarterback. Collins ranks 17th in NFL History in pass yards (33,637), and his 173 career TD passes are fifth among active passers. He has led his teams to three playoff appearances.

Interestingly enough, they did not mention the record he holds for Career Interceptions.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Roy said...

I don't get this at all. Isn't Tim Couch still unsigned? If Walter is hurt more than we were led to believe, I would rather not go down with Jeff George again. Certainly there has to be someone else for us to sign.

9:09 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I've just been reviewing the comments from around the media and the blogs, and I can't believe the controversy this is kicking up. It's really simple.

1. Starting quarterbacks often get hurt.
2. Walter (in his early twenties, and who hasn't thrown very much in a year) has tendinitis in his throwing shoulder. Not a positive sign.
3. The Raiders need to keep Walter healthy enough to determine whether he's their future or not.
4. 1-3 suggest very strongly that a #3 quarterback will come into play this year.
5. Tui was not effective in the pre-season game against Detroit.
6. George threw for nearly 4,000 yards with a 3:1 touchdown to interception ratio in 1997. George had a good year in 1999 throwing to Randy Moss. George fits the profile for this type of offense.
7. Tui has never had an effective game as a starter for the Raiders. He's wrong for this type of offense (lacking both strength of arm and accuracy). Tui has no future with this team, other than as a lifetime bench warmer.
8. If the Raiders do fall to their third QB, they aren't going anywhere this season any way.
9. If the Raiders have to go with a third QB, they'll want to at least keep things exciting in order to keep attendance up, and long rainbows to Randy Moss would fit that bill.
10. Signing George gets a hell of a lot of publicity for the Raiders, and increases the merchandise sales. There is also the small possibility, if George has mellowed in his later career years, of a Cinderella story waiting to happen. Think what that would do for attendance.

In order for me not to like this move, somebody has to convince me that even with all of the above, Tui is the better choice.


10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

George is a "very" poor man's Blanda lol. Maybe he has matured in his late 30's? He is also been pretty good with Moss. He cannot be any worse than Tui. His arm is better than Collins, although he might be slower. I would think the problems with Walter are very serious. His shoulder is already sore and the pre-season is not over. It is easy to critique this move, but if Brooks goes down, they will need a veteran who can dance with Moss. I like the move.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remeber, not only was it the big arm of George that every fell in love with, it was also his quick release. He may be slow, but he can get rid of the ball in a hurry. If he's the number three option, or even a two if Walter's arm doesn't get better, then there's nothing to worry about. If Brooks goes down, a dead arm Walter won't help and Tui is not a good replacement in the system.

We need to just trade Tui to Tampa. He's Gruden's guy anyway.

BTW, did anybody else notice that Reggie Robertson was wavied yesterday and Kent Smith was released today.

12:50 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

A little more on the George signing.

Personally I view the Raiders return to a vertical offense as permanent. The Raiders went through the West Coast experiment with four coaches, Mike White, Jon Gruden, Bill Callahan, and Norv Turner. The one trip back into vertical came in one year under a bad coach, who virtually invented the type of NFL blocking that the Raider's offensive line is currently attempting to unlearn.

Mike White couldn't manage a winning record, Gruden had success building a Super Bowl team, but he didn't want to stay here and his managerial style is not conducive to working with Al Davis. Callahan was an ass, and couldn't maintain the respect of the players. And Norv Turner, another proponent of the same blocking schemes as Bugel, couldn't manage better than four wins. Norv also signed a QB totally ill equipped for the West Coast offense.

George, in his first year with the Raiders under Bugel showed that he's the perfect fit in a vertical offense. He wasn't the reason they lost under Bugel as the team had many other problems - Bugel's blocking doesn't work in the vertical, and Kaufman was 175 lbs, and 5'9". If anyone touched him, he was destined to go down.

Art Shell says that if they have QB injuries, even if George fails to make the team, there will be someone out there who knows the system and can step in. What Shell doesn't say is that I think they are trying to figure out a way to unload Tui for the best value. My feeling is that they will just have to release him. Out of respect for Tui, since he's completely unsuited for what the Raiders are trying to do, it would be best for him if he could get to another team this season so he doesn't have to waist a year where he has no future.

George will have more time to throw than he did under Bugel, and he doesn't expect to start. They don't need him to be any kind of a leader. In case the Raiders ever get to number three, all they will be looking for is someone who can stand in a pocket and throw deep and accurate.

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blandarocked: You say that Jeff George had a fine season in 1997. Okay, but what yr is it now ? 2006 you say. That's right. I believe Elway, Marino, & Aikman also had good 1997 seasons. George hasn't even picked up a football since 2001.

Jeff George is not even a old time Raider hero. To me, he is a reminder of past failures. Seasons which I really have no interest in revisiting.

The thing that really bothers me about this is it looks like George doesn't even have to earn a roster spot. He jumps aboard late in the preseason, and away we go. Nice.

1:05 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...


You think if we get to George in the rotation that we still have a winning season ahead of us. George isn't here to revisit past glories, he's here to fill a stop gap.

As for Tui, he's never won a game he started. He has not once shown effectiveness on the field, even in the West Coast offense. But he has been a loyal contributer. It is far more fair to him to cut him loose now, rather than to have him hang around for another year.

Do you think that the Raiders signed George without first seeing what he could do? You really believe that Al Davis and Art Shell are that stupid? Then why do you call yourself a Raider fan? Do you think they intend to start George on September 11th - or anytime this season?

Relax. Take a pill. George will rise no higher on the depth chart than a solid number 3.

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blandarocks: First of all, please do not question my loyalty to the Raiders, just because you think signing George was smart, and I do not.

Secondly, just where did Al, $ Art see what George could do ? In his back yard !!!! Or maybe they were sitting in a film room with you dreaming back to the great 1997 season.

Finally, using your own logic, and it was very hard to find it, if the #3 Qb spot is so meaningless anyway, than it might as well be Tui, who is in his prime, and knows the plays, rather than the washed up Jeff George.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Things are getting a bit testy here.

Thanks Jeff George! Just when we were all stoked about the past two preseason games and the apparent gelling of our team, you fall out of the sky to disturb our peace and harmony.

That said, if Walter stays hurt and Brooks goes down, maybe a reprise of George to Moss wouldn't be the worst fate. Remember when we were down to Rick Mirer a few years ago?

2:34 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...


Sorry. Didn't mean to question your fan loyalty, but some of what you say is a little surprising.

Why would Tui want to remain here if he has no future? Wouldn't you think that it would doing him a favor to allow him tp attempt to establish himself on another team which has an offense more suited to his talents? If I were Tui, I'd want to be traded or released.

Who looked at George? Likely a scout or two. That's the way things are usually done in the NFL. The Raiders send somebody who works closest to the person auditioning, who reports back what they see. Further, it's not like George has done nothing since 2001. He just hasn't played in a game. But again, the Raiders aren't looking for a steady starter. They are only preparing for a worst case scenario.

Then supose they get to a place where they need the #3, and they put in Tui (whom they have already decided is not the future) and then supose Tui does well. Now they have a quarterback controversy with a player they don't intend to keep, and who wants that headache?

That this sparks so much controversy is beyond me. It changes absolutely nothing of importance, and merely provides a small amount of insurance, and they got him really cheap. George is not the type to disrupt the team. He's supposed to be a nice guy who got along well with everyone when he was here before. He's just not a leader. And you don't need leadership from your number 3 QB. Rather he needs to be led by the regular starters.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


It's all good. The reason I love Raider Take so much is, as Raider fans, we can disagree, but we all want the same thing. For the Raiders to return to glory.

I hope you end up right, and Brooks, & Walter stay healthy all yr, and either Tui, or George stand with a clipboard every game.

If not, I may take that pill you suggest. Maybe even a whole bottle.

3:35 PM  
Blogger frkyraider said...

how bout this for an arguement as to "why".

if walter is hurting and tui can't throw the long ball or the long out with the zip and or strength needed for these throws, then just how in the hell do we practice this offence? AB throws the ball 100% of the time? we need someone to throw the ball in practice the way it's going to be in the game. (if there is one thing about george that i do like is watching this guy practice. he throws a pretty pass, good zip, nice touch). if walter is ok, great. the question is, if he's not ok, is goerge our #2 or our #3. that gives us our next question. Are we better off with tui the guy that doesn't fit the system? or the old re-tread that "hasn't picked up a ball since '01" i have a question for ya that should tell you the answer. which one can make the throw?

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK FrkyRaider, good points, but I have a question also.

Doesn't the backup Qb help our defense prepare for our opponents offense ? In other words, who better can simulate jake plummer, Jeff George, who just stands there and let's you sack him, or Tui, who can move around some ?

If it's just a question of throwing some deep outs, and fly patterns in practice, then sure, George can make the throws, but so could Drew Hensen, Tim Couch, Vinny Testeverde, and, GULP, yes, even Kerry Collins. There seems to be something more to this.

I'm afraid to say that this smacks of another Al Davis love affair with a bum. James Jetts' picture is in a locket. Delawrence Grants poems are in the top drawer. Derrick Gibson is hanging in there with candy, & flowers, and I don't even want to think about what George must of done to get Al to fall in love with him again.

Having said all this, I will say I hope I am wrong. Very wrong.

7:12 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

James Jetts' picture in locket!? Classic! You've got one sick mind, Raider00.

7:19 PM  
Blogger resigned idealist said...

Of all the comments here, the one I didn't think about was about practices. So thanks, frkyraider.

FWIW, I would take Tui over George any day, for the simple reason of heart. Tui has shown heart and loyalty for the Raiders unlike George, whose first response in any adversity is to blame everyone else.

At least KFC would take responsibility for his inactions. Jeff George has always been and always will be a blight on any team. I am so disgusted with this move.

9:58 PM  
Blogger sirrastusbear said...

George is pretty much a no-loss scenario. We're paying him veteran minimum (about $800K with no bonus), he can be cut at any time without an issue, and we all know Tui (for as good of a person as he seems to be) just doesn't fit this offense. Personally, I'd rather have George as the 3rd or 4th string QB than do what the Chargers are doing -- starting a QB with less than 1 game of experience, and then backing him up with 2 pure rookie QBs one of which wasn't even drafted. That seems the bigger risk to me. Mark my words now. Chargers. 6-10 at best.

9:45 AM  
Blogger frkyraider said...


tui could still do that job for ya THIS year, while george gets the recievers the work they need in practice.

as far as the Al Davis love affairs with the players you said. all i have to say to that is, hmmm......some might call that loyalty. belief that the guy you picked to do the job is gonna get it done. thats one thing you can say about ol' uncle Al isn't it, he flat gives some people some chances. when it works (gannon for example) we love him for it, when it doesn't (jett) we rip him forever for it? i just don't see it that way i guess.

7:21 PM  
Blogger frkyraider said...

happy to have shed a light on that for ya Resigned Idealist.

7:23 PM  

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