Raiders' Garcia Would Improve Last Year's No. 32 Ranked Passing Game

Matt KayContributor IMay 19, 2009

ALAMEDA, CA - MAY 08:  Jeff Garcia #7 of the Oakland Raiders throws the ball during the Raiders minicamp at the team's permanent training facility on May 8, 2009 in Alameda, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

There may be a new stimulus plan brewing in the mix.

No, it doesn’t have anything to do Barack Obama or the good ’ol red, white, and blue. This one has to do with the Sliver and Black and Al Davis.

Yea, I know what your thinking…what could Davis possibly provoke? Some NFL Draft day analysts, Raiders’ fans, Lane Kiffin?

Well, yes. But that’s not what I’m getting at. 

If Davis can get over his stubborn ways and realize that JaMarcus Russell is not the “now” quarterback for Oakland, the Raiders could actually have a decent passing game this season. Maybe even a chance to contend for an AFC Wild Card.

For the past three straight seasons, Oakland has ranked either No. 31 and No. 32 in passing yards per game.

And in case you forgot during the offseason, there are only 32 teams in the NFL.

The weapons are in place for the Raiders’ passing game to go from nonexistent to, well, existent.

The range of their playbook could be flipped on its face.

All Davis and coach Tom Cable need to do is name Jeff Garcia, not Russell, the team’s starting quarterback for the 2009 season.

With Garcia under center, the Raiders would complete more passes, gain more passing yards, and average more yards per catch.

Don’t believe me? Compare their 2008 statistics.

Not only would an experienced quarterback blow open their playbook, the Raiders could have a complement to their already established rushing attack.

Running the ball, for the moment, might be the only thing the Raiders are guaranteed to excel at this season.

I’m not arguing that the 39-year-old is the Raiders’ quarterback of the future. But he should be the quarterback of the present.

To me, it seems insane to start Russell again after last year’s failure.

The Raiders have a chance to improve from last season. But that’s only if Russell doesn’t start.

I said it last year, and I’ll say it again, “While Russell’s future may be bright, his present doesn’t seem likely to be so pleasant. He needs some time to adjust to the NFL, and his inexperience will show this year.”

I was right then. And I don’t think Russell got enough experience last year to put forth a pleasant season this time around.

But history doesn’t need to repeat itself.

Then again, to do the same thing over and over again is Al Davis football.

Other people, though, like to call it insanity.