Andrew Walter's Raiders Career a Lesson on How Not to Develop a Quarterback

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Andrew Walter's Raiders Career a Lesson on How Not to Develop a Quarterback
(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Andrew Walter, the Raiders' whipping boy. What can I say about Walter that hasn't already been said? Well, let's start with the bad. 

Walter has only won two games in his career. Walter has thrown for just three touchdown passes and 16 interceptions and has only 1,919 yards in his four-year career.

But is this the whole story? 

Walter broke the 22-year Pac-10 touchdown pass record held by John Elway (77), tossing 85 touchdowns for the Arizona State Sun Devils. This record was subsequently broken by Matt Leinart's 99 touchdown passes. 

Walter ended his career with 10,617 yards (fifth Pac-10 all-time) and eclipsed Jake Plummer's old record of 8,827 yards and 65 touchdowns as Arizona State's all-time leading passer. 

He was the only player in school history to throw for 3,000 yards in a season and holds just about every record the school keeps for a quarterback. 

So what gives? Why is Walter such a turd in the NFL?

Well, in short, he isn't.

Walter was selected with the 69th pick in the third round of the 2005 NFL draft by the Oakland Raiders. Walter did not play in 2005, and the Raiders went 4-12 on the season. 

In 2006, Aaron Brooks struggled under center with injuries and a complete ineptitude for the game altogether, and the Raiders elected to use Walter in the infamous "Bed and Breakfast" offense, organized by Tom Walsh and Art Shell. 

Walsh was actually running a bed and breakfast in Idaho, of all places, prior to the 2006 NFL season. You just can't make this stuff up. 

The Raiders were just awful. I mean, epic. In one of their two victories against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Raiders had fewer than 100 yards of total offense. Walter threw for just 51 yards. His net yards for the game were a paltry 17. 

Still, they managed to win in a head scratcher. The 2006 season was, of course, punctuated by the firing of pretty much everyone on the staff—as is now the custom of the Raiders.

Walter hadn't had an offensive coordinator or coach now for longer than one season. In 2007 it became more of the same  The Raiders were a vacuum, no light in or out, and they suffered through another abysmal season. 

Walter had been written off by now, as the majority of the snaps went to Josh McCown and rookie JaMarcus Russell.

Walter sits on the bench and wonders just what happened. Josh McCown?

2008 rolls around, and there goes another coach, and Walter still hasn't had anyone to develop under. Raider fans are restless, and Russell gets a turn and has mixed results. Walter did start one game against the Carolina Panthers, where he got housed by a tough Panther defense.  

Now, fans want him gone, and Walter has no disagreement. He wants out too.

Walter is a lesson on what not to do with a quarterback prospect. He was placed in a system with no offensive line and horrible, practically nonexistent coaching. Before he had time to develop into anything other than a tackling dummy, the Raiders already had their new golden boy in Russell, and Walter was relegated to the "what if" pile. 

Walter got the shaft—bad—just like other rookie quarterbacks and "what if" teams that drafted quarterbacks like Joey Harrington, only to see them fail in horrible systems and calling them busts.

Now the Raiders are making the same mistake again. Already some are calling Russell a bust before he even has a chance to do anything in a stable system. The talent is there; the talent has been there. What the Raiders need is stability. They may have finally found that in Tom Cable, but that is anyone's guess. 

Take a lesson from Walter on how NOT to develop an NFL quarterback.

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