Where Is Oakland's Javon Walker?

Paul MacDonaldContributor IOctober 29, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 20:  Javon Walker #84 of the Oakland Raiders looks on during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on September 20, 2009 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Javon Walker, from all reports, is healthy.  Javon Walker, even if he's lost a step, has not lost his ability to catch the ball.  Javon Walker should be starting.  Even if he isn't the number one WR, he can still contribute.

So, let's see what Tom Cable has to say about Javon Walker

From the outside looking in, it seems that Javon isn’t good enough to play on your team. Accurate?

"No not accurate. good enough yes, but his position needs to bring some special teams value and he really hasn’t done any of that.  He is not a coverage guy, with Chaz coming back that role will shrink even more.  Wish he had some of those things to bring to the table, he has gotten some opportunities we used him specifically against Philadelphia for some things and was just not able to find his way to make those plays."

Really? What?  I'm afraid I don't understand.  No one can catch the ball and the addition of Schillens will mean that there will be one guy who can catch the ball.  The solution to having no one who can catch the ball seems to be reducing the role of someone with a proven record of ball catching.

"Not able to find a way to make those plays" is ultimately Cable covering for Russell. If you throw a crappy ball at Murphy and he drops it, you get to blame Murphy. If you throw an uncatchable ball at a guy with Walker's pedigree, it suddenly falls back into Russell's lap.

What else does the press conference tell us about Javon?

If Walker is not good enough now, when?

"Good question. I think its good to have him on his team with how things go with the young guys as far as injuries.  Its just the role he has on this football team."

Does Walker lack burst?

"Well again in the Philadelphia game we had some specific things for him and it just did not work out."

His role, apparently, is "not have the ball thrown in his general direction because JaMarcus Russell has no idea how to check down."

Last season, I was not a fan of Javon Walker.  I thought the contract was ridiculous. I thought his production was pathetic.  I had no idea that he was playing in so much pain. I had no idea why he was talked out of retirement.

This season, he restructured his contract and got himself fixed up. He is the exact type of individual that exemplifies the Raider Way.  He is older, has something to prove and by even Cable's account, has something left in the tank.

What harm is there in getting the ball to Walker? None. No one else is catching it and Russell can't hit the broad side of a barn. So, throw Javon Walker in the slot and see what happens. What's happening now clearly isn't working.