Oakland Raiders Lose Zach Miller, Better off with Kevin Boss
Zach Miller has decided to follow the money and Tom Cable to Seattle to play for the Seahawks. Raider Nation has been in upheaval ever since but should be happy that Kevin Boss is now a Raider in his stead.
I've heard some in Raider Nation say, "There's no replacing Miller." but that is not the case. Miller was valuable to the offense, no doubt, but that's more less because of a bad receiver situation and that's no longer the case.
The truth is Miller is a solid tight end but he isn't special and the Raiders are better off with Boss.
Turn the page to see how and why.
Replacing a Pro Bowler
Let's be honest.
Would Zach Miller have made the Pro Bowl had Antonio Gates and Dallas Clark been healthy?
With 685 yards receiving, I seriously doubt it as he's had better years and not made it behind those two. He's not special like the other two guys are but I'll go ahead and say that Boss is replacing a Pro Bowl tight end.
Boss has done that before and there was no drop off in the offense so that's no problem. In fact, Boss replaced an All-Pro tight end in Jeremy Shockey and the New York Giants went on to win the Super Bowl in 2007.
He actually had a 45-yard reception in the Super Bowl to help the Giants win the game.
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Miller is known as a rock solid run blocker but Boss is even better in that department. The Giants were always a power running team and that was one area that improved when Boss took Shockey's place.
I look forward to the same thing happening for the Raiders once Boss takes the field for the Silver and Black. Boss's superior run blocking will help head coach Hue Jackson build his "bully" in Raider Nation.
The Raiders' running game will not suffer because of Boss.
Better Vertical Threat
Boss is a couple of inches taller and a step or two faster than Miller, making him a better vertical threat. That's what the Raiders need in Al Saunders' vertical offense as Saunders doesn't do much with slower tight ends.
With all the speed the Raiders have at wideout, I'm sure that they will see a lot of cover too. This opens the game up for a tight end down the seam and Boss has shown the ability to take advantage of that over his career.
Boss averaged 15.2 yards per catch in 2010 and 13.4 for his career.
Miller, on the other hand, averaged 11.4 yards per catch in 2010 and 12 for his career.
This is another area in which Boss is a better fit.
Better Red Zone Target
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Those two inches Boss has on Miller makes him a better target in the red zone as well.
If you disagree, here is some evidence.
Both Miller and Boss went into the NFL at the same time and Miller started right away while Boss was behind Shockey his first year. Miller has started in 61 games in his four years and has a total of 12 touchdowns.
Boss, on the other hand, started in only 45 games and has 18 touchdowns to show for his four years.
This move will mean more points on the board for the Raiders.
Salary and Value
Boss just signed for $16 million over four years as opposed to the $34 million for five years Miller signed for. From a pure value standpoint, that's advantage Raiders, who saved around $3 million toward the cap.
This is for a player who may be better but is at least a better fit for what Saunders and company like to do. Miller does have more career catches but Boss played on a team with more dependable receivers so he was targeted much less frequently.
Plus he started in fewer games because he broke into the league stuck behind an All-Pro.
You've seen the whole breakdown.
The hole Miller left at tight end has been filled by a man who filled an even bigger hole in New York. This situation is not too big for Boss and he may well be a better player than Miller.
But with the skill set he brings to the table, the Raiders' offense is better off with Boss instead of Miller.