With the Oakland Raiders, Young Quarterbacks Walk the Plank

Raider Card Addict@RaidercardadictSenior Writer IJune 11, 2009

SAN DIEGO - DECEMBER 04:  Quarterback Andrew Walter #16 of the Oakland Raiders drops back to pass against the San Diego Chargers during their NFL Game on December 4, 2008 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

In some way, you have to feel sorry for some of these guys.

These young quarterbacks join the Raiders right after a Super Bowl berth, and the mindset is, What can I do to get the team over that hump?

For several different players, it goes from that simple question to a more profound statement:

What did I just land in, and what is going on now?

Turning back the clock, we can look back to a guy named Scott Dreisbach, who was with the Raiders in 1999-2000.

After a great preseason, he was on his way to backing up Rich Gannon when an injury sidelined him for the year.

Move forward a couple of seasons to Marques Tuiasosopo, who was drafted in 2001. Sitting behind Gannon, he watched a team slowly age before his eyes, going from 11-5 to 4-12.

In his second season, Tui got a short chance to play, finishing up one game against the Chiefs, but then was hurt in the next week, ending his season and probably any hope he had of being the face of the future for the Raiders.

In the next few years, a pattern developed.

A veteran stepped in, this time Kerry Collins, while Tui would languish on the bench. Then in 2005, Oakland would spend a third round draft pick, this time on Andrew Walter from Arizona State University.

I'll admit, I had high hopes for the kid. Wearing No. 16 and with Collins and Norv Turner out, 2006 would be a good year.

For a disaster.

Our veteran that was brought in was Aaron Brooks of Saints fame. We also de-thawed Art Shell for one more hopeful season, and in turn Shell brought in another fossil for offensive coordinator, Tom Walsh.

About the only thing positive that could be said for both the Raiders and Walter is that he got two wins, the only two the Raiders would have that season, as Brooks would go 0-8 on the season.

And yes, against the Steelers we were lucky.

So, after this 2006 season, the Raiders used their No. 1 pick to select JaMarcus Russell.

To aid him, we brought in a small ensemble of veteran quarterbacks in Josh McCown and Daunte Culpepper.

Russell, due to contract disputes, was on the shelf for most of the season. Some have felt it was too long or that he was improperly coached, as when the 2007 season opened he looked completely lost.

As the season went on, Russell had his good points and some rough outings, getting more than 200 yards passing on three occasions. In others, Russell managed only 77 yards against a Falcons team.

By the end of the season it seemed a happy medium had been formed, with Russell doing light passing, and a stronger running game produced two wins to finish the season out at 5-11.

How does this work for Russell?

For one, Tom Cable does have a veteran backing up Russell (and a proven one at that in Jeff Garcia). But one has to hope that he gives Russell the time to actually develop, learn, and bring the Raiders back to their winning ways.

If this doesn't happen, you may as well add Russell to the long line of quarterbacks that have failed to pan out in the Raiders' camp, much like Todd Marinovich and Marc Wilson.


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