Andrew Walter Finally Euthanized by Oakland Raiders

Justin Smith@smittstylesCorrespondent IJuly 31, 2009

I have been unable to confirm from any sources other than the sports ticker crawl on The Score, but according to the crawl, the Raiders have finally released lanky Andrew Walter, the record-breaking Arizona Sun Devil quarterback who failed to realize anywhere close to the same success in the NFL.

If true, it ends a bitter marriage that lasted far longer than it should have for both parties. Walter, drafted in 2005 in the third round, is a big guy with a bigger arm, but his windup is far too deliberate and slow.

Walter has been overlooked before, only to prove everyone wrong.

Not highly touted coming out of Grand Junction High in Grand Junction, CO, Walter was offered a scholarship by then-Arizona State coach Bruce Snyder.

Walter redshirted as a freshman, and halfway through that season, Snyder was let go and replaced by Boise State coach Dirk Koetter.

Walter was expected to start the next season but was beat out and languished behind lesser talent Chad Christiansen. It seemed even then Walter had a tough time cracking the lineup. But it didn't take long.

After Christiansen proved himself ineffective, Walter led the biggest comeback in school history, rallying the team from a 22-0 deficit against San Diego State.

After showing his moxie and talent, Walter wasn't sitting again, and Koetter helped Walter realize his potential and go from fighting for recognition and playing time to breaking school and conference passing records.

Despite his success in college and his fairly high draft position, Walter found himself in the familiar position of the overlooked observer in his first Raiders training camp.

He didn't play at all in his first season in 2005, instead sitting at third string behind Kerry Collins and Marques Tuiasosopo. He sat, waited, and learned. He'd get his chance in 2006.

Then the Raiders signed Aaron Brooks to be the starter in 2006. Well, that didn't work out so well, but Walter was once again stuck behind a lesser talent.

Brooks played so poorly in his first two starts that he was replaced in both by Walter. Brooks then sustained an injury, and Walter became the de facto starter. He did not, however, set the NFL on fire the way he had the Pac-10 under similar circumstances.

He would end the 2006 season wishing he'd never received his chance.

Largely ineffective, very rigid in the pocket, and not as accurate as advertised, Walter struggled mightily, and the Raiders suffered through what is largely regarded as the most embarrassing and ugliest season in franchise history.

You can't blame all Walter's failings on him, though.

Walter was an unfortunate casualty of the Art Shell-Tom Walsh "Bed & Breakfast" experience, an outdated coaching theory that basically said run as far back from center as you can, wait for your receivers, and throw it as far as you can.

Amazingly, it didn't work, and Walter was sacked repeatedly. A porous offensive line and a 7-10-15-step drop passing game will do that to an immobile quarterback.

This led to a shattering of his psyche, which became obvious in his demeanour and body language. He exhibited a distinct lack of confidence, which led to poor decisions, which led to poor play and bitterness, which led to the bench.

The Raiders have since basically buried Walter like the dirty family secret and tried like hell to forget about him. Walter didn't help himself by pouting and complaining and lashing out at every opportunity.

This has been a fractured relationship for some time, and even people who don't know the parties involved feel vindicated for both sides.

The Raiders didn't treat Andrew Walter very well, and now they've given him his wish and released him. Walter didn't do himself any favours by repeatedly skipping workouts, practices, OTAs, and others in protest of the way he'd been treated.

Other teams may frown upon that lack of passion and dedication. Walter would have a much better chance of landing a job now if he'd put his head down, worked hard, and moved on. He didn't, and it may cost him ultimately.

Either way, this was inevitable, and now we can all move on.


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