Should the Raiders Lure Jeff Garcia Back?

Kristopher FieckeCorrespondent ISeptember 29, 2009

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 03: Quarterback Jeff Garcia #7 of the Oakland Raiders looks to pass before the game against the Seattle Seahawks on September 3, 2009 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Should the conversation in Tom Cable's office today start with "Let's try this again?"

With the news that Philadelphia has released Jeff Garcia, do the Raiders need to make an effort to lure the veteran QB back to Oakland? The NFL is a win now league, and I hate to say it, but my answer is yes.

Like many who follow the Raiders, I've been waiting and waiting for JaMarcus Russell to reach his potential as an NFL quarterback, but I've seen almost no evidence that Russell is going to be a competent NFL signal caller. With only three games in the books, this season is far from over. Could Garcia salvage it and push the Raiders towards the playoffs? I'm relatively certain that Russell can't.

To be fair, Russell was never my guy. I wanted Oakland to take Calvin Johnson with that pick, but I realize that Russell's combination of size and arm strength was intriguing enough to warrant the front office's decision to go with him. He's had some time to learn the offense, but his mistakes are mounting and the few games the Raiders have won while he's been the starter were in spite of him, not because of him.

Garcia may not be suited perfectly for the Raiders offense, but he gives them a better chance to win than Russell does. He's a proven winner who might provide a little stability to the offense. While he doesn't have the arm strength, he's so much more accurate than Russell at this point that it's worth the gamble.

After three weeks, the division is still up for grabs. The Raiders could easily be 2-1 at this point, but in order to win more games, they are going to have to eliminate mistakes. Garcia does that. Russell's not there yet. 

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Garcia wants to be the starter. Bring him in, give him the job, and see what he can do.  Maybe he rights the ship.

There's nothing wrong with a little healthy competition. Showing Russell that he needs to get better might be the spark he needs to get himself going. If not, it could be just another Al Davis mistake that keeps the organization from honoring the "Commitment to Excellence" that they've preached for years.

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