Derek Anderson or Troy Smith? Who is the Better Fit for the Oakland Raiders?

John Doublin@CoachJayDeeSenior Writer IMarch 11, 2010

3 Dec 2000:  A close up of Owner Al Davis of the Oakland Raiders as he smiles and looks on during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The Steelers defeated the Raiders 21-20.Mandatory Credit: Tom Pidgeon  /Allsport
Tom Pidgeon/Getty Images

Or should I ask: Who would be a better fit for Al Davis?

Rumors are swirling about the availability of Troy Smith and Derek Anderson, and the prospect of one of them coming to Oakland. This speculation is, in my opinion, an exercise in futility.

Al Davis has made up his mind about who he wants to see competing for the Raiders starting quarterback job. His second round tender on Bruce Gradkowski, the retention of JaMarcus Russell, and the free-agent signing of J.P. Losman are clear signs of what the boss wants.

In Oakland, what the boss wants, the boss gets.

That said, is it possible for Davis to make a run at one of these two players? Probably not, but that doesn't stop the rumor mill.

The fact is, signing either of these men would instantly upgrade the quarterback position in Oakland; either of them would automatically become the best player on the team at that position.

Troy Smith is an intriguing player. A live arm, great mobility, a legitimate threat with his legs, and, according to his Raven teammates, a leader.

The Heisman trophy winner had proven to John Harbaugh that he was good enough to start for Baltimore over Joe Flacco in 2008. Unfortunately, Smith became ill and lost his shot to Flacco, who stepped in and played extremely well in his rookie year.

The knock on Troy is his size. Listed at 6'0" and 225 pounds, he is a bit undersized to be considered a prototypical quarter back. Really? Tell that to Jeff Garcia and the "undersized" Super Bowl MVP, Drew Brees! Both of these players are smaller than Smith and enjoyed success in the league.

Derek Anderson is a player that seems to fit the Raiders' scheme of deep passing and playaction. Big arm, great size at 6'6" and 229 pounds, and a Pro Bowl under his belt. In that Pro Bowl season, Derek put up good numbers while surrounded by talent that was, at best, average.

The issue Anderson is most criticized for is his inconsistent accuracy. On one play he puts the ball right on the money, the receiver never has to break stride, and a big play is the result. On the next play his mechanics break down and he delivers the ball 15 yards off the mark.

He also lacks the pocket awareness to regularly avoid sacks. He shows panic when things break down, and doesn't seem to have the vision to escape like other big quarterbacks such as Ben Roethlisberger or Peyton Manning.

Overall, it is true that both of these players would be better than anyone the Raiders have at the moment. If one of them were to come to Oakland, someone on the team now would have to be cut. The obvious choice for dismissal would be Charlie Frye. I don't see that as a bad thing.

It is my opinion that neither of these players will end up in Oakland because Al Davis has already made his choice. If he were interested in either of them, he would have made a move already.

Anderson is rumored (not confirmed) to be visiting Seattle, not Oakland. Smith has made it clear through his agent that he wants to play in his home town of Cleveland, not Oakland.

The Brown's acquisition of Seneca Wallace may prohibit this, but it is still Troy's first choice. It's not likely he would even consider coming to Oakland if given the opportunity.

What does all this mean? Well, to me it means that Oakland has what they have, and will have to make due with the players that are already here. That's not to say that Al Davis won't change his mind and go after one of these guys. If there's one thing we know about Al Davis it's that...

The boss gets what the boss wants!


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