Oakland Raiders QBs: How Much Jim Plunkett Does Kyle Boller Have in Him?

Carl CockerhamSenior Analyst IOctober 20, 2010

Oakland Raiders QBs: How Much Jim Plunkett Does Kyle Boller Have In Him?

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    ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 12:  Kyle Boller #7 of the Oakland Raiders throws to a receiver in the preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys at Dallas Cowboys Stadium on August 12, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    The Jason Campbell-Jim Plunkett comparisons are not any good, and not just because of Campbell's play on Sunday. It's because Campbell came to Raider Nation and was expected to do something.

    No one expected Jim Plunkett to do anything when he came to Raider Nation, either. But there is a quarterback on the Raiders roster who has many similarities to Plunkett's story.

    Believe it or not, Kyle Boller is that guy.

    Turn the page to see why.

Jim Plunkett Before Raider Nation

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    Jim Plunkett's first five years were nothing to write home about. High first-round quarterback picks do struggle in the beginning because they go to bad teams.

    Plunkett couldn't resurrect the Patriots, so he was traded to the 49ers to spend two years with another bad team.

    In his first seven years, Plunkett had a record of 32-43, and his best quarterback rating was 68.6.

    Plunkett threw for 87 touchdowns, 108 interceptions and only completed 50 percent of his passes in three of his first seven years.

    Yet Raiders owner Al Davis still saw something in him and brought him in.

Kyle Boller Before Raider Nation

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    BALTIMORE - NOVEMBER 18:  Quarterback Kyle Boller #7 of the Baltimore Ravens passes as he is hit by Sean Jones #26 of the Cleveland Browns during the second half of the game at M&T Bank Stadium November 18, 2007 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Jamie Sq
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Kyle Boller had a rough go of it himself in his first six years as he had the first-round quarterback pressure as well. He went to a team that was trying to reload on offense after winning the Super Bowl to end the 2000 season.

    During that time, Boller had a 20-26 record.

    He threw for 48 touchdowns, 50 interceptions and completed 56 percent of his passes in his first six years. While we know now that Plunkett is a two-time Super Bowl winner, he wasn't thought of very highly in the beginning of his career.

    Boller isn't, either, but his numbers compare favorably to Plunkett's out of the blocks.

Plunkett's First Year In Raider Nation

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    Plunkett was out of football for a year between his 49ers and Raiders days. In his first year in Raider Nation, he appeared in only four games and didn't have any starts.

    Plunkett was third on the depth chart.

    But after a year away, Plunkett was just happy to be in the NFL again.

Boller's First Year In Raider Nation

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    Boller's first year in Raider Nation has begun on the bench, just as Plunkett's. It took Plunkett a year and an injury to two quarterbacks to play because he was the No. 3 quarterback. 

    No. 3 is where Boller sits now as he waits to see if either Bruce Gradkowski or Jason Campbell can play. Boller also had a stint in 2008 where he was out of football altogether.

    If Boller plays this season, he will be ahead of Plunkett, as Plunkett did nothing in Raider Nation his first year. Both Plunkett and Boller were emergency quarterbacks in their first year in Raider Nation, but the emergency may be coming a year sooner for Boller.

Plunkett's Struggles as a Raider

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    Plunkett was still struggling to get on the field well into his second year in Raider Nation. He went from third string to second string his second year as Dan Pastorini was brought in to be the Raider starter.

    Plunkett then stayed on the grind and literally got a break.

    The Raider were 2-2 when Pastorini broke his leg in Week 5. Plunkett was then inserted into the game—and it couldn't have gone any worse for him.

    Plunkett threw five interceptions and the Raiders fell to 2-3.

Plunkett Stays the Course

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    Even after such a horrible start, the Raiders were all but forced to go with Plunkett. First-round draft pick Marc Wilson was not ready to guide the Raiders to any success at that time.

    Plunkett then went 9-2 to close the season and the Raiders would sneak into the playoffs as a Wild Card. His 11.5-game totals were 2,299 yards, 18 touchdowns and 16 interceptions (five in his first game).

    His numbers were pretty good for the circumstances under which he played. But what made Plunkett great was his ability to forget about an interception and come back with a big play.

    He made those plays when they were needed most.

Plunkett Gets It Done

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    Plunkett completed his Cinderella season with his Cinderella team with a 27-10 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XV. Plunkett was 13-21 for 261 yards and three touchdowns.

    Plunkett's day included an 80-yarder to Kenny King.

    Plunkett's performance won him Super Bowl MVP honors.

Plunkett Still Not the Man

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    After winning the Super Bowl, Plunkett found himself in the middle of a quarterback controversy. Davis wanted first-round pick Marc Wilson to play, and his wish met some resistance from head coach Tom Flores.

    Davis was in love with Wilson because he could throw a football out of a stadium. Plunkett had a big arm, too, but Wilson's was much like Jamarcus Russell's is today.

    But the reason Flores wanted Plunkett was because Plunkett could lead and manage a game.

    How can you not trust a quarterback who just went out and won you a Super Bowl?

    The controversy would last over two years.

Plunkett Does It Again

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    By 1983, the Raiders were ready to move forward with Wilson at the helm. Plunkett had once again became a plan B, but it wouldn't stay that way.

    An injury to Wilson forced Plunkett to take the job again. He would then lead the Raiders to the Super Bowl again and put a whipping on the Washington Redskins, 38-9.

    The guy who nobody but Tom Flores wanted became a two-time Super Bowl winner. 

Will Boller Get His Shot?

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    OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 02: Kyle Boller #7 of the Oakland Raiders passes against the Seattle Seahawks during an NFL preseason game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 2, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Going into the season, Campbell was the one who had to hear Davis and his Plunkett comparisons. After Campbell's horrible performances and an injury, however, those comparisons have come to a screeching halt.

    If you look at it closely, Boller's story up to now is closer to Plunkett's story, so don't give up yet. This is not a prediction in any way, but Boller should get a chance while Gradkowski and Campbell take turns losing.

    Plus, they are both currently injured.

    Why not give Boller a chance?

    From what I hear, Boller could have completed both of Campbell's missed passes on Sunday—from his knees.

    And from his experience in Baltimore, he also knows this offense better than the other two quarterbacks put together.

    There is also some Raider Nation history on his side.

    The unfortunate thing is he doesn't have guys like Art Shell, Gene Upshaw or Dave Dalby to protect him.

    I hope you enjoyed the slideshow.

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