Once the lockout is lifted Al Davis will have plenty to do. There is no shortage of issues that will have to be resolved in a hurry in order to keep the football spirits up in Oakland. One item of business that has been lost in the Nnamdi Asomugha/Zach Miller/Offensive Line rebuilding shuffle is the issue of just who will be backing up Jason Campbell.
As of now that task belongs to Kyle Boller which isn’t exactly a comforting feeling.
Given the state of the offensive line there is a very real possibility of the Raiders facing the sum of all fears by getting Boller’d if JC gets injured.
Boller has never caught on in the NFL. The Jeff Tedford protégé flamed out after being picked as the future of the franchise in Baltimore. From there he made a brief stop in St. Louis before finding his way to the East Bay.
Aside from Boller’s taste in women, I’ve got nothing against him. I’ve followed his career from his days at Hart High to his struggles in the NFL. Having seen his progression – or lack thereof – there is no way he can be the man behind the man. Boller is better off as a third string or emergency arm at best.
Like most quarterbacks desperate to make a roster Boller performed well in the preseason last year. Then the regular season started and he never saw much field time. Unable to get a horse in the race between Campbell and Bruce Gradkowski, Boller spent most of last season holding a clipboard. Perhaps because of his familiarity with the offense the Raiders brought him back on a one year deal for 2011.
Now there have been plenty of rumors as to who the Raiders might go after once free agency begins. Every scenario from signing Vince Young to trading for Carson Palmer has been thrown out. While most seem improbable, getting a better second option than Boller shouldn’t require much creative accounting.
A couple of names you can safely cross off are that of Gradkowski and the newly retired Kerry Collins. Both of whom are former Raiders and both of whom are officially long shots to return. Charlie Frye could be a better bet but even he’s a gamble due to both health concerns and poor play.
To be sure Boller has the type of arm Mr. Davis loves which is more than likely why he’s still a Raider and Gradkowski isn’t. The Big Gradkowski had some health issues too but his arm strength just wasn’t up to Raider standards. But as we all know from seeing #2 get fat on AD checks, a big arm does not a franchise QB make.
When you scan the free agent list to see who might be available there aren’t many sensible options. There have been rumors of Alex Smith making a trip across the Bay Bridge. Matt Moore is a guy that fits the Al Davis mold. Brett Favre will always be rumored to go anywhere that will take him but there’s a better chance of Jeff George being a Raider again before Favre ever wears Silver and Black.
All in all there isn’t much value on the open market so perhaps a trade of some sort would make more sense. The only issue is that you don’t want Campbell to feel threatened again after what he went through last season. Delicate stuff to be sure that must be handled with care. Speaking of handling, putting the team in the hands of Boller is sure fire recipe for disaster. Again, this isn’t a priority but it has to be on Al’s list.
Topics: Al Davis, Brett Favre, Bruce Gradkowski, Carson Palmer, Charlie Frye, Jason Campbell, Jeff George, Jeff Tedford, Kerry Collins, Kyle Boller, Matt Moore, Nnamdi Asomugha, Vince Young, Zach Miller