Remember way back when…as in Wednesday when the entire football world was convinced Carson Palmer would be starting on Sunday. Then, all of a sudden come Friday the football universe declared Kyle Boller the starter. Amazing how much can be reported when no reporters are allowed in practice. But that is an entirely different topic.
Sticking to the topic at hand, the real question is not whether or not to start Palmer but instead if the Raiders trust Boller enough to give him the nod.
The only human being on the planet that truly knows who will be starting is Hue Jackson. Proving he’s learned much from Al Davis, Coach Jackson isn’t giving any indication as to which way he’s leaning. That’s the way it should be.
While there are plenty of questions surrounding Palmer there are almost as many doubts concerning Boller. This decision will be based on which man is most prepared and will give the Raiders the best chance at victory.
While Boller didn’t exactly impress last week against Cleveland, he didn’t do anything to cause major concern. The Raiders can trust Boller to play within the offense and not take too many careless risks. They can also count on Boller to hold the rock a little too long and to make decisions on an elongated timeframe.
Part of what made Jason Campbell so effective this year is that he wasn’t holding the ball as long and would make his reads quickly after sizing up the defense prior to the snap. Boller doesn’t impress much in any of those categories. He’s got a legit arm but needs extra time in the pocket to step into his throws.
Simply put Boller is barely a game manager as much as he is a relief pitcher type QB.
Naturally the doubts of Palmer relate to his conditioning and grasp of the offense. No doubt Al Saunders has got two different playbooks going this week. A book on Boller likely has more plays than a Palmer book but it’s a safe bet the Boller edition involves a lot of handing off to #20.
Should Boller get the nod it wouldn’t be surprising if Palmer is told to stay ready. No matter who is more prepared you can count on Coach Jackson riding a hot hand should he need to make a mid-game switch.
After all, there is only one teaching from Mr. Davis that Jackson must adhere to on Sunday no matter who his signal caller is.
Just win, baby!