Makings of a Disaster: McCown Named the Raiders starter for Week 1

McCown

Despite being all quiet on the front of the controversy publicly, Raiders Head Coach Lane Kiffin is expected to announce Josh McCown his starting quarterback for Oakland’s season opener against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, the NFL Network’s Adam Schefter, along with ESPN.com’s Michael Smith, have both reported it to be true.

Asked by reporters Wednesday when he would know who his starter would be, Kiffin replied: “I do know … I wouldn’t anticipate an announcement.”

“They (the quarterbacks) know,” Kiffin continued, but “nothing’s permanent.”

Culpepper was sharp in the Raiders’ final exhibition game on Thursday at Seattle, completing 11-of-19 passes for 108 yards and leading the offense to its only touchdown in a 19-14 loss. But Culpepper also threw an interception. McCown started the game and went 5-for-12 for 75 yards in four series.

Culpepper is not as familiar with the offense as McCown after signing with the team on July 31 when it became obvious that the LSU QB, #1 draft pick JaMarcus Russell, would not be in camp anytime soon because of a contract argument that has lasted an NFL-record number of days. Russell remains unsigned and the Raiders could enter the season without their quarterback of the future on the roster.

Culpepper has shown that his surgically repaired right knee is healthy (running for first downs, once again) this preseason. He’s thrown four touchdown passes with only one interception as he tries to put last year’s horrendous, injury-shortened season in Miami behind him. After throwing 39 touchdown passes in 2004 in Minnesota, Culpepper went through injuries the past two years and had just eight touchdown passes, with a whopping total of 18 turnovers.

That led to his release by Miami in July and his late signing with the Raiders.McCown was acquired in a draft-day trade with Detroit, hoping for a chance to prove he can be an NFL starter (what a joke). McCown made 22 starts with Arizona before backing up Jon Kitna in Detroit last season. This decision is mind-boggling as of right now, and I think Oakland would be better off with Culpepper. This is too easy and so many reason point to Culpepper being the better option for the Silver and Black.

Week 1, I would go with Detroit to win on the road against these complacent Raiders, and the main reason is, Culpepper will back-up and hold the clipboard on the sidelines. Though, you can expect Culpepper to get the starting job soon (by default, with McCown giving it up) and for McCown to struggle because his greatest attribute is his mobility, not his arm strength nor accuracy.

Daunte can spread the field and throw the deep ball well, stand tall in the pocket, and have control over the game, and with his experience, having more, being a key factor (his presence of just being on the field), he will eventually (sooner rather than later) get his chance to shine. He is also able to zip by darts with good precision and lead a team as a field general at QB.

McCown is not a good thrower, as you have seen in years past, and Culpepper is a former MVP candidate/All-Pro QB, and can still revive his career, now that he is healthy, or at least healthier. Culpepper may be the one and only reason the Raiders can surprise some teams and make a playoff appearance in ‘07 (with the young defense in place), that being said, Oakland needs to make the right/easy/simple choice by giving Culpepper the ball, letting him run the offense, taking the snaps under center, for he is not just a “caretaker” but a winner and a QB that can flat out play, with the ability/talent to carry a team from dead last to first place, if given the chance.

Giving Culpepper the keys to drive the offense is a no-brainer for Coach Kiffin, now all he has to do is hand them over (the reins) and let him put the team in a position to succeed.


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