Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

23 Jan 2007

Kiffin named Raiders Head Coach

I've already put one XP up with the Raiders picking a head coach. I'm not doing three.

And poor Monte Kiffin!

And, actually, I wonder if the Raiders were insistent on getting a USC assistant by hook or crook. Maybe the towel guy would've got the job if enough people had turned it down.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 23 Jan 2007

44 comments, Last at 29 Jan 2007, 3:35am by Ameaux

Comments

1
by Paul (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 4:13am

First.

So I wonder if he drafts JaMarcus Russell? I would think so, or at least it gives a great shot. The hiring of an offensive guy certainly doesn't hurt in that regard.

You know, as God awful as the Raiders are, the hell of it is that with a little offense, they could actually be a half-way decent team.

2
by Mac (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 4:20am

I like Kiffin as a hire. I hope the University of Minnesota ends up kicking itself for not hiring him. Still, it's gonna take a special offensive guru to get the Raiders back on track...not to mention he needs to keep Rob Ryan.

3
by Crabbie (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 4:23am

I read the headline and thought that Monte Kiffin must have gone absolutely insane to make this, of all jobs, the one he took as a head coach.

It's comforting to know that instead it's just a case of Al Davis continuing to follow his established trajectory.

I feel bad for the kid (Lane Kiffin), but how can you not take that job at his age? He'll still have plenty of time to rehabilitate his image, and it might even set him up nicely for a future college job (see Callahan). I actually wouldn't be surprised if exactly that consideration played some role in his thinking.

4
by Dave (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 4:31am

what 3 said, plus its for five years, right? i don't care how bad the raiders were this year, that could be a whole other story in two years, much less five

its not a desirable job, but is it any worse than the saints? (yes, i guess, as the owner is an asshole who meddles in football operations rather than just an asshole in general [all imo of course])

i wouldn't kick this job out of bed for eating crackers. and i hate the raiders.

5
by Trieu (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 4:47am

Is there a precedent for a coordinator at the college level getting a head coaching job at the NFL level?

6
by Terry (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 4:49am

I'm as top LT prospect as anybody, but I also agree with the camp that says you have to roll the dice on franchise QBs when you really think you have a good one (somebody like JaMarcus Russell, not someone like, as better as he was this year, Alex Smith) and there doesn't seem to be in in-organization prospect in sight.

7
by lobolafcadio (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 6:00am

I also thought it was Monte Kiffin...
And then, I thought, WHY NOT HIRE BATES if you want a defensive guy ? Especially as you have one on the bench.

Won't Ryan be hurt Davis took a younger guy to be the HC ?

8
by Vince (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 6:41am

There is now an NFL head coach who is the same age as me. This is completely unacceptable.

Wait. Further investigation shows he is, in fact, older than me by three months. Everything's OK then.

9
by tj (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 8:16am

If the Raiders were so enamored of the guys running the USC offense (which makes sense, as USC consistently has a great, dominant pro-style offense) why didn't they show any interest in Norm Chow? I thought that Kiffin and Sarkisian both studied under him and he did a pretty darned good job with Vince Young and the Titans' offense this year. The only thing I can think of would be age, as Chow is turning 61 soon. With this hire there are now 3 new head coaches 36 or younger (with Tomlin being the 3rd) and I wonder if that's a new trend.

10
by andrew (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 9:22am

As I mentioned in the Tomlin thread, this is Al Davis trying to one up the Rooneys, and I fully expect Matt Millen to enter this "arms race" by breaking the 20s barrier after Marinelli leaves...

11
by dryheat (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 10:24am

re: 10

Maybe they've finally found the role for Josh McCown.

12
by Chris (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 10:50am

#6

What makes you think Jamarcus Russell is a franchise QB? What makes you think Alex Smith is such garbage? Did you watch the SF/Seattle game this year?

Jamarcus Russell has Daunte Culpepper Version 2.0 written all over himself. Version 2.0 is the Miami version of Daunte.

I think Kiffen fails at this job, but then again the success rate for head coaches is below 50% so that isn't saying much.

It's always a suprise to me how people always LOVE all these new coaching hires, and new quarterbacks, but after 2 or 3 years of mediocricy they want them fired and want new ones.

13
by joel in providence (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 11:07am

Monte and Lane Kiffin. seriously, thems some fucked up names. ;)

14
by Led (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 11:19am

Hiring a young, hungry up and coming guy is a good idea. Not sure whether a it's still a good idea if the guy has only 1 year of experience coaching in the pros and it was six years ago. To a certain degree football is football, but I would imagine the logistics of coaching an NFL team is very different from coaching a college team. From an organizational standpoint, young Kiffin may be at a serious disadvantage. But I like youth movement across the league. The days of recycling Wade Phillips and Joe Bugel are over!

15
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 11:38am

It's kind of odd that the Raiders went after Steve Sarkisian, the USC quarterbacks coach - not even a coordinator - and offered him the job...only to be turned down.

Let's say that again. The Raiders were turned down by a college quarterbacks coach.

So the Raiders move up the chain to the USC offensive coordinator.

If he turned them down, would they have gone up again and tried for Carroll?

16
by Will (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 11:43am

Regarding Chow - a hint of racism, perhaps. But he's really been run out of BYU, and SC didn't really try hard to keep him. He may have some issues?

I can't see the Raiders drafting Thomas after the Gallery fiasco. I'd also like to see what Walter can do with a legitimate offensive line - he needs work on his decision making, and has to stop fumbling so much, but he definitely has potential. I guess by default, Calvin Johnson is the #1 unless they get a good trade offer.
Sarkisian was really regarded as the brains of the offense, while Kiffin called the plays and did a lot of the recruiting work. Not sure what that says.

17
by vijay (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 11:44am

14: And that makes me happy. I am so tired of the Bugels and Phillips of the world that I'm interested in seeing some fresh blood. Does this mean that Kiffin is going to be great? Probably not. I don't know that many can succeed in the Raiders system.

And as a Cowboys fan hearing the Wade Phillips rumors, I'm really hoping that we can get a young guy who's hungry vs. an old retread.

I know that there are only a few Bill Simmons fans on this site, but he wrote an interesting article talking about the fact that younger coaches are now succeeding more than the over 55 guys. It's an interesting read. Not the most thorough thing ever, but a good read with some examples to show me that the 55+ year old retread is the worst thing a franchise might be able to do...

Click the link for more.

21: You make no sense.

18
by Chris (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 11:46am

Do you think Kiffen will be MORE or LESS qualified than his offensive and defensive coordinators?

How interesting is that. The head coach will probably have less experience than his coordinators.

19
by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 11:46am

#15: I think USC employs the Redskins philosophy - I think both Sarkisian and Kiffin are "co-offensive coordinators" or something odd like that.

20
by Tarrant (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 11:58am

Regarding Chow, he is a mystery.

He has wanted to be a head coach for some time. He was hurt deeply when BYU didn't even give him a second thought when they were looking, despite over a decade of employment there, prior to heading to the Carolinas and then USC.

I think at the time he joined USC it was figured that Carroll might only be at USC for a short while, until another NFL job came around, and then Chow might get a shot - when that didn't happen, he was again not happy, but again, despite all their success, USC didn't really push to keep him. If USC had really made it clear that they thought he was valuable, they would have kept him.

And it doesn't make sense because Pete Carroll does everything he can to talk up his assistants, he recommends them for jobs, he wants them to succeed...except for Chow. So weird.

Chow interviewed at Stanford - Stanford! - and couldn't get the job, despite making it publicly known that he really wanted the job. Stanford instead choosing to go the retread route. Hasn't worked for them so far.

It's believed that Chow interviews terribly, and doesn't have the sort of "Rah rah"/recruiter personality that alumni are looking for in a college head coach. But still - the guy has coached up multiple Heisman Trophy winners, been a part of national championship teams...and can't get a sniff.

Then you look at what he managed to do with the Titans and Young, and he still can't get a sniff. I figured one of the NFL teams looking for a coach this offseason would look his way - yet he can't even get a Rooney Rule interview.

You'd think someone - a college somewhere - would have said "Damn the interview, this guy is a GOOD COACH." Guess not.

21
by Sean (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 12:53pm

I really don't like either of the top quarterbacks available. If I was Oakland, I would be much more inclined to send a second-round pick to Atlanta for Matt Schaub and to either trade down (hopefully) or take the best player on the board, in this case Calvin Johnson.

As someone pointed out, the defense is ready to be competitive right now. Getting a rookie quarterback and sticking him behind that line isn't going to do anything but waste years.

22
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 1:23pm

#2, the University of Minnesota likely did not try to sign Kiffin, despite his showing interest, because they suspected that Kiffin's strongest ambition is to be an NFL head coach, and if he had a couple good years in Minny he would be gone. The guy they hired, Brewster, is about fifteen years older, is well suited for the college recruiting task, personality-wise, and I'm pretty sure the thinking is that he is more likely to adopt an Alvarez-like approach to his career if he experiences great success.

There is certainly enough money in the alumni base to make the job lucrative for a guy who can get to the Rose Bowl, or some other New Year's day game, every four or five years or so. There is now enough talent in Minnesota, with the Twin Cties population now exceeding two million people, to provide the base of a perrenial contender for a New Year's day game, if a coach can dominate the recruiting in the region.

What is interesting to me is that the Gophers may be closer to their goal than the Vikings are to their goal of being a team that is consistently a threat to go deep into the playoffs. Heck, the Vikings, if they aren't careful, may have getting to second place in their division become the first rung on the ladder they have to deal with annually, if they aren't there already. If Favre plays next year, it'll be a tough goal for them to reach.

Given Brewster's apparent knack with the general public, the Vikings could in fairly short order become the 2nd most popular football team in Minnesota. Not what guy who just paid $600 million-plus for a NFL franchise wants to hear.

23
by CA (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 2:07pm

Re: 22

the Vikings could in fairly short order become the 2nd most popular football team in Minnesota

I'll put the chances of that happening at exactly zero. I could go on at length about the serious long term problems facing the University of Minnesota football program and reasons that it is highly unlikely that it will be widely embraced by the Twin Cities community, but I'm not sure that the "Kiffin named Raiders Head Coach" thread is the right place to do that. That said, you're right that the disinterest in the Vikings among Minnesotans has been palpable lately.

24
by rageon (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 2:21pm

I now live in St. Cloud, MN, after spending my first 25 years in North Dakota. The U. of M. isn't anywhere close to the Vikings in popularity. No one talks about Gopher football. Frankly, I think more people care about their hockey team than they do about the football team. Maybe it's different in the Twin Cities area, but out-state, no one cares about the team. The Vikings may suck (and they will), and the Gophers may improve (I wouldn't know), but it'll take a long time before their are similar in terms of exposure and popularity.

25
by Devin McCullen (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 2:54pm

So how long until some blogger/sportswriter/radio host with zero creativity starts complaining about "Lame" Kiffin?

26
by dbt (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 2:58pm

Wasn't it only about 15 years ago that the Vikings were running commercials apologizing for running the team like a bunch of boobs? "We've finally got our heads screwed on straight", I believe, was the advertising tagline, in the wake of the Herschel debacle.

27
by Booker Reese (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 3:05pm

I'm dumbfounded how anyone can think this is a good move for Kiffen or for the Raiders. He has 2 seasons as a co-OC at the college level. He's 31 years old. Does any body believe for a second he's going to be able to control the guys like Porter, Brooks, Moss, and other malcontents on that roster? I don't care if he's an offensive guru - Norv Turner was an offensive guru, and look what that did for the Raiders. This team needs to get itself under control, not sort out the x and o's.

Any chance he sees year 3 of this deal?

28
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 3:06pm

Yep, and seveteen years ago, nobody thought the Badgers (whose program was in far worse shape than the current Gopher program) could have the following they now have. They did by 1994. There is an inherent tendency to think that the status quo will always be maintained. Well, it usually does happen that way, at least in the short term. In the long term, however, nothing stays constant.

To the modern sports fan, with extremely few exceptions (Packers,Cubs), the only thing that matters is winning. Turning Minnesota into a BCS bowl contender is no more impossible than it was at Wisconsin or Rutgers, which is not to say it is easy, or even very likely. There is a significant, and certainly non-trivial, chance it could happen, however.

By the same token the Vikings are one bad hire at defensive coordinator, and one failure for a young qb to develop, away from having perennial top 10 first round draft choices. If that happens, the Vikings won't sell out much easier than the Gophers do now. If the Gopher are playing games in November which can get them to New Years Day bowl games, and winning them every couple of years, the Gopher games will be a hotter draw.

29
by pcs (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 3:12pm

Vince #8: Wait about 6-7 years, and you'll get to where I am, saying: "My team has a quarterback who's the same age as me? This is completely unacceptable." :-)

30
by Paul (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 3:18pm

#12,

It's not fair to say Jamarcus Russell is Daunte Culpepper 2.0. While a lot of people make the comparison because they are both big, black, right-handed QB's with strong arms, the players actually have very little in common.

For one, Russell is actually taller at 6'6 compared to Culpepper's 6'4.

Second, Culpepper made most of his plays outside the pocket using his legs, and Russell does not do that. Russell is a pure pocket passer who has great pocket presence, he does very little escaping the pocket to make throws. To be sure, he can do that, but that is not how he makes his money.

Russell is also much less of a runner than Culpepper. In college, Culpepper ran for over 1,000 yards with 24 rushing touchdowns, and in his first five seasons as a starter (before the knee injury), he ran for over 400 yards each year. Russell on the other hand, has only about 80 rushing yards in 3 years as a starter at LSU, and nearly all of those came in one game (71 yards against Tennessee this year).

Beyond that, Russell has a huge body, all the way down to massive hands (where Culpepper has, as I recall, been criticized for having relatively small hands and thus having problems gripping the ball at times; after all, for his career he has averaged over 1 fumble a game, which is rare), and he is literally impossible to tackle. As an Alabama grad whose girlfriend goes to LSU, I watched a lot of LSU football this year, and I cannot tell you how many times that Russell would be wrapped up in the pocket, but have his throwing arm free and then fire a rocket 50 yards downfield for a strike. He does that like no other quarterback I have ever seen.

I just don't see how the two are all of that similar, they have quite a bit of differences.

Still, even if they were a lot alike, so what? Culpepper made three Pro Bowls in his first five years, and he sixth all-time in QB rating for players who qualify (over 1,500 passing attempts). Many other first round draft picks at QB have certainly done much worse.

Finally, to close with the comparisons, most of the problems with Culpepper come from complaints over 1) the knee injury, 2) the lack of a good work ethic, and 3) off-field behavior (i.e. the boat party). Russell is healthy, so 1) is no problem, and I've never heard any complaints about his off-field behavior or his work ethic.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I just don't see it.

31
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 3:27pm

Gosh, I'm not big Culpepper fan, but the stuff about off-field behavior, stemming from the boat party, is just nonsense. He stood accused of getting a lap dance. I'm gong to go waaaay out on a limb, and venture that there is more than one HOF quarterback who received a lap dance during his career. Sheesh.

32
by tj (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 3:33pm

Paul: Thank you for pointing out the fallacy of the Russell/Culpeper claims. That's been bugging me ever since the Sugar Bowl when Terry Bradshaw was taking about. It's an awfully lazy and unfair comparison to just lump them together because they're both big, tall black QBs with strong arms. Plus, like you mentioned Culpeper was good for the majority of his career (although of course many will tell you that was because of Randy Moss).

I remember one play this during the LSU/Arkansas game where Russell was getting sacked by two guys and as they were dragging him to the ground he fired the ball 20 yards over the middle to Dwayne Bowe. It was one of the craziest things I've ever seen. Not that is any indication that he'll have NFL success, but cripes, that guy is gonna be good for a highlight reel or two...

I think the Raiders should draft Russell and focus the rest of their picks on their offensive line but if they took Joe Thomas it wouldn't be the end of the world. The difference between a Russell and an Alex Smith is that one has a great deal more raw physical ability and thus potential.

33
by Chris (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 4:19pm

Do you remember when Russel was being tackled by a fighting Irish defender and tried to throw a pass?

Sure, when he makes a throw and picks up 20 yards it's good for an ESPN highlight, but what about when he throws a pick or fumbles? Is it really worth the 20 yard throw? Do you think the risk/reward is worth a turnover?

I remember seeing the guy early in his career at LSU and wondering how he even got on the field I'm not saying it matters now, but he was terrible.

I have heard reports that he doesn't have the work ethic to succeed in the pros so I don't know why you say that work ethic isn't a problem.

TJ- Do you realize that Alex Smith is one of the smartest players to come out in the past 5 years of the draft? Not only that but he can run and has a strong arm. So he might not be 6'6, 270 pounds, but I wouldn't say he has less potential. I'd lay my money on Smith to have a better career.

Just because Russell can lob a deep ball, it doesn't mean he can zip those out routes on the money to his receivers.

I also disagree that pepper made his living running, because I seem to remember him chucking deep balls to Randy Moss while in the pocket.

34
by Paul (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 4:51pm

33,

Yes I do remember him being tackled by an Irish defender and trying to throw a pass, and I also remember him lighting up Notre Dame like a bunch of chumps on every other play. Using the Sugar Bowl, where he threw for over 300 yards and 2 TD's, is perhaps not the best example.

Is there a risk/reward? Yes. But it's not like he's throwing up wounded ducks that are making easy interceptions. He's throwing bullets that are on-target. If you don't believe me, go back and watch him disect my beloved Crimson Tide on a 3rd and long with two defenders hanging onto him.

And yes, he struggled early as a freshman at QB. Not many players do well in that situation. And you're right, that doesn't matter now.

And as for his work ethic, I live in New Orleans, which is less than an hour from Baton Rouge, and I've never heard a complaint. Every Tiger fan I knew was praying he would come back and lead LSU to a possible national title.

As for Alex Smith, actually he does not have a very strong arm. I don't know where you got that from. He has a small hand (he one was one of the people who benefitted the most from being able to break-in the game balls), and his arm strength was a major question mark coming out of the draft, and honestly people still question whether or not he has the live arm needed to get the zip on a lot of throws.

35
by Terry (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 4:56pm

#30,#32:

Thanks guys. I was just going to crack a joke about deceptive speed and good route running or something, but you said what I was thinking better than I could've.

36
by Chris (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 5:41pm

34-

You mean that awsome top 5 defense called Notre Dame?

When a quarterback is being wraped up and tackled, you have a couple choices. One results in a turnover and could cost your team the game, the other involves throwing a completion and picking up a variable number of yards.

Risk- Turnover
Reward- let's say a completion, which might average 8 yards.

Not only that, but on a play like that the defense is probably more likely of a tochdown than the offense. A fumble return for a touchdown or a pick 6, probably occurs more often than the offense scoring a touchdown in that situation.

If you want to talk about strong arms, look at a guy like Kyle Bollier. He was on one knee at the 50 yardline and threw the ball THROUGH the goalpost 60 yards away and UP ( 10 feet).

I wonder how many quarterbacks in the league can do that and wonder if ANY others can do that. Maybe Cutler?

Now does that mean Bollier is GOOD, because he has a rocket arm?

Bollier's mistakes aren't because he throws the ball too soft.

On the other hand look at Tom Brady. He has an average to weak arm, and yet has 3 rings on his fingers.

37
by BillWallace (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 6:43pm

For reasons I detailed in another thread, this is a great job for someone like Kiffin. The defense will be great for years if they keep Ryan. All he needs is to turn these scrubs into a below average offense and he'll get them to the playoffs and be able to cash in anywhere in the league when Davis gets tired of him.

38
by Rick "32_Footsteps" Healey (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 6:47pm

You know, for a young coach, this is possibly the best opportunity.

If you succeed, everyone will call you a miracle worker for somehow turning this around, even though no NFL team is that far from success, with a dash of prudence and luck.

If you fail, you can blame it on the meddling owner, the prima donna players, and the general mess that was there when you arrived. You can then go on to a coordinator position somewhere to show off your talent and have people talk you up again (if my guess is right, we'll start calling this "pulling a Morninwheg").

Plus, you earn a few million regardless of what happens.

Whether this is a good move on Oakland's part is another question entirely. But for Lane Kiffin? The only way it could work out better is if he got more money.

39
by Chris (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 7:13pm

37 and 38

Actually that's a very good point. You had me laughing with "pulling a Morninwheg" too.

40
by NF (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 11:23pm

36: Read what David Lewin wrote in PFP2006, or even better if it is possible, ask someone you know who played QB in college or high school to demonstrate how far he can throw the football while standing, then demonstrate how far he can throw on his knees. You'll likely find the distance lost is not that much. Boller has good but not amazing arm strength. On top of that he was awful in college, a workout warrior, and predictably awful to mediocre in the NFL. If he had been a second-round pick he would be as anonymous as Marques Tuiasapo.

38: Lane Kiffin is essentially bullet-proof for his first year there as long as he doesn't appear to be actively making things worse. The offense was so bad in 2006 there has to be some return to the mean, any return to the mean by the defense that could cancel out that improvement is more likely to be blamed on Rex Ryan, and everyone already knows that the situation in Oakland was crazy when Art Shell was laid off/resigned, so if he can get the team to have a little unity and show a little enthusiasm on offense, everyone will be talking about him as the next Gruden.

If things go downhill rapidly the second year, and he is fired; "Well, he's matched the longest tenure of any Raiders coach in the last 7 years, it's not that likely it was his fault," and he ends up as the OC for an average-to-good NFL team. If he is kept on for a third year after a bad second year he either has learned the job and makes strides getting the Raiders to bounce back, or everyone realizes he isn't going to make it in the NFL anytime soon and he ends up being hired to head coach some major college football program for half a decade, already having earned at least a million dollars coaching in the NFL.

41
by BillWallace (not verified) :: Tue, 01/23/2007 - 11:49pm

re: 40

I realize that good defenses are expected to return to the mean frequently, but if there was ever a good candidate not to, I think Oak is it. They have good players at almost every position, and with the exception of Sapp all of them are 27 or younger.

If Sapp has a good year next year, my expectation would be that they get better, not worse. And even if he's done, they'll still probably be fine.

42
by Chris (not verified) :: Wed, 01/24/2007 - 10:46am

40-

There is a difference between throwing on one knee because the quarterback wouldn't have the opportunity to take a crow hop.

It depends on what you interprete as "much difference".

I honestly don't think many people could do what Bollier did. 60 yards and up 10 feet could equal 70 yards right there.

I'm not saying that he could throw TWICE that or anything but he was drafted high despite his weak college resume because of his incredible arm strength.

It's pretty silly if you ask me, but my point is that arm strength isn't everything and it's not like Russell would have the strongest arm in the league or anything. A guy like Bollier doesn't even start and he could potentially win the NFL long toss.

I remember in the old NFL QB challenges I was shocked to see that some guys could only throw the ball about 60 yards.

43
by Paul (not verified) :: Wed, 01/24/2007 - 9:59pm

You assume in your risk/reward analysis that his completions with people hanging off of him go for approximately 8 yards? Hell, the guy averages over 9 yards per attempt, and almost 14 per completion, and that's not counting that most of the throws in those situations are 30-40 yard throws.

And the Kyle Boller stuff is the most absurd thing I believe I've ever read on FO. For starters, two players could not possibly be more different than Boller and Russell. One is massive, the other is actually a bit small for an NFL quarterback. One has good accuracy, the other doesn't. One is very tall, the other is so-so. One has good pocket presence, the other, uh, just ask Ravens fans. I don't even know what thought processes have to occur to even come up with that comparison.

The only thing that they even somewhat share in common is arm strength, and honestly Russell has more arm strength. I don't care if Boller can throw it 100 yards from his back, I've seen both play quite a bit and Boller doesn't have the arm strength that Russell does. I have not seen a quarterback with as much arm strength as he has in quite a while, and if you think his arm strength is nothing particularly special, you should spend less time posting on FO and more time analyzing Russell's game films.

Beyond that, in terms of arm strength, no one ever argued that Russell was going to be a smash hit just because he had great arm strength. No kidding, having a great arm doesn't guarantee you do well as a quarterback. But that's elementary, you don't get brownie points for that. Still, you definitely want to have a great arm, if possible. You don't see many successful NFL QB's with dead arms, and even the ones without huge arms like Brady can still throw the ball on a rope very well. We're just saying you want a guy with great arm strength, and Russell has just that.

I've read about six mock drafts thus far from fairly reputable sites, and every single one I've seen has Russell going #1 overall to the Raiders, and there's a very good reason for that. No use trying to make the guy out to be a bust already.

44
by Ameaux (not verified) :: Mon, 01/29/2007 - 3:35am

Hey Paul,

Sounds like you got a big sexy brain.