View Full Version : what if....

09-14-2007, 09:15 PM
If only Raiders had drafted Cutler ...
Broncos QB and Lions rookie WR both farther along than Huff, JaMarcus
By Steve Corkran, STAFF WRITER
Article Last Updated: 09/14/2007 03:50:21 AM PDT

The Lions' Calvin Johnson had four catches and one touchdown (here diving into the end zone) in his NFL debut. (Bob Larson - MediaNews)ALAMEDA Patience is not one of Oakland managing general partner Al Davis' virtues. He has said time and again that the Raiders don't rebuild, they reload.
Part of their reloading the past two years involved selecting strong safety Michael Huff and quarterback JaMarcus Russell with Oakland's top picks in the 2006 and'07 NFL drafts, respectively.

Huff has yet to make much of an impact, and Russell didn't start practicing with his new team until Wednesday. So, it's way too early to pass judgment on two of Davis' most important decisions the past 18 months.

One thing is certain. Davis'reloading process would have been much farther along had he selected quarterback Jay Cutler instead of Huff last year and, in turn, wide receiver Calvin Johnson instead of Russell this past April.

Cutler assumed the starting job for the Denver Broncos last season at a time when the Raiders were alternating between Aaron Brooks and Andrew Walter. Brooks is gone, Walter is buried on the depth chart. The Raiders also traded for quarterback Josh McCown and signed free agent Daunte Culpepper.

Cutler, meanwhile, is expected to make his seventh NFL start Sunday against the Raiders at Invesco Field at Mile High.

About the same time, Johnson will be lining up for his second NFL game with the Detroit Lions and trying to build upon the four-catch, 70-yard, one-touchdown debut he had against the Raiders last Sunday.

Huff will make his 18th start Sunday. Russell



likely won't even be a part of Oakland's 53-man roster until Sept. 24. He likely is much further away from seeing his first NFL action.
It all makes for a giant game of "What If?"

The Lions and Broncos are past the point of wondering what they got with Johnson and Cutler, respectively. Both are known commodities, with the potential for even more impressive production as they gain experience at this level.

"He's making strides very fast," Lions coach Rod Marinelli said of Johnson last week. "He's a heck of an athlete. And the thing about it is, he comes out there and works as hard as you can possibly work every day, and he's in tremendous shape. We're going to really like this guy over a period of time."

Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said he knew long before Sunday's 15-14 come-from-behind victory against the Buffalo Bills that Cutler is going to be a top-flight NFL quarterback. Hence the reason the Broncos traded up to select Cutler at No.11, whereas the Raiders bypassed Cutler and quarterback Matt Leinart at No.7.

Cutler passed for 304 yards against the Bills and directed a fourth-quarter drive that enabled the Broncos to kick a game-winning field goal as time expired. His play has longtime Broncos fans comparing him to Pro Football Hall of Famer John Elway.

"I don't know if I learned anything," Shanahan said. "I've been watching Jay since he's been here. Most people see what we've been seeing, which is a guy who handles himself with a lot of poise, a guy who stays very calm and made some big plays on the road."

Cutler became the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to throw two touchdown passes in each of his first four games. Also, the Broncos averaged seven points more in Cutler's five starts than they did in their previous 11 games.

"They have a lot of confidence in me the receivers and the (offensive) line," Cutler said. "I'm getting there with their trust and respect. It takes time. Those things you have got to mesh and jell together to see how everyone reacts in those high-pressure situations."

Raiders coach Lane Kiffin said during training camp that Huff has a ways to go before he develops into the consistent playmaker the Raiders envisioned when they selected him in the first round.

It might take until 2008 before the Raiders get a read on how well Russell is going to fare in the NFL. By that time, Cutler and Johnson figure to be leaders on their respective teams and perhaps Pro Bowl-bound.

What if? Indeed.

09-14-2007, 09:19 PM

Cutler -> Johnson would definitely have been scary.

KC Tattoo
09-14-2007, 10:30 PM
What if the Hunts fired Carl Perterson and hired a real GM?

09-14-2007, 10:33 PM
what if we didn't take Sims

KC Tattoo
09-14-2007, 10:46 PM
This is what pisses me off the most about starting Huard over Croyle, Chargers and Broncos have elected to go with their QBOTF and we have to face those two QBs for years to come, it is a matter of weeks before Raiders go with JR. WTF, Croyle has to learn now so he can be competive against those teams for years to come. We are waisting valuable playing experiance for Croyle and our young WRs to develope together to build a successfull team. Chargers and Donkies are ahead of the game and it is going to show next year and they will keap getting better. We will put Croyle in after week 6 when we are mathematiclly eliminated from the playoffs.

09-14-2007, 10:48 PM
So we should be better one year later then?

KC Tattoo
09-14-2007, 11:04 PM
So we should be better one year later then?

We would be better next year if Croyle can get a year under his belt and develop a relationship with his WRs and team on the field, but him not playing delays his growing and delays us from being a better team down the road. Croyle needs to beable to learn how to read defenses but that is hard to do standing on the sideline holding a clipboard.

If Croyle doesn't get to develop this year then we are still going to be insearch of a QBOTF next year. If we have a top 5 draft pick next year and pick a QB, is he going to have to sit a year behind Huard? That will take us to 09 before he gets to play then another year to develope into a quality QB so 2010 we should have our QBOTF ready to be a full time starter. That is if we don't go find another used up QB or backup QB to lead this team.