There has been a lot of talk lately about who should be the quarterback of the Oakland Raiders.
Many have argued that Terrelle Pryor should be given his chance, especially after his decent start in the last game of the season against the San Diego Chargers.
Others are still in the camp of veteran Carson Palmer. They say he had a decent season, and some of the problems he had was the fault of a very poor offensive game plan by the now departed Greg Knapp.
While valid arguments can be made for both Pryor and Palmer, I believe it doesn't really matter which player is the starting quarterback for the Raiders.
Until the Raiders improve their offensive line and their running game, it doesn't matter if John Elway, Peyton Manning, Joe Montana or Johnny Unitas is the quarterback.
Let's be realistic: It is extremely hard to throw completions when you are laying on your back or being chased all over the field by the other team's defense.
It is also very difficult for a quarterback when the ground game isn't gaining any yards and the opposing defense knows you have to pass the ball.
Is it just me, or did every running play Knapp used last season look like it was designed to gain two or three yards?
I know Darren McFadden had an off year in 2012, and he was injured once again, but the Raiders running game was not tailored toward McFadden's strengths.
McFadden is not the type of runner that is going to do well when you constantly run him up the middle all the time, especially with poor blocking by a weak offensive line. He is not that kind of power runner. And I think using him that way tends to lead to some of his injuries.
Since the running game wasn't clicking, the opposing defense was prepared for him to throw the ball, and they could key on him, and his receivers.
If you look at successful current and past quarterbacks, you will see they had protection in the pocket, and a lot of time to decide which receiver to throw the ball to. And they usually had a good running game to complement the passing game.
For the most part Palmer didn't have that luxury. Instead he usually had to make rushed decisions while being pressured. Since Palmer has a tendency to make a poor decision now and then, you definitely don't want him to make rushed decisions. It just won't turn out well usually.
So what to do?
Palmer or Pryor, Palmer or Pryor, it doesn't really matter. The Raiders need to concentrate on improving the offensive line and their running game.
Until they do the team will not be a legitimate playoff contender.
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