QB issue not going quietly

The Oakland Raiders quarterback issue, err controversy, will not get any quieter even after they closed the preseason schedule with a 28-24 win over the St. Louis Rams Thursday night.

Wonder if anyone in LA was watching? Hmm. Anyhow, that's another story for another time. The Oakland Raiders, meanwhile, open their season at Pittsburgh on Sunday September 12.

Rich Gannon, who has been the Raiders starter since 1999 including an MVP winning 2002 season, fell flat like most of his teammates last year in which the team went 4-12. Enter Kerry Collins, whom Oakland signed after the New York Giants released him.

You sign Collins with the intent of starting him. Couple that with bringing in a coach like Norv Turner, who likes the vertical passing game. That's something that's more of Collins' forte than Gannon.

Granted, Collins is no John Elway but he has started 123 of 129 career games in which he has played. Generally, you don't bring in an experienced quarterback without wanting to start him.

The Raiders have remained steadfast that Gannon is the starter and Collins is the backup. Both individuals helped their cause immensely. Gannon went 29-of-50 for 298 yards and one touchdown. Collins completed 14-of-25 passes for 344 yards and four touchdowns.

Some may argue that Collins deserves a better fate but, numbers aside, Gannon has faced more first-unit defenses.

Nonetheless, going with either one presents a gamble. Which Gannon will the Raiders get? The 1999-2002 edition? Or the one that had a Kurt Warner like meltdown last year? Which Collins would the Raiders get? The one that that is lights out? Or the one that's a dud?

Sideline slant

Strong safety Derrick Gibson left the game after four plays and didn't return after dislocating his right shoulder on his final play. Gibson's status won't be known until Friday, at the earliest. Gibson got hurt trying to tackle tight end Cameron Cleeland on a 46-yard pass completion. Ike Charleton would get the call if Gibson cannot go in the regular-season opener.


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