Question: What is wrong with our coaching staff? Justin Fargas is ripping off 8-yard carries with every touch, and when they take him out for a breather, they don't bother to put him back in. Secondly, Walter is playing a decent game and make a couple poor throws, so the coaching staff pulls him and puts in a quarterback that has seen no action all year. It just goes to show you sometimes great coaches are not players that were great in the '70s.
-- Robbie Lipelt, Woodland
Answer: First point, Fargas is the backup, so unless LaMont Jordan is injured, you can expect Fargas to get spot duty. Fargas, however, is earning more playing time every time he breaks tackles the way he did against the 49ers. You can expect him to get more playing time.
Secondly, removing Walter was a matter of saving himself from himself. Walter was trying too hard, and with each mistake, he put the Raiders in a deeper hole. I would agree it was a bad decision if the Raiders said going into the Denver game Walter wouldnít start. But Walter will start, so I think giving him some time to watch from the sidelines on a day he admittedly was playing bad (in the second half) wasnít a bad decision.
Question: Andrew Walter's passes seemed to get dropped an awful lot. I wonder if it is because he puts too much "touch" on the ball instead of zipping the ball to the receiver. Even when the receivers run out patterns, the ball is lofted so high that the defenders have time to react. If I am running a pattern over the middle, Andrew's passes would scare me because while I am waiting to get the "soft" touch pass, the defense is getting ready to nail me. Your thoughts? Are there plans to work wth him on his velocity?
-- Jeff Parkhurst, El Dorado Hills
Answer: Interesting observation, because one of the things the Raiders love about Walter is his velocity. Walterís touch comes in handy on the deep routes and he can zip it in when necessary. I think what youíre seeing has more to do with a young quarterback that is still learning how to get the ball by NFL defenses. He showed progress in the first half against the 49ers, and I expect the more he plays, the better he will get at knowing when to fire the ball and when to put a little touch on the ball.
As for those receivers running patterns over the middle, theyíre more likely to get drilled when Walter misses high and leaves them to get hit.
-- Jason Jones
Question: After Randy Moss was injured last year, it was obious that he was not running his routes full speed. That was understandable then, but he still does not run full speed (as noted by the CBS analyst against Cleveland). His giving up mid-route on a pass he could have caught probably cost the Raiders the victory. Now he ways he's not concerned, and his body language certainly shows it. Why does the coaching staff put up with this lack of effort from this high-priced prima donna?
-- Dale Stemple, Weaverville
Answer: The Raiders put up with Moss because Al Davis loves him. Itís also because Moss is well paid. I believe his actions on the field -- like not going all out on pass routes, horrible run blocking and not fighting for the ball -- are part of the Raidersí problem. Itís almost comical that a player that popped off but always gave a full effort like Jerry Porter canít get on the field, but Moss plays every week, questionable effort or not.
Moss isnít the player he was at his best in Minnesota with the Raiders. And the worse the season becomes, the worse Moss will be. Heís not the guy you want on your team when things are bad. Is it just a coincidence two seasons after trading Moss, the Vikings seem to be on the upswing?
-- Jason Jones
Question: Why doesn't Al Davis Like The shotgun formation? It will help Andrew Walter from getting killed out there, especially with a porous offensive line. This is not the old days of the Mad Bomber #3 Daryle Lamonica. The defensive linemen are much bigger and faster today in the NFL. The Raiders shoot themseles in the foot by not using the shotgun.
-- Louie Markos, Salem, Mass.
Answer: The Raiders say they have some shotgun in their playbook. The problem I could see the Raiders having with it is tipping off defensive ends who can take advantage of Robert Gallery and Langston Walker and beat them for sacks. But the line has improved to the point where Walter isnít running for his life every play, so I donít expect the Raiders to change anything.
-- Jason Jones