ALAMEDA - Lane Kiffin recalled the Andrew Walter he met when he was hired and his first time on the field.
It wasn't pretty.
"He went first with that group out here and I think he completed about three balls in that first 7-on-7 we had," Kiffin said. "He was all over the place. He's improved a lot."
Obviously, Walter hasn't improved enough. Daunte Culpepper and Josh McCown will be the two between whom Kiffin decides for the starting quarterback job.
This really isn't Walter's fault. He is what he is - a strong-armed kid who's not fleet of foot. He was put in a tough situation last year that no quarterback could have survived.
The Raiders then drafted JaMarcus Russell. And unless the Raiders plan to carry four quarterbacks if and when Russell arrives, Walter continues to be on the outside looking in at a quarterback job that won't be his unless disaster strikes.
Kiffin said the other two quarterbacks give him the best chance to win, which is true. But Walter never really had a chance to win.
I believe in a new situation, where he can be freed of the stench that was the 2006 season, Walter can be a decent quarterback for another team.
Atlanta needs a quarterback with Joey Harrington and Chris Redman as their top two. If Russell gets here sometime in the next couple of weeks, could Walter be traded?
It's a good possibility, but it lessens with each day Russell misses because even in a pinch, the Raiders might not want to turn to a rookie without even a training camp practice.
In other news, Tommy Kelly is officially the starting right defensive end and Terdell Sands will start at defensive tackle next to Warren Sapp. Derrick Burgess holds down left defensive end.
It means Kevin Huntley, who was a leading candidate to start at right end, is in jeopardy of not making the team if it keeps rookies Quentin Moses (of course) and Jay Richardson (probably, but he's not convinced).
If we use Warren Sapp's top-eight analogy, the defensive linemen are:
7-8. Tyler Brayton? Gerard Warren? Anttaj Hawthorne? Huntley? Chris Clemons?
Receiver Johnnie Lee Higgins' trip to the hospital Sunday with pain in his side turned out fine. He was at practice today.
John Madsen (hamstring) didn't practice, but it's not a serious injury. Donovin Darius (calf) still is out.
- Jason Jones