Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

December 15, 2008
Unique confidence booster

OAKLAND - Andrew Walter was demoted to No. 3 quarterback for Sunday's 49-26 loss to the New England Patriots.

According to interim head coach Tom Cable, it was done for Walter's own good.

"Just trying to get Andrew, you know, back in the right frame of mind physically, mentally, all that stuff," Cable said.

Walter has been bothered by knee and ankle problems this season, but mental issues?

"Just his confidence and getting comfortable," Cable said. "I think that's something that he's struggled a little bit since he's been here. Just kind of rejuvenate him a little bit."

It's odd that a demotion would be used to boost Walter's confidence.

Walter has seemed more bitter than lacking in confidence the last couple of seasons.

And I'm sure being told he was being demoted to help his confidence (if he was told anything) didn't sound good to Walter.

And the best way to rejuvenate Walter would be to trade him because he's wanted out of Oakland for some time.

Why might Walter be a bit bitter?

*In his first season playing in 2006, he was sacked 46 times in 12 games, eight of which were starts.

*The team's response to that was to draft JaMarcus Russell.

*And when Walter had better statistics than Josh McCown and Daunte Culpepper last year (according former coach Lane Kiffin), he was eliminated from the quarterback "competition" during training camp.

*When teams wanted to trade for Walter last year, the Raiders wouldn't deal him even though they had four quarterbacks on the roster.

*When Walter did play last season, it was in a blowout in Green Bay and to not expose Russell to the cold and the beatdown the Packers were putting on the Raiders.

So the list of discontent only grows with two games left in the season.

More from the game that didn't make it into the newspaper:

*Russell gave himself a grade of "A" for effort when asked to rate how he played.

*Cable didn't believe the score was the result of a talent gap between the two teams.

"Nah, I think it was a breakdown in communications defensively," he said. "Offensively, if you get that kind of protection or production on a consistent basis, you'd probably feel pretty good about what direction you're headed in. But really it was communications first half."

*CB Nnamdi Asomugha was called for holding three times and actually had to work because the Patriots threw at him when he covered Randy Moss.

"They've got a ton of talent in terms of their skill players, people with ball skills," Cable said. "So you don't shy away (from Asomugha) when you've got that many bodies and that many opportunities, I guess, to use those people."

--Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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