Not one month into his career as an Oakland Raider, freshly-signed free agent safety Keith Davis is stoking the possible quarterback controversy here a little bit. In remarks transcribed by the Inside the Oakland Raiders blog, Davis said in a Sirius Satellite Radio interview that he feels backup quarterback Jeff Garcia gives the Raiders a better chance to win. "If I had to play right now, I would take Jeff Garcia", Davis said.
No diamond-encrusted No. 2 Raider jersey medallion for that guy.
Keith Davis a seventh-year safety who started the last five seasons for the Dallas Cowboys, also playing a lot of special teams. The Raiders brought him in this year to support and/or supplant Hiram Eugene, Michael Huff, and the promising second-round pick Michael Mitchell.
Davis didn't go out of his way to bring up the quarterback situation, but he was asked and then he got pressed on it. He still sounds supportive of Russell and specifically mentions some good throws, but he clearly has a deep respect for the play of his fellow undrafted guy. "Jeff Garcia, at the end of the day, he’s a winner," Davis noted. "I don’t care what anybody says. He’s a winner wherever he goes. He just makes plays and he wins, so I think JaMarcus knows that he’s going to have to bring his ‘A’ game each and every day because he’s going to be pushed to the max by Jeff."
When asked who he thinks gives the Raiders a better chance to win, Davis was unambiguous. "if I had to play right now, I would take Jeff Garcia," Davis said. "Now, being around you asking this question, we’re into the season, about a month from now, two months from now when we get into the season, my answer may be different. But if I had to play right now, I would take Jeff Garcia. I just know what he’s done and I’ve been around him. That’s no knock against JaMarcus at all."
It may be no knock against Russell, but it's the sentiment that makes quarterback controversies. Veteran players in a locker room begin to favor the feisty guy with the lower salary and the better track record.
Russell should and will have the opportunity to hush all this talk right away with a respectable preseason performance. But if he doesn't, the pieces of a quarterback controversy are all falling into place.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who can't get this Sirius Satellite Radio to come in no matter what he does with the coat hanger.