When Reggie McKenzie arrived in Oakland in January of 2012, he left a team quarterbacked by Aaron Rodgers for a team led by Carson Palmer.
And it only got worse.
In the years since McKenzie shipped Palmer to Arizona (following the 2012 season), McKenzie has employed quarterbacks like Terrelle Pryor, Matt Flynn, Matt McGloin, Tyler Wilson, Matt Schaub and Derek Carr.
"It's not his fault he inherited such a messed up roster!"
Oh yeah? Remember that McKenzie shipped Palmer to Arizona for a sixth-round pick, only to acquire Matt Flynn for a fifth-round pick. How has that worked out you might ask?
Palmer finished last season with 4,274 yards, 24 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. Flynn? Two games, 246 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception and a trip to the waiver wire.
"Well, hey, at least Flynn was released in favor of that guy Oakland used a fourth-round pick on, right?"
Oh, you mean Tyler Wilson? The Arkansas quarterback who was cut by Oakland before the regular season, only to be passed on by every other team in the league?
Guess McKenzie was 0/2 in year one of the quarterback experiment. (Okay, okay, I'll give you 1/3 if we're counting Matt McGloin, an undrafted quarterback who now appears destined for a fine career as an NFL backup — but only because I'm generous).
Which brings us to year two of the quarterback experiment, and year three of McKenzie's tenure in Oakland.
In an edition of, "I feel like we've seen this play out once before", McKenzie employed the same formula: trade for an unwanted veteran and draft a promising rookie.
The good news? This veteran has a far more impressive resume and this rookie came with much more promise and hype.
The bad news? The 2014 preseason hasn't given anyone a whole lot of reasons to think this year will be different than last.
Now, you can read all of this and think to yourself: Reggie McKenzie sucks! This writer hates him!
And I would say to you that you're misinterpreting me on both accounts. While I don't think McKenzie is an elite GM, I also don't think he's been dealt a fair hand in Oakland from which to judge. Has he missed on a number of guys? Absolutely. But he's also been left choosing from guys who carry far bigger risks to begin with.
Had McKenzie been given the budget to target an elite QB (and were one ever available on the market), I'm sure he'd have taken him over Flynn and Schaub. Had he been given access to a sure-fire franchise quarterback early in a draft, I don't think he would have waited until the fourth round to go after Wilson or the second to select Carr.
Unfortunately for McKenzie, this is a, "what have you done for me lately?" league and with four attempts at finding a franchise quarterback, McKenzie is running out of time — fast. Is Schaub the answer? Is Carr the answer?
I know one thing — if there's one person that is hoping for a yes more than anyone, that person's name if Reggie McKenzie.
(Check back tomorrow for a preview of the Raiders quarterback situation