By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, June 15th, 2009 at 5:35 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Included in a transcript of an interview with Raiders safety Keith Davis passed along by the folks at Sirius Satellite Radio is Davis’ belief that Jeff Garcia is the quarterback who gives the Raiders the best chance to win at the outset based on his experience.
Davis makes the statement as diplomatically as possible in the final question of the interview . . .
Q: Thoughts on Greg Ellis’ deal.
Davis: I’m excited, man. I was just talking to Greg on Thursday when I was leaving. I had a meeting with coach Cable and he was just asking me about Greg and what did I think about him. I was like, ‘Greg Ellis is somebody who can definitely help us get where we’re trying to go.’ I said, ‘I will go to war with Greg Ellis anywhere, any place at any time. He’s a leader. He’s a God-fearing man. He can do nothing but good for this team.’ I said, ‘If there’s any way possible, please make it happen.’
Q: So you were instrumental here in the Raiders moving forward with this move to bring in Greg?”
Davis: Um, I mean, I’d like to think so but, you know, at the end of the day Mr. Davis and Coach Cable, they had their minds made up whether they want to bring him in or not pretty much already, I think. I just kind of helped push the situation ahead, I guess.
Q: Did you speak to Mr. Davis directly?
Davis: No, I didn’t get to speak to Mr. Davis directly. I just spoke to Coach Cable and he and I just sat down and had a nice little talk about what Greg can do. And he asked if he had anything left and I said, ‘Yeah, he has a ton of ability left.’ Greg’s years in Dallas, I think we didn’t use him quite like we should have and he was just really over there resting, just chillin’, coming in only on passing downs for the most part. I think he still has a lot left in the tank, man.
Q: Thoughts on JaMarcus Russell . . .
Davis: So far, I’ve been pretty impressed with JaMarcus. He’s made some throws that I was kind of scratching my head, like, ‘Wow, how’d he get that ball in there?’ I know he has a ton of ability. I think the thing right now is just him getting more comfortable with the scheme and the system and just going out there and being himself and not trying to put any pressure on himself and just relaxing and playing football and having fun. I think it’s going to be interesting between him and Jeff [Garcia] both out there, because Jeff wants to be the starter also, so I think that’s only going to make him better. You got a guy who’s going to push him, a legitimate guy who’s going to push him, because Jeff Garcia, at the end of the day, he’s a winner. 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.
Q: Which QB – Garcia or Russell – gives you the better chance to win the game?
Davis: Me, just being in this league for the seven years I have been in it and just being around those guys, me, personally, I think Garcia is better prepared to get us that win right now. Now, that’s no knock against JaMarcus at all because who knows what’s going to happen down the road? I think JaMarcus has a great opportunity to be one of the best quarterbacks in the league. But, right now, if I had to play right now, I would take Jeff Garcia because I know what he’s going to bring to the table and I’ve watched him bring it to the table. 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.