Play it as it lies: The Boss of Oakland
by, 08-05-2011 at 07:05 PM (898 Views)
On Friday the Oakland Raiders announced the signing of former New York Giant tight end Kevin Boss in an effort to replace the recently lost Zach Miller.
With Miller departing for Seattle earlier this week, the Raiders lost their leading pass catcher from the past three seasons and a key piece to the sixth best offense in the NFL last year. Miller led the Raiders with 60 receptions for 685 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Throughout last year, Miller became one of quarterbacks Jason Campbell and Bruce Gradkowski's favorite targets. Last year, Miller had many solid games for the Raiders, but just how much did his production help?
Miller had six games where he amassed over 50 yards receiving, and coincidentally the Raiders were 2-4 in those games. In the games that Miller did not gain 50 yards receiving the Raiders were 6-4, including a win against the Chiefs in which Miller was out due to injury. Yes, there are many other factors that may contribute to this figure, but it may lead to this figure, but it makes one wonder the value of Zach Miller.
Boss, while playing with the New York Giants last year, had 35 receptions for 531 yards and 5 touchdowns in the same amount of games started. Boss's numbers go to show that he is very much capable of catching the ball himself. Many of the "experts analysts" of sports networks such as NFL Network and ESPN have proclaimed that Boss is a superior blocker than Miller, where as it is the vice versa for the ability to receive passes.
This being true, it can be argued that Boss is a better fit for the system that Hue Jackson and the Oakland Raiders run. The Raiders ran the ball for 155.9 yards/game last season, good enough for second in the NFL. Meanwhile in the passing game, the Raiders only accumulated 198.8 yards/game, which was 23rd in the league. With these stats, it can be assumed that since Boss brings batter pass blocking and slightly downgraded pass catching abilities, Boss will be a better fit for the run-heavy offense of Hue Jackson.
While I loved Zach Miller and everything he did for the team, the matter of fact is that he is gone now, and there is nothing we can do about it as fans. The addition of Kevin Boss is a great addition for the Raiders for many reasons.
As stated above, it is a solid addition for his pass and especially his run-blocking abilities. While Miller did an adequate job of blocking, it is said that Boss excels in this aspect of the game. This is the part of the game that the Raiders need their tight end to excel in, since they rely so heavily on their run game.
Another part of this signing that I also like is the friendly price the Raiders got him at. Instead of the reported 5 year/$35 million deal that the Seahawks signed Miller to, the Raiders got Boss for a 4 year/$16 million deal. The fact is that the Raiders have too many holes in their team to be spending that much money on a tight end. Tight end is simply a luxury that the Raiders cannot afford right now at Miller's price.
With this signing, I do not believe that the Raiders lost all that much. Sure, we lost a good pass catching tight end in Zach Miller, but at the same time we gained a better run-blocking tight end (who is also a very capable pass catcher) instead. The bottom-line is that the Raiders didn't lose much now that they have Kevin Boss signed.