Oakland's problems run far deeper than QB.

Oakland's problems run far deeper than QB.

Kerry Collins has become an easy target for all that ails the Raiders' this season, but Oakland's problems run far deeper than the quarterback. One of the biggest reasons Norv Turner is even contemplating making Marques Tuiasosopo the starting quarterback is because he's got the speed and elusiveness to escape the extreme pass rush opponents have put on the Raiders quarterbacks all season.

Turner won't make an official announcement until Wednesday but it's expected that Tuiasosopo will get the call to make just the second start of his five-year NFL career. A second-round draft pick in 2001, Tuiasosopo has just eight games of experience playing in the regular season, completing 28 of 49 attempts for 358 yards.

Collins, Oakland's starter since taking over in Week 3 of 2004 when Rich Gannon suffered a broken neck, has been the target of criticism all season despite putting up numbers that left him on pace to set career-highs in passing yards and touchdowns.

What Collins lacked was wins. In 25 games with Collins as the starting quarterback the Raiders are just 7-18, an incredible drop-off from the team's Super Bowl run just three years ago.

Again, how much of that is Collins' fault is up for debate. In 2004 Collins and the offense played well enough to win but were derailed by a defense that surrendered far too many points and big plays. This season it's been a plethora of problems, from questionable play-calling to a lack of protection from the offensive line to Collins' inconsistency.

All of it pointed to a shakeup at some point. That time appears now.

Had a change come last week Tuiasosopo might have been able to void the final year of his contract with the Raiders and enter the free agent market. Instead, Tuiasosopo will be hard-pressed to reach the incentives needed to activate the void even if he starts Oakland's final four games.

Still, it's a move the franchise had to make.

The season is obviously over so the team has to find something to cull from the final month on the schedule. A four-game evaluation fo Tuiasosopo -- still largely an unknown on the NFL level -- is a good way to begin.

''Obviously there are things Tui does differently than Kerry,'' Turner said, alluding to Tuiasosopo's ability to scramble. ''I think it is something that we're thinking about and a certain something we have to consider, and we'll take it from there.''

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