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Newz Forum: FOOTBALL: Collins struggles, so Oakland fans call for Tuiasosopo

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posted on Oct, 20 2004 @ 09:17 PM
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- When an offense is ineffective, the backup quarterback quickly becomes a fan favorite.

The unforgiving Raider Nation is already calling for Marques Tuiasosopo to get a shot for Oakland in place of struggling starter Kerry Collins -- less than a month after they campaigned for Collins to replace Rich Gannon.

They started chanting "Tui! Tui!" in the second half of the Raiders' ugly 31-3 loss to Denver last Sunday, Oakland's third straight defeat and its worst in a home game against its archrival in 44 games played in Oakland and Los Angeles dating to 1960. The same thing used to happen to Tuiasosopo when he was Brock Huard's backup at the University of Washington.

Fans have taken to booing Collins from the moment he steps onto the field for each offensive series.

"That certainly wasn't the first time I've ever been booed," Collins said Wednesday. "It happens to all quarterbacks. It certainly is something you don't want to happen, but if you play long enough, it does. I mean, I understand. They expect more, and they deserve more. We didn't give them a whole lot to feel good about the other day."

Collins knows he needs to make better decisions Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.

So far, the strong-armed Collins, who led the New York Giants to the 2001 Super Bowl, has been anything but effective. He has completed 80 of 140 passes, thrown for only two touchdowns and been picked off eight times for a dismal quarterback rating of 55.8 in 3½ games since Gannon broke a vertebra in his neck Sept. 26.

The 38-year-old Gannon was placed on injured reserve Wednesday, an expected move after he announced Monday he wouldn't be back this season after consulting with four top neck and spine specialists.

Tuiasosopo knows the faithful are restless, but reiterated his support of Collins and said all he can do is stay ready.

"I don't think there's a controversy right now," Tuiasosopo said. "I'm the No. 2. I'll prepare each week like I have for four years. My time will come. Until I'm told otherwise, I'll support Kerry all the way."

Coach Norv Turner isn't considering replacing Collins, saying he doesn't believe his quarterback is the only one to blame for the offense's problems. The Raiders have been outscored 150-98 through five games thanks to penalties and turnovers.

The Raiders generated only 145 yards of total offense against the Broncos in one of the most embarrassing performances in franchise history.

"Kerry, he is the right guy for this group," Turner said. "He's a good fit for this offensive personnel and the things we want to do, and we just need to keep getting better."

Also, only three teams have allowed more points than Oakland -- Green Bay (152), San Francisco (159), and New Orleans (162).

Saints coach Jim Haslett figures Collins will turn things around soon, and he's hoping it's not Sunday.

"You always worry about it," Haslett said. "I think he is a heck of a quarterback. I like the guy personally and I like him professionally. He's got a big-time arm. I don't know anybody who throws outs or comebacks better than him in the National Football League. So he's got a strong arm, he's got a good feel for the game and we have our work cut out again."


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