GRADKOWSKI NAMED STARTER

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By Paul Wexler

RaiderBeat.com

Bruce Gradkowski has been named the Raiders full-time starter by coach Tom Cable, who called it an “easy decision.” JaMarcus Russell started the first nine games, but he now is the No. 2 until further notice.

“Just felt like he would give us the best chance to win, and we need to get to playing better offensively and win football games,” Cable said.

Cable said the change is not “week to week” but that this is where the Raiders are headed. Cable added that he is impressed with what Gradkowski brings to the table and wants to give him time to jell with the receivers.

“I just think his leadership, his management, understanding of what we’re trying to do… accuracy,” Cable said.  “Just a lot of those intangible-type things, and give him a chance to get all the reps and go out and build some chemistry with the receivers.”

One of the reasons Russell was benched was his failure to get the ball to the wide receivers, Cable said. Russell already-league-worst passer rating dropped even lower when measured only on throws to the wide receivers.

“Well, I think that was the primary concern,” Cable said. ”Just feel like we’ve got some guys out there, albeit had a rough day on Sunday, dropping the ball. But we’ve got guys open, and I think we’re getting better in understanding what we’re doing. So we’ve got to put the ball in their hands and find a way to do that, and I think this will give us an opportunity to do that.”

Once again, Russell’s work ethic was called into question. Cable didn’t mince words when he described the backup quarterbacks.

“I mean, he [Gradkowski] and Charlie (Frye) are absolutely pros,” Cable said, when asked about the how Gradkowski had handled the backup role.  ”I mean, they’re here all the time. They’re here early. They’re here late. They study. They watch film. They talk about it. They draw it up. They involve they’re teammates to a great degree. Just what you’d expect.”

It was clear that Russell had not reached the same level of commitment.

“Well, I think this – I think those guys helped him in that area,” said Cable, ”in terms of putting in the time and what it takes to be prepared.”

Managing general partner Al Davis talked to Cable and supported the decision to bench Russell.  While the Raiders have not completely given up on Russell, there certainly are cracks in the foundation. Cable stressed that Russell still is in the team’s long-term plans.

“That’s my hope,” said Cable.  “This is in no way giving up on the guy. This is just trying to jump-start this team and really break it down and make a decision based on what gives us the best chance to win.”

That is far from an unwavering stamp of approval. It will be interesting to see how Russell handles the first real adversity he has faced at any level, be it high school, college or his three-year NFL career.

Gradkowski started his career as a sixth-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2006. He played under then-coach Jon Gruden in 2006 and ‘07 before being waived. He was picked up by the Cleveland Browns in December of 2008, where he made one start. The Browns waived him in February, and he was picked up the next day by the Raiders.

For his career Gradkowski has completed 53.1% of his passes, thrown 9 touchdowns and 15 interceptions and has 58.7 passer rating.

Gradkowski is 3-9 as a starting quarterback. Eleven of the starts came when he was a rookie with Tampa Bay.

64 Responses to “GRADKOWSKI NAMED STARTER”

  1. goldenstateOG says:

    There is no deep threat now with JR because all his passes, minus to DHB last game have been off. I do not care if Grads passes are all under 15 yards, so long as they are accurate 90% of the time. Tips, drops, and occasional INT’s are part of the game, they never disappear just lessen with better QB’s and WR’s. The responsibility is JR’s to work himself into the lineup, as it should be. Grads is not the future but is better right now, (and costs millions less) than the guy who is failing to apply himself, per Tom Cable. Now you know who Garcia was talking about when he said ” some guys are just going through the motions”. That said, Grads and Frye may need to go at seasons end but now that will be seen as well.
    Russell needs to move aside and get to work putting his priorities in order. I would love to see him resurrect his reputation and comeback with heart and dedication. But until then…

  2. King Raider says:

    If Gradkowski stinks it up and they put Frye in you know Russells days in Oakland are finished.

  3. raidernate says:

    ABOUT TIME

  4. raidernate says:

    Deep threat,there is more to the offensive side of football than just going deep.I enjoy watching teams run the ball at will,and then going play-action over the top.The deep threat needs to stay away from the Raiders until we establish our identity.

  5. boltssuknutz says:

    last time I checked you start with a first and 10 (after a couple cornell green false starts and holding penalties maybe 1-20 or 1-15 lol) shit if gradowski only gets 10 yard passes alll game or shit 5 yard ones WE MOVE THE CHAINS!!!! we haven’t done that for months with Jbust!!! drops,skipping the ball off the turf, and fumbles! I think with all the time watching Jclown piss the starting job away…bruce is gonna be on fire! just a feeling. this time he doesn’t have to clean up or dig from a jbust hole already dug for him. you can just see the energy when gradkowski get’s on the field. maybe jbust can take a page from vince youngs book. get yanked sit on the bench and see how it feels to WIN and give a rats ass about football and EARN the position back. until then…don’t get too many splinters! If he sits on the bench and has an IPOD on or isn’t dressed out and get’s behind the team…F that piece of crap 21-17 raiders win

  6. Silverdog says:

    Yeeeeeeessssss! Yeeeeeeessssssss! Yeeeeeeeeesssss! Whooooooooaaaaaaaaaa! Intant addition by subtraction, and no, Jwalrus will never develop into anything resembling an NFL QB anywhere. He is a loser. Goodbye punk. Hello sunshine. No matter the outcome, the Raiders will at least look like a pro team now, and the rest of the team can be evaluated. I just hope I’m not dreaming this has finally happened!

  7. Diablo says:

    Thank you God, I won’t forget this! I really think our WR’s are going to turn it up now that Mr. Knotts will be out of the game. I don’t care if it’s Grad or Frye really, just anybody other than JR who needs to figure out why he can’t play football anymore. I’d be happy if he could get his problems corrected and learn how to lead his team to victory but if he can’t, move on and find Mr. Leaf to hang out with.

  8. Otis60 says:

    While this is certainly a great first step, I find it hard to believe that it took this moron 9 games to figure out that a change was needed. Tom Cable - What a boob!!!

    Now it’s time for the next step - Fire Cable, then hire a GM and get a real football coach. The QB change may not make much of a difference if he’s forced to run plays called by a retard…

  9. Gutterboy says:

    PRAISE THE LORD! THANK YOU TOM CABLE! …and al davis…. Maybe Now I Can Sleep for one night going into a Raider game. even though we will still lose against the Bengals, Now we can score TWO touchdowns instead of one…. This sucks, my mom is a Bengals fan and she has been waiting for this game all year so she can watch it and laugh at me… GO RAIDERS!!!!!!

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