Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

February 10, 2009
New QB could hurt Walter on depth chart

Raiders quarterbacks coach Paul Hackett has a player he knows pretty well now that quarterback Bruce Gradkowski has been claimed off waivers from Cleveland.

Gradkowski, 26, was a sixth-round draft pick from Toledo in 2006 of Tampa Bay.

Hackett was the quarterbacks coach in Tampa Bay from 2005-07. Gradkowki passed for 1,661 yards with nine touchdowns and nine interceptions as a rookie in 2006, but hasn't played much since.

Gradkowski's familiarity with Hackett doesn't threaten JaMarcus Russell, but could mean a lot to Andrew Walter.

Walter was the quarterback of the future three years ago. He was the No. 3 quarterback by the end of last season with Tom Cable citing physical and confidence issues for the decision.

If Gradkowski can win the trust of Hackett and Cable, Walter could be the third quarterback in 2009.

Gradkowski has appeared in six games since starting 11 as a rookie. He started one of two games he played for Cleveland.

Gradkowski completed seven of 21 passes for 26 yards with three interceptions for Cleveland after beginning the season with the St. Louis Rams.

*The Raiders haven't announced any cost-saving moves to the roster yet. Free agency starts Feb. 27, so the Raiders have some time.

But the speculation that Terrell Owens (who is still a Dallas Cowboy) will land in Oakland has already begun.

Owens' reputation as a disrupter of team chemistry would mean little to Al Davis because he believes no one complains aobut chemistry as long as the team in winning.

Things would be great with Owens as long as the Raiders were winning games. But it's not realistic to expect the Raiders to be an elite team in 2009.

And the combination of an unhappy star receiver and a lot of losses sounds a lot like Randy Moss' two years in Oakland.

Anquan Boldin
might be a good fit in Oakland because he's intent on not returning to Arizona, according to reports.

The Raiders gave up a second-round pick last year (and a fifth-round pick this year) to use DeAngelo Hall for eight games.

But Boldin is sure to come at a higher price and would want a contract that would make him among the highest-paid receivers.

The price of signing Boldin won't be enough to scare Davis away from making a move. Whether Davis wants to possibly part with the seventh-overall pick is another question.

--Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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