Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

December 16, 2009
QBs Galore in Raiderland - Frye, Gradkowski, Losman speak out

There were Quarterbacks Galore in the locker room access period today in Alameda, with new starter Charlie Frye, new acquisition J.P. Losman and the injured Bruce Gradkowski all making appearances. Nowhere to be seen, the deposed JaMarcus Russell, whose time as the franchise quarterback is all but done. Or at least as long as Tom Cable remains the Raiders coach.

Frye, on how it feels to get his first start with the Raiders: "It's very exciting. Any time you get an opportunity to play in this league, it's a great opportunity. It hasn't happened to me for over a year now. I started a game last year, I think, in October. When it comes, you just thank your blessings."

On if he's sufficiently prepared: "I'm always prepared. That's something about me is my work ethic is something I take pride in. The coaches let me sit in a lot of the meetings as far as the game planning and write up ideas and things. I've been a big part of the game plans the last few weeks"

On what he brings to the table: "I think my athletic ability plays a part in it. I've made some plays in this league with my legs. That's one thing of it. And I think another side is just being around. This is my fifth year so I've been around some good quarterbacks in Seattle and a great coach in Seattle and also here. Coach (Paul) Hackett, he's a real good (QB) coach as far as getting guys prepared, getting guys to understand the game. I feel ready."

On if he will close out the season as the starter or if it's a one-game trial: "I don't know. I'm not worried about that because Denver's the next game on the schedule. I'll approach that game like it's the next game. You never worry about three at a time. You worry about one at a time."

On how many reps he's gotten in practice this season: "Scout team. I've been a big part of scout team all season. It will be good to get back out there and get with the offense and run some plays that aren't on cards."

And on if he's a vocal leader like Gradkowski: "I've got a lot of fire in me. But that's the guy's job who's playing, to be that guy. The backup's (job) is to support that guy. So I've been that crutch and that supportive guy all season. So now it's my turn to be the fiery leader."

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Gradkowski, meanwhile, said he's still holding out hope that the sprained MCLs in each knee will heel sufficiently enough for him to start again at Cleveland next week. He said there has been no talk of him being placed in the season-ending IR.

"Because in my mind, I'm a competitor," he said. "If I can play through the first half on one knee, then I can sure as heck get back quick...just keep working hard and see what happens

"They said, 'I've never seen this...because usually you come out of the game after the first one.' But it's going to be all right, though. It's nothing major. No need for surgery or anything like that, just rehab, and I feel like I'm a quick healer so I'll be back fast."

Gradkowski also offered hihs best wishes for Frye against the Broncos.

"I'm excited for Charlie; he's a true professional and he's going to give our team a good chance to win this football game," Gradkowski said. "He's going to be prepared, he's going to have a good game, and I'm looking forward to it.

"I'm going to do everything I can this week to help him out. He was there, the past couple of weeks when I was starting and hopefully we can put a good game together and (do) whatever we can do this week to help him out."

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Losman, obviously, was signed as the insurance policy after working out Tuesday at the facility.

"It's a great learning experience for me; I put myself right in there," Losman said. "It's like an ultimate cram session, I get to come in here and see how much I can learn and how fast I can learn, and how quickly I can pick it up, and I've just got to be ready. I know this organization is looking to get a 'W' any which way it can, and if it happens to fall where I actually have to go in and provide that service, I want to come through for them."

Losman, who just won the UFL title with the Las Vegas Locos after five-star-crossed seasons in Buffalo as a first-round draft pick, saw a familiar face in offensive lineman Langston Walker, who played right tackle for the Bills in 2007 and 2008.

"He's a fiery guy and he's a California kid, so he likes warm weather and shorts and flip-flops," Walker cracked. "I think we were both a little bit out of our element in the cold of Buffalo. But he's definitely a good player. He's a leader and I think he'll step in here and do a good job and do what he's asked to do."

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Fiery? Leader? No one has any issue throwing those tags on the likes of Frye, Gradkowski or Losman. Can't recall if they've ever been used to describe Russell.

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Coach Tom Cable first broke the news of Frye being the starting quarterback to the Denver media in a Wednesday morning conference call. Later in the day, he spoke with Bay Area reporters and was asked what Frye, a guy who has not started a game in more than a year, being picked over Russell says about Russell.

"I think what it says is we feel like where we're at right now, and Charlie's preparation, and how he goes about things, he's ready to go in and run and manage the offense,a nd we weren't able to do that in the second half on Sunday, and for a lot of reasons, not just JaMarcus," Cable said. "As of right now, where we're at as a team, Charlie gives us the best opportunity to succeed."

Cable was also asked if the franchise has done all it can to help Russell.

"I think both as a staff, as a coach, as a team, I think everybody is working to try and help him get better all the time," Cable said. "He's certainly giving back to that, as best he can, and at some point you hope to, as I always say, have a breakthrough and move forward."

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The corresponding roster move to the Losman signing was waiving guard Roy Schuening, who had just been signed from the practice squad on Saturday.

Former U.C. Davis lineman Elliot Vallejo was signed to the practice squad this week.

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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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