Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

September 20, 2010
Campbell or Gradkowski? Cable plays coy on starting QB

Tom Cable did not divulge who the Raiders' starting quarterback would be this week at Arizona but reading the tea leaves, it would seem that if Cable had his way, it would be Bruce Gradkowski.

Cable acknowledged that the Raiders were in the wrong formation when they went for it on 4th and 1 from the Rams' 6-yard line early in the fourth quarter and Marcel Reese was stuffed for no gain.

Benched Jason Campbell.jpg

And when asked if the quarterback should have recognized they were in a wrong formation, Cable said, "Yeah, absolutely. In the heat of the battle, whatever it is, we didn't get it done."

Later, Cable was asked what he ascertained about the QB situation.

"I'll probably talk more about it come Wednesday but, for right now, I want to say this to you: We're pretty lucky to have the three quarterbacks that we have. And the two guys who played, obviously, we haven't had that kind of depth around here, I don't think, in quite some time. I heard a deal where, if you have two backs like we do, Michael (Bush) and Darren (McFadden), we have a tandem of running backs. But if you have two quarterbacks, we have a controversy. There isn't going to be a controversy. I'll make a good decision, the right decision, and we'll go from there."

Bruce Gradkowski wins.jpg

Asked if he already had a starter in mind, Cable said, "I'll say this. I'm pretty sure about the direction we have to go as a football team and I just think it's a matter of looking at the next opponent and looking at our team, really studying this, and all the situations, but I have a pretty good idea what we're going to do."

Cable may have shown his had a bit, though, when he was asked if it could be considered a setback that Campbell, acquired as the presumptive franchise QB, had to be benched after a mere six quarters.

""I think before you go into all that or read into all that, it's about winning on Sundays," Cable said. "A decision was made yesterday to do that. Some of the benefits to it are the fact that Bruce has been around, yes, but if you remember, he's had less work in the new system than Jason.

"Again, I think we have a good issue here. We're not going to let it be a negative or make it a negative. The bottom line here is we've got two guys we think can play. We'll do what we think is best for our team. If we need to make a switch again down the road - we're going to need them both, probably need all three of them before the year's over with the way this league is. I like where we're at."

So even Kyle Boller was shown some love.

But the biggest thing on everyone's mind is if Cable has the autonomy and control to make such a unilateral decision. He was asked if the decision was solely his call.

"Well, I think it has to be," he said. "When you sit in the chair I do, you have to be able to go out and coach your team and make your decisions and do those things. If you don't, I think you put yourself in a bind."

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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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