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Gradkowski Graduates

Bruce Gradkowski is the Raiders new starting quarterback.

The majority of fans get what they wanted.

There is no denying Gradkowski deserves to start based on his play in the second half of last Sunday’s win against St. Louis and his production last season.

If Jason Campbell wasn’t the answer, why name him the starter before training camp and not give Gradkowski a shot at the job?

Why bring in Jason Campbell for a fourth-round pick and extend his contract? If it was only because Gradkowski is injury prone it seems like a steep price to pay when Kyle Boller costs basically nothing.

Switching quarterbacks just six quarters into the season undermines what the coaches have been selling all offseason. The sell was that Campbell is the guy that can take the team back to the playoffs. By making the switch, the Raiders are basically passing the blame to Campbell and it encourages the players to do it, intentionally or subconsciously.

That makes it nearly impossible Campbell will be able to come back and be successful with this team. Six quarters to prove thyself is a quick leash, one the players will not forget if the Raiders don’t start winning.

Gradkowski gives the Raiders the best chance to win on Sunday or the coaches wouldn’t make the move. The problem is that they are just now recognizing it. Why not spend the offseason selling the team and media on the idea of Gradkowski as the starter?

The entire process has been counterproductive to the Raiders long term goals.

Despite this, winning cures all, so if the Raiders win behind Gradkowski and stay competitive in losses, all is forgotten.

If Raiders lose, much in the way they did under Gradkowski in Dallas on Thanksgiving, the entire locker room could meltdown and Al Davis could too.

What all this points to is that Jason Campbell is the owner’s quarterback. Tom Cable, Hue Jackson, Paul Hackett and company appeased the owner, sold stinky cheese for the entire offseason, but when the pressure was on and the Raiders were at risk of going 0-2, the coaches jumped off the bandwagon.

Al Davis doesn’t quickly forget and Tom Cable’s job now rests on Gradkowski’s bald head and right arm.


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