Saturday, September 25, 2010

Another view on Gradkowski

Six quarters into the season and the Raiders bench their prize offseason acquisition. Panic has set in. Cable is on the ropes. They are exploring new lows. This sentiment seems to prevail in the press now that Bruce Gradkowski has been named the starting QB over Jason Campbell.

But it wasn't that long ago that Bruuuuce was winning games while looking like a legitimate NFL starter. Despite an injury that ended his year, the Raiders gave him a significant raise in the offseason. Fans were ready to roll with him in 2010.

Interestingly, the same pundits who laugh at Al Davis for choosing 40 times over intangibles seem to agree with him that Gradkowski, for measurable reasons, is not an NFL starter. But the guy wins.

If you are Hue Jackson, perhaps you saw as clearly as the rest of us that since the moment Bruce arrived healthy in training camp, he's been outstanding, and measurably better than Campbell. And you asked yourself, "Why isn't this guy our starter?" To which Tom Cable answered, "I know, RIGHT?!?" Hence Johnny's good cop / bad cop scenario.

Looking at this situation from another perspective, Gradkowski earned the starting role last year, lost it due to injury, and played so well upon his return that he's quickly earned it back. The bigger concern is that replacing JaMarcus with ANYBODY didn't cause as huge an improvement as was expected.

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