JaMarcus Russell Benched; Bruce Gradkowski Named Raiders Starter

After seeing no signs of progress from former No. 1 pick JaMarcus Russell, Tom Cable has decided to bench the QB in favor of veteran Bruce Gradkowski.

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Tom Cable: Benching JaMarcus Russell Was My Decision

Wednesday night, we linked to speculation from SBN’s Raiders blog suggesting that Al Davis was behind the move to bench Russell in favor of Gradkowski. But according to coach Tom Cable, the decision was his … although he did need proper approval from Davis, of course.

From Oakland Tribune’s Monte Poole

Cable has seen enough football to know Bruce Gradkowski can’t and won’t salvage this season, much less secure Cable’s job or alter the Raiders’ future at quarterback.

Surely the coach had a clear understanding of this when he approached team owner Al Davis seeking authorization to start Gradkowski ahead of JaMarcus Russell this Sunday against Cincinnati.

Davis approved the move, and Cable announced Wednesday that Gradkowski will start against the Bengals.

“(Davis) left this up to me; this is my decision,” Cable said after practice. “We talked about it, and he supported it.” with it."

Poole goes on to claim that this is just a temporary move in order to get Russell’s attention. Whether it succeeds in doing so doesn’t really matter at this point — this was their last resort.

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No Surprise: Al Davis Must Be Behind Quarterback Decision

If you don’t think Al Davis has a hand — a big hand — in who quarterbacks the Oakland Raiders, then you’re obviously not a Raiders fan:

If Gradkowski is starting, you know Cable wouldn’t be doing it unless ... Davis might be wanting him to? If Al didn’t want Grad starting, you bet that he’d make sure it didn’t happen. Could Al finally be seeing that Russell isn’t the future of this team? It’s clear from the post-game interview with Gradkowski that he already is a better leader and is definitely a better QB.

Gradkowski is 3-9 as a starter in his career, but at this point the Raiders will take their chances.

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Jamarcus Russell Benched; Bruce Gradkowski Named Raiders Starter

No. 1 draft pick JaMarcus Russell, sit down. No. 194 draft pick Bruce Gradkowski, you're up.

The Raiders and head coach Tom Cable will start Gradkowski on Sunday over Russell who has been a major, thus-far irredeemable bust since being draft first overall in the 2007 draft:

Coach Tom Cable made the announcement of the change following practice as the Raiders (2-7) prepare to play the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. Cable said this was not a temporary move, that his plan is to stick with Gradkowski.

"I don't want to be like that," he said. "This is where we're headed and what we're going to do. He'll take this team and go with it."

Perhaps this will go down in the future as a Vince Young-Kerry Collins type move that happened to the Titans earlier in the season: lose, lose, lose, change quarterbacks, win, win, win. Maybe JaMarcus Russell will do that in 2010 or 2011. Or maybe not.

Gradkowski has attempted 29 passes on the season in three games, but Sunday will be his first start. He has thrown no touchdowns and two interceptions while completing 55 percent of his passes.

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