Controversy already brewing in Oakland regarding quarterback position

Oakland Raiders Head Coach Tom Cable adjusts his headset during play against the St. Louis Rams in the fourth quarter at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California on September 19, 2010. The Raiders defeated the Rams 16-14.  UPI/Terry Schmitt Photo via Newscom

Following the Raiders’ 16-14 win over the Rams on Sunday, a game in which Bruce Gradkowski gave Oakland a lift after Jason Campbell was benched in the second half, head coach Tom Cable wouldn’t commit to any quarterback for Week 3.

Here’s what he said in his post-game presser (from the Oakland Tribune):

“(I) made the switch at halftime at quarterback, basically to just give the team a lift, felt like we needed to change up a little bit and my job is to win games and do whatever it takes to do that.’’

He said the Raiders “weren’t in rhythm, weren’t in synch,’’ and when asked what it meant for the rest of the season said, “ I’ll worry about all that tomorrow, really. I want to go look at it. But today was about winning this game, what did it take to do that, that was the right choice, obviously, and it worked out, and Bruce came in and gave us a lift.’’

But here’s what the team said he said:

Included in the quote sheet distributed by the team was this sentence from Cable: “Today was about winning the game, it does not necessarily mean Campbell is replaced as the quarterback for the rest of the season.”

That’s not what he said, so why would the team try to pull a fast one on the media and attempt to put out a fire that hasn’t even started yet? What Cable said was fine – he didn’t want to make any decisions regarding the quarterback position for next week. And why would he? His backup just earned him a victory when his starting quarterback failed him. Why commit to anything?

Al Davis loved JaMarcus Russell, but Cable didn’t. Russell wasn’t cut sooner than he should have because Davis was protecting his investment. Now Campbell is Al’s investment (he was the one that orchestrated the trade with Washington) and once again there appears to be a conflict of interest.

It’ll be interesting to see how Cable handles the situation this week and whether or not Campbell lines up under center next Sunday in Arizona, or if it’ll be Gradkowski. Something tells me Al would prefer it to be Campbell.

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If Jason Campbell is Jim Plunkett then I’m Peter King

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Jason Campbell  of the Oakland Raiders lies on the ground after being sacked against the St. Louis Rams during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 19, 2010 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

“I see this young Jason Campbell as a football player like I saw Jim Plunkett.”

Oh, Al Davis…you goofy bastard.

After completing just 8-of-15 passes for 87 yards and an interception on Sunday, Campbell was benched for Bruce Gradkowski in the second half of the Raiders’ 16-14 win over the Rams. Gradkowski immediately led the Raiders on a touchdown drive and finished 11-of-22 for 162 yards with one score and one interception.

While he wasn’t Jim Plunkett himself, Gradkowski certainly played better than Campbell, who may be in danger of losing his starting job just two weeks into the season. That’s a pretty amazing notion considering the Raiders thought Campbell would solve their issue at quarterback after JaMarcus Russell had infected the position the last three years.

Perhaps what’s most interesting about Gradkowski is that he’s played savior before. He led the Raiders to upset wins last year over the Bengals and Steelers and some thought that he should have received a look at the starting job before Campbell was acquired.

He may have won the job anyway.

Campbell benched in Redskins’ loss to Chiefs

Things have gone from bad to worse for Jason Campbell and the Washington Redskins, who sunk to a new low on Sunday by losing to the previously winless Chiefs, 14-6.

Campbell was benched and replaced by backup Todd Collins in the second half on Sunday after throwing for just 89 yards on 9-of-16 passing. He also threw an interception right before halftime and missed Santana Moss on what could have been a big gain. To be fair, Moss also dropped a pass that could have produced a big play.

After the game, Washington head coach Jim Zorn said that Campbell “was not comfortable” and that wholesale changes might not be coming at the quarterback position. How Campbell wasn’t comfortable facing a defense as brutal as the Chiefs’ is staggering, but I digress.

Campbell certainly wasn’t good, but he wasn’t bad enough to force Zorn to make a change. Zorn is just clueless and is grasping at straws at this point. His offense is so bad that instead of trying to game plan differently, he makes a half-assed decision to replace his quarterback in the middle of the game and it proved to be unnecessary. He’s not long for Washington and quite frankly, neither is Campbell, who would benefit from a fresh start elsewhere.

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