By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 at 8:18 am in Oakland Raiders.
A few observations from Raiders quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, a guest on KNBR’s (680-AM) “Razor and Mr. T” show:
Tom Cable’s status: “We’re going to work every day like it’s the same. Coach Cable is in there working, and that’s all I care about. I don’t look into details. I just go in there, take care of my own business, and whoever is there I’m going to work with and we’re going to be just fine.”
If he’s the antithesis of JaMarcus Russell in terms of work ethic and is that what won his teammates over: “I think ti was the way I’ve been raised. I’ve known no different than being a blue-collar guy, to work hard, and you’re going get what you deserve and I believe that . . . I’m not worried about how other people do their jobs. I’m just worried about being a professional, taking care of my own business, and when the opportunity comes, taking advantage of it.”
His status with the Raiders as an RFA: I haven’t officially signed with them yet. They offered a second-round tender and so it’s still free agency going on, so there’s other teams out there, but in my heart, I want to be in Oakland. I believe I’ll be in Oakland and I’d like to be here for years to come. I just feel a good presence here.”
Whether he’s been assured of open competition at QB: “I think that’s the way it should take place, and I think that’s the way it will take place, and I’m looking forward to it. I’m just excited to get this opportunity.”
What players were saying during the Randy Hanson controversy: “I think the players just have to worry about our job, just coming to work every day and letting that stuff be handled by the people that handle that situation . . . yeah, it’s been unusual, but I think Mr. Davis realy just wants to win, wants the best for his players and he’s trying to get it done. I think right now we have a very good setup in the coaches and players around us and a good team. I hope the fans back us from Day 1, because we can use that, and w need them a part of this year and to be a part of this thing when we turn it around.”
If he needed a volume button on his helmet radio when the excitable Jon Gruden was coach: “I needed a mute button, honestly.”
The Raiders, not surprisingly, had nothing to do with arranging the interview. As a general rule, they treat offseason publicity as if its radioactive waste and are particularly sensitive to host Ralph Barbieri’s criticisms of Al Davis.
It only happened because co-host Tom Tolbert ran into a friend of Gradkowski’s who was pushing publicity for a Pop Warner football team in Walnut Creek. Gradkowski wanted to further the cause and go on the air.
Interesting to note that although that when Barbieri went into one of his patented run-on questions which included harsh (and legitimate) criticisms of Russell, Gradkowski made no effort to defend Russell or say if he’s been working alongside him in the building.
A link to the entire 20-minute interview can be found here.
The world, of course, didn’t end.
Gradkowski was optimistic and sincere, and the Raiders actually got themselves some coverage on the 49ers flagship station _ through no effort of their own.
Other items of note:
– ESPN is reporting tight end Anthony Becht, the blocking tight end who visited both the Raiders and 49ers, opted to re-sign with the Arizona Cardinals. It was a one-year deal worth $950,000, so the interest of the Bay Area teams must have been lukewarm at best.
– Gradkowski has been a frequent visitor to the Raiders facility and will continue to do so as he battles for the job as starting quarterback. With restricted free agents such as Elvis Dumervill and Tony Scheffler of Denver declining to attend offseason programs, it will be interesting to see how linebackers Kirk Morrison and Thomas Howard treat the offseason.
They’re not required to attend, and the SportsBusiness Journal reported awhile back some agents would advise their clients to stay away as their only form of protest against the changes to free agency in the uncapped year.
– Bad news for the Raiders and “former” Raider Justin Fargas.
With the Chiefs signing Jets’ free agent Thomas Jones, Fargas will remain on the job market.
The last two times Jones faced the Raiders as a member of the Jets, he carried 50 times for 280 yards. Now he gets the Raiders twice in a season.
– Former Raiders defensive tackle Chester McGlockton is a coaching intern at Stanford. McGlockton has coached the defensive line at Chabot College in Hayward and did a spring internship last year on Lane Kiffin’s staff at Tennessee.