Cable declares a controversy-free zone


There will be no controversy.

That was the message conveyed by coach Tom Cable in his weekly press briefing the day after he benched starting quarterback Jason Campbell at halftime in favor of Bruce Gradkowski and emerged with a 16-14 win over the St. Louis Rams.

“I’ve heard if you have two running backs, like Michael (Bush) and Darren (McFadden), you have a tandem, but if you have two quarterbacks, it’s a controversy. There isn’t going to be a controversy. I’ll make a good decision, the right decision, and we’ll go from there.’’

Cable said he’d address the issue again Wednesday and talked up the quarterback depth that also includes No. 3 quarterback Kyle Boller.

Before we move on, here’s Cable’s response when asked if it was his call, needing only to tell Al Davis of his decision:

“Well, I think it has to be. When you sit in the chair that I do, you have to be able to go out and coach your team and make your decisions and do those things. If you don’t, I think you put yourself in a bind.’’

You be the judge as to whether “Well, it has to be’’ is the same thing as “Yes, it’s my decision.’’

Other quarterback related questions:

Q: Should Campbell have recognized the Raiders were in the wrong formation on fourth-and-1 and called a time out?

Cable: Yeah, absolutely. In the heat of the battle, whatever it is, we didn’t get it done. I tried to fix it, but (the officials) weren’t paying attention to us.

Q: Have you talked to Jason at all?

Cable: I talked to him a little bit yesterday and I’ll talk to both of them when we get back to work.

Q: Bruce was not sacked in the second half. Was that a function of offensive line play, mobility or both?

Cable: I think a little bit of both, but I thought we cleaned up some things. He got flushed twice, but I thought we cleaned up some things in terms of blitzes.

We talked all week, the quarterback would have to handle that overload pressure sometimes and either get it out of his hand or get himself in a better play, better protection, and I felt that other than the one free hitter on Jason early in the game, we just missed an assignment there, but really, Veldheer got beat the one time, other than it was kind of normal play back and forth. But I do think we adjusted well and I think we handled the pressures better.

Q: It appeared Jason had deeper routes and Bruce had shorter routes . . .

Cable: Early, that’s true because we wanted to get him started right but we were still throwing the deep balls and the go-routes, the big daggers and those things, so it probably went back to more the same.

But early, yeah, we wanted to get him in there and get him started and let him make some quick plays and see if he could get everyone’s confidence going.

Q: How much does who is at quarterback influence the play-calling?

Cable: Well, for us, I don’t think it matters for either guy. I think it’s just the situation of bringing a guy off the bench at halftime and you want to get him something quick and easy and get him started.

But you do that periodically throughout the game and I think every team, when you kind of feel a lull, you might get some quick balls or maybe some no-huddle, trying to change momentum a little bit. So I just think it’s a product of that more than anything.

Q: Do you think one can do what the other can, skill-wise?

Cable: Yeah, but they’re different physically. You know Jason’s got maybe a stronger arm; Bruce needs to be on time more. Those kinds of things. But mentally, they’re both very sharp. Both exactly what this football team needs. Like I said, it’s a good thing that’s going on. I mean, we can sit around and talk about it, which we all will for the week, but the bottom line is we’re fortunate to have this situation.

Q: How much input do you take from your offensive staff?

Cable: I certainly talk to them. I talked to them yesterday at halftime. I think that’s one of the real luxuries I have now of being the head coach and not trying to do too much. … It’s easy for me to take the situation to them and say, ‘Hey, this is what I think. What do you feel about it?’ The response that I get is another opinion, if you will, sometimes, and that’s always good. But I don’t have to do all that. I don’t have to worry about blocking that blitz and this run play and, ‘Oh by the way, I want to make the quarterback switch.’ And then, hey, I’ve got to get that kick coverage. I don’t have to do all that now. We’ve improved that way, and it’s really a good thing.

Q: Is it a setback at all in that you have Jason as the No. 1 guy since April, and then a game and a half into the season you switch gears? Or does the fact that Bruce was around last year make it easier to switch?

Cable: I think before you go into all that or read into all that, it’s about winning on Sundays. A decision was made yesterday to do that. Some of the benefits to it are the fact that Bruce has been around, yes, but if you remember, he’s had less work in the new system than Jason.

Again, I think we have a good issue here. We’re not going to let it be a negative or make it a negative. The bottom line here is we’ve got two guys we think can play. We’ll do what we think is best for our team. If we need to make a switch again down the road – we’re going to need them both, probably need all three of them before the year’s over with the way this league is. I like where we’re at.’’

For more Monday news and notes, see the previous post, Raiders points, yards don’t add up.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • big pep

    i want more than 5 wins this year. that said, at this point imo j.c. will not be able to do it, if he starts i hope im wrong but i have no faith in him. and neither does his team except for a.d.

  • severeraiderz

    raidermarty Says:
    September 20th, 2010 at 5:25 pm
    Well people might criticize the switch yesterday but the truth is we are desperate for some wins. I would switch them every play if I thought it would give us an advantage. To be honest it just felt DAMN GOOD to get a win yesterday no matter who was in there! Maybe there is a way we can win with both of them……

    This is the problem i have with some of you gys on here. if JC had checked down and got a good 3-4 yds on the play some on here would have complained that he checks down too much and doesnt hang in there when pressured. But if he is waiting for a play to develop on a 5-7 step drop and looking for a receiver, protection breaks down, and he gets sacked then he is holdng the ball too long. Grads had a nice game but i just think after the terrible game we had week 1 us fans were looking for a ray of hope and for our own version of Rudy to get into the game.

  • severeraiderz

    sorry raidermarty that was directed at Armchair

  • severeraiderz

    big pep Says:
    September 20th, 2010 at 5:31 pm
    i want more than 5 wins this year. that said, at this point imo j.c. will not be able to do it, if he starts i hope im wrong but i have no faith in him. and neither does his team except for a.d.

    From his quotes it sounds that Asomugha has faith in him.

  • big pep

    there not going to dog him, remember how they used to back up j.r. to the media, knowing dam right and well everybody on that team hated his lazy guts.

  • 1TrueFan53

    I don’t care who is behind our Center, as long as we play well and win. If it means starting Campbell for 16 games and closing out with Grad each game, if we win, thats fine by me.

  • severeraiderz

    big pep Says:
    September 20th, 2010 at 5:39 pm
    there not going to dog him, remember how they used to back up j.r. to the media, knowing dam right and well everybody on that team hated his lazy guts.

    Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha had this strange reaction: “The thing is, we might have been down 7-3, it could have been 7-6. So it wasn’t like we were getting killed by the Rams, so I guess that’s why it would be surprising.

    “But at the same time, it’s good that the offense didn’t let it mess up what they were doing. They were still able to run the ball, still able to move the ball with Bruce. So as long as it works out, I think everybody’s OK with it.”

    As long as it didn’t mess up what they were doing?”

    Doesnt sound like he is towing the company line to me

  • fat kidd

    as soon as mike bush ready to go mcfumble gets benched..

  • Bleed Silver

    All announcers on television and the radio, except George Atkinson, have been speculating that Bruce will start. If Cables wants no controversy he will play Bruce. But you the know the Raiders….

  • kellygreenninja

    Go watch some Raiders-Steelers 2009 highlights. Now there’s a quarterback who wants to win some freaking games.

    Had JC remained in the game in the 2nd half, do you think the Rams woulda let up on him? They were blitzing w/ impunity on every single pass play by the 2nd quarter…short yardage, long yardage, and Jadrizzle was rattled.

    Ask DHB and LM who they want tossing passes against Arizona.

    Both QB’s interceptions were unfortunate. It looks like LM shoulda prevented JC’s, maybe he knew the safety was back there and didn’t want to get laid out? And Bruce’s was tipped at the line, still counts on the stat sheet, but cheesy just the same.

  • RaiderRetribution

    Raiders will defeat the Cardinals, no matter who is the quarterback as the two wideouts, Mr. Murphy & Mr. Heyward-Bey are now catching the ball consistently.

    Raiders defense will dominate the Cardinals.

    Mr. McFadden will run for over a 100 yds in consecutive weeks.

    Raiders will win the turnover battle and sack Anderson at least 4 times.

    Punt & kick coverage will be outstanding.

    Raiders will score three TDs, two from the Red Zone.


    Great point on Marshall. He made terrific adjustments at half-time!

    No sacks in the second half. Bruce lit up the team in the second half. The defense played better when they saw that the offense was better and might just score.

    With the current state of the OL we need a QB who reads the defense fast and gets the ball off quickly and Bruce is that guy.
    Before Bruce, the Rams were dominating our offense. The guy came in and we won. Keep playing him until that situation changes and THEN go to Campbell.

    Bruce brings a spark to the team.
    He’s no Snake, but he’s definitely a spark.
    Just call him Spark,
    Spark Gradowski.


    JUST WIN BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • BDAtlanta

    The Campbell pick was a tipped ball if I recall correctly. I can’t hold that against him. His seeming inability to see the whole field and make quick decisions based on what he sees? I can hold that against him.

  • ddwight

    The cable guy is an idiot if he thinks that rotating LT’s is the answer,it may work against the Rams,but both of these QB’s will be killed against better competition, Cambell can take more hits bcus he’s bigger and stronger, but Grads is more mobile, however he’s 1 good hit from major-knee-surgery,cable needs to get the O-line to function better as a unit. Henderson has regressed,but he also has to committ to 1 guy, if Veldheer’s the answer then go with him, but he’s gonna have to chose 1 bcus it will not work in the NFL.

  • weaselbit

    Cable isn’t saying who’s starting so Cards can’t prepare.
    Simple as that.
    Pretty obvious Grads is starting.

    To say that they’re about the same is just stupid troll talk.

    Campbell plays scared. Grads plays confident.
    Pocket awareness for Grads. Campbell goes down and fumbles like Jamarcus.

    And I noticed this in preseason. They play better for Grads. Maybe it’s because he’s a better leader. Not afraid to grab a lineman’s facemask and tell him to get his f$#%king mind in the game!
    Grads show confidence in receivers throwing it up and letting them make crazy catches. Same thing Warner used to do. It may come back and bite him but all successful qb’s do this.
    Grad’s interception was tipped. So he played a clean game. Made some mistakes. Passing game will improve w/ Mcfad 2nd in nfl in rushing teams have to bite when they fake it to him. And Mcfad and Miller always there for safety valve dump off.

    I Sparkowski he was the real thing last season and still do.