By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 at 10:30 pm in Oakland Raiders.
In a Bay Area News Group column to run in Wednesday’s papers, Monte Poole cast his vote for Jason Campbell.
Click on the above link for his reasoning, but the short version is that going to Campbell would be a sign of panic, and that six quarters is too small of a sample size to make a switch of this magnitude.
Not when Campbell was brought in to be the starter in what seemed at the time to be a logical and intelligent decision.
Besides, Monte reasons, Gradkowski is perfectly cast as the energetic backup, a player with the perfect skill set to provide a spark off the bench.
All points worth arguing, but there are other factors to consider.
Namely, that the Raiders already did panic.
They named Campbell the starter, talked up his professionalism, and weren’t confident enough in his ability to recover from a four-point deficit at home against a team which had lost 27 of 28 games coming in.
The Raiders action of putting him the bench spoke much louder than their words through training camp. Cable wasn’t worrying about how it looked _ he made an impulsive switch to win a game.
Speaking of words, what about all the talk about how winning the next game being the most important thing? In fact, the only thing? Cable had the whole “1-0” philosophy put on T-shirts.
It’s understandable that Cable would be beholden to Gradkowski. The guy saved his job last year after Cable convinced Al Davis that it was time to bench JaMarcus Russell with wins over Cincinnati and Pittsburgh (as a starter, by the way).
All of which makes Wednesday’s decision, assuming they don’t put it off another day or two, all the more intriguing.
If Cable decides or is told to put the Gradkowski genie back in the bottle, it’s a good thing the Raiders are on the road this week. Campbell will probably have a more supportive crowd in Arizona than he would in Oakland.