160

Bruce Gradkowski Q&A

A transcription of an interview with Raiders starting quarterback Bruce Gradkowski Thursday:

Q: Talk about your journey going from the knee injuries last year to the torn pec to the starting lineup?

Gradkowski: It’s been a heck of an offseason and preseason and season and just trying to get ready for the year. A couple tough breaks last year, but it always finds its way of working itself out, just preparing and being ready when you get your shot.

Q: How much does it help that you’ve been in this situation before?

Gradkowski: You’re just a play away. Everyone has to understand that. We’re all working towards being the starter. Everyone, that’s why they play this game is to be the starter on this football team or any football team. That’s kind of what you work for, just keeping your eyes on the prize and just keep working and being ready when your time is called and taking advantage of that.”

Q: What was your reaction when you were told you’d be the starter?

Gradkowski:< ./strong> I was excited. Coach Cable sat us down and told us the news. I was excited. But the excitement ends right there. There’s no reason to be excited just yet. I really haven’t done nothing in my mind. This is a long season. I’m just going to take it one week at a time and see what we can do from there.

Q: How hard was it to accept that you weren’t even given a chance to compete for the starting job. You could understand because you were hurt and missed all the offseason workouts, but based on what you had accomplished here, to not even get a shot, was that hard?

Gradkowski: It was tough coming into the offseason not getting a shot to be the starter, but it was understandable. I had just got through a couple injuries and I was just getting back and then I tore my pec. So it was a very unfortunate situation. I understood what was going on and just had to take it as it came. I couldn’t do nothing about it. I was sitting on the sidelines. I just had to get healthy and get ready and just be prepared for when my time is called upon. I think we have a really good quarterback room. We all get along. We’ve got good players. We’re all willing to do whatever it takes to win and focus on our team goals.

Q: Cable talked about the energy you bring to the huddle, and your teammates talk about that. What’s your approach?
Gradkowski: The energy I bring to the huddle is just being myself. I don’t really think about it beforehand or try to do anything fake. It’s just how I play the game. You’ve got to have fun when you play the game and just enjoy it. It’s just that competitive edge that I have that makes me want to compete and win. That’s kind of what I bring to the team and what I try to bring when I play. I just think the main thing is to have fun when we’re out there and just really take it one play at a time.

Q:Where did you get that edge? Have you always had it? Did you get it from Jeff Garcia or someone like that?

Gradkowski: I think I’ve always had that edge. Growing up, just the way I was raised with my parents and in college, high school. I’ve always been a competitor, played every sport and just really want to win at everything, do the best that you can in everything you do. That’s just really what it comes down to, being a competitor and getting after it because the guys on the other side, they’re trying to take your spot and they’re trying to make you look bad, so you’ve got to do the same.

Q: How do you prepare for the Cardinals all week?

Gradkowski: Monday through Saturday, Monday you watch the previous game. Then, once that’s over with, you wipe your slate clean. It’s a new week, a new beginning. This week, we’re facing a good Arizona football team. They went deep in the playoffs last year. This is a good football team, so we have to be prepared. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, it’s work day every day. We just have to be prepared, and we’re doing a good job at that. This is a good football team. We’re working hard and we just continually try to get better.

Q: How does this situation differ from the one you faced last year?

Gradkowski: This year, it’s a little more comfortable stepping in just knowing what I did last year and the guys around in the locker room I’ve played with. So, they know how I play and what I bring to the table. So, it’s exciting. I’m excited to get out there and just play. We’re all looking forward to it. This is a big week for us. Like I said, it’s a good Arizona football team that we’re about to face, and we have to be ready.

Q: What kind of confidence do you draw from the Pittsburgh game?

Gradkowski: Just from last year, there’s some good things to take from last year. I also know that that doesn’t matter anymore. Last year was last year, and you got to get it done this year. That’s kind of what I’m focusing on, just being consistent week in, week out. Just taking it as it comes. You can only take it one week at a time and you can’t overlook anyone.

Q: Does what happened to Campbell place added pressure on you to be sharp every game?

Gradkowski: Yeah, our coaches just want to win. We just want to win here and whatever we have to do, whatever it takes to win. Like I said before, we have a good quarterback room. Jason’s a good quarterback. Kyle’s a good quarterback. There’s nothing against those guys. It’s just finding whatever we can do to win games. Yeah, it does put pressure on me to do my job, but you really can’t think about that. You got to go out, take it one play at a time and just do what you’re able to do.

Q:< ./strong> Why isn’t there platooning at quarterback in the NFL?

Gradkowski: Well, the quarterback position, it’s a very important position. It’s the most important position in the game. You kind of have to go with one guy and stick with him. In another sense, you have three quarterbacks on the team. Whatever it takes, if it’s this guy this week, this guy the next week, whatever you have to do to win games, you do that. The players have no control over that. We just come out and compete every day knowing that that’s what you work for is to be the starter. We all understand that. We just want to get better and help this team win.

Q: Can you explain the lift you bring to the offense?

Gradkowski: \When I come in the game I just try to play the way I’m coached to play and just be myself out there and I think the guys out there respect that. And I think if you’re working hard and playing as hard as they are, they’ll respect that. That’s all you really can do. Like I keep saying, take it one play at a time, and do what you’re coached to do. I mean, we have good coaches here, just listen to them and just let the game play out.

Q:You had 11 starts with Tampa Bay in ’06. What have you learned since then?

Gradkowski: I started 11 games as a rookie in Tampa and I’ve had great coaching, coach Gruden and coach Hackett there, and I was very fortunate to get that experience as a young guy. But over the last so many years, you grow, you learn, you learn from different things, different mistakes, different situations. It feels more comfortable now. I’m a little older I’ve been around longer and I understand how this game works. This game’s about winning and that’s really what it comes down to.

Q: The rapport you have with Hackett, is it special for a back-up QB?
Gradkowski:: No, I think have a good relationship with all the coaches, coach Hackett, coach Tollner, coach Hue Jackson, coach Cable, they all do a great job of getting us prepared. Every coach we have on the staff, they do their own jobs and what they’re supposed to do. I think the relationship we have here as players and coaches are good and that’s what you need to build a winning football team.’

Q: Most coaches bring in back-up, say we’ll give him a game, but Cable said job is yours. Put your mind at ease?

Gradkowski: In my mind, I’m always taking it one game at a time. That’s really all you can do and no matter what coach said, you just never know. Cause like I said, winning’s the name of the game and if I’m not getting it done, I’m sure he’s going to try to find someone else who will. You just kind of have to respect that. And like I said come out here and compete and things will work out.’’

Q: Could you compare yourself to another QB?

Gradkowski:: You know I really wouldn’t compare myself to too many other quarterbacks out there. I kind of always looked up to Drew Brees, he’s smart, he manages football games and he gets the job done, he makes good decisions . But there’s a lot of good quarterbacks in this league, and you kind of have to be your own individual and bring whatever you can to that team, whatever they need.

  • Share/Bookmark

Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    Randy Moss got KK banned…from the Safeway.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    What was amazing about the Randy Moss incident, was how explosive he is up close. In 2 long strides he was halfway accross the parking lot, with a full shopping cart!!!!

    Very Impressive.

  • Plunketthead

    I’m going to take it one blog comment at a time

    Keep thinking like that and you will move up from from semi to pro blogger

  • Chris in NY

    Dakota Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 1:48 pm
    8RaiderReign8 Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 1:36 pm
    I believe Cable has the best winning pct. since Gruden. Somebody check it.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    Why search through that toilet bowl full of turds? Who cares which turd tastes better…it is still a turd!

    ———————-

    Beautiful metaphor you sh!t-eating sumb!itch.

  • JB

    PD

    For a center NOW, might I suggest Justin Hartwig. He was the starting center for the Steelers who was recently released in favor of their #1 pick this year Maurike Pouncey. Following the pick-up of Hartwig, I’d suggest that our first pick (second round) next year should be Mike Pouncey, C-Florida. Mike could then spend 1 year under Hartwig and assume the starting position in 2012. I believ our Tackle needs can be satisfied with our 2 picks his year. The tackle spots could be Veldheer, BCampbell & Barnes (BU). That would leave Gallery, Loper & Walker (BU) for guard.

    For our third round pick on the D side we might look at Kenrick Ellis, DT-Hampton 6’5″/340# to play NT.

  • Chris in NY

    2011 draft talk should be a bannable offense at this juncture in the season.

  • 8RaiderReign8

    Chris In NY Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 3:16 pm
    Dakota Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 1:48 pm
    8RaiderReign8 Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 1:36 pm
    I believe Cable has the best winning pct. since Gruden. Somebody check it.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    Why search through that toilet bowl full of turds? Who cares which turd tastes better…it is still a turd!

    ———————-

    Beautiful metaphor you sh!t-eating sumb!itch.
    ——–

    LOL.

  • DKnight007

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 2:56 pm
    Never been impressed with Mallet.

    Very robotic like out there, doesn’t seem to have a great feel for the game, IMO.

    We shall see this weekend. He could make himself a lot of money with a stellar performance.

    ^^^^^^^^
    Yeah, kinda reminds me of Dan McGwire! LOL!

  • DKnight007

    Chris in NY Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 3:22 pm
    2011 draft talk should be a bannable offense at this juncture in the season.

    ^^^^^^^^
    What are you?

    A fascist now? LOL

  • 8RaiderReign8

    Chris hopefully the talk will die down by the bye week.

  • The Big Banana

    # KoolKell Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    What was amazing about the Randy Moss incident, was how explosive he is up close. In 2 long strides he was halfway accross the parking lot, with a full shopping cart!!!!

    Very Impressive.

    ===================================================

    Why was he running?

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Why was he running?
    —————————-
    I was trying to ask him questions. ;-)

  • The Big Banana

    # KoolKell Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Why was he running?
    —————————-
    I was trying to ask him questions. ;-)

    =============================================

    Dude?…Seriously?…LOL!

    What kind of questions?….dare I ask

  • The Big Banana

    Did you ask him why he only played at half speed for us?

  • chappy23us

    anybody going to game this weekend?

  • Plunketthead

    Whoever is running the trolls is doing a decent job but KK is not nearly as persistent or miserable as he was last year.

    And RMR rooting for the Raiders? lol

  • chappy23us

    Ryan Mallet=Mark Wilson. I cannot see old man Al passing on this guy

  • http://Noknuckleheads! 909RaiderLifer

    Even the Raider fans that I was watching the game with at the local dive, got fired up when Bruce came in after halftime.. Up until then, most of us were working on a buzz getting prepared for a possible loss to the Lambs…

  • Plunketthead

    I think the old man is done drafting QB’s in the top round or two. He will stick to defense in the first and maybe a big olineman in the second

  • Plunketthead

    of course no first rounder next year, anyway

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    This is when he was “pouting” for lack of a better word.

    I ask him what was wrong with the offense, and what he thought of the coaches.

    He said, you can see can’t you, and exploded towards his SUV. I couldn’t cover him.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    The Big Banana Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Did you ask him why he only played at half speed for us?
    —————————-
    He wasn’t having any of it.

  • Plunketthead

    I think we will finish the year with a top 5 running offense, a top 15 passing O and a top ten D overall.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    We had the house listed for sale Randy was staying in after he left.

    He was paying 10,000 per month rent!!!

  • DKnight007

    Glad Stevie Brown is back on the practic squad!

    Got lucky he cleared waivers again…..

  • DKnight007

    Plunketthead Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 3:35 pm
    I think the old man is done drafting QB’s in the top round or two. He will stick to defense in the first and maybe a big olineman in the second

    ^^^^^^^^
    The coaching staff and scouts need to pick Center Stephon Wisniewski in the 2nd round if he is there next year or the best player available.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    DKnight007 Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Glad Stevie Brown is back on the practic squad!

    Got lucky he cleared waivers again…..
    ————————
    One of the prominent playmakers of the pre-season. But, he’s behind players with bigger salaries and less production.

  • PurpleDrank81

    I say we draft a waterboy in the 2nd round

  • Plunketthead

    DK

    That would be a great idea. That bloodline stuff mostly holds true.
    Lots of people want the Pouncey kid but I would stay away from him after watching his opening game.

    Heck I bet he gets his butt kicked up and down the field when they play the mighty Wildcats Saturday.

  • TerrapinRaider

    Nnamdi21 Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 1:52 pm
    aig-raiders Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 1:49 pm
    JFB,

    I do worry whether the line can prevent any injury to the QB of our team whoever that may be. Hopefully BG has learned to avoid the rush but it will be hard when they fly right by the LT before the QB can finish his drop steps.

    ==================

    Playing Veldheer at left tackle was a disaster and got Campbell mangled more than once.

    Henderson was alittle better but his lack of ability is the reason for rookie Veldheers reps in the first place last Sunday.

    Surprising they didn’t play Khalif there since he’s actually got seasons of experience at the spot.

    **************************

    NNam’s absolutely right. Veldheer did NOT look great at LT. Henderson looked better believe it or not from what I could tell from watching it one time. You guys are tryin to force this guy into the position. He was getting beat in preseason and he was getting beat vs the Rams. Stop with the hope already!

    I can only “hope” he proves me wrong. But the evidence is to the contrary as I type.

  • TerrapinRaider

    aig-raiders Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 1:55 pm
    Nnamdi21,

    I’m with you on the LT position. I dont know why people are so hyped about V. He got smoked against Julius Peppers and got smoked last week along with 1 holding call.

    I think Mario is better than V but why not try K. Barnes. The guy with the most experience.

    *************************

    excatly …sht start training BC

  • Plunketthead

    Mangini will be the first coach to be fired. Unless Jerry gets hammered watching the boots kick the crap out of his boys Sunday. He may fire Bum Phillips on the plane ride home

  • waklaboo

    KoolKell Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 3:59 pm
    DKnight007 Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Glad Stevie Brown is back on the practic squad!

    Got lucky he cleared waivers again…..
    ————————
    One of the prominent playmakers of the pre-season. But, he’s behind players with bigger salaries and less production.
    __________________________
    Gotta feeling he will eventually make the team how Marcel Reece did.

  • Richard Bentley

    The bottom line to all this is that every player and every coach is a company man (or else!), so unless you’re looking for a misstep, you won’t get much from any interview. That is why, to me at least, that Cable impresses me with his subtle, egg-shell walking changes that seem to get the job done without incurring the wrath of Zeus, er I meant Al. He does his homework and then makes the step, so he has pretty solid ground to work from. And fortunately Jackson seems to have the smarts to move along the same route as Cable.
    Campbell has got to speed up his tempo and not hold the ball so long; he’ll be fine as long as he gets to that point (IF he gets to that point). Meantime I don’t feel unhappy about Grads. The kid is a gamer.

  • JLofty

    God I hope Crazy Ol Al doesn’t pick any more QB’s in the draft (or at least before the 5th round).
    We have a 4 or 5 decades old proven in-ability to “groom” or develop QBs. Only one ever worth a dang was my man Snake and I figure he drank his way through the experience.
    No young QBs until we get a GM. Or they outlaw FA.

  • I am Spartacus

    Plunketthead Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 4:08 pm
    Mangini will be the first coach to be fired. Unless Jerry gets hammered watching the boots kick the crap out of his boys Sunday. He may fire Bum Phillips on the plane ride home

    ___________________________________
    That would be a bummer for Bum. I agree he will be the first to go. Expectations are too high.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Richard Bentley Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Campbell has got to speed up his tempo and not hold the ball so long; he’ll be fine as long as he gets to that point (IF he gets to that point). Meantime I don’t feel unhappy about Grads. The kid is a gamer.
    ——————————————-
    That’s been his M.O. his whole career, I think, holding the ball.

  • JLofty

    I hope the boys come ready to play in AZ. A back to back win would be huge. A winning record would be HUGE.
    Can’t wait for the Texan game, front row corner-other hole! Partying with the NATION in Coli parking lot. OUTSTANDING!!!

  • I am Spartacus

    We haven’t had back-to-back wins for a while. That would be a good next step. Would set us up in a good frame of mind for the Houston game.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    I think ANY QB needs to be in the same system for 3 years, before executing an offense efficiently, getting in & out of plays, 2 minute drills, no-huddle etc.

  • http://Noknuckleheads! 909RaiderLifer

    Those of you going to Az. for the game, bring your sunscreen for the tailgate… Sunny, high temp-106* on Sunday–per, NWS…

  • The Big Banana

    1960RAIDER ====================>
    30 Year Raider ===================>
    7o7Raider ======================>
    860Todd Christensen ==============> Raiders 21-20
    8RaiderReign8 ===================> Raiders 25-19
    909RaiderLifer ===================>
    ArmChair GM ====================> Raiders 24-17
    BART Bridge Blues ================> Raiders 23-20
    Bauce 4 Real ====================>
    Bboyink =======================> Raiders 13-10
    Bcz24 =========================> Raiders 20-13
    BigLefty ========================>
    BigTed707 ======================>
    BigZ@CSM ======================>
    Bo Schembechler Jackson ============> Raiders 33-24
    Bob Marley ======================>
    Braveheartraider ==================> Raiders 17-14
    Buckeyeraider ====================>
    BumpNRun ======================>
    Captain Mudslide & the Dingle Berry Posse >
    Carl Weather ====================>
    Chris in NY ======================> Raiders 31-7
    CJ Legend 34 ====================>
    Coach on Wheels =================>
    Dakota =========================> Raiders 28-17
    Darkside666 =====================>
    DeuceDeuce =====================> Raiders 20-17
    DirtyRaccoon =====================>
    DKnight007 ======================>
    DMAC ==========================> Raiders 31-17
    Drexl ==========================>
    DT42 ==========================>
    El Gato Negro ====================> Raiders 24-21
    El Tato =========================>
    EMRaiders =======================>
    EPTRaider915 ====================>
    Exlaraiderseasonticketholder ==========> Raiders 27-17
    Fat Kid =========================> Raiders 30-27
    GaiterRaider =====================>
    GG ============================> Raiders 23-16
    Ghost To The Post =================>
    HairyBush =======================>Raiders 20-13
    Inonewordraider ===================>
    J Hill ===========================> Raiders 26-13
    JLofty ==========================>
    Jmello21 ========================>
    Just Fire Baby =====================> Raiders 37-13
    Kidseven ========================>
    Kirk ===========================> Raiders 24-17
    Koolkell =========================>
    La Milicia Negra ====================>
    LT DAN =========================>
    LTR ===========================>
    Lynn From Snot ===================> Raiders 9-3
    Mahlhavoc =======================>
    MistaBr0wn ======================> Raiders 24-17
    mkyd1963 =======================>
    New Englandraider =================> Raiders 23-13
    Nnamdi21 =======================> Raiders 28-10
    No Mas Diamante ==================>
    NoLuv4Hoes ======================>
    NorCalBones =====================>
    Norco Bob =======================> Raiders 31-28 OT
    Oakland_raiders ===================>
    PassTheCheetos ===================>
    PhillyRAIDERNATION ================>
    Plunketthead =====================> Raiders 38-13
    PlunkforHOF =====================>
    Pretty Rick =======================>
    PurpleDrank81 ====================> Raiders 24-14
    R8eray =========================>
    RADRNATN ======================> Raiders 28-14
    Raider D ========================> Raiders 24-17
    Raider Dog ======================> Raiders 24-20
    Raider E ========================>
    Raider O ========================>
    Raider75 ========================>
    RaiderFanFromJersey ===============>
    Raiderjambo =====================>
    RaiderLen =======================>
    RaiderRetribution ==================>
    RaiderRockstar ====================>
    Raiders For Life ===================>
    Raiders13LA ======================>
    Raiders22 =======================>
    RedneckRaider ====================>
    RNORaiderFan ====================> Raiders 38-24
    Ryan ===========================> Raiders 27-17
    Senior Beecham ===================>
    SharkCatcher =====================>
    SilverAndBlackBleeder ===============>
    SilverNBlackPA ====================>
    SR Raider =======================> Raiders 20-17
    Stabler76 =======================>
    Stoopidmike =====================>
    TazZraider =======================>
    TBRaiders =======================>
    The Big Banana ===================> Raiders 24-13
    The Real MaddenRaider =============> Raiders 30-21
    Thec07 =========================>
    Toyz ===========================>
    Weaselbit =======================> Raiders 34-13

  • http://Noknuckleheads! 909RaiderLifer

    Or… hotter than, five fat chicks in a hot tub…

  • http://Noknuckleheads! 909RaiderLifer

    23-16 RAIDERS!

  • No Mas Diamante

    Big Banana – Raiders 29 – 26

  • DKnight007

    Cards- 20
    Raiders- 16

  • http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=eb53t3&s=5&hid=3&tag=my+pool Lynn from Snot

    Nellie resigns from the Dubs.

  • DKnight007

    Veldheer should be getting the startting reps at RT so he can get his feet wet there first.

    Barnes should be playing LT ahead of Mario!

  • DKnight007

    Lynn from Snot Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 4:50 pm
    Nellie resigns from the Dubs.

    ^^^^^^^^^
    Bout time! LOL

  • http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=eb53t3&s=5&hid=3&tag=my+pool Lynn from Snot

    I knew Stevie Brown would be back.