Gradkowski set for another family reunion


Bruce Gradkowski returns to the scene of his greatest triumph this weekend disappointed he won’t be starting but preparing in case the Raiders need someone with actual experience beating the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field.

Gradkowski’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Louis Murphy capped an 88-yard drive with no time outs in less than two minutes as Oakland scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter and beat the Steelers 27-24.

Playing in his hometown in front of friends and family, Gradkowski completed 20 of 33 passes for 308 yards. When the Raiders arrived in town, Gradkowski had most of the team over to his parents’ home for a home cooked meal.

Less than a year later, Gradkowski goes back to Pittsburgh as a backup to Jason Campbell, having not played in a month because of a sprained A-C joint in his throwing shoulder.

Coach Tom Cable was adamant Gradkowski would remain the starter until last week, when instead he said he was leaning toward going with the hot hand. He made it official this week, naming Jason Campbell, the starting quraterback throughout a three-game win streak, as the starter.

“It’s tough because you always want to play, especially in the big games, and this is a big game for us,” Gradkowski said Thursday. “We’re playing a good football team and you want to be a part of that. But it fell at the wrong time. But the thing I think about is it will be even sweeter and we’re playing for the AFC championship and I’m starting going into that. I’ll be prepared to play.”

Gradkowski said he is healthy enough to make every throw necessary.

“The way I feel now, I realize I wasn’t ready the last couple of weeks,” Gradkowski said.

Gradkowski’s mother will once again provide food, but this time with a twist.

“I was going to have all the guys over but we get in a little later this year, so my mom’s offering to bring the food to the hotel,” Gradkowski said. “So they’re real troopers, and she just wants to help out any way they can.

“ I love the camaraderie, though. The reason our families watch games is because they care about who you play with, and that’s how my family is. They want to see who that guy next to me is and put a face with a number. They enjoy that stuff.”

Gradkowski is enjoying the Raiders’ team success and the “next man up” philosophy, figuring sooner or later he’ll get another chance.

“I know there’s going to be a point again where I play this year, so that’s what I’ll be ready for,” Gradkowski said.

More to come . . .


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Bauce 2 Dope Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 1:19 pm
    “Choppa on da floor, pistol on da couch, hood rich so I never had a bank account……junkies going in, junkies going out, made a 100,000 in my trap house”


    Brien the inside sales exec, lol.

  • raiderfankirk

    Bruce is right. He’s only saying what he knows is true.JC can have all the physical attributes in the world and that won’t give him the head for the game(Russel). I would’nt be surprised at all to see Campbell pulled before halftime if he does’nt play well.

  • imaquaman

    ok guys coach cable has asked me to relay this to you bloggers ,we all know this is a pro raider blog,for those of you unsure that means we like them,he told me the fans are pretty damn important not like players since we dont actually play or have a say on what goes on or who plays or pretty much anything for that matter but without our support its like taking away 2 player,instead of 12 on 11 it drops to 11 on 11 when that happens the team sees it and there level of play drops also now its 10 on 11 get what im saying .and coach cable also told me to say that they cant play with a divided locker room ,much like this blog post thing whatever it is ,when we are divided with silver blood on one (jc)and black blood on the other (bg)the team feels it and it hurts and they cant take a shot to make the hurt go away cause its in the heart get my drift so that being said my blood is silver and black and always will be no matter if they play kb jc bg or that other guy last year russel simmons mmk when they went to la how many of you called them bad names ,shame on you .now how many of you have moved yourself from one block to another or from one side of town to the other and your still the same right get it.so what coach cable said was you are a fan or your not whats it gonna be just like your ole lady or your dog its unconditional on or off ,in or out silver and black or yellow n black n blue ..nobody wins if we are divided on the field or off ,now lets go out there and win this one for the gipper