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Bay Area News Group Sunday links

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Sunday, November 28th, 2010 at 8:43 am in Oakland Raiders.

A few links to consider before the Raiders play the Dolphins this afternoon in a battle of 5-5 teams hoping to remain in the playoff chase:

– The story got held a few weeks for space considerations, but “Fade to Black” examines the problems the Raiders have dealing with an antiquated NFL blackout rule with a season ticket base of between 20,000 and 24,000.

When I put out a brief post asking for fans and their experiences at the Coliseum, the e-mail response was overwhelming. Given an approximately 900-word limit and all the issues involved, I wound up using very little in terms of fans quoted in the story. Rest assured, however, I read them all and it provided valuable perspective in framing the story.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to send an e-mail.

– Here’s my weekly NFL column and the questionable tactics utilized by the San Diego Chargers, who nonetheless are in good position for another strong finish and and AFC West title.

– My weekly NFL rankings have the New York Jets at No. 1 and the Raiders dropped to No. 18 after their loss to Pittsburgh.

– Beat writer Steve Corkran writes about Tom Cable’s quarterback sneak, a silent flip-flop from Jason Campbell to Bruce Gradkowski.

– Today’s Dolphins-Raiders game features two teams at 5-5 trying to atone for embarrassing losses in their previous game.

– We’re changing up the game-day chat format. For the past few Raiders home games, I’ve been doing in-game chats from kickoff to finish, and I’ve got a confession to make. I’m spending so much time interacting with readers and writing comments that I’m missing too much of the games I’m supposed to be covering. When I have chats on Tuesdays, I’ll get questions about plays I never saw because my face was in my computer screen.

So today, I’ll have a pre-game chat starting at noon and lasting until just before kickoff. I’m sure topics on the table will be the Gradkowski-for-Campbell switch, as well as how the Raiders will rebound from last week’s defeat against Pittsburgh.

I’ll check in with quarter updates here and on my Twitter page.

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  • http://www.aldavissucks.blogspot.com The Real MaddenRaider

    After Grads lights up the shrimp today, be sure to come here and harass the following people, because they will NOT be happy:

    Priest
    JHill
    LB
    Mistic

  • olinesux

    if we lose today it will be on oline….

  • mistic1

    Rmr,

    i have never rooted against my team. Dont put words in my mouth, it makes you a liar.

  • http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXj7I1RzLSE&feature=related exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    With Bruce, it will open up running lanes again for McFadden as the Fish will have to defend the pass which the Steelers felt they didn’t have to last week.

  • bg22958

    Sorry Exraidersticketholder you can argue that Campbell isn’t a good enough leader, and that’s a fair arguement but 53% career completion ratings do not make it in the NFL. End of story. I wish Bruce had Campbell’s skill set but he doesn’t and emotion isn’t enough. At some point the stats have to bear it out.

  • http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXj7I1RzLSE&feature=related exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    A selfish move by a head coach on the hot seat.
    =========================================
    No, a move by a coach to give the team the best chance to win.

  • http://atm Raider O

    You People,

    JC and Bruce are AVG at best. We need to focus on fixing the OL and not worry about which one of our AVG QBs will start this week.

    Fix the OL, improve the Defense, and we can win with an avg QB like JC or Bruce.

  • http://www.aldavissucks.blogspot.com The Real MaddenRaider

    # mistic1 Says:
    November 28th, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Rmr,

    i have never rooted against my team. Dont put words in my mouth, it makes you a liar.

    ………….

    Alright Mistic.

    Let me ask you one question.

    When Gradkowski is just lighting it up today, and Campbell is just sitting there with his stupid clip board and that stupid look on his face, while Gradkowski just methodically moves the ball downfield, avoids sacks, and makes big plays all day, you’re going to be genuinely happy? You’re not going to have to force yourself to be happy, not one bit? You’re not going to have to “accept” what you’re seeing? It’s going to be what you genuinely want to see? Gradkowski PROVING that he is the true leader and QB of this team? You will honestly be genuinely happy about that?

  • http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXj7I1RzLSE&feature=related exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Later Raider Nation,
    I want to watch some football. Go Raiders.

  • RAIDERMAN99

    I’d like to offer another explanation and perspective on why Tom Cable stated that JaJason was still the Raider starter after the Pitt debacle, and some speculation on what Al’s role in all of this is.

    I don’t believe for a moment that Cable is going against Al’s will in starting Grads.

    Al has some personal pride at stake since he stated he thinks JaJason could be our next Plunk.

    Al doesn’t want to appear wrong in his assessment of JaJason and would prefer that JaJason play – and play well.

    But Al will not sacrifice whatever shot the Raids have at the playoffs this year due to false pride. Al isn’t blind, and even Ray Charles can see JaJason is terrible.

    Al hoped that the Raids could continue to win even with JaJason’s horrendous play hampering the team. Pittsburgh ended those hopes and ended any illusion Davis might have continued to harbor about JaJason being even a marginal NFL QB.

    Why did Cable appoint JaJason the starter even after Pitt ?

    There’s a combination of reasons.

    Number one, Cable understands his role as head coach of the Raids and that if Davis demands JaJason starts, he’s going to follow orders from the boss.

    Surely Cable was lobbying for Grads to return as the starter when healthy and had faith Davis would acquiesce once this occurred. The destruction of Denver and then the miracle against KC derailed this plan temporarily.

    Al and Cable also get to see the Raids practice and I honestly think Grads wasn’t healthy enough to practice all week and play well on Sunday. I’m still not convinced his shoulder is 100%. Some suspect throws last week in Pitt. But even at somewhat less than 100%, Grads is clearly a better option than JaJason.

    So Tom said the right thing until he saw Grads was ready to go. No reason to alienate JaJason and completely crush his confidence until there was no doubt Bruce was healthy enough and the Boss was also prepared to move on.

    Once Bruce practiced well enough to convince Davis and the staff he was ready, the charade ended and JaJason is now justifiably and – mercifully for Raider fans – riding pine.

    There is only one very slim chance JaJason will be a Raider next year. That’s if Bruce completely tanks or gets injured again and JaJason plays well in relief.

    Not likely.

    We’ve seen the end of JaMoron. We’ve almost positively seen the end of JaJason as a Raider as well.

  • http://oaklandtribune.com r8dr4lfe21

    We all know Grads gives us the better offense. Cambell gives us wins, it’s almost as if our defense plays harder knowing our offense won’t do much in the passing game with Cambell. With Grads in the game our penalties are higher and our D plays with less intensity. We are pretty healthy now, and Grads has not had the opportunity to play with a healthy run game and offensive line. If he blows this and we lose, then Grads was not the better of the 2 QB’s. Just the more hyper of the 2.

  • YoungAmerican

    Or maybe, coaches lie all the time in press conferences and you can’t read much into it.

  • http://www.beyonceonline.com/us/home DaRayduh

    45.djohnnyg Says:
    November 28th, 2010 at 10:00 am

    NO to Cam Newton. It’s Jamarcus and Campbell all over again.

    Newton is slow and does these little dance moves to avoid the hits. He’ll get creamed doing that in the NFL.

    Remember, Jamarcus was a GREAT college QB too.

    ———————

    True to a T. Newton would be a doom for this team. Has tremendous baggage. Great college does not make a great pro. But not to worry, he’ll be gone before we pick.

  • YoungAmerican

    The commentators on Fox are talking about how Falcons RG Harvey Dahl has a reputation for being nasty on the field. He’s a free agent after this season.

    Come to Oakland, Harvey. We need you.

  • http://www.aldavissucks.blogspot.com The Real MaddenRaider

    Raiderman, Campbell should have started last week. I agree. He won 3 straight. He was the hot hand. But he proved against Pittsburgh that he is not an NFL QB. He was scurred on the first drive. Deer in the headlights, and wasn’t even sacked yet. Pittsburgh has a good defense and it’s designed to confuse the good QBs, and INTIMIDATE the ones who don’t even belong in the league. Campbell falls in the second category. He was scared all day. Gradkwowski comes in and moves us right into scoring position. On his first play he sees pressure and keep his cool, dodging the sack and making a play for a first down. He was facing the sane defensive squad that Campbell was. Same exotic blitz packages. And he kept his cool.

  • YoungAmerican

    # The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    November 28th, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Raiderman, Campbell should have started last week. I agree. He won 3 straight. He was the hot hand. But he proved against Pittsburgh that he is not an NFL QB. He was scurred on the first drive. Deer in the headlights, and wasn’t even sacked yet. Pittsburgh has a good defense and it’s designed to confuse the good QBs, and INTIMIDATE the ones who don’t even belong in the league. Campbell falls in the second category. He was scared all day. Gradkwowski comes in and moves us right into scoring position. On his first play he sees pressure and keep his cool, dodging the sack and making a play for a first down. He was facing the sane defensive squad that Campbell was. Same exotic blitz packages. And he kept his cool.

    ————

    … and then he made a bonehead decision that led to a costly interception.

    Neither of these guys should be considered long-term options for the Raiders.

    I’m glad Cable is at least smart enough to ride the hot hand until the guy falters. We’re stuck with Juice Campkowski until the end of the season, so Cable needs to play them off each other to get the most out of them.

  • http://oaklandtribune.com r8dr4lfe21

    Grads has happy feet and no accuracy. But I do agree he gives us the best chance. We just don’t run the ball as much when he plays, we need to limit him 25 attempts. Run the ball and go playaction but RUN THE FREAKIN BALL!

  • djohnnyg

    Newton is a combination of Vince Young and Campbell. Good enough to be a backup maybe, but don’t be fooled.

    There are definitely worse guys than Newton a team could pick and I’m not saying he’s bad. He’ll just get killed in the NFL. Especially with an inferior O-Line.

  • YoungAmerican

    DMac is going to get back on track today, hopefully. He needs to carry this team.

  • RaidingTexas

    All of a sudden that date with Jacksonville is looking more ominous.

  • http://oaklandtribune.com r8dr4lfe21

    I think with DHB back we can clear out and get the underneath routes that play in Grads favor. Also help our running game to the outside have DB’s playing off.

  • Just Fire Baby

    but 53% career completion ratings do not make it in the NFL. End of story.

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

    Funny because that is Campbell’s completion % this season.

  • http://atm Raider O

    Fix the OL
    +
    Improve our Defense (this D can be special)
    +
    Improve the Coaching staff (we need new WRs & OL coaches, and a new DC)
    =
    Great Team!!

  • http://www.aldavissucks.blogspot.com The Real MaddenRaider

    YoungAmerican Says:
    November 28th, 2010 at 10:20 am

    … and then he made a bonehead decision that led to a costly interception.

    ……………

    What bonehead decision? We’re down by a lot with only a quarter to play. He had to force something. He was still worlds cooler than Campbell. Campbell was shaken up on the first drive, before he’d even taken a hit. Basically, he responded to the Steeler D the same way you or I would if we were just thrown out there. He looked as if he’d never played in the league before. I challenge you to give me a better assessment of Campbell’s play last Sunday. I’ll wait.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Not sure how benching Campbell is “throwing him under the bus”.

    He has the 29th ranked QB rating and the 32nd ranked % percentage, all the while having a top 10 defense and a top 3 rushing offense.

    He has arguably been the worst QB in the entire league!!!

  • http://atm Raider O

    JC’s cmp % avg for career is higher than Bruce, but Bruce didn’t start as many games as JC. JC looks better due to stats, but we should only consider this season stats. You can’t compare their prev stats. IMO

  • Plunketthead

    November 28th, 2010 at 9:56 am
    Besides, I doubt Cable did anything but sign-off on the move.

    This is all Hue Jackson making this switch, just like he made the switch against the Rams.

    Bingo!!!

  • Just Fire Baby

    Completion % does not mean much if you continually are at the bottom of the league in yards per pass attempt.

    What good is a 4 yard completion on 3rd and 8?

  • YoungAmerican

    What bonehead decision? We’re down by a lot with only a quarter to play. He had to force something. He was still worlds cooler than Campbell. Campbell was shaken up on the first drive, before he’d even taken a hit. Basically, he responded to the Steeler D the same way you or I would if we were just thrown out there. He looked as if he’d never played in the league before. I challenge you to give me a better assessment of Campbell’s play last Sunday. I’ll wait.

    —————-

    Did I say Campbell was getting it done? No. Obviously he wasn’t. Nor was any other Raiders player last weekend.

    Grads doesn’t get a free pass for his INTs. Sorry, mistakes are mistakes, and both Raider QBs make a lot of them.

  • Plunketthead

    MR
    Heres one you missed

    33.La Milicia Negra Says:
    November 28th, 2010 at 9:42 am
    I fear we wont win at all

  • RaidingTexas

    Just Fire Baby Says:

    Funny because that is Campbell’s completion % this season.

    ——————-

    Funny, because he was 60+% before he got to Oakland. Kind of implies that there are other issues with the Raiders offense as well, doesn’t it?

    (Hint: it’s the position that the Raiders drafted for in the first round of 2009.)

  • http://atm Raider O

    They are both AVG at best this season. I don’t understand why You People like one more than the other.
    They both Suck this season.
    -Bruce throws a lot of picks, low cmp %, but he has great energy, reacts faster, and gets the WR more involved.
    -JC takes a long time to read and react, can’t avoid the rush that well, but he doesn’t throw a lot of picks, and he has a good cmp % (when he plays well).

  • Nnamdi21

    Jerry, your the best…

  • Nnamdi21

    Lets get DMC and Bush cranked up and churning out TDs today people…

    Cut it loose and finish every play and we’ll be fine…

  • YoungAmerican

    The double standard with some of you guys is hilarious. Campbell throws a near-pick with 30 seconds left in the game at KC, and he was “lucky”. Grads throws a real pick down by 17 in the third quarter, and he’s just trying to get things done.

    Neither of these guys are good enough to carry the team. Both of them need everyone around them executing in order to consistently make plays. That’s what needs to happen today.

    The Raiders win as a team and lose as a team. That’s the bottom line.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Bruce’s completion % as a Raider last year is exactly the same (54.7) as Campbell’s this year.

  • http://atm Raider O

    Fix The OL!!!
    Improve OLB and CB on Defense!!!
    Get a new DC, OL Coach, and a WRs coach!! Who the …. is Ssnjay Lal?!

  • YoungAmerican

    What’s a new DC going to do? Is he going to run Al’s defense any differently? I doubt it.

  • http://atm Raider O

    Get a New LBs coach too!!!

  • YoungAmerican

    I wouldn’t mind seeing a new DBs coach, or a new WR coach (badly needed if Murph and DHB are ever going to turn the corner and be reliable players).

    Marshall seems to have more leeway to do what he wants on defense than any DC the Raiders have had in the last decade. He should stick around.

  • RaidingTexas

    “Who the …. is Ssnjay Lal?”

    LOL I don’t know. It sounds Indian, and that might explain a lot. Indians aren’t known to be best competitors. Look at India’s abysmal Olympic history if you doubt me. Unbelievable for the world’s second most populous nation.

  • http://atm Raider O

    A lot of teams play man, and depend on their front 4 to create the rush. We need a DC who can call better plays, and knows how to adjust to offenses.

  • djohnnyg

    76.Raider O Says:
    November 28th, 2010 at 10:32 am
    JC’s cmp % avg for career is higher than Bruce, but Bruce didn’t start as many games as JC. JC looks better due to stats, but we should only consider this season stats. You can’t compare their prev stats. IMO

    IMO Campbell doesn’t take as many risks which would make his completion % better. If a Qb only throws the “safe” passes and the team goes nowhere than it’s not good. Gradkowski tries to make things happen and doesn’t worry about his stats. I’m not excited about Grads. that much either. He has a lot of flaws and takes too many chances sometimes but at least he gives us a chance now.

    Teams dare you (like Pitt.) to beat them with JC. They don’t lose any sleep worrying if JC is gonna beat them with his “arm”. They know that you just have to pressure him and he’ll get rattled and fold.

  • http://atm Raider O

    ROFLMAO RT. That’s true. I never thought about it like that.

  • YoungAmerican

    A lot of teams play man, and depend on their front 4 to create the rush. We need a DC who can call better plays, and knows how to adjust to offenses.

    ————-

    But only one defense plays man exclusively, particularly in the Cover 0.

    Defense did a great job adjusting late in the game against San Diego. But the defense always reverts back to the same Cover 0 base defense. That’s how it is with the Raiders, and as long as Al is around that’s always how it will be.

  • mistic1

    Cable’s m.o is blame the qb. He always complains about the qb’s but i have never heard him acknowledge lousy oline play.

    Our qbs have been pedestrian in some games good in others. Our oline has been terrible for 9 of ten games. This is why the qbs have been presdured hurried and even knocked out of games.

    Another thing about it campbell and cable dont have tge same time table. Cable has a few games left to make a case to stay. Campbell is already on board for next year, my guess is campbell will out last cable. Only gradkowski is married to cable. When cable is nonlonger an nfl head coach, grads will never be in the running for a starters job again.

    Cable your out of here at seasons end, cant say that i will miss you.

  • Guy

    YoungAmerican its not like the Raiders only run man with a 4 man rush. They occasionally blitz Wimbley and when they play zone, they almost always get burned.

  • djohnnyg

    91.RaidingTexas Says:
    November 28th, 2010 at 10:45 am
    “Who the …. is Ssnjay Lal?”

    LOL I don’t know. It sounds Indian, and that might explain a lot. Indians aren’t known to be best competitors. Look at India’s abysmal Olympic history if you doubt me. Unbelievable for the world’s second most populous nation.

    Yeah, and if I see one more doofus named “Patel” playing RB on my kids t-ball team I’m gonna have a breakdown. Little un-competitive jack asses.

  • http://atm Raider O

    Djohnnyg,

    The “safe” passes can help us win, if we run well and play good D. Bruce has a lot of TOs, and takes too many chances.
    I think we can win with JC or Bruce, if we fix the OL, and improve the D and the coaching staff.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Our oline has been terrible for 9 of ten games.

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

    LMAO!!! Complete nonsense.

    When you rush for 200 yards and get 500 total, the O-line is dominating.

    I think our O-line has had some pass protection issues in a handful of games, but otherwise our O-line has been way better than our WR’s and QB’s for the season.