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Campbell doesn’t think he was benched

News, notes, quotes and observations from the Raiders open locker room period Wednesday:

— Jason Campbell took exception to the perception that he had been sent to the bench for reasons of performance.

Campbell was removed at halftime of the Rams game in favor of Bruce Gradkowski, then against the Steelers. After coach Tom Cable had said Campbell was still the quarterback and there was “no issue,’’ he was found himself backing up Gradkowski against Miami.

Here’s how Campbell sees it:

“The hardest part was hearing people telling me I’ve been benched three times. That’s not true,’’ Campbell said. “The Pittsburgh game I was not benched. I was taken out for reasons of being hit a lot and different ghings.

“I expected to come back last weekend and start, but the situation came up where they felt like Bruce was healthy, and coach said he’s a man of his word and that’s what he’s going to stick by.

“I wasn’t benched not to play the Miami game, just because he was sticking by what he said.’’

Campbell is the starter for the time being and there’s no reason not to apply some selective reasoning. Nothing good comes from repeating his postgame concern that if Gradkowski was healthy enough to play against Pittsburgh, why didn’t he start that game?

Or from recalling that Cable said on Nov. 15 that Campbell had “earned the right to start’’ to the starting job after three straight wins and that he was staying with the hot hand.

Campbell doesn’t seem the type to play the victim anyway, and it makes even less sense when you have the job again. He surely realizes that had had he passed for 300 yards and the Raiders had beaten the Steelers, he would have started against Miami as well _ regardless of whatever “promises’’ were made to Gradkowski.

His job will not be an easy one, with the Raiders having lost two straight games in one-sided and uninspired fashion.

“Going to the bye week, having won three in a row and four out of five … sometimes, the bye week is a chance to get healthy and finish the run the rest of the season,’’ Campbell said. “Unfortunately, this time the bye week seemed like it bit us and we lost that chemistry and we lost the things that we were doing very well. Now, we’re trying to regroup and get back to that. ‘’

– The switching of quarterbacks has taken its toll on the passing game.

“Offense is all about chemistry and continuity, and getting a feel for each other and learning each other,’’ Campbell said. “Especially when you don’t have a lot of years together. You try to make the best of it until you can get to the point where you want to be. It’s all a work in progress. You can’t get down, can’t get frustrated.’’

Wide receiver Louis Murphy concedes it’s been an adjustment.

“Sometimes it’s a little rough, because there’s two different quarterbacks,’’ Murphy said. “They have different styles, we have different hook ups with them. You know, certain passes, each one throws differently.

“But we’ve played with both of them for a fair time and it’s really no excuse. We just gotta’ keep going out and making plays when it’s our number called.’’

— With the Chargers giving up 81 yards per game on the ground and the Raiders running game having gained just 77 yards on 30 carries the last two weeks, Oakland can choose to either mix things up and be more daring with the pass, or just run that much harder.

Left guard Robert Gallery is in favor of the latter approach.

“Execution,’’ was Gallery’s answer when asked about the issues with the running game. “I think we’ve only run it 22 times (on called running plays) the last two games and that’s not who we are. We’ve got to get back to running the football and executing when we’re doing it.’’

In the first game against San Diego, Michael Bush rushed for 104 yards on 26 carries and a touchdown with Darren McFadden sidelined because of a hamstring strain. He is only one of only three backs (Arians Foster and Stephen Jackson are the others) to gain 100 yards on the Chargers this year.

— San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers has drawn his share of criticism for being a little mouthy, but he’s got one fan in Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly. Kelly said he met Rivers at a college all-star game and considers him this year’s NFL Most Valuable Player.

“Who’s playing better than Phil?,’’ Kelly said .“I mean Phil is doing his thing, to me he’s the MVP because everybody around him that got hurt, and he’s still carrying his team. To me, that’s a leader right there. He done put the team on his shoulders and came up big.’’

Kelly got a chuckle out of a question referring to how the Raiders “had pretty good success’’ against Rivers the first time this season.

“He threw for 400!,’’ Kelly said. “I mean, you gotta pressure Phil, me and Big Rich and Big John, we gotta push up in his face. “Phil likes to step up in the pocket and and get them intermediate routes to (Antonio) Gates, dump it to (Darren) Sproles out of the backfield. We’ve just got to make his day very uncomfortable.’’

— Chargers tight end Antonio Gates is battling a painful plantar fascia condition which has him at less than 100 percent, but he has no intention of shutting it down.

“My goal is to deal with what I can, try to contribute if I can and if I can’t, just try to be unselfish enough to know what’s my limitations.”

– Jacoby Ford was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for November. He had a 94-yard touchdown on a kickoff return against Kansas City and a 101-yard return for a score against Miami, the latter the third longest in club history.

More to come after Cable’s post-practice press briefing . . .

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • LA to TheBay

    The Raiders are making it sound like he’s ready for the garage. He’s saying he’s not. Now when Cable, or anyone with the Raiders, insists that Gradkowski is injured badly, reporters like Jerry will have grounds to accuse them of exaggerating. Gradkowski is smart. That’s what all of this means. Chalk him up to one of the many players and coaches who knows how to fight Al fire with fire.
    —————————–

    After the Rams game, Gradkowski spoke right to Al Davis when he said the coaches and ‘whoever else’ makes those decisions that he has what it takes.

    Gradkowski critics can say he’s garbage and he certainly did nothing to shut them up v. Miami, but I would have loved to see what this season could look like with Grads starting all 11 and 100% healthy.

    But the health issue is 100% on him. Can’t blame anyone else.

  • http://blackhole@aldavisshouldbeonmountrushmore Drexl

    Condo needs to get five more tackles to match his season high of ten in 2009. He has produce the proverbial goose egg the last four games. He needs to up his game and not rely on a scratch player to earn his way into the pro-bowl.
    Without these five tackles Condo has little chance convincing AD to give him another richly deserved pay raise!
    I for one am routing for the man to pull it off.

  • LA to TheBay

    Time to go to the horses. DMC and Bush ALL DAY. Sprinkle in some Ford and whatever WR proves to not be a pu$$y.

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

    # RaiderWill Says:
    December 1st, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    I also like Mallet, fits AL Davis kinda QB.

    ……………..

    Oh, sign him, then! Those Al types of QBs bring instant wins for us. Campbell, Russell, Brooks, Collins, Jeff George…our greatest years have been with Al’s kinds of quarterbacks.

  • LA to TheBay

    It’s pathetic how little time the Raiders spent on the field last Sunday. The 2nd Grads INT (not sure the first really even was) was a terrible throw, but what happened to ball control?

    They get to the 3o and have DMC and Bush and only use them, what was it, 9 times on the ground? 12 max?

  • http://www.pro-football-reference.com/ KoolKell

    J Hill Says:
    December 1st, 2010 at 3:54 pm
    29.KoolKell Says:
    December 1st, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Al Davis dropped a bundle on QB & WR in recent drafts, and we need to address them again this year?

    —————————————————–

    YES!
    ——————————-
    Geez, when building a house, how many times do you rebuild the kitchen?

  • LA to TheBay

    The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    December 1st, 2010 at 4:12 pm
    # RaiderWill Says:
    December 1st, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    I also like Mallet, fits AL Davis kinda QB.

    ……………..

    Oh, sign him, then! Those Al types of QBs bring instant wins for us. Campbell, Russell, Brooks, Collins, Jeff George…our greatest years have been with Al’s kinds of quarterbacks.

    ——————-

    Gruden, Kellen Moore, West Coast.

    Playoffs.

    I’m out, Nation. Be good.

  • Guy

    LA you can’t say that the 2nd int was a bad call. Ford was open but Grad didn’t see him for a long time and threw a late, bad ball.

  • McRaider5150

    For you old school fans,

    Does Gradkowski kinda remind you of a Vince Evans type of guy?

    He can come off the bench and give your team a hell of a spark to pull out a victory, but when it comes to starting he’ll lay an egg, or get injured and back to bench he goes.

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

    # Hot Shot Says:
    December 1st, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    its all on the coaching staff.We have good enough players to win.

    ……………….

    Oh, of course. Starting right at the QB position. Our receivers? All pro bowlers. Except for that Jacoby Ford. He’s too small. Never gonna make in this league, so says at least one commenter here. Our offensive line is the envy of the league. It’s almost as if Parcells pieced them together. So, yeh, I have to agree. It’s all on the coaches. Anyone should be able to win with this cast of NFL legends.

  • Nnamdi21

    Simple math again.

    Sub par QBs + Rookie/Inexperienced WRs x 2nd yr WR Coach + erratic O line = sh*tty passing game.

    G*****n you Jamarcus…

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

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    December 1st, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Cable said prior to the season that this is a playoff team. Over the hump and all that jazz. So if the players aren’t motivated, hungry or prepared that falls back on the coaches.

    ………..

    Around the same time, Al Davis said that he’s “heavily involved”. Who does that fall back on?

  • Nnamdi21

    60. Yeah, how ridiculous is it that the 5-9 guy is capable of high pointing the ball better than ANY of our other taller receivers?

    REAL wides go after the ball and attack it. Thats part of the reason teams like Green Bay have a successful QB because they have wides that actually play the game.

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

    Campbell said. “The Pittsburgh game I was not benched. I was taken out for reasons of being hit a lot and different things.”

    ……………..

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • LB

    LA to TheBay Says:
    December 1st, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Gradkowski critics can say he’s garbage and he certainly did nothing to shut them up v. Miami, but I would have loved to see what this season could look like with Grads starting all 11 and 100% healthy.

    ——————————————-

    Well, that’s not going to happen because he is garbage and he cannot stay healthy.

  • LB

    # The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    December 1st, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    December 1st, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Cable said prior to the season that this is a playoff team. Over the hump and all that jazz. So if the players aren’t motivated, hungry or prepared that falls back on the coaches.

    ………..

    Around the same time, Al Davis said that he’s “heavily involved”. Who does that fall back on?

    ——————————————-

    Cable’s sorry a–. Al isn’t going to fire himself.

  • bg22958

    Great the whole team has gone mad. Now we just need a statement from Seymour saying he doesn’t think the defense is playing bad. This team is in desperate need of a realist:

    1) Jason you WERE benched and it WAS for your poor performance in Pitts. In hindsight it was the wrong call. I’m sorry.

    2) Bruce, you are done. Not only is your season over but your NFL career will be on hiatus as well. Now if you go to another league and tear it up than you may come back into the league…as a backup. You just don’t have the arm strength or accuracy. I’m sorry.

    3) Tom Cable, Chaz Shillenz is never going to remain healthy enough to fulfill his potential, and Bruce does not have what it takes. These two WILL get you fired if you don’t move on. Never become married to your hand in poker and never become married to players in the NFL. Place both on the IR and get some more help for the guys that can play. I’m sorry.

    It has to start with Tom realizing it’s time to make some hard choices. Then he has to start being honest with his players and the media (right Jerry). It’s not the end of the world but this place is starting to sound like the dysfunctional loony bin it always turns into right before things totally implode.

  • LB

    # The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    December 1st, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    # RaiderRockstar Says:
    December 1st, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Gradkowski was doing little more than jogging through drills that didn’t include the throwing of a football.

    ***

    what good is a QB that cant throw the football?

    ………..

    Gradkowski is better when he’s unable to throw the football than Campbell is when he’s able to.

    ——————————–

    Right, we’ve all been witness to Grad’s greatness. 0 wins for the season.

  • bg22958

    Oh yeah and Ryan Mallet is not the answer!

  • Corporate_Raider

    Part of the defense is playing pretty well. The front 7. The DBs are a different story. The D-line and LBs stop the run pretty good and get their share of sacks but there needs to be constant pressure. Henne had oodles of time … the whole team played flat for the last two weeks.

    These are the people who need to handle the ball in any way you can get it to them. McFadden, Reese, Bush, Ford, and Jason needs to run his A off if he does not let the ball go when he plants his foot after dropping back. 1-2-3-BAM. 1-2-3-4-5-BAM. Or 1-2-3-RUN! Etc.

    There needs to be more rolling out. Middle screens, swing passes to McFadden, Bush, and Reese. Reese down the middle. NO passes behind the line of scrimmage. 5 yard minimum. A pass for 2 yards is a stupid pass.

    Blocking scheme is simple, shoulder to shoulder and block whoever comes in front of you. Area blocking.

  • swu1971

    Campbell should run for office someday, with the amount of spinning he’s had to do the past week. After all, he majored in public administration at Auburn!

  • raidah

    I’d like to see Boller get a chance

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