On Sunday the Oakland Raiders began the day believing they could end the day 1-1 and back on track. They were playing at home against an opponent who like them selves is young and still developing. After four quarters of play the Raiders did indeed pull out a victory but not in the way they believed they would.
After moving the ball fairly effectively for a half but failing to score Jason Campbell was benched in the second half for the man many fans are now calling “Bruce Almighty”.
Last year Bruce Gradkowski was called upon when the QB who will go unnamed was unable to get it done. All he did when called upon was inspire victory in Pittsburgh, and at home against the Bengals. His season ended the following week when both knees were injured against the Redskins.
There’s a lot of people who appreciate what Bruce Gradkowski has done for the Raiders, but don’t believe he can be the guy full time to lead the team. In the of season the Raiders traded for Jason Campbell acquiring the former first round pick believing he was the future of the franchise. Bruce Gradkowski has been called “undersized”, “injury prone” and was said to lack of arm strength to be a regular NFL QB. The one important thing that seems to keep getting discounted is winning. Gradkowski seems to have the X factor. What the X factor is who knows, but Bruce has whatever it is.
There have been a few comparisons to other quarterbacks both current and former. The one that seems to be made a lot because of team is Rich Gannon. People need to remember that Gannon like Gradkowski was often discounted for various reasons. All Gannon did everywhere he went was work hard and win. He played on multiple teams before the Raiders and seemed to have success along the way. He kept working and working, and eventually it got him an NFL MVP and a trip to the Superbowl.
Like Gannon, Gradkowski is slightly undersized at 6’1” tall. He attended the University of Toledo which is not often thought of as a QB factory. It does help that he was drafted by former Oakland Coach John “Chucky” Gruden and was able to spend some time getting tutored by the offensive genius. Gruden is also known for his crazy work ethic and study. It seems to have worn off on the Oakland QB.
For those that doubt his size lets name a few other Quarterbacks that have succeeded at his height or shorter.
- Drew Brees: 6’0” QB most recently lead the Saints to a Superbowl victory over the Colts and QB god Peyton Manning. Seems like he’s doing okay.
- Michael Vick: 6’0” Maybe not the best example due to his recent stint in prison but he was an all pro and is currently showing signs of his former self in a recent victory over the Lions
- Arguably one of the greatest QB’s of all time and winner of four superbowls was Joe Montana. He was 6’2” and last time I checked 1” was not a lot of difference.
Is Gradkowski any of these players? No of course not. Bruce Gradkowski can only be Bruce Gradkowski.
Will Gradkowski bring another Lombardi trophy to the East Bay? It’s a little early to talk crazy stuff like that. If the team continues to rally around him and come together, anything is possible. This young team is learning to play together and win.
As a Raider fan I am stoked to have him. I am stoked that Coach Cable had the “courage” to pull Jason Campbell. The spark provided by Gradkowski seemed obvious to everyone in attendance.
Bruce is not the poster boy for QB’s, but he is a warrior. He is a winner, and he is our Quarterback. Jason Campbell had his chance and he may get another one. For now the man is Bruce Almighty!!!!
What say you Raider fans? Is Bruce the guy to take us to where we all want to go? Back to the playoffs?