Despite spending all of his career as a journeyman, Bruce Gradkowski seems to have found a home. The 4 year man provides something that has been missing in Oakland for a long time, excitement and enthusiasm. Gradkowski went 2-1 as a starter in the 2009 season before getting injured against The Washington Redskins in week 14. The Raiders went on to lose that game due to the poor play of former number 1 overall pick, JaMarcus Russell. Gradkowski's 2 wins came against Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, 2 winning teams. After 2 and a half weeks of poor play from quarterback Jason Campbell, Gradkowski's number was called once again in week 2 against the St. Louis Rams. Gradkowski picked up where he left off in 2009 and led The Raiders to a 16-14 victory while going 11 for 22 for 162 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Gradkowski managed to do what Campbell could not, get the ball to his wide receivers. Louis Murphy and Derrius Heyward-Bey both finished the game with solid performances. With good quarterback play from Gradkowski, these young receivers can contribute greatly to what The Raiders are trying to do, "Just Win Baby."
The Raiders head into Arizona to face the Cardinals this Sunday, but Gradkowski should not be concerned. Atlanta Falcons' quarterback Matt Ryan found plenty of success, throwing for 225 yards and 3 touchdowns. Number 1 wide Receiver, Roddy White found success catching 7 passes for 78 yards and a touchdown. Gradkowski and his young receivers should have the same success against a struggling Arizona defense. With the hard running of 3rd year man Darren McFadden, the passing game for Gradkowski should open up and allow Murphy and Heyward-Bey to make plays down the field. Look for The Raiders to rely heavily on the run and mix in some play-action to allow Gradkowski to have a successful day.