Oakland Raiders QBs: Bruce Gradkowski Vs. Jason Campbell Revisited
Here we go again.
Can the Raiders just find a quarterback already?
Or have they?
Neither of them has been consistent this year.
One started off bad and looks to have gotten better.
The other got off to a good start and got worse from there.
Now they are in the same place.
They wonder if their number will be called to lead this Raider team to victory.
Turn the page for a deeper look.
Jason Campbell: Before He Got Here
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Jason Campbell was a 2005 first round pick for the Washington Redskins. He didn't resurrect the franchise but he did manage to improve every year despite having a new offensive coordinator every year.
Last year, he had a career highs in all categories.
Campbell had 3,618 yards with 20 touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 86.4. He also had 7 seven comeback, game winning drives but was only 20-32 as a starter in Washington.
Bruce Gradkowski: Before He Got Here
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Bruce Gradkowski never could hold a job in the NFL before he came to Raider Nation. His best season before his arrival was when he threw for 1,661 yards with nine touchdowns and nine interceptions.
He also had a 67.5 quarterback rating.
Gradkowski had three comebacks with game winning drives before coming to Raider Nation. He really didn't have a chance to do much as the former sixth round pick was cut by three different teams.
But the fact that he's still in the league tells you everything you need to know about him.
Jason Campbell: In Raider Nation
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Campbell has yet to win a game as a starter in Raider Nation but he has manged a game winning drive. His numbers in Raider Nation are 416 yards passing with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
His quarterback rating is 76.3 and he has completed 61.4 percent of his passes. Another key stat for Campbell is the fact that he is 10-19 converting on third down passes.
He was 5-7 on third down after coming into the game on Sunday.
Bruce Gradkowski: In Raider Nation
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Gradkowski is 2-4 as a starter in Raider Nation but is most remembered for the two wins he delivered last year. He has three comeback, game winning drives which is what he is most adored for in Raider Nation.
So far this year, Gradkowski has thrown for 709 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions. He has completed 52 percent of his passes and has a rating of 71.1.
Gradkowski is 7-31 in that all too important third down conversion rate. (throwing)
He hasn't won a game this year as a starter himself.
Case For Jason Campbell
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Campbell was yanked at halftime in a game against the Rams that they were only trailing by four points. He really didn't play bad enough to get yanked as he was constantly sacked and pressured.
It also didn't help that he threw two deep balls in three plays during one sequence.
When Campbell led the Raiders to the Ram 11 yard line, they ran the ball four straight times to no avail. Campbell also had no control over the field goal Sebastian Janikowski missed in the red zone.
In comes Gradkowski and the game plan changes.
The Raiders start to throw short passes and they march down the field. Then when they get in the red zone, the Raiders open the playbook for Gradkowski to throw a touchdown pass.
When was the last time a Raider quarterback played that well?
The bottom line is that Campbell has shown improvement just as he has his whole career. If he can continue his improvement, he has enough upside to be a start in this league.
Case For Bruce Gradkowski
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Gradkowski came in and made it happen again against the Rams in week two.
Does that sound familiar?
Gradkowski has snatched victory from the jaws of defeat on three occasions in Raider Nation last year. The fact that he put smiles on Raider fans faces at a time that Raider fans had little to smile about.
He's been here with the Raiders.
He knows the team.
He's an inspiration that never says die.
He really shouldn't even be in the league but he has made the most of what he was. On top of all that, he is a scrambler that can fix a broken play and the Raider offensive line can't protect the quarterback.
The hold over from last year should get the first crack at playing.
Case Against Campbell
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Jason Campbell is a bit of a robot.
He's a good game manager but sometimes over manages it. Perhaps it comes from the pressure of the expectations Raider Nation had for him when Al Davis called him "the next Jim Plunkett."
The fact that he makes everything look so hard makes the fans appreciate his effort. All the talent that Campbell has makes it look easy when he gets it done.
Therefore, the fans believe he should always make plays.
Campbell could make more plays if he would just trust his talent and go off of the script.
Stop thinking and just play!
Case Against Gradkowski
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Gradkowski's blessing is his curse.
For all of the grit emotion and reckless abandon he has shown, Gradkowski has shown very little talent. He doesn't have an arm or accuracy as he scratches and claws his way through every game.
Unfortunately, scratching and clawing doesn't make for a consistent football player. Gradkowski's lack of talent is what makes him so inconsistent.
If a throw is easy to make for you, you'll make that throw all the time without problems. If the throw is hard for you, you'll be inconsistent with it because it always takes maximal effort.
Floaters won't always make it to the receiver like on the key play to Louis Murphy on the final drive in Pittsburgh last year. Gradkowski's ball to Murphy stayed in the air longer than Shane Lechler punt.
Murphy came down with the key catch but you can't consistently depend on a throw like that. This year, Raider Nation thought the magic was back after the Ram game.
But didn't the defense holding Steven Jackson to four yards in the second half have something to do with it. Credit should be given to Darren McFadden running for 145 yards on the day as well.
Before you give Gradkowski the credit, he was 4-13 in the fourth quarter of the game. The Raiders would then squeak by with a 16-14 win over the rams.
Gradkowski would then miss four touchdown passes in two games against the 26th and 27th ranked pass defenses. The Raiders lost those two games by a total of eight points.
That kind of inconsistency at the quarterback position will always hurt you.
Why I'm Leaning Toward Campbell
I was really split down the middle when the season just began.
But I have since watched Gradkowski miss on too many throws that would have been touchdowns or first downs. Then you add the fact that Campbell had such a good game on Sunday.
I think it's worth seeing if Campbell was lucky or improved.
Also to be considered is the fact that Gradkowski is injured.
I hope head coach Tom Cable isn't dumb enough to think that a hurt Gradkowski is better than a healthy Campbell. He shouldn't think it's the other way around either because no one has proven anything yet.
A bad stretch of football by Campbell will change my mind just as fast.
Neither of these guys are good enough to be given a pass.