2010 Oakland Raiders: Is a QB Competition the Right Move?

Elias Trejo@@Elias_TrejoSenior Analyst IIMarch 2, 2010

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 22:  Oakland Raiders head coach Tom Cable speaks to his new starting quarterback Bruce Gradkowski #5 while newly benched quarterback JaMarcus Russell #2 looks on during their game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on November 22, 2009 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Tom Cable has made it clear that there will be a QB competition this offseason, and he will not name a starter anytime soon.

But is this open competition a good thing for JaMarcus Russell, Bruce Gradkowski, and the rest of the team?

Cleveland Browns GM, Mike Holmgren doesn't think a QB competition is the right way to figure things out.

"Somebody's got to play a full season," Holmgren said. "Not two games here, out two games, in three games...It doesn't work. So pick one, commit, coach him up, build confidence, make him better and then surround him with good people."

Russell is being brought back for a fourth year, and is an Al Davis guy.

He was the first overall pick in 2007, and is due to make $9 million this season. Russell has all the physical skills to be a great QB, but he needs to show more dedication off the field to become great.

Gradkowski is a scrappy journeyman who is looking to start, and he is Cable's guy.

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He won over his teammates and the Raider nation with his performance on the field last season. And although he wasn't able to finish the season as a starter, many Raider fans would like him to start.

Both QBs will benefit from a more experienced offense.

The WRs, RBs, and TEs will all have another year under their belts, and should perform a lot better than last year. If the Raiders draft an offensive tackle with their eighth pick, each QB will also benefit from having a better O-line.

Also, either QB will benefit from having Hue Jackson as the playcaller.

Russell feels he should be the starter because that is what he was drafted to do.

He is still confident in his abilities. He is said to be training this offseason, and shouldn't have any major offseason distractions like he did last year.

This is his last year to prove he can be the QB Davis wants him to be. If he puts in the work in the film room, as well as the gym, he should have no problem beating Gradkowski for the starting spot.

Gradkowski feels confident in his abilities as well, and he feels as if he was a spark for the offense last season.

It will be interesting to see how the QB comes back from two knee injuries. His mobility was a big plus for him, because the pocket didn't last too long, and he was able to escape and make plays. He is a gym rat and his leadership abilities were evident on the field.

After all is said and done, Russell should win his job as the starter. He was benched last year so he could watch and learn on the sidelines after a horrible start to the season.

I think we've seen the best of Gradkowski, and I don't feel that it is good enough to name him the franchise QB. We have yet to see the best of Russell—and this year should be his best year, if he puts in the time.

Russell may not be the most popular choice now, but Ws change everything.

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