If Bruce Gradkowski and JaMarcus Russell Fail, Who Takes Over for the Raiders?

TommyCorrespondent IIIApril 5, 2010

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 15:  JaMarcus Russell #2 of the Oakland Raiders passes against the Kansas City Chiefs during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on November 15, 2009 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

The Raider Nation has been torn this off-season over the quarterback position.

On one side, fans root for the former number one overall pick JaMarcus Russell. From LSU, Russell is a tremendous athlete with a cannon of an arm. However, people have criticized his work ethic, calling him lazy and accusing him of not caring about the team.

He finished the 2009 season with 1287 yards, three touchdowns, 11 interceptions, and a 50.0 passer rating.

On the other side, fans support the journeyman Bruce Gradkowski. Gradkowski joined the Raiders after failing to meet expectations in Cleveland, St. Louis, and Tampa Bay.

Starting the season as a back-up, Gradkowski found himself as the starter in week 11 against the Bengals. He lead the Raiders to upset the Bengals, as well as beating the struggling Steelers two weeks later.

Both sides have good reason to think why their side is right. JaMarcus Russell has gone through a lot in the past year, with the loss of a father figure and the lack of a supporting cast, such as Gallery and Schilens.

With disadvantages such as those, he wasn't really able to prove himself without distractions. Gradkowski has lead the Raiders to two impressive victories over two playoff-caliber teams.

However, both also have their problems as well. Russell is frequently inaccurate with his passes and has poor pocket awareness while Gradkowski does not have the arm strength that is needed to perform well in the style of football that is played today.

One thing all of the Raider Nation needs to consider is, what if both quarterbacks fail to meet expectations? Now, I'm not saying this will happen for sure, but it's something to keep in mind.

The name that has come up recently is Jason Campbell from Washington. Yesterday, the Redskins traded their second round pick to acquire Donovan McNabb, who most likely will be starting, leaving Campbell to become a back-up.

Campbell has the right tools to become a great quarterback, but has not been supplied with the right surrounding cast, such as an offensive line that will keep defenders off of him, or receivers not named Santana Moss.

For some time now, Troy Smith has also been considered as a possibility to play quarterback for the Raiders. Smith, a former Heisman Award winner, was drafted in the fifth round by the Baltimore Ravens. After the Ravens drafted Joe Flacco, Smith saw his chances of being a starter in Baltimore disappear faster than hash browns placed in front of my younger brother.

A third option could be to pick up a veteran such as Sage Rosenfels or Marc Bulger, though that would only be a temporary fix, such as the McNabb rumors.

The last option would be to look at the draft and draft one of the many quarterbacks. Though, most of the quarterbacks most likely will not be able to come in and start right away.

Some options include Tony Pike of Cincinnati, Dan LeFevour of Central Michigan, Jevan Snead of Ole Miss, Colt McCoy of Texas, Zac Robinson of Oklahoma State, Jarrett Brown of West Virginia and Tim Tebow of Florida.


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