Gradkowski gives Raiders what they really need

Tom Cable and the Raiders are looking for a spark. With Darren McFadden and others competing to win on Sundays, the Raiders need a quarterback with swagger and substance.

Enter Bruce Gradkowski.

Moving from Jason Campbell to Gradkowski should be seen more as a reward and not a risk. Remember, it was Gradkowski who led the Raiders to consecutive wins over the Bengals and Steelers last season. He might be short on elite talent, but he is long on guts and will give the Raiders a true competitor under center.

Gradkowski is a tough Pittsburgh kid who will not run away from a fight. He reminds me of the feisty Jeff Garcia, who did just enough to win games. Gradkowski will fight to execute the plays called by offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. He’ll play smart but not conservative. He’ll use his mobility to extend plays when they break down.

Campbell failed to do both of those things, and that’s what led to his benching so early in the season.

Some are saying that Cable was in danger of losing his job with a loss to the Rams, prompting the switch to Gradkowski. But what the Raiders are more worried about is production and execution on offense. Their skill players are ready to go now, and they need a quarterback who is as well.

Watch as the other 10 guys in the huddle rally around the limited skills of Gradkowski. The heart and guts he brings to the game inspires his teammates.

This is going to be fun.

— Solomon Wilcots

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