In a day full of benched quarterbacks, there was no more surprising move than Tom Cable’s switch to Bruce Gradkowski at halftime of Oakland’s win over St. Louis.
After all, Jason Campbell was the guy Al Davis compared to Jim Plunkett and awarded a contract extension to. The Raiders only trailed 7-3 at halftime. The switch worked, but the quarterback controversy is just starting.
Here’s what coach Tom Cable said after the game, according to Jerry McDonald of the Oakland Tribune: “(I) made the switch at halftime at quarterback, basically to just give
the team a lift, felt like we needed to change up a little bit and my
job is to win games and do whatever it takes to do that.”
Here’s the quote distributed by the Raiders from Cable: “Today was about winning the game, it does not necessarily mean Campbell
is replaced as the quarterback for the rest of the season.”
You’ll notice that’s, um, not the same quote. According to McDonald, at no point did Cable say anything so strong about Campbell’s future. Cable did say: “I’ll worry about all that tomorrow, really. I want to go look at it.
But today was about winning this game, what did it take to do that, that
was the right choice, obviously, and it worked out, and Bruce came in
and gave us a lift.”
McDonald has forgotten more about the Raiders than we’ll ever know. He speculates to start his post-game wrap that perhaps Cable’s job was on the line Sunday. Already.
There were a lot of positives for the Raiders to take from the contest, even if they only beat the Rams by two points. Darrius Heyward-Bey (80 yards) had his best game as a pro. They dominated total yardage and won a game they absolutely needed.
But you don’t have to be a “Raider hater” for this all to be familiar. There is coaching controversy; there is mystery over who is calling the shots; there is a quarterback debate.
Above all, there is Raiders drama.