Relief passing leads to win again;RAIDERS
Football coaches don't look to the bullpen for fresh arms during a game. That's just not the way it's done.
Raiders head coach Tom Cable might have a hard time not calling for a relief quarterback in the future.
On Sunday, backup Jason Campbell came in and led Oakland 2-3 to a comeback 35-27 win over San Diego after Bruce Gradkowski left with a shoulder injury. This after Gradkowski replaced Campbell on Sept. 19 and sparked a 16-14 win over St. Louis.
In fact, this is the third straight win for Cable and the Raiders in which the backup quarterback produced the winning score, if you go back to last season. JaMarcus Russell replaced Charlie Frye and beat Denver 20-19 on Dec. 20.
So coach, how about revolutionizing football and making Gradkowski or Campbell the closer?
"It's something I'd rather not do," he said.
"There is also some history with the Raiders and that," Cable said. "With Daryle Lamonica, and having the ability to have George Blanda come off the bench and go in games like that. So it's not like it hasn't been done here before.
"You'd like your quarterback to be able and go out and consistently do it. We've had two situations now where it worked in our favor, but again, I just think it's a good problem to have two quality players."
Gradkowski has a sprained shoulder and had an MRI exam Monday to determine the extent of it. Cable said that Gradkowski, if healthy, will remain the starter with Campbell returning to the bench.
Campbell, who was 13-for-18 for 159 yards and a touchdown against San Diego, said he wasn't pressing as he was the first two games of the season. He was acquired from Washington in the offseason to be the starter and obviously wants his job back, but he hasn't complained and isn't going to start now.
"That's the coaches' decision," Campbell said. "My goal is to keep preparing each and every week and keep getting ready and play my game. ... Just play your game and have fun."
Backup guard Khalif Barnes said having both quarterbacks works because the fiery Gradkowski and laid-back Campbell are different but the same.
"Guys are going to be amped up different ways," Barnes said. "But the thing that they both do well is they both lead by example, on and off the field. Two class guys, two good quarterbacks, and it really is, I don't want to say a friendship, but they do help each other out. They're real professional about what they do. When you've got that within the team, you can win."
If one is hurt, say, like Gradkowski this week, the players know they can win with Campbell.
"I don't look at it as controversy," Barnes said. "I look at it as having a good problem."
Injury updates: Darren McFadden hamstring is improving and Cable said he'd have a better idea Wednesday if the running back will be able to play Sunday. ... Cable said there's a "great chance" guard Robert Gallery hamstring could return after being out four weeks. ... Receiver Chaz Schilens knee is not close, Cable said.