Thursday, September 23, 2010
Oakland's QB saga not unlike Philly's
By Bill Williamson
The big story in the NFL this week is the shocking quarterback change in Philadelphia where Michael Vick is replacing season-opening quaretrback Kevin Kolb.
While the Bruce Gradkowski-Jason Campbell saga hasn’t captivated the NFL landscape as much as the Vick-Kolb story, there are similarities.
Like Vick, Gradkowski was chosen in Oakland because he gave his offense energy and he moved the ball better than the starter did. The difference in Philadelphia is Kolb got hurt before Vick got his chance. Campbell was never hurt. The team benched him after six quarters on Sunday.
After Gradkowski gave the Oakland offense energy and led the Raiders to a win over the Rams, Oakland stuck with him. Like Vick in Philadelphia, Gradkowski will stay the quarterback in Oakland until he proves he doesn’t deserve the job.
Both Vick and Gradkowski are being given a chance to succeed because they are better equipped to succeed with a poor offensive line. Kolb and Campbell are drop-back quarterbacks, while Vick and Gradkowski can make plays with their feet and extend plays with their feet.
After Campbell was constantly hammered and was virtually paralyzed by a poor line, Gradkowski came in and made plays despite poor protection. He was sacked in the second half against the Rams.
Like Vick, Gradkowski is a playmaker. Still, in both cities, there are risks involved and there are questions why Vick and Gradkowski weren’t the choices before the season. Whatever happens, these are both big stories in the NFL as Week 3 approaches.