AFC West: Bruce Gradkowski

Raiders score three comp picks

March, 26, 2012
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The Oakland Raiders received three badly needed compensatory draft picks.

While these picks are far from ensuring the team they are going to get contributors, it does help salvage a weak class. Oakland received picks in the third, fourth and fifth rounds in next month’s draft. Oakland has the first comp pick in the third (No. 95) and fifth (No. 168) and the second comp pick of the fourth round (129). The comp picks will be added at the end of the third-through-seventh rounds. Comp picks cannot be traded.

The picks more than doubled Oakland’s draft class. Oakland has its own picks in the fifth and sixth rounds. It’s certainly not ideal that Oakland has to wait until the 95th pick to join the draft and having two picks in the first 129 picks is a tough road, but the Raiders’ draft is in better shape than it was going into Monday.

Under the rules for compensatory draft selections, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in the previous year are eligible to receive compensatory draft picks.

In 2011, Oakland lost free agents Nnamdi Asomugha, Robert Gallery, Bruce Gradkowski, Zach Miller and Thomas Howard and signed Kevin Boss and Stephon Heyer. Teams do not get credit for comp pick consideration for cutting players.

San Diego will receive a comp pick in the seventh round (No. 248) even though it did suffer a net loss of compensatory free agents last year. Under the league’s formula, the compensatory free agents lost by San Diego were ranked lower than the ones they signed (by a specified point differential based upon salary and performance). San Diego lost Darren Sproles and Kevin Burnett, while it signed Takeo Spikes and Travis LaBoy.

In total, 15 teams received a total of 32 picks.
It doesn’t appear that Bruce Gradkowski will have an AFC West homecoming Sunday.

Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis said Thursday that he expects rookie quarterback Andy Dalton to start at Denver on Sunday. Dalton left the opener against Cleveland with a wrist injury. Gradkowski spelled him and led the Bengals to a comeback win.

We’ve seen Gradkowski do that before. Gradkowski became a fan favorite in Oakland the past two seasons. Time and again, Gradkowski gave Oakland a boost as a backup. However, he had trouble bottling the same magic when he was a starter.

A favorite of former head coach Tom Cable, the Raiders choose not to pursue bringing back Gradkowski as a free agent this year. Still, he will have a place in Raiders’ history because of the spunk and fire he showed. In the AFC West, we all know if Dalton suffers a setback, Gradkowski will be ready to attack Denver with his spirited play.

In other AFC West developments Thursday:

In an Insider piece, here is hope for the Chiefs after their 34-point home loss to Buffalo in Week 1.

ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter reported that the appeal of the five-game suspension of Oakland rookie quarterback Terrelle Pryor lasted 80 minutes Thursday. Schefter reported that the league is not expected to rule on the appeal any time soon. Pryor is already in the second week of the five-week suspension.

It has been reported that the Raiders are appealing that Sebastian Janikowski’s field goal at Denver was actually 64 yards and not the 63 yards with which he has been credited. That is important. Of course, because Janikowski now shares the record for the longest field goal in NFL history. However, I have checked with some folks who would know if the Raiders are making that push and they said it is not a big issue for the team and that the film shows that it was, indeed, from 63 yards.

Kansas City first-round pick Jon Baldwin didn’t practice Thursday again. He hasn’t practiced in four weeks since he hurt his thumb in a reported fight with teammate Thomas Jones. There is little chance he’ll play Sunday at Detroit.

ESPN Stats and Information looks at how New England’s Devin McCourty could affect San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers on Sunday.
We’re still waiting for movement on Oakland cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, the top free-agent prize on the market. There has been some developments.

Asomugha
Asomugha
The San Francisco 49ers are going to unload cornerback Nate Clements. That means they are clearing salary-cap room at the same position Asomugha plays. More smoke, folks, more smoke.

The Jets are currently considered the 49ers’ fiercest competitor for Asomugha right now. The Jets still have cap room left after agreeing to a monster deal with receiver Santonio Holmes earlier Wednesday. Jets star cornerback Darrelle Revis says his team wants Asomugha badly.

While the Raiders wait to see what happens with Asomugha, they will wave goodbye to quarterback Bruce Gradkowski. He has agreed to a deal with Cincinnati.

It was evident throughout the offseason that Gradkowski would leave. He was a favorite of former coach Tom Cable. Jason Campbell will be backed up by Kyle Boller. Gradkowski had somewhat of a cult following in Oakland. Despite his limitations, he did often ignite the Raiders’ offense. He was a good Raider, who always gave the team his best effort. He was the anti-JaMarcus Russell and he’ll always have a warm spot in the hearts of many Oakland fans for that very reason.
  • The Raiders signed rookie running back Taiwan Jones, fourth-round pick. It will be fun to watch the speedy Jones in training camp.
  • The Brandon Mebane talks are heating up. Denver is one of a few teams trying to grab the Seattle defensive tackle. Denver has a huge need and could pay big to get Mebane.
Well, this is interesting.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting the Oakland Raiders are in a bidding war with their Bay Area rivals over San Francisco 49ers safety Dashon Goldson.

Goldson
Goldson
The 49ers want the talented Goldson back, but he will not be cheap. The Raiders’ pursuit of him means a few things.

First, it means the Raiders are not afraid of becoming a player in free agency despite a pre-lockout signing flurry of their own players, a tight salary-cap situation and several in-house priorities.

It also likely means they don’t want to pursue free-agent safety Michael Huff. Or, at least, they are looking at adding Goldson first. It could also be another indication that cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha will be going elsewhere.

Goldson would likely team with Tyvon Branch if he signs with Oakland. Goldson is a good athletic player. He had a solid, though not great season in 2010.

The Raiders’ salary-cap situation is not debilitating, but I’d be surprised if the Raiders have room to do a ton of work. I have no idea how Goldson’s pursuit affects the Raiders’ ability to keep tight end Zach Miller.

But whether or not the Raiders land Goldson, the pursuit means the Raiders are playing the free-agent game.

If the 49ers lose Goldson (they already lost linebacker Takeo Spikes to San Diego and are expected to lose defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin), they could ramp up an effort to snare Asomugha.

Meanwhile, the Bengals and Seahawks are bidding for Oakland guard Robert Gallery. He has already said he won’t come back to Oakland. Former Oakland head coach Tom Cable is Seattle’s offensive line coach. Also, Oakland quarterback Bruce Gradkowski is talking to Cincinnati. He is not expected back in Oakland.
Former Oakland Raiders cornerback Skip Thomas has died. He died of a heart attack during the weekend.

Thomas played for the Raiders from 1972-77. He was an underrated part of a glamorous secondary in Oakland during its 1970s heyday. Nicknamed “Dr. Death,” Thomas was a terrific cornerback who hit hard. Off the field, he was a key fabric of the wild Raiders of that era and was known for being a major-league character. He was a favorite of Oakland coach John Madden. Thomas was 61.

Our condolences go out to Thomas’ family and to the Raiders.

In other AFC West-related news Monday afternoon:
  • Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy is about to get his chance to call the offensive shots. He’ll have a much bigger role under new Denver head coach John Fox than he did under former Denver head coach Josh McDaniels.
  • Scouts Inc., in an Insider piece, has the list of the top 40 undrafted free agents available. Teams should soon be able to sign these players, so it will be interesting to see how the four AFC West teams attack undrafted free agency this year.
  • Here is another connection of Oakland free-agent backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski to Cincinnati. He is not expected to return to the Raiders.
There is still a long way to go before a new labor agreement is reached. But there appears to be progress between the owners and players.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted that the expectation is that any player with 4-6 years of experience with an expiring contract would become an unrestricted free agent. There are some interesting names in the AFC West that would be affected. ESPN Stats & Information prepared a free-agent primer. Listed below are key AFC West players who would be affected if Schefter’s expectation plays out:

QUARTERBACKS

6 or more seasons: Billy Volek

4 to 5 seasons: Brodie Croyle, Bruce Gradkowski

RUNNING BACKS

6 or more seasons: Darren Sproles

4 to 5 seasons: Laurence Maroney

WIDE RECEIVERS

4 to 5 seasons: Malcom Floyd

TIGHT ENDS

6 or more seasons: Randy McMichael

4 to 5 seasons: Zach Miller

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN

6 or more seasons: G Robert Gallery, T Langston Walker, C Casey Wiegmann

4 to 5 seasons: T Jeromey Clary, C Samson Satele

DEFENSIVE TACKLES

6 or more seasons: Jamal Williams

LINEBACKERS

6 or more seasons: Kevin Burnett, Mike Vrabel

CORNERBACKS

6 or more seasons: Nnamdi Asomugha

SAFETIES

4 to 5 seasons: Michael Huff, Eric Weddle

San Diego’s Vincent Jackson, Kansas City’s Tamba Hali and Oakland’s Kamerion Wimbley were given the franchise tag. Schefter expects the franchise tag to be part of a new deal. Wimbley has already signed his tender, while Jackson and Hali haven’t.

Examining the backup QBs

May, 10, 2011
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Monday, we looked at the starting quarterbacks in the AFC West. Now let’s take a look at the backup spots in the division because there are some interesting situations:

Denver

As a whole, this is the most unclear quarterback situation in the division. The team has said Kyle Orton is the starter for now, but it won’t commit to him for the season. The team may give Tim Tebow a chance to start at some point. Thus, Orton could be traded. I don’t think Orton would be interested in sticking around as a backup, especially if Tebow is given the starting job before the season.

That could leave Brady Quinn as the backup. He was replaced by Tebow as the backup prior to the season and Quinn didn’t throw a pass last season. I think Denver would be reluctant to make Quinn the backup and it would rather keep him as the No.3 if at all. Denver could look for a No. 3 quarterback once it is able to sign undrafted rookies. But because of the condensed offseason (and perhaps training camp), Denver could opt to keep Quinn as a No. 3 and sign a veteran as a backup if Orton is dealt. This is a fluid situation at all three spots and the longer the lockout goes on, the more complicated it will get.

Kansas City

There should be change here, but it will likely be much less complicated than the Denver situation. I expect fifth-round pick Ricky Stanzi to get a chance to be the backup to Matt Cassel. Brodie Croyle is a free agent and I don’t expect the Chiefs to make a huge effort to re-sign him. I think the Chiefs will be happy with Cassel, Stanzi and Tyler Palko.

Oakland

It looks like Kyle Boller will be the backup behind Jason Campbell. Boller was re-signed this offseason and it looks like he was chosen to be the backup in front of Bruce Gradkowski and Charlie Frye. If I had to guess I’d say Oakland could try to sign an undrafted rookie or re-sign Frye to be the No. 3 quarterback. I think Gradkowski may be heading out of town as a free agent.

San Diego

This has a chance to get interesting. Backup Billy Volek -- widely considered one of the best backup quarterbacks in the league -- is a free agent and has expressed a desire to vie for a starting job. A team that needs a quarterback could give Volek a chance, but the longer the lockout goes, the smaller the chances are of that happening. If Volek stays, the Chargers will be fine. If not, they could be scrambling for help behind Philip Rivers.

AFC West mailbag

May, 8, 2011
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Weekend mail call:

Matt Scrivener from Spanghahlem AFB, Germany wants to know if I think the Kansas City Chiefs made a mistake by passing up on Alabama running back Mark Ingram in the first round.

Bill Williamson: Actually, not at all Matt. I wasn’t expecting the Chiefs to take Ingram. I know Thomas Jones will be 33 and this will likely be his last year in Kansas City. But the Chiefs are in good shape in the running game, starting with Jamaal Charles. I think the Charles-Jones tandem will be fine in 2011. Perhaps the Chiefs could look for a running back next year. I think that the fact that the Chiefs took Pitt receiver Jon Baldwin at No. 26 will help the entire offense and it takes pressure off the running game.

Landon from San Luis Obispo, Calif., wants to know what the chances are of Denver trading quarterback Kyle Orton to the Washington Redskins for defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth.

BW: That proposed trade was filling the Denver radio airwaves during the draft and I know why it was talked about. Denver didn’t take a defensive tackle and Washington didn’t take a quarterback despite great need at the position for both teams. Consider that both Orton and Haynesworth could easily be traded, it’s easy to connect the dots. Still, Haynesworth has character issues and he’d be plenty expensive. I don’t know if Denver would jump on this deal.

Josh from Redding, Calif. wants to know if I think Seattle could pursue Oakland free-agent quarterback Bruce Gradkowski.

BW: It could happen. New Seattle offensive line coach Tom Cable liked Gradkowski when he was the head coach in Oakland. I don’t see Gradkowski competing as the starter in Oakland. But he could be a decent backup option there. I don’t see Oakland going out of its way to keep Gradkowski from leaving as a free agent.

AFC West avoids lure of QB

April, 29, 2011
4/29/11
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Stefen WisniewskiAP Photo/Gene J. PuskarThe Raiders waited for Stefen Wisniewski instead of trading up to get Colin Kaepernick.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- While the four AFC West teams all made some sound choices on the second night of the NFL draft, no one in the division made a big splash Friday.

But it almost started with one.

In the minutes before the start of the second round, there was buzz that the Oakland Raiders were in talks with New England about the No. 33 pick with the hope of landing Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The Raiders (along with the Broncos and the Chiefs) worked out Kaepernick and the strong-armed Californian seemed like a perfect future Raider. But in the end, the Patriots kept the pick.

Three picks later, Oakland’s Bay Area rival, San Francisco, traded up with Denver to take Kaepernick. There went the AFC West’s interest in adding a high-profile quarterback in the 2011 draft.

Thus, Jason Campbell and Tim Tebow can rest easy. They should be fine for the 2011 season. What happens in the 2012 draft is up to them.

We in the AFC West have kept a keen eye on the quarterback position. Denver looked at each of the top seven prospects and there was a school of thought that it would take one in the second round. Oakland was connected to both Kaepernick and Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett.

Yet, both Oakland and Denver skipped the falling Mallett before he was taken by New England at No. 74. Taking Mallett had to be tempting for both teams. New Broncos leader John Elway was said to be intrigued by Mallett’s raw ability. The cannon-armed player is a prototypical Al Davis quarterback. Perhaps Davis would have taken Mallett at No. 81 if he was still there. But after failing to land Kaepernick, the Raiders were more than content to use the No. 48 pick on Penn State offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski, the nephew of current Oakland assistant offensive line coach and former Raiders lineman Steve Wisniewski. Oakland coach Hue Jackson said Friday night Wisniewski is the team’s new center. That’s a nice score at No. 48.

With the seven top quarterbacks off the board, there are no more quarterbacks who appear capable of making an impact in 2011. Iowa’s Ricky Stanzi could be a prospect in the fourth or fifth rounds. Both Denver and Kansas City like him. But he is strictly a developmental prospect.

So, it’s status quo at quarterback in the AFC West.

In Denver, that means Tebow has taken another step to the field in 2011. Earlier this week, Elway stood behind the second-year quarterback by saying he was his biggest fan. Elway said he believes Tebow will develop into a standout, but he does need to make improvements as a pocket passer.

Denver still has veteran Kyle Orton, but I’d expect the Broncos to try to trade him once the lockout is resolved. I think the fact that Denver didn’t take a quarterback early means it believes in Tebow for the short term.

I’ve long agreed with this tack. Denver, which took three defensive players and a starting right tackle prospect in Miami’s Orlando Franklin in the first three rounds, was better served by adding to a depleted roster and giving Tebow a chance at the beginning of the John Fox era. If Tebow fails in 2011, Elway can then turn to the 2012 draft, perhaps even uniting with fellow Stanford stud quarterback Andrew Luck.

Had Oakland grabbed Kaepernick, he probably would have sat behind Campbell in 2011. Davis is a fan of Campbell, who was acquired from Washington during the draft last year. Oakland then gave him an extension for the 2011 season and Jackson has often sung his praises this offseason. Campbell was up-and-down in 2010, but he did make some big plays in key moments.

In a lot of ways, I think not trading for Kaepernick was a strong move by Oakland. Had he fallen to No. 48 that would have been another story, but Oakland did well to add Wisniewski and speedster cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke, who was the No. 81 pick. Oakland probably would have had to trade that pick and more for Kaepernick.

Quarterback is a luxury pick for a team that needed reinforcements on the offensive line and in the secondary. Plus, the presence of Kaepernick could have adversely affected Campbell, who was replaced by backup Bruce Gradkowski three times last season. Once Gradkowski was put on injured reserve, Campbell was much more relaxed in the final month of the season and he seemed to respond to not having to look over his shoulder.

If Campbell excels in 2011, the need for Kaepernick will be moot. If Campbell lacks consistency again, there will be another Kaepernick-type to pursue in 2012.
I was able to listen to new Oakland coach Hue Jackson’s pre-draft news conference Thursday. Here are some of the highlights:

Jackson didn’t give any hints where the Raiders will concentrate their picks. But he did say the team wants help on the offensive line. I could see Oakland taking at least two offensive linemen. Jackson said it is a strong class for offensive linemen.

Jackson
Jackson
He wouldn’t discuss the team’s free agents, headlined by cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. Jackson did say that he’d like to have all the team’s free agents back. He praised Oakland owner Al Davis -- Jackson always calls him “Coach Davis” -- for re-signing several free agents prior to the lockout, which could be an indication the Raiders are not going to pursue Asomugha or their other free agents. He did also say the team’s young cornerbacks will have to step up if Asomugha is not back.

He said the Raiders could take a quarterback under the right circumstances and he’d like a young arm on the team. But Jackson said he doesn’t think it’s one of the team’s biggest needs. He continued to praise quarterback Jason Campbell. It seems Jackson is focused on Campbell for now.

He mentioned backup quarterback Kyle Boller. There wasn’t a mention of free agent Bruce Gradkowski in the news conference. At this point, don’t expect him back.

Jackson hasn’t had any trade talks, but he said that doesn’t necessarily mean there won’t be.

Jackson said Davis gets input on the draft, but that Davis himself makes the picks. Jackson said it should be that way because Davis is the owner.

Jackson was asked a lot about the lockout. He preached patience and said he’ll be ready for the team when the lockout is over.

Jackson continued to preach that he wants to build a bully and he is looking for tough and mean players.

Jackson indicated the Raiders don’t have a ton of needs, which I agree with. That could be an indication the Raiders will trade up and address a few areas instead of keeping all seven of their choices.

Jackson said he likes the team’s schedule and welcomes any tough stretch. He asked the media if they were scared by the slate, “because I’m not.”

You have to love his enthusiasm.
I wanted to dig deeper into Oakland’s decision to give Kyle Boller a one-year deal.

Boller is reportedly going to be paid $1.25 million for this season. I think it is clear the team plans for Boller to be the backup quarterback, or at least the primary veteran behind starter Jason Campbell. I wouldn’t be surprised if Oakland drafts a quarterback to be either the backup or No. 3 as a rookie.

It’s starting to be clear that Boller has a better chance to stick around Oakland than Bruce Gradkowski or Charlie Frye. Gradkowski was not given a contract tender, making him an unrestricted free agent. Frye is also unrestricted. By giving Boller the one-year deal, it shows that Oakland made him the priority, at least for now, over the other backup quarterbacks.

Sure, Gradkowski and Frye could be re-signed, and they could all go to camp and compete like last year. But I know new Oakland head coach Hue Jackson likes Boller, and he was instrumental in bringing him to the Raiders. Boller played under Jackson in Baltimore in 2008.

I think Oakland likes the idea of having Boller back up Campbell. First, Boller has experience if he needs to play. He has started 46 games since being the Ravens’ No. 1 pick in 2003. He played sparingly in Oakland in 2010. This is also important: Boller won’t be looked to as a threat to Campbell.

Campbell performed better last season after Gradkowski was lost for the season with an injury. It seemed like Campbell was tight when Gradkowski, who replaced Campbell on a few occasions, was waiting in the wings. Oakland owner Al Davis and Jackson have both said this offseason they truly believe Campbell is the right man for the job. Thus, a Campbell-Boller pairing appears to be in the works.
Let’s look at some early AFC West headlines:

The Oakland Raiders clearly don’t value quarterback Bruce Gradkowski this year as much as they did last year.

Gradkowski told the Oakland Tribune he did not receive a restricted free agency tender. Last year, Gradkowski received a second-round restricted free agency tender. Depending on a new CBA, Gradkowski could have been an unrestricted free agent, anyway.

So, there is a chance Gradkowski will not be Oakland’s backup next season. There’s no doubt that the Raiders support Jason Campbell as the starter. Gradkowski replaced Campbell a few times last season before being injured. Gradkowski gave Oakland’s offense energy, but he has durability issues and he won just three of eight starts in the past two years.

Ultimately, Gradkowski is a good backup who can help a team on a temporary basis, but he doesn’t have the making of a starter. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Raiders draft a quarterback to groom behind Campbell and thus they don’t try too hard to keep Gradkowski.

Denver quarterback Tim Tebow is supporting Brandon Davies, who was recently dismissed from the BYU basketball team for violating the school’s honor code. Tebow is an outspoken Christian and often has voiced his thoughts on controversial moral issues. Is it Tebow’s place to make his opinion public? Who knows, but that’s who is he and I’m not surprised he is speaking out on this subject.

Carolina coach Ron Rivera will be at Cam Newton’s pro day Tuesday. The Panthers have the No.1 pick. The Broncos hope the Panthers take a quarterback to allow the Broncos to pick from the entire defensive draft board at No. 2.

Here’s some key college pro day dates to keep track of as we prepare for the April 28 draft.

AFC West union reps

March, 3, 2011
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Some players in the AFC West are working hard. They aren’t on the field, but their current work is designed to get everybody back on the field. Let’s take a look at the AFC West union representatives:

Denver Broncos

Rep: Safety Brian Dawkins

Co-alternates: Guard Russ Hochstein and quarterback Kyle Orton

My thoughts: Dawkins has long been involved in the union. He is one of the most connected players in the NFL with the union. The Broncos will be well informed during this time of uncertainty.

Kansas City Chiefs

Rep: Center Rudy Niswanger

Co-alternates: Safety Jon McGraw and linebacker Andy Studebaker.

My thoughts: There isn’t much star power in this group. But all three representatives are well respected in the locker room.

Oakland Raiders

Rep: Tight end Zach Miller

Co-alternates: Linebacker Ricky Brown and quarterback Bruce Gradkowski

My thoughts: Miller is personally invested in this fight. He needs to know whether he’ll be an unrestricted or a restricted free agent when this dispute is settled.

San Diego Chargers

Rep: Center Nick Hardwick

Co-alternates: Defensive lineman Jacques Cesaire and tackle Jeromey Clary.

My thoughts: Hardwick has long been in involved in players’ rights. He’ll keep his teammates well informed.
As usual, Al Davis stole the show on a day he announced the hiring of a head coach.

Like the day when Tom Cable was promoted in 2008, much of Tuesday’s press conference focused on the team’s former coach. Cable replaced Lane Kiffin. Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson now replaces Cable.

Jackson sat next to Davis as he tore down Cable as Cable did when Davis tore down Kiffin. Kiffin lost his case against Davis. Cable is now fighting Davis in a grievance. Cable, who was hired in Seattle as offensive line coach and assistant head coach Tuesday is trying to recoup $120,000 in fines levied by Davis.

[+] EnlargeAl Davis
AP Photo/Paul SakumaRaiders owner Al Davis announced the hiring of new coach Hue Jackson and addressed several other topics.
Both the San Francisco Chronicle and Oakland Tribune had solid coverage of Tuesday’s Oakland reality show.

Here are my thoughts on some highlights:

On the Cable talks: Davis is clearly starting his legal case against Cable. Many of Davis’ issues with Cable stemmed from 2009 before Davis kept him for another year.

On the pending free agency of star cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha: Davis said Asomugha is great and said he hopes he can re-sign Asomugha. I still expect Davis to be aggressive in his attempt to re-sign Asomugha. I’m surprised Davis wasn’t more verbally forceful about his hopes to keep Asomugha.

Davis continued to support quarterback Jason Campbell: It's clear Davis will stick with Campbell for the short term and he likes him more than backup Bruce Gradkowski. Davis compared Campbell to names from the past prior to the season the way he did with JaMarcus Russell before him. The truth is Campbell is 29. I have no problem with Oakland going back to him in 2011 and giving Jackson more time to work with him. But the time is now for Campbell.

Davis addressed Russell: Davis said Russell was a good person, but he has some personal issues. Davis admitted the failure of the No. 1 pick in the 2007 draft.

Meanwhile, Jackson said he will be the primary play caller and Al Saunders is an offensive coordinator candidate. I have no problem with Jackson calling the plays. He did a terrific job in 2010. The Raiders were sixth in the NFL in scoring, It would be strange if Jackson didn’t keep the gig.

Jackson was his usual enthusiastic self and said all the right things, including that the Super Bowl is the team’s goal.

Meanwhile, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Ravens have promoted secondary coach Chuck Pagano could to defensive coordinator. It had been reported that the Raiders would pursue Pagano for the same job.

Chat wrap: Chiefs' chatter

December, 30, 2010
12/30/10
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The Kansas City Chiefs’ surprising run to the AFC West championship was a big topic of our AFC West chat Thursday.

Kansas City fans had a lot to say and ask as we prepare for the playoffs. Other topics broached included the upcoming coaching search in Denver, what the Raiders will do with backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski and how running back Ryan Mathews will finish the season in San Diego. Thanks to everyone who participated.

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