The Raiders have some tough decisions to make in the coming weeks.
As it stands, the organization has yet to confirm Tom Cable as the head coach for the coming season. Then there’s the Sebastian Janikowski/Rickard Seymour to tag or not to tag decision. Plus Kirk Morrison is a restricted free agent who should garner some serious interest on the open market.
Oh…there’s also the guy who happened to outplay JaMarcus Russell and actually made the Raiders look like a professional offense. Yeah, what’s his name?
Grad…something or another…
Bruce Gradkowski, yeah, that guy!
He’s a restricted free agent and he just so happens to have designs on repeating his act again in 2010. As The Big Gradkowski told the Toledo Blade earlier this week:
“I plan to be back with the Raiders. I think everything will work out, and I’m looking forward to it. We did a lot of good things this year and I’m looking forward to next season.”
Of course nothing guarantees that he’ll be back in the East Bay next season or that he’ll even get a fair shake at the starting job. But he knows that.
“I think at this point, hopefully, they’ll just pick the best guy to be out there on the field. Money’s not an issue, but I know in this business it kind of is when you invest a lot of money in someone. All I ask for is an opportunity to compete.”
How confident is Gradkowski that he’ll be back in 2010? Well, he was conducting the interview at an autograph signing and just happened to be placing the phrase “Go Raiders” next to his John Hancock.
No doubt Gradkowski deserves to be back in the fold next season. Were it not for him, 2009 could have easily produced something that closely resembled the Tom Walsh debacle of ’06.
Is he the long term solution?
Honestly. Who knows?
All I know is that Russell must prove he’s worthy of being handed the keys to Uncle Al’s ride. Comparatively, Gradkowski has his license and JaMarcus is still studying for his learners permit.