It’s time we gave Bruce Gradkowski a new nickname. The Big Gradkowski just doesn’t do him justice any more.
How about The Miracle Worker?
Better yet, The Magician.
No slight of hand needed, Gradkowski’s lighting quick decisions and rapid fire release can make even the most porous of offensive lines look proficient when the mobile thrower rolls out and wreaks havoc on opposing defenses.
Is it coincidence that Darrius Heyward-Bey and Darren McFadden had career days with Gradkowski calling the signals?
In the case of Run-DMC, perhaps not. McFadden’s downhill, aggressive and punishing running has been a revelation thus far. Safe to say that even with JaMarcus Russell handing him the rock, McFadden would still be finishing off runs with a that chip on his lowered shoulder. However, DHB’s emergence is certainly equal parts hard work and Gradkowski intervention.
For Tom Cable, Gradkowski is The Savior.
Jason Campbell might share initials with the most famous savior of all but when Cable needs a prayer answered he calls on Gradkowski. Were it not for Gradkowski, Cable wouldn’t have even had an opportunity to coach the Raiders in 2010. In the team’s darkest hour – trailing the lowly St. Louis Rams 7-3 at the half – Cable called on Gradkowski to lead the Silver and Black to the Promised Land.
Leading the Raiders to three scoring drives in the second half, Gradkowski turned the game on its head, pushing the Raiders to a 16-14 victory.
Sure, it’s just the Rams. For the Raiders, this game should have never been this close. But if there is any good that comes of the first half debacle, it is that Gradkowski has once again asserted himself as the best quarterback in the East Bay.
There are still plenty of issues to be resolved.
The shuffling of Jared Veldheer from left tackle to center then back to left tackle again doesn’t bode well for the short term. Rotating left tackles and centers in the middle of a game is never a good thing. Once again, perhaps there is a silver lining in this gray cloud that is the offensive line. The Jason Campbell experiment isn’t over yet. Just ask Gradkowski’s knees about playing behind a patchwork O-line. But this could mean the Mario Henderson trial is finally over.
Only time will tell.
As of now, there really isn’t a quarterback controversy. For the second consecutive year, Gradkowski has emerged as the best fit for the offense. After all the juggling on Sunday, it is certain that there are more moves to come. Coach Cable’s next move could be his best if he declares Bruce Almighty the man for the job. Otherwise, Cable could be on the wrong end of another one of Gradkowski’s magic tricks. If Cable makes his best QB disappear on the bench the coach could be vanishing from the sidelines soon after.
Just Win Baby!