He didn’t have JaMarcus Russell’s arm but that didn’t stop him from taking Russell’s job. He didn’t have Jason Campbell’s contract but that didn’t matter when Tom Cable needed someone to give the offense a lift.
It’s much easier to talk about all the things Bruce Gradkowski isn’t but damned near impossible not to mention what he is – a true competitor.
Gradkowski arrived in Oakland as a third stringer competing with Charlie Frye for a roster spot. By the end of his first preseason in Oakland he made Jeff Garcia expendable and by the end of his first regular season as a Raider he helped usher JaMarcus into retirement.
Today Gradkowski made his exit from Oakland official by accepting a two-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals. Ironically it was The Big Gradkowski who led the Raiders to a dramatic victory over the Cincy Cats just two years ago.
While I did have my issues with Cable constantly clinging to Gradkowski like Linus did his blanket I can’t help but respect the way he went about his business. Bruce was the consummate professional always ready to go and always giving it all he had.
To his credit Gradkowski also seems to always put himself in situations where he’ll have a chance to start. With the current QB situation being what it is in Cincinnati he certainly looks likely to be a starter once again.
Thanks for everything, Bruce!
Best of luck in Cincinnati.