Raiders QB Gradkowski talks about Cable, his job & more
Oakland Raiders quarterback Bruce Gradkowski was on KNBR on Tuesday and spoke openly about his position with the club, wanting to get a fair shot to start in 2010, the return of Tom Cable and other topics. Here’s a transcript of his chat.
About being on the air and disseminating information:
Anything I can do to get to the fans out in this area and a lot of Raider fans, and we’re excited.
Reflections of the Pittsburgh Steelers game – his homecoming:
Oh, it was unbelievable. To go home, be in front of all my family and friends and to get a big win against a good football team like that was unbelievable. Just for my family, in sharing that with me and just the excitement. Just the feeling we had in the locker room and as a team that we were finally coming together.
About his college career, putting up great numbers and surpassing legendary names:
Just to be mentioned in the same sentence with those guys – it’s an honor. But it’s also humbling to know, I have a lot more to do in my career to even be mentioned with those guys. Being out now in the west coast, you saw what Joe Montana did out on the west coast. Hopefully one day I can do that for the Raiders. It’s definitely in my future and my goals and the dreams I have.
That was an awesome game against the Steelers, but it also would make it even more special if that was the AFC Championship game and we are going to the Super Bowl after that win. That’s kind of what I’m thinking about.
About the return of Tom Cable:
Yeah, coach Cable is going to be back. A lot of our coaching staff has stayed the same and we brought in a good coach in Hue Jackson, coming from the Baltimore Ravens, and you know, I’m excited.
Have you’ve been told Cable will be back, specifically?
We are going to work everyday like it’s the same. Coach Cable is in there working and that’s all I care about. I don’t look into details, but I just go in and take care of my own business and whoever is there I’m going to work with and we are going to do just fine.
Last season’s inconsistent play, beating the Steelers and Eagles, but failing against lesser opponents or in back-to-back games:
I think it shows that we are a good football team. And the only thing we have to work on is being consistent. And that’s the number one thing we are going to be focused on coming into this year is knowing and understanding that we are a good football team – the Oakland Raiders can compete with anyone. And we’ve proven that, we’ve showed that and now its just time to be consistent and show week-in and week-out and just prepare like that every week and believe in ourselves and know that we can get the job done just like any other team in the NFL.
What he brought to the table as oppose to JaMarcus Russell and if his leadership and work ethic was what won people over:
I think so. It was the way I’ve been raised.
Your going to get what you deserve. I believe that, so I’m just going to keep on working hard, just like I’ve been and that’s just the way my parents raised me.
I’m not really worried about how other people do their job. I’m just worried about being a professional, taking care of my own business and when the opportunity comes, just take advantage of it. And I was blessed with a good opportunity this past season.
About the situation with Russell, and how his large contract may dictate what occurs on the field:
Well, its tough. A guy like Jeff Garcia whose been in the league for years and he’s been successful, he’s never gotten the big signing bonus, the big contract that he’s deserved. And you know, its crazy how things work out in the NFL. It’s frustrating to a certain point, but you can’t worry about those things.
You just keep on working hard and good things will come. And you’ll get what you deserve. So that’s all I can really focus on.
Whether he’s officially signed?
I haven’t officially signed with them yet. They offered a second round tender. So its still free agency going on, so there are other teams out there, but in my heart, I want to be in Oakland. I believe I’ll be in Oakland and I’ll like to be here for years to come. I just feel a good presence here, especially with the fan-base we have. It’s the best in football and fans that love their team. And we need to give them something to cheer for. So that’s what I’m looking forward to changing this year and going in and having a good season.
Do you want assurance about having an open quarterback competition?
Yeah, I think that’s the way it always has to go. I believe that in any business that you are on, any field of work, competition just makes you better and the best person should be out there for the job. I think that’s the way it should take place. That’s the way it will take place and I’m looking forward to it. I’m just excited for getting this opportunity and like I’ve said, competition makes you better and there’s going to be competition everywhere. It’s just the nature of the game. So I’m looking forward to it this year and I’ll love to get it from the start and see what we can do with it.
About being the underdog year in and year out and communicating with Jeff Garcia:
Yeah, that’s why I think me and Jeff have such a good relationship. I think we are so similar in so many ways. At this point in Jeff’s career, where I’m at, he wasn’t even in the NFL, he was still in Canada, so I still have to stay positive. He reminds me of that. And when the opportunity comes, take advantage of it…
If you can win football games, if you can find a way to win, I think that’s all that matters. It doesn’t matter about how much skill you really have, its about does the team rally around you, do you get the job done, are you smart and the leadership role – I think that’s one of the most important things about being a quarterback.
Differences between Cable and Jon Gruden:
I think every coach is different. And that is what makes every coach unique. There is no really right way to do it – it’s your own way. And I think coach Gruden, coach Gruden wanted his hands in everything. He was the offensive coordinator, the QBs coach, he kind of did everything.
Coach Cable is more of a overseer. A discipline guy. He’s a player’s type coach. The players want to play for a coach like coach Cable. He’s easy to communicate with and he wants the best for his players. So you like playing for a coach like that. Gruden and Cable, they each have their own way and its all about how to get the job done. And I think coach Cable did a great job with us last year and so, I’m exciting in moving forward with him this year and I think there are good things in store for us.
About the Randy Hanson incident:
I think the players, we just kind of have to worry about our job.
Just coming to work everyday and letting that stuff be handle by the people that handle that situation.
It’s unusual but, I think Mr. [Al] Davis, he just wants to win. And I think he really just wants to win and he wants the best for his players.
I’m hoping our fans back us from day one, ‘cause we can use them and we need them to be a part of this year and to be a part of this thing when we turn it around.