Oakland Raiders  

 

Boller could be up next in Raiders' QB carousel, coach says

  • By Associated Press
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ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders believed they had left miserable passing performances in the past when they released draft bust JaMarcus Russell during the offseason.

Instead, Jason Campbell delivered a performance that was worse by some measurements than Russell ever had.

Campbell went 8-of-21 passing for 83 yards with two interceptions in a 17-9 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. His 10.7 passer rating in that game was the worst for a Raiders quarterback since Ken Stabler posted a 9.9 against the Cincinnati Bengals in 1975.

"He struggled with some things," Raiders coach Tom Cable said of Campbell on Monday. "There were times early in the game where I thought the protection around him was a little shaky, but it seemed to improve as the game went. He did some nice things making plays with his feet. But at the same time you have to make some of those plays more often than what we're doing right now."

With starter Bruce Gradkowski's status in doubt because of a shoulder injury and Campbell nursing a sprained left knee sustained in the first half Sunday, Cable said third-stringer Kyle Boller could start this weekend against the AFC West rival Denver Broncos. Cable said he likely would make a decision on his starter Wednesday.

The Raiders (2-4) acquired Campbell in an offseason trade with the Washington Redskins to help turn around the franchise. He was benched after six quarters, but he received another chance when Gradkowski was knocked out of the Week 5 game against the San Diego Chargers with a separated right shoulder.

Campbell did a decent job in relief, helping the Raiders snap a 13-game losing streak to the Chargers, but he couldn't repeat that performance against the 49ers. He drew a 46-yard pass-interference penalty on the first play of the game. But even that pass was underthrown and could have been a touchdown had Campbell hit Louis Murphy in stride.

Campbell completed his first three passes of the game as the Raiders drove inside the 49ers' 10-yard line on their first two drives. They settled for field goals both times and only got into position to score again once more.

The Raiders didn't complete a pass in the second or third quarters and had just three after the first quarter. Two came on back-to-back throws, a short pass that Zach Miller turned into a 22-yard gain, followed by a tipped ball that he caught with a dive for a 26-yard gain.

That pass was the only downfield throw that Campbell completed all day. Every other pass was caught less than 10 yards away, including three behind the line of scrimmage.

"I think the plays are there," Cable said. "I think it shows up on film that they were there, but we're just not executing, whether it's a throw or whether it's a route."

Cable said he didn't contemplate pulling Campbell during the game. However, Boller warmed up on the sideline in case Campbell's knee grew worse.

Boller said he believes he would be ready to go even though he has had almost no practice time with the Raiders' first-string offense since the start of the season. Boller did have a strong preseason for Oakland, completing 26 of 43 passes for 360 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions for a 102.9 passer rating.

"I've pretty much stayed on top of it over the last six weeks, and that's part of your job," Boller said. "Doesn't matter if you're a starter, second-stringer or third-stringer. You have to always be into the game plan and doing just the same thing's the starter's doing, so I don't think I'll miss a beat."

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This marked just the latest time the Raiders followed one of their rare wins with a dud. Oakland is 0-7 after wins the past two seasons, as every time it looks like they could possibly be turning the corner, they revert to their old ways.

They have been outscored by 19 points per game the week after wins, managing just three touchdowns in the seven losses.

"We have to get over that jinx of not winning two games in a row," Murphy said. "We haven't done that since I've been here. It's frustrating. It's happened after every win we've had. We haven't put two and two together."

Notes: Cable said he wouldn't be surprised if the team made a trade before Tuesday's deadline. ... RB Darren McFadden missed his second consecutive game with a hamstring injury. He will test it out again in practice Wednesday with hopes that he will have his usual burst back.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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