Oakland Raiders' Quarterback Bruce Gradkowski has become the darling of the Bay Area mainstream media because he replaced JaMarcus Russell and the Raiders won 20 to 17. Because of this, the commonly myopic mainstream media types have fallen all over themselves in praising Bruce Gradkowski.
Time for this blogger to add a dose of much-needed sanity.
Bruce Gradkowski was 17 of 34 for 183 yards, two touchdowns and one interception and posted an awful 73.529 passer rating according to the Quarterback Passing Calculators anyone can use online. I didn't have to use it to tell you the Oakland Raiders passing game is still terrible.
Let's get down to the basic fact that this is an under-performing passing game. If Bruce Gradkowski had attempted 34 passes and completed 26 for 270 yards and 3 touchdowns with no interceptions that would have been a passer rating of 128.3, and then we could pop the corks.
But the design of the Oakland Raiders passing game, and the way it's coached, does not offer a snowball's chance in hell of a quarterback hitting that passer rating objective.
By contrast, Cal Head Coach Jeff Tedford's passing attack has produced several quarterbacks with excellent passer ratings over his career. The latest example being quarterback Kevin Riley with a 133.49 rating for the season thus far and was 17 of 31 for 235 yards and one touchdown and one interception against Stanford (he was at just 54 percent and I know why), giving him a 122.71 rating for the 27th Big Game. (And thanks to Tedford and Cal Offensive Coordinator Andy Ludwig for using the Big Game to install the short passing game surgical strike I've called for all year long.)
But I digress.
Yes, the passer rating formula does have its problems and that's another blog post, but one can't argue that throwing more completions as a percentage of attempts and for more yardage helps the achieve a solid victory, rather than a three-point win.
The Oakland Raiders must understand how to first throw short, timed passes that can be ran again and again and second, drill the passer to throw to a specific point at the receiver depending on the route, third, move the "launch point" of the pass using rollouts, sprints, and play action passes, and finally use the hashmarks and throwing points and route landmarks.
I've blogged that point again and again. So much so I'm tired of doing it. It does not matter who's placed at quarterback for the Oakland Raiders, the result - a poor or less than stellar passing attack - will always be the result.
This is nothing personal against Ted Tollner and Paul Hackett who are the passing game architects; it's professional. These two men have seen a lot of passing attacks and posted a lot of years of coaching. They must be held to a higher standard than what's being produced to date.
The Oakland Raiders' passing game is terrible. Bruce Gradkowski can't fix what's broken by design.