On Bruce Gradkowski

As anyone who watches the NFL is aware, Bruce Gradkowski has replaced 1st overall selection JaMarcus Russell as the starting quarterback for the Oakland Raiders.  And Gradkowski lead the struggling Raiders to a win against the defending champion Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh.  His few good games has lead a lot of people inside the NFL to speculate that Gradkowski not only will be the quarterback in Oakland this year, but going forward as well.  That is how well he has played for the Raiders.

The Rams had this quarterback on their team as recently as last year (see photo above).  Gradkowski was terrible in the 2008 preseason and lost the battle for the 3rd quarterback position to Brock Berlin.  Gradkowski bounced around the NFL after being cut by the Rams before landing in Oakland as the backup quarterback.  Now, he is the entrenched starter in Oakland and people are wondering why he wasn’t starting earlier.

I don’t bring up this point to tear down the Rams for cutting a potential starting quarterback as many other teams did the same and Gradkowski was bad in the small time he had to audition.  I bring this up to show how unpredictable the process of finding a starting quarterback in the NFL.  A lot of a quarterback’s development is tied to opportunity, coaching, maturity, development and good old random chance.  Some times it just comes together for a quarterback at the right place at the right time.

So, think about Gradkowski when the Rams pick up a seemingly anonymous player such as Mike Reilly off of Green Bay’s practice squad.  Or think about Kurt Warner or Tony Romo who rose from undrafted free agents to star quarterbacks in the NFL.


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