The JaMarcus Russell era officially is on hold.

Coach Tom Cable said Wednesday that Bruce Gradkowski has replaced Russell as the Raiders' full-time starting quarterback. Russell now is the No. 2, ahead of Charlie Frye.

"It was an easy decision, because I feel the responsibility for this football team to give them the best chance to succeed," Cable said.

Russell was unavailable for comment before and after practice. He said Sunday that he supports Cable whether or not he is the starter.

Cable said he has been patient with Russell, cognizant that the Raiders start two rookie wide receivers and were without running back Darren McFadden and left guard Robert Gallery for a large chunk of the season. But Cable said Russell's inability to improve his accuracy, decision-making and game management and inconsistency in getting the ball to his wide receivers made a change necessary.

Gradkowski provides an upgrade in a number of areas, Cable said.

"His leadership, his management, understanding of what we're trying to do, accuracy, just a lot of those intangible-type things," Cable said of Gradkowski's strengths. "(Let's) give him a chance to get all the reps and go out and build some chemistry with the receivers."

Gradkowski ran the offense at the beginning of practice Wednesday, as Russell watched on one knee with his helmet off.

The Raiders selected Russell with the No."‰1 pick in the 2007 draft and anointed him the long-term solution for a position that has lacked stability since Rich Gannon sustained the first of two major injuries midway through the 2003 season.

Russell signed a contract that guarantees him $32 million. Cable said he is hopeful that Russell one day will develop into a dependable player.

"This is in no way giving up on the guy," Cable said. "This is just trying to jump-start this team and really break it down and make a decision based on what gives us the best chance to win."

Cable said managing general partner Al Davis supported the decision.

Russell said Sunday that he was surprised Cable benched him late in the third quarter of the Raiders' 16-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. It was Russell's second benching in three games.

When told he was being replaced as the full-time starter, Russell was "disappointed, as you would expect him to be," Cable said. "But I explained to him why and the reasons behind it and the decision's final. This is where we're going to go. And he came out today and worked hard and did what he needed to do."

Russell has started all nine games this season. He started one game his rookie season and 15 of 16 last season. The Raiders are 7-18 in his NFL starts.

He is the lowest-rated passer among quarterbacks who began the season as the starter. He also has the worst completion percentage among opening-day starters.

The Raiders (2-7) rank 31st, second to last, in yards gained and points scored per game.

Eleven of Gradkowski's 12 NFL starts came during his rookie season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2006. He made one start for the Cleveland Browns last season, going 5-for-16 for 18 yards and two interceptions against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Dec."‰18.

Gradkowski said before practice that he is ready for the challenge, unlike when he received his first NFL start.

"I'm further along and more prepared now than I was as a rookie when I got the call," he said. "So, I'm excited, and we'll see what happens."

Gradkowski's only playing time this season came in relief of Russell.

"Having a full week of practice is huge," Gradkowski said. "Just to get the feel of the receivers, the offensive line, how I call the play, the cadence on the line of scrimmage. Just everything is a big deal. The more reps I can get the better just as long as we can get things rolling."