Bruce Gradkowski will be the starting quarterback Sunday when the Raiders visit the Arizona Cardinals.
Coach Tom Cable made the announcement Wednesday, three days after he benched Jason Campbell with the Raiders trailing 7-3 at halftime of their game with the St. Louis Rams. Gradkowski rallied Oakland to a 16-14 victory.
"We were able to go out and move the ball and score some points," Cable said. "He'll go in there and do the job. It's his now. Where we go from here, obviously, will be decided by how well he plays."
Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson said Wednesday that he approached Cable at halftime of the Rams game about making the switch.
"It was just that I didn't like the energy of our offensive football team," Jackson said, without singling out Campbell.
Campbell completed 8 of 15 passes for 87 yards in the first half, but the Raiders failed to sustain drives and managed only a field goal.
"At the time, we were kind of stale," Jackson said. "(Everyone) watched it. I didn't like the way we were playing, I didn't like our energy, and I didn't like what we were doing. So, every now and then you mix it up a little bit."
Neither Gradkowski nor Campbell was available to the media Wednesday. But after Sunday's victory, Gradkowski said he felt as if he deserved to be the starter based upon his play against St. Louis.
Campbell said he was surprised and disappointed by Cable's decision to bench him but added he is
"Like I told Bruce, 'This is a business. It's nothing personal. Go out there and do what you've got to do to win the game, and I'll be your supporter,' " Campbell said Sunday.
Cable said this isn't a one-game audition for Gradkowski. The job is his as long as he performs at an acceptable level. The move was made without input from managing general partner Al Davis, Cable added.
"If you go out and continue to win games, this is a moot point," Cable said. "Certainly, everyone understands you have a job to do and you have to do it."
Gradkowski completed 9 of his first 13 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown against the Rams. More important, he directed back-to-back scoring drives in the third quarter.
Cable confirmed Campbell's disappointment upon receiving news of his demotion.
"If I understand him and what he's about, he'll battle with this," Cable said. "Like I told them both, we are going to need both of them. This is a long season. The opportunity for him to go in and play quarterback will be just around the corner."
In late April, the Raiders traded a fourth-round draft pick in 2012 to the Washington Redskins for Campbell. Soon thereafter, the Raiders gave Campbell a one-year, $4.5 million contract extension through the 2011 season. On the eve of training camp, Cable announced Campbell as the starter.
Campbell said Sunday that he realizes the importance of placing the team's fortunes ahead of his own.
"I (don't) want to be a distraction to the team," Campbell said. "It's bigger than me. It's not about me, it's about the team. The team did what it had to do in the second half to win the game."
Campbell's struggles are difficult to pinpoint, Cable said.
"We've really tried to put our finger on it," Cable said. "Maybe it's the level of comfort and confidence, all those kinds of things. Having a break right now, however long it lasts for him, can also be good for him. Get a chance to sit back and look at it and evaluate it."
Gradkowski started four games last season in relief of deposed starter JaMarcus Russell. He guided the Raiders to impressive victories over the Cincinnati Bengals and defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers.
Along the way, Gradkowski gained the trust of his teammates.
"He finds ways to make plays," tight end Zach Miller said. "He's really able to make plays under pressure and find a way to get first downs. It's a good quality in a quarterback."
Height: 6-1 Weight: 220
Age: 27 College: Toledo
G GS Att Comp Yds TD Int
8 4 172 93 1,169 7 4
DID YOU KNOW?: The Raiders won two of the four games Gradkowski started last season, beating Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Against the Steelers, he threw for 308 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner with :09 left.