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Tag:Oakland Raiders
Posted on: September 2, 2009 12:22 pm

Former MAC stars struggling to survive in Oakland

They were MAC gods in the mid-200s. Now they're fighting for the No. 3 quarterback position in the NFL wasteland that is Oakland.

Charlie Frye and Bruce Gradkowski, according to the Contra-Costa Times , are in a "dead heat" to hold the clipboard behind JaMarcus Russell and Jeff Garcia.

"On one day it's one guy, on one day it's the next," Cable said. "The next two games might decide it." That was two-plus weeks ago.

The battle hasn't eased up since. Here's what our RapidReports correspondent Eric Gilmore posted Tuesday .

"Raiders QB Charlie Frye, who's in a tight battle with Bruce Gradkowski for the No. 3 job, said he learned a lesson two years ago when he was in a three-way camp fight at Cleveland with Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn. 'It taught me to keep my head down and just keep working. You can't worry about that stuff, because it takes your mind to places you don't want to go.'"

Frye, a sixth-round pick in 2005 of the Browns and Gradkowski, a sixth-round pick of the Buccaneers in 2006 were the heir apparents to Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich. Now they're fighting for arguably the worst quarterbacking job in football.

Why this matters? Well, there was a time when Frye was actually deemed a potential NFL starting quarterback. And there was a time when Gradkowski was managing a few wins for the Bucs.

But now their fates are where most expected them to be, hanging on by a thread just a few years into their careers.

My guess is Frye gets the job, if only because he has started 20 games in his career.

Follow me on Twitter: @EKayCBSSports
Posted on: October 7, 2008 1:44 pm
Edited on: October 7, 2008 3:31 pm

Playing vs. an interim coach is a sure-fire win

Despite their loss Monday night, it's good to be the Saints. It's also good to be the Redskins, heading into Week 6.

Both teams get the NFL equivalent of a gimee putt. If you need a sure-fire pick for a survivor pool, either the Saints or Redskins will do. That's because they get to face teams (Raiders and Tom Cable (pictured); Rams and Jim Haslett) with new head coaches. And if history is any indicator, both teams will prevail vs. their new-look counterparts.

Tom CableSince 2000 only one team that changed coaches during the season won its game immediately after. That was Detroit in 2000, which featured Gary Moeller taking the reins from Bobby Ross. This is sort of a weird exception to the rule because Ross resigned from a 5-4 team, claiming his players' lack of effort, according to then New York Times writer Mike Freeman. The Lions may not have had Barry Sanders running, but they had a serviceable James Stewart, a wily Charlie Batch and a decent defense anchored by Robert Porcher. Moeller won his first game, beating the Falcons 13-10 at home.

The Lions aside, no other team this decade has won that first game with their oft-labeled interim coach. Not just that, the loses are typically ugly. Eight of the nine games below were losses by double digits. Four times the team with the new coach failed to even crack 10 points. So if you're a gambling lad or lass, or just like hitting friends with a little history lesson, take this obvious knowledge with you: interim coaches, a lot more often than not, suck in their first game.

Of note, both the Raiders and Rams instilled their new coaches during bye weeks. Surprisingly, only one other time this decade has a coach come in during a bye week. That was Jim Bates in Miami.

Here's the breakdown:

2007: Emmitt Thomas takes over for Bobby Petrino in Atlanta in Week 15, loses to the Bucs 37-3. He would finish 1-2. Gary Moeller
2005: Joe Vitt takes over for Mike Martz in St. Louis in Week 6, loses to the Colts 45-28. He would finish 4-7.
2004: Jim Bates takes over for Dave Wannstedt in Miami in Week 10, loses to the Seahawks 24-17. He would finish 3-4.
2004: Terry Robiskie takes over for Butch Davis in Cleveland in Week 12, loses to the Bengals 58-48. He would finish 1-5.
2003: Wade Phillips takes over for Dan Reeves in Atlanta in Week 15, loses to the Colts 38-7. He would finish 2-1.
2001: Mike Tice takes over for Dennis Green in Minnesota in Week 17, loses to the Ravens 19-3. He would finish 0-1.
2000: Dick LeBeau takes over for Bruce Coslett in Cincinnati in Week 4, loses to the Ravens 37-0. He would finish 4-9.
2000: Dave McGinnis takes over for Vince Tobin in Arizona in Week 9, loses to the Saints 21-10. He would finish 1-8.
2000: Terry Robiskie takes over for Norv Turner in Washington in Week 15, loses to the Cowboys 32-12. He would finish 1-2.
2000: Gary Moeller takes over for Bobby Ross in Detroit in Week  11, defeats the Falcons 13-10. He would finish 4-3.

It goes without saying that all situations are unique. But because the removing of a coach during the season is such a rare occurrence, it usually takes a particularly dysfunctional scenario for it to unfold. Going from dysfunctional to winning doesn't happen in a season, let alone a week. So if you're a fan of the Redskins or Saints enjoy this Sunday because these opportunities don't come around often.

On to the best blogs ... around! 

Sports...and then some. is a big-time MMA follower, and has this to say about Kimbo Slice's Saturday night fiasco:

"He really hadn't earned any respect from the legions of educated MMA fans. Everyone said he would not stand a chance against an even average MMA fighter. That prophecy was revealed last Saturday night when Kimbo was defeated by Seth Petruzelli, a journeyman light heavyweight that wasn't even scheduled to be on TV that night."

MVKrum's Eagles Blog offers up the "best Power Rankings on CBS Sportsline," however, putting the Cowboys at No. 2 may be a bit of a stretch after two lackluster performances.

If you like raw data (who doesn't!?), check out the list Random Thoughts compiled: State per capita population per FBS school.

Rays in six. Dodgers in six. That's what mstrReyes blogs is predicting. Analysis included.

Klick of the Day 

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