In a move that was more of a formality than anything else, Raiders coach Tom Cable today ended any speculation by ending talk of a QB derby by naming JaMarcus Russell as the teams opening day QB. Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle story on the announcement:
The unofficial became official Sunday, and it’s really no surprise: JaMarcus Russell will be the starting quarterback Sept. 14 when the Raiders host the Chargers in a Monday night season opener. Raiders coach Tom Cable made the unstunning declaration during a conference call, all while lamenting how Jeff Garcia’s calf strain kept a true quarterback competition from breaking out in training camp.
It’s not that Cable wanted Garcia to beat out Russell, it’s just that Cable hoped Garcia would use his experience and fiery attitude to spur Russell to greater growth. “I’ve said that it’s his job and we’ll see how it goes,” Cable said. “Unfortunately, Jeff hasn’t had much work. We’ve been fortunate in that JaMarcus has improved. It would have been nice to have someone really pushing him. Maybe we could get him to improve a little bit more.”
Garcia’s fate was written with the calf injury that has kept him on the sideline. No doubt though that as Garcia gets back to health, he’ll be ready to go when/if Russell struggles in the early going or at any point of the 2009 season.