Cable to name starter Wednesday

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- A day after benching JaMarcus Russell for the second time in three games, Oakland Raiders coach Tom Cable is undecided about his starting quarterback.

Cable said Monday he has yet to determine whether Russell, Bruce Gradkowski or Charlie Frye will start this week's game against Cincinnati.

"We haven't gotten anywhere with that decision," Cable said. "We hoped to be able to talk about it now but we're not ready to do that. We don't have enough time yet to get everybody that would be involved in it to have those discussions."

Russell started the first nine games but was benched late in the third quarter of Sunday's 16-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs after going 8 for 23 for 64 yards. Gradkowski replaced Russell and went 5 of 9 for 49 yards and two interceptions but strained a hamstring.

The No. 1 overall draft pick in 2007, Russell has struggled all season. He has two touchdown passes, nine interceptions and a 47.1 completion percentage. He has been booed at every home game since the season opener on Sept. 14 and has been frequently criticized for his work habits and lack of preparation.

Cable said he spoke with owner Al Davis following the loss to the Chiefs but who should be the starting quarterback was not discussed. Cable added that the decision will be his alone.

"We have not talked about that specifically," Cable said. "We talked about the game and those kind of those things. Kind of a typical Monday. We don't have a lot of conversation on Monday."

Cable made the decision to bench Russell against Kansas City after the third-year quarterback threw a pair of incompletions, both coming when receivers were open.

After the game, Cable was noncommittal about the starter for the home game against the Bengals. He remained that way Monday.

"I'm just waiting to kind of put all my facts together here and make a good decision for this team," Cable said. "It will be focused on winning, period, what gives us the best chance to win."

Cable insists he hasn't lost faith in Russell, whose contract included $31 million in guarantees, but said the quarterback has to improve significantly in all phases if he wants to stay in the lineup.

"In simple terms, it's that word potential that I'm thinking about," Cable said. "And [we] want to give him every opportunity to succeed. If [Russell] remains the starter he's got to understand the responsibility that comes with that position. You can't go out time and time again and consistently be that inaccurate, not have command like you need to in this league."

Gradkowski, who signed with the Raiders as a free agent in the offseason, has started 12 games in his NFL career, 11 coming in 2006 with Tampa Bay. His last start came with Cleveland on Dec. 28, 2008.

Gradkowski appeared fine physically after the game and wasn't noticeably hurt Monday, but Cable said the fourth-year veteran strained a hamstring in the loss.

"It's just a tough situation," said Gradkowski, one of the few players in the Raiders' locker room Monday. "We're all competitors here so I think we understand that, and I have JaMarcus' back and he has mine. This is a team sport and we need to just find a way to win, whatever that may be."

Russell wasn't available Monday but seemed surprised when he was pulled out of the game against Kansas City. At one point he walked over to quarterbacks coach Paul Hackett with his arms spread apart as if asking, 'Why?' He was later approached by several teammates, including veterans Gerard Warren and Javon Walker.

"The thing is, he's in a tough predicament just because everybody wants him to save the Raiders, and it's not about that," right tackle Cornell Green said. "It's more than what you see on the field. I can just imagine being the first pick and having all that type of pressure. If he just keeps his mind right ... and he really just takes the game and studies it to the utmost level, I think he'll be fine."

Gradkowski trotted onto the field Sunday to rousing cheers from the sparse crowd at the Oakland Coliseum and led the team on a late drive in the final minutes before his pass bounced off the chest of rookie wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey and was intercepted.

If Gradkowski is unable to play because of the sore hamstring, Cable did not rule out the possibility of starting Frye ahead of Russell. Frye has been the Raiders' emergency quarterback all season.

"The thing about Charlie is he's a gym rat," Cable said. "He's always around, he's always studying. He's a lot like a coach. Sunday morning the guy could really tell you every detail probably about everything that's going on with your offensive linemen to his position. Certainly he deserves to be part of this discussion."