In early November, Kiffin couldn't find one good enough.
Now he has two, plus the people's choice, No. 1 overall draft pick
The beauty of it is the Raiders have won their last two games with two
different starting quarterbacks, as Daunte Culpepper led the team to victory
in Kansas City and Josh McCown guided Oakland past Denver on Sunday.
Kiffin said he's not sure yet which one will start Sunday at Lambeau
Field against the Green Bay Packers.
If the system of football he is putting in place has truly taken hold, it
Culpepper had his best game against the Chiefs, completing 15 of 22
passes for 170 yards and no turnovers. McCown, who started against the
Broncos when Culpepper suffered a midweek quadriceps injury, completed 14 of
21 passes for 141 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
"I like to think that's part of things coming together, it's part of guys
playing together in a system, and the guys continuing to improve as they
learn it," Kiffin said.
The Raiders even put Russell in for two series against the Broncos, and
the rookie completed four of seven passes for 56 yards and didn't turn the
McCown, unpopular with fans who first preferred Culpepper and now pine
for Russell, got the home crowd on his side by putting the ball in the end
zone on the game-opening drive, and again on the first series after
All the perimeter plays and bootlegs that were in evidence in training
camp but never materialized with any consistency in the regular season were
on display. McCown has been injured most of the year, and Sunday wasn't any
Only this time, McCown had a dislocated left pinky on his non-throwing
(left) hand, but his mobility and play-making ability were intact. Earlier,
McCown had foot issues that changed his game.
"This is obviously the way we all expected it to go," McCown said. "We
all expected it to play out better than this. I got injured in Week 3, and I
think we really didn't get it going like we thought we would. This is what
we envisioned early on."
Culpepper's injury didn't manifest itself until Wednesday evening, and
Kiffin was impressed by the way McCown took over.
"To jump right in there as a last-minute starter and play as well as he
did was really exciting to see," Kiffin said. "And to deal with all he deals
with -- the guy goes out there on the field and gets booed. (Russell) comes
in and the place goes crazy. Then he goes back in, they boo again.
"He's done a great job handling the whole situation. There's nothing
phony in him. Every day he's helping JaMarcus. He just wants to win. He's a