Culpepper makes bid for Opening Day

Lane Kiffin continues to be impressed by quarterback Daunte Culpepper's progress. Coming on the heels of Culpepper's two-touchdown performance in Saturday's preseason loss to San Francisco, Kiffin's comments could be a precursor to yet another quarterback change for the Raiders.

"I don't put ceilings as to where I think they'll be," Kiffin said Sunday in a conference call with reporters. "Daunte has done a great job and really is performing well. It is great to see him out on the field in a game day environment. He couldn't be more serious about winning this job."

Daunte Culpepper, who replaced starter Andrew Walter midway through the second quarter, completed 6 of 8 passes for 75 yards and two touchdowns, translating into a quarterback rating of 143.2.

Granted, most of the 49ers' defensive starters were out of the game by the time Culpepper came in. But for the second week in a row, the veteran quarterback provided a bit of a spark for the offense despite fumbling four times in the two games.

"Really what it is is him getting used to the snap count with our center (Jeremy Newberry)," Kiffin said. "We have worked on his snap count. It's just a little bit different than our other guys. He may be pulling out a little early and may be expecting the ball. There are some things but we'll get it ironed out."

Oakland's other two quarterbacks, Walter and Josh McCown, had forgettable games. Walter let a shotgun snap slip through his hands for a 20-yard loss, threw an interception, and completed 9-of-16 passes for 78 yards and one touchdown. McCown was 8-of-17 for 97 yards and was the only Oakland quarterback to take a sack.

With two preseason games left, Kiffin said he still is unsure who his starting quarterback will be on opening day.

"We've still got work to do," Kiffin said. "But we've not figured it out yet. And Daunte brought a different variable because we didn't have him the whole time. And whether Daunte was here early like everybody else or whether Daunte didn't come in, we may have figured it out by now. But he's a variable that the time frame's changed each week."


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