Starting quarterback still a mystery

Lane Kiffin has his reasons for not naming a starting quarterback for the Raiders' season-opening game against Detroit.

The NFL's youngest head coach acknowledged there's a bit of gamesmanship involved in it, as well.

"There's two benefits," Kiffin said. "One, you kept the competition going this whole time and I believe that's how you get the best out of your players. And two, you are talking about three different type of guys so I would think as Detroit's looking at it, you would game plan different depending on who is playing."

But with two weeks before the Sept. 9 season-opener in Oakland, the Raiders are running out of time, a point Kiffin was quick to acknowledge following Sunday's practice.

"In a perfect world, you'd have it done a long time ago because your offense does build around that guy, everything fro his cadence to his rhythms to his audibles to his huddle presence," Kiffin said. "So there definitely is a downside to that."

Daunte Culpepper would appear to be the front-runner for the job. He started in Friday's 20-10 preseason win over St. Louis and has been the most effective of all three Oakland quarterbacks.

But Culpepper only joined the team on July 31 and is still trying to catch up with Josh McCown and Andrew Walter in the knowledge of the Raiders' playbook.

Whoever starts against Seattle on Thursday in Oakland's final preseason game -- Kiffin refused to name one Sunday -- won't play long. The starters will take minimal reps against the Seahawks before giving way to the backups.


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