Raiders starter no secret at all - or is it?

So much for trying to keep a secret. Daunte Culpepper and Andrew Walter took turns running the scout team in practice Thursday, a likely sign that Josh McCown will be the Raiders' starting quarterback for Sunday's season-opener against Detroit.

Head coach Lane Kiffin maintained his stance of not making the decision public, but as far as secrecy goes, the Raiders did a poor job of keeping it a secret. Several media outlets reported Wednesday that the job was McCown's, though no proof was given nor was any source credited.

On Thursday, though, it became a matter of simple addition. Culpepper and Walter worked with the scout team, leaving McCown to run the Raiders' own offense.

Likewise, center Jeremy Newberry lined up with Oakland's field goal unit during special teams drills Thursday while Jake Grove spent time with the scout team offense during defensive drills. That would seem to indicate the Raiders are going with Newberry as their starting center.

Just don't expect Kiffin to acknowledge it.

"You look at it this way," Kiffin said. "If you gain a competitive advantage, great. If you don't, it didn't matter, you weren't going to get one anyway. That's all it is." In other notes of interest:

* Cornerback Duane Starks suffered a groin injury and is listed as questionable. Starks isn't a starter and would likely only be used in the Raiders' dime coverages.

* Kiffin said he expects a big year from wide receiver Jerry Porter. "I don't know what he did before so I can't compare it to that as far as the way he worked in practice," Kiffin said. "But I know he's very hungry, he's very motivated, wants to prove some people wrong and have a really good year. You look at the receiver group, nobody's really had a 1,000-yard season in this league so I know there's a lot of motivation in that group."


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