Sports

Raiders sticking with McCown

ALAMEDA -- Like it or not, Josh McCown still is the Oakland Raiders' starting quarterback.

Coach Lane Kiffin believes McCown, not Daunte Culpepper, gives the Raiders the best chance to win.

McCown might want to bring earplugs to Sunday's game against Cleveland.

"I apologize to our fans, but I can't make our decision based on their reactions," Kiffin said. "That's not fair to our team. I feel Josh this week continues to put us in the best position to win."

Kiffin said other things went wrong on offense to contribute to McCown's 8-of-16, 73-yard passing day Sunday.

McCown had a touchdown pass to Jerry Porter but also threw three interceptions.

Kiffin said McCown needs to be more accurate -- he overthrew Porter for a potential winning touchdown -- to remain the starter. He has five interceptions in two games.

"Josh has to get better -- that's no secret -- or he won't be our starting quarterback for long, especially at this pace," Kiffin said. "At the same time, there's other stuff that goes into it."

McCown was booed at McAfee Coliseum by fans who wanted Culpepper in the opener.

McCown doesn't expect a warm reception when he takes the field Sunday.

"Obviously, it wouldn't surprise me," McCown said. "Like I said in the press conference after the first game, they pay their money and they're entitled to root for or want the guy that they want out there."

Kiffin admitted if he were in the stands, he might also be calling for Culpepper, who's been in three Pro Bowls.

Kiffin emphasized McCown gives the Raiders the best chance to win now because of his familiarity with the offense, especially when it comes to changing plays at the line of scrimmage. He said Culpepper isn't far from being able to step in and play without any limitations on the playbook.

"Does he have the offense down as much as Josh?" Kiffin said. "No, he doesn't, but can he do some other things better than Josh? Yeah, he can. When the time comes that Daunte plays, I'll be the first one cheering him in there."

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