No secret: Culpepper to get start

ALAMEDA -- Oakland Raiders coach Lane Kiffin told the media what he hadn't told Daunte Culpepper: He is this week's starting quarterback.

Kiffin made the declaration after Monday's practice, the first after the Raiders had the weekend off with a bye.

Kiffin might not have told Culpepper, but the walking boot on Josh McCown's left foot and his going into his second week of not being able to practice were obvious signs Culpepper would get his second start this season.

Andrew Walter is the second quarterback and JaMarcus Russell is third. McCown is out this week.

It still was news to Culpepper, who usually declines to discuss playing time without knowing for certain he's playing.

"He didn't tell me that," Culpepper said. "I won't prepare any differently. I prepare the same no matter what."

Culpepper was the AFC Offensive Player of the Week after throwing two touchdowns and running for three in the Raiders' 35-17 win at Miami on Sept. 30.

The three-time Pro Bowl player, who joined the team July 31, did not start until that game, in part because he lacked McCown's familiarity with the offense. Culpepper practiced as the No. 1 quarterback last week, which helped him better grasp the offense.

"Getting some extra work last week was really good for us and getting some time off was good for us," Culpepper said. "Now we're back to work and I'm excited, and I think everybody is excited. It's good."

Kiffin said there's no timetable for McCown's return. It was expected the Raiders would cut or trade Walter after a two-week roster exemption for Russell expired.

Instead, the Raiders for now will keep four quarterbacks on the roster instead of the customary three.

"When Josh becomes healthy, we'll have a decision to make or it could stay the same," Kiffin said.