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Raiders to name McCown starter for opener

Despite being evasive on the subject publicly, Raiders coach Lane Kiffin is expected to announce Josh McCown his starting quarterback for Oakland's season opener against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, the NFL Network's Adam Schefter reports.

Asked by reporters Wednesday when he would know who his starter would be, Kiffin replied: "I do know ... I wouldn't anticipate an announcement."

"They (the quarterbacks) know," Kiffin continued, but "nothing's permanent."

Culpepper was sharp in the Raiders' final exhibition game on Thursday at Seattle, completing 11-of-19 passes for 108 yards and leading the offense to its only touchdown in a 19-14 loss. But Culpepper also threw an interception.

McCown started the game and went 5-for-12 for 75 yards in four series.

Culpepper is not as familiar with the offense as McCown after signing with the team on July 31 when it became apparent that top draft pick JaMarcus Russell would not be in camp anytime soon because of a contract dispute that has lasted an NFL-record number of days.

Russell remains unsigned and the Raiders could enter the season without their quarterback of the future on the roster.

Culpepper has shown that his surgically repaired right knee is healthy this preseason. He's thrown four touchdown passes with only one interception as he tries to put last year's disappointing season in Miami behind him.

After throwing 39 touchdown passes in 2004 in Minnesota, Culpepper battled injuries the past two years and had just eight touchdown passes and 18 turnovers. That led to his release by Miami in July and his late signing with the Raiders.

McCown was acquired in a draft-day trade with the Lions, hoping for a chance to prove he can be an NFL starter. McCown made 22 starts with Arizona before backing up Jon Kitna in Detroit last season.

Andrew Walter, who started eight games last season, is currently the third quarterback on the roster. Kiffin said last week that the team could choose to go with only two, leaving a spot for Russell when he eventually signs.

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