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 ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) -Daunte Culpepper will be Oakland's starting quarterback in the Raiders' preseason game Friday night against St. Louis.
Culpepper, who signed with the Raiders as a free agent July 31 after being released by Miami in the offseason, has been taking the majority of reps with Oakland's starters in practice this week but coach Lane Kiffin didn't announce his plans until Wednesday.
``I know Daunte's excited about it, I could tell when I told him,'' Kiffin said. ``He's very excited to get a shot so we'll see what happens.''
Culpepper is the third quarterback to start for the Raiders this preseason. Josh McCown started against Arizona on Aug. 11, while Andrew Walter got the nod against San Francisco last Saturday. McCown will work in relief of Culpepper against the Rams, while Walter is No. 3 on the depth chart.
Kiffin hedged, however, when asked if he would name a starter for the regular season following the game with St. Louis.
``I don't know that,'' Kiffin said. ``I'd like to. We'll evaluate this game and maybe we'll go into the next game and have to continue but I'd like to.''
Culpepper, 30, has outplayed McCown and Walter throughout the preseason, completing 11 of 20 passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns. His quarterback rating of 113.1 far exceeds Walter's 71.2 and McCown's 66.0.
But Culpepper has had problems taking care of the ball. He fumbled twice against Arizona and twice more against San Francisco. Three of the fumbles came on snaps from center Jeremy Newberry.
``I'm looking for him to take care of the ball and move the offense,'' Kiffin said. ``We want to score points. We don't want to give it up. He's been very good at that as far as throwing it. Now we've got to get the snap from center and make sure that that doesn't happen (again).''
Oakland's fourth quarterback, No. 1 overall pick JaMarcus Russell, has yet to sign a contract. Talks between the two sides have been ongoing but slow, though Kiffin said representatives from the Raiders met with Russell's agents in Los Angeles on Monday, the first in-person meeting between the two sides since training camp began.
``They're still knocking away at (a contract),'' Kiffin said. ``We're going to go with what we have right now. I've got to get this team ready to play and I've got to get this team ready to beat Detroit with who we have.''

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