97

Camp questions: Is Campbell the answer?

Eleventh in a series analyzing Raiders issues and questions heading into training camp with players reporting Tuesday and the first practice on Thursday:

Is Jason Campbell the answer for the Raiders at quarterback?

Oakland is a tough town for quarterbacks.

The only one who got a free pass was the beloved Ken Stabler. When Stabler was the backup, Daryle Lamonica was booed so fiercely the Raiders began introducing their defense for home games. Fans cheered for backup Jim Plunkett even as Dan Pastorini twisted on the ground in pain with a broken leg.

Kerry Collins once stood at the line of scrimmage and urged the home fans to “bring it on.” Josh McCown seemed surprised he was disliked so quickly. Rich Gannon delivered three straight division titles and an AFC title and in some circles was barely tolerated before being Public Enemy No. 1 after throwing five interceptions in the Super Bowl.

Campbell is about to begin a honeymoon period unlike any other Raiders quarterback for obvious reasons. He replaced JaMarcus Russell, who in his short time in Oakland may be the most unpopular player among the home fans in the history of the franchise.

Simply because he’s not Russell, Campbell will be given the benefit of the doubt and initially will be a fan favorite. That’ll last as long as it takes for him to fumble a snap or force one into coverage for an interception during the preseason.

Campbell has been programmed and reprogramed virtually every season, his career a revolving door of offensive coordinators and systems dating back to his days at Auburn.

Considering the constant change, Campbell’s touchdown pass-to-interception ratio (55-to-38) is pretty good, with his worst quality being that he’s taken too many sacks (81 in the past two seasons).

Campbell has been through so much change it’s impossible to know at this point how good he is. He’s in a situation similar to Alex Smith across the bay, someone who you would like to see in a system for more than a year before determining whether he can win in the NFL.

Almost everything in the offseason was encouraging. Campbell flew to Oakland immediately upon being traded, meeting with new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson and immersing himself in another new system.

During minicamps and organized team activities, although coach Tom Cable proclaimed the position a “competition,” Campbell got most of the work (Bruce Gradkowski was out with a torn pectoral muscle) and was immediate upgrade over Russell.

From what I’d seen of Campbell with Washington, and looking at his sack numbers, he was more mobile and athletic than I’d anticipated. Without going into specifics (one of those unwritten rules about watching practice), Jackson has some interesting ideas which include getting Campbell on the perimeter. He’ not a stationary dropback passer along the lines of Kerry Collins.

There was a push in some circles for the Raiders to get Donovan McNabb from Washington, but Campbell is much younger and hasn’t had the benefit of being in the same system as McNabb was. Acquiring him for a fourth-round pick after McNabb went to Washington could deflect some of the grief Davis is getting for insisting Russell was “great.”

The Raiders finished 10th in the NFL in passing in 2005 with 21 touchdown passes and 14 interceptions _ not sensational, but not embarrassing either. From 2006 through 2009, the Raiders were 31st, 31st, 32nd and 29th in passing offense with 47 touchdown passes, 73 interceptions and a staggering 201 sacks allowed in 64 games.

Can Campbell help?

How can he not?

Whether Campbell can be more than a temporary solution will begin to play itself out starting Thursday.

For now, he’s not Russell, and that’s enough.

Previous camp questions:

Can Nnamdi be a playmaker?

Can Gradkowski start?

Will wee see T.O.?

Can less be more for Cable?

Can the starting linebackers hold up in coverage?

How good is Mike Mitchell?

Can Mario be super?

Can Higgins return to ’08 form?

Where is Seymour’s ripple effect?

Can Bush be a beast?

  • Share/Bookmark

Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • MiamiBornRaider86

    1st!!!!! YEAA

  • J Wiggle

    Campbell is a BEAST!

    Definitely the answer at RG!

  • J Wiggle

    Gallery and Campbell at OG for the Raiders = ridiculous running game!

  • MiamiBornRaider86

    i say campbell IS the answer, with a SOLID draft into play, new OC, and JaMarcus Fumble out of our lives, we can now take a deep breath, and watch as the raiders head into the post season..

    I SAY WE WIN THE DIVISION WITH A RECORD OF 4-2(Div.)

    ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL???

    <<<<YESSSSSSIR

  • Just Fire Baby

    I will take that he is not Russell……for about half season.

    Than he needs to start winning games. The situation here isn’t going to be any easier than in Washington. He won’t have the benefit of that great defense, but at least he can count on our kicker. Washington hasn’t had a good kicker for years, and the guy last year missed a 23 yarder than would have iced the Saints game.

    I hope they let him play a lot in the preseason. None of this 2-3 series and he’s our starter no matter what, like last year.

  • J Wiggle

    I will take that he is not Russell……for about half season.

    ——————————————————

    Half a season????

    It won’t take a half a season to find out if this guy is it or not. If he makes it half the season, then he’ll finish the season.

  • Just Fire Baby

    This is what scares me, four 4th quarter comebacks in 52 games. For the record, Jamarcus has only one less in his pitiful career.

    http://www.pro-football-reference.com/play-index/comeback.cgi?player=CampJa00

  • MiamiBornRaider86

    I have the biggest feeling J. Campbell will have the best season of his career. No one expected for B. Favre to come back for a 19th season(09′) and have the BEST statistical season of his career!!! yea he didn’t win all the marbles, but we can blame that on bad officiating!
    2010 Season: J. Campbell 25+ touchdowns, 13 INT 3,000+ Passing yds

  • Just Fire Baby

    Interestingly he has been a much better QB on the road than at home. The QB rating goes down with each month, though. Change of scenery hopefully turns that around.

    http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/C/CampJa00/splits/

  • Just Fire Baby

    J,

    I will be happy for a few months with whatever play he brings, because I am pretty sure he will better than that previous guy.

    But that will only last so long if we aren’t winning. Than we go into “do we need a new QB next year or give him another year mode”.

  • crister

    considering that russell wasn’t just bad, but all-time, historically beyond terrible bad, all campbell has to be is league average and with the trickle down affect of his play to the other positions, 8-8 isn’t out of the question. certainly not a lock, but definitely not unreasonable to think possible.

    for as bad as the team was, oakland still managed to go 5-11. there were still a handful of teams that were worse than us and one and maybe even two of those teams are in our own division. at the very least, hopefully we wont’ have those painful to watch 31-0 games with 10 straight 4 and outs every third week that we had to endure the past 3 or 4 seasons. all you can ask for is a competitive game. with russell, it was uncomfortably obvious that oakland at times was anything but competitive.

  • RaiderKen

    Jerry is so right. I have spent many a Sunday at the Coliseum. The fans have absolutely no tolerance for mediocrety. I remember fans chanting for Billy Joe. I was just thinking you really don’t want that. Then I was at the game when Gannon went down and they cheered because Collins was coming out. I turned to my wife and said this season is over. Yeah, I haven’t seen a good Quarterback in Oakland since that day. Every year I have hope and every first game it’s broke. Well heres to Jason and hoping he is the one that breaks the streak!

  • Just Fire Baby

    for as bad as the team was, oakland still managed to go 5-11. there were still a handful of teams that were worse than us

    *******************************

    Yes, one of those was Campbell’s team, with a top 10 defense at that.

    That’s why I am so cautious with this guy. Is he going to be Aaron Brooks or Rich Gannon? Tough to say.

  • Just Fire Baby
  • truebeliever

    I’m drafting Jason Campbell, Michael Bush, Zach Miller and Seabass on my fantasy team this year and rotating them for best performance options.

  • Carl Weathers

    RaiderKen Says:
    July 24th, 2010 at 11:55 am
    Jerry is so right. I have spent many a Sunday at the Coliseum. The fans have absolutely no tolerance for mediocrety. I remember fans chanting for Billy Joe. I was just thinking you really don’t want that. Then I was at the game when Gannon went down and they cheered because Collins was coming out. I turned to my wife and said this season is over. Yeah, I haven’t seen a good Quarterback in Oakland since that day. Every year I have hope and every first game it’s broke. Well heres to Jason and hoping he is the one that breaks the streak!

    ——————————————————-

    I feel ya bro, aside from being at the Coliseum most Sundays, I could have wrote the exact same.

    The hope begins again… 8th time a charm?!

  • Pretty Rick

    If Jason Campbell doesnt work out,,it wont be from a lack of effort. It appears his priority is becoming a great Football player,,not a club celebrity,,I can see us going 9-7,,,solid.

  • fat kidd

    Zach Miller rated #12 of all tight ends

    ——————————————————————————–

    NFL.co rated Zach Miller number 12 out of all tight ends in the league. I would argue that he should be in the top ten.

  • fat kidd

    Jeff Fisher “very disappointed” in Lane Kiffin after RB coach leaves for USC
    Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on July 24, 2010 2:49 PM ET
    Well, Lane Kiffin was overdue to piss someone off.

    Titans running back coach Kennedy Pola has left the team one week before training camp to take a job as the USC offensive coordinator. Titans coach Jeff Fisher is a former Trojan, but he’s not happy with USC’s new head coach.

    “I am very disappointed in Lane Kiffin’s approach to this,” Fisher said to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. “Typically speaking when coaches are interested in hiring or discussing potential employment from coaches on respective staffs there is a courtesy call made from the head coach or athletic director indicating there is an interest in talking to the assistant.

    “So I am very disappointed in the lack of professionalism on behalf of Lane, to call me and leave me a voice mail after Kennedy had informed me he had taken the job. It is just a lack of professionalism.”

    Pola arrived in Tennessee after coaching the Jaguars running backs and there were reports weeks ago that Kiffin was trying to poach him for a position coach job. Pola denied interest, but the move up to coordinator was apparently too good to pass up.

    And Kiffin has long since shown he doesn’t care what people think of him, especially in Tennessee. Even if it’s a well-known USC alum.

  • r8eray

    campbell will get us to the playoffs this year.
    ..I guarantee it…write it down, take a picture…I don’t give a fudge!

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    Talk about a crappy day!

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    Is Jason Campell the answer for quarterback?
    Probably not.
    He’ll do though for a couple of years though until we get another Snake through the draft or the 49r’s throw away another Plunkett.
    One thing we can all agree on: He isn’t Russell-the biggest f’n disaster to hit our team in a long time.
    The question is, can Campbell beat out Gradowski for the job?
    Who cares. Neither is Russell which means that both are better.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Campbell may have question marks etc….but the fact remains, he is the only real starting option on the team. He is the player who has produced the most to date on the team…he is the only QB on the roster that has thrown for 3000+ yds and 60%+ completion percentage.

    That’s the best you are going to get in a trade for a QB or through free agency. THe best you are going to get when you are utterly incapable of developing your own QB talent.

    Campbell has shown the ability. Change of scenery has rescued many a QB…

    Gradkowski is a decent backup option. His problem…his body of work is way too sketchy to consider a viable starter. 53% career completion…3x cut…he just hasn’t shown the ability outside of a game or 2….no way you gamble the season on the MANY question marks he has.

    Campbell will even be given the benefit of the doubt to a certain extent.

  • buckeyeraider

    ‘Sup fellas?

    Kidd,
    Thanks for the article on Lance. Can’t stand that guy. I really thought Al had found the next bright young HC prospect. Unfortunately Lance turned out to be a fraud.He is nothing more than an opportunist. A self promoting media whore. A cheater, and basically just a classless jerk. I hope he gets run out of USC in disgrace.

    I’m obviously no fan of Urban Meyer and the Gators. But last Oct I was a huge fan. I was hoping Florida would take big mouthed, young Lance and his Vols behind the wood shed.

    I hope this guy crashes and burns. And soon.

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    KIffin is “an opportunist”…a “self-promoting media whore”…and a “classless jerk”.

    You’re being too kind to this jackass.
    He’s certainly reaping what he sowed at USC right now.
    If he crashes and burns, I sure won’t be weaping.

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    “Campbell will be given the benefit of the doubt to a certain extent”?

    Sure, right up to the first game.

  • YoungAmerican

    2011 Draft:

    2nd round – C (Mike Pouncey?) or CB
    3rd round – CB or DT
    4th round – DT or CB

    Back to contention.

  • aig

    I think people expecting JC to be a leader like Gannon will be sorely disappointed. However, I dont think this guy is another Aaron Brooks either. Will he lead us back to 8-8…very possible.

    One of the most important factor of a successful QB is he must be a leader…ideally vocal leader. Peyton, Brady, and Brees are all vocal leaders. McNabb is not and that is why he doesnt have a ring. I doubt that JC will ever lead us to any championships. However 8-8 would be a great season to say the least.

  • buckeyeraider

    Hey Vegas,
    How ya doin?
    Glanced through those stats you posted. Overall, I was pretty impressed. Obviously his win-loss record isn’t the greatest. And that’s what matters most. But if the Raiders can get an avg year from Campbell, 62%, 20+ TD’s and 3,000+ yds, I think they can do some damage.Surprise some people this year.
    Like I’ve said before, if the Raiders passing game can get to an NFL competant level it would really help this defense. And maybe even help open up some running lanes for Bush and Dmac. Make defenses play them honest.

    Yeah, his stats declined during the season. I’d take those Jan stats anyday, though. 28-41, 288 yds. 2 td and 0 int’s. Damn. Those sound almost Gannon-esque. Bring back some memories of earlier this decade. The good old days of sorts.

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    Hey Snake! You out there?
    Ever drink an Alabama Slammer #9?

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    AIG,

    McNabb doesn’t have a ring because his team had no receivers and didn’t run the football enough.

    Gannon’s “leadership” didn’t get us a ring either.

    Are you telling me Dilfer was a “leader” because he has a ring….or Marino not a leader because he doesn’t.

    Football is a TEAM game. Campbell gives us a chance to win!

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    AIG:

    Campbell doesn’t have the personality to be a “vocal leader”, in fact McNabb is better in that respect.
    I agree though that we may well be 8-8.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    RaiderFan overrates talent more than any other team. Guys like Fargas, Gradkowski, Warren, Sam Williams, Ricky Brown, Captain Kirk,….these guys are just guys…they are not any good.

    But Raider fan thinks these guys are “great players”

    B.S

    Campbell is the best we can do because the Raiders have NEVER been able to develop a QB on their own. So in lieu of this situation…you have to go get someone else’s QB.

    You WILL never get a QB without question marks in free agency or trade. But at least Campbell has thrown for 3000 yds….has completed 60%…was a 1st rd pick…has a work ethic…and never sold anyone down the river even though he was in terrible circumstances with a bad coach, o-line, receivers and ownership. He’s only 27

    Campbell gives this offense the best chance of success…he is the best QB on this roster…not even close

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    SnB:

    The Raiders “have NEVER been able to develop been able to develop a QB on their own.”?!

    What the hell then was Kenny Stabler?
    Drafted by the Raiders in 1968, sat on the bench for years until he became one of our most celebrated quarterbacks!

    I think I’ll celebrate him right now by drinking Alabama Slammer #9!

  • aig

    SnB,

    You should really take a chill pill. Talking about overrating. You have not even seen Campbell throw one pass or take 1 snap in a regular season game as a Raider and you are already crowning him KING. puhleez……

    There are these guys named Jeff George, Pastorini, Aaron brooks, and Kerry Collins that were brandname freeagents that busted with us. Usually we stumble into a good QB to rescue us like Plunkett and Gannon. The rest of us on here are much more realistic than you are. We think JC, Grad, and Frye will give us a much better chance at 8-8 than Jawalrus. We’re just ready to crown JC king like you are.

    BTW, you mentioned earlier that the Redskins had a worst Oline than us in 2009 as one of the excuses you make for JC. Let me educate you. Our Oline allowed the opposing D to knock out 3 QB’s on our roster over 16 games. JC started all 16 games for the Redskins last year. Skins gave up 46 sacks. We gave up 49 sacks. Skins had 7th best D we had one of the worst.

    So save your BS excuses and let’s jsut wait until he takes a snap for us before crowning him King ok.

  • aig

    I meant to say we are NOT ready to crown JC king.

  • aig

    Englad,

    I know that it takes time to develop a QB with most of them. Gannon was a nobody until he came to us in the middle of his career. I’m writing off JC but not going to crown him King like SnB.

  • aig

    I mean to say I’m not…damn this laptop types too slow for my mind.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Anyone who thinks JC played with less talent in Washington is crazy.

    Santana Moss and Randle-El are legit NFL WR’s, Moss has made a pro Bowl. He played with Cooley for years, another pro Bowl.

    The defense is great, top 10 almost every year he was there, and was once the #2 ranked D. O-line was not very good, but find one place that doesn’t say we have THE worst line.

    Campbell is going to have to do more with less. I hope he is at in him

  • Nnamdi21

    He’s a 2nd round pick. Is that really a “sleeper”?

    http://www.raidernationstation.com/2010_off_season

    Good write up though…

    Read some interviews with him. Not a big talker but a very smart young man. Actions speak louder and he says plenty on the field.

  • Nnamdi21

    39. He’s good have no illuions, but he isn’t great. I don’t think he’ll be asked to take the game on his shoulders and really shouldn’t. Not that type of QB but a solid leader who works hard.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    I never said that Jason Campbell was King. Never said that! I said that he has questions…but, guess what folks…any QB available for trade or free agency is going to have those question marks.

    What I will say is this…he is WITHOUT QUESTION the best QB on the roster…not even close.

    Hue Jackson evaluated JaDavis, “Grads”, Frye, Boller and whatever other 3rd tier QB on the roster and told Davis and company that we don’t have a chance. Get someone else in here….

    Only Donovan McNabb wa initially available. But he didn’t want to play here and the Shanahan wanted him…so that made Campbell available….still a much better option than what we had.

  • Nnamdi21

    Damm Jerry, what would we do with out you?

    A REAL writer…may gawd thats becoming more and more of a rarity…

    Thanks again, we’re pretty lucky.

    Enjoy the week J Mac!!!

  • EMRaiders

    Check out this yahoo link. go to the bottom and watch the video of some tennessee chick singing to kiffin, pretty funny.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/shutdown_corner/post/Lane-Kiffin-angers-everyone-in-Tennessee-slight?urn=nfl-257961

  • Nnamdi21

    Kiffin’s such a bu-tt hole.

    Davis was right for firing his azz, but wrong for hiring him in the first place. At least Davis didn’t know…

  • the ROG is ready for 2010

    # Just Fire Baby Says:
    July 24th, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Anyone who thinks JC played with less talent in Washington is crazy.

    Santana Moss and Randle-El are legit NFL WR’s, Moss has made a pro Bowl. He played with Cooley for years, another pro Bowl.

    The defense is great, top 10 almost every year he was there, and was once the #2 ranked D. O-line was not very good, but find one place that doesn’t say we have THE worst line.

    Campbell is going to have to do more with less. I hope he is at in him
    ************************************

    VR i like you but now your obsession with Gradkowski is clouding all logic. The guy is not good at all. Never has and never will be. Noodle armed and is a runt! Get over it man. Do you not wanna see this team be able to beat the top notch teams when January rolls around? I’m sure you do and we have a way better shot with Campbell there than Gradkowski’s sorry ass. Please stop this…its embarrassing my friend

  • the ROG is ready for 2010

    # SnB offense defense specialteams Says:
    July 24th, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    I never said that Jason Campbell was King. Never said that! I said that he has questions…but, guess what folks…any QB available for trade or free agency is going to have those question marks.

    What I will say is this…he is WITHOUT QUESTION the best QB on the roster…not even close.

    Hue Jackson evaluated JaDavis, “Grads”, Frye, Boller and whatever other 3rd tier QB on the roster and told Davis and company that we don’t have a chance. Get someone else in here….

    Only Donovan McNabb wa initially available. But he didn’t want to play here and the Shanahan wanted him…so that made Campbell available….still a much better option than what we had.
    **************************************

    SnB you cant tell some people anything no matter what…..see you and I dont agree on all things but we shouted more than anyone the need for a true MLB and NT……many on here wanted to dispute that like Jhill, BHP and others but obviously the Raiders agreed with you and I.

    The Gradkowski lover it out of his mind thinking a redux of Gannon will happen. Let me squash that right now by saying………MUTHAFUK Rich Gannon! I never liked the guy that much to begin with. Yeah we won some games but in the biggest game ever he throws 5 ints….3 that went to the house without any pressure!

    JC was the best QB we could get and it wasnt even close. We got these fast ass tall WRs for what? To dink and dunk? Gimme a break. You let NFL defenses actually go into a season having scouted Grads as the starter and watch a debacle occur.

    Pro Bowl NT of the Dallas Cowboys Jay Ratliff got on NFLN and said JC was most underrated QB in NFL and he was glad he was gone. You think Grads would get that kind of props from a pro bowl defensive player? Hell Naw

  • the ROG is ready for 2010

    SnB offense defense specialteams Says:
    July 24th, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    RaiderFan overrates talent more than any other team. Guys like Fargas, Gradkowski, Warren, Sam Williams, Ricky Brown, Captain Kirk,….these guys are just guys…they are not any good.

    But Raider fan thinks these guys are “great players”
    **********************************

    Amen SnB…..this is why we have continued to lose….yes al deserves the blame but so do the people who love these losers! You have a part in this as well! Someone like Justin Farglass made me sick. Out of the starting RBs in the NFL this guy is the least talented. What roster is he on again? As I’ve said a million times watching Farglass get carries was similar to watching McCown play QB…..you knew you were going to win against good teams.

  • the ROG is ready for 2010

    # Nnamdi21 Says:
    July 24th, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    39. He’s good have no illuions, but he isn’t great. I don’t think he’ll be asked to take the game on his shoulders and really shouldn’t. Not that type of QB but a solid leader who works hard.
    **********************************

    Gameplan is quite simple….Bush/Dmac combine for 35 carries and JC passes 25 times. It shouldnt even be up for debate

  • the ROG is ready for 2010

    # Just Fire Baby Says:
    July 24th, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Anyone who thinks JC played with less talent in Washington is crazy.

    Santana Moss and Randle-El are legit NFL WR’s, Moss has made a pro Bowl. He played with Cooley for years, another pro Bowl.

    The defense is great, top 10 almost every year he was there, and was once the #2 ranked D. O-line was not very good, but find one place that doesn’t say we have THE worst line.

    Campbell is going to have to do more with less. I hope he is at in him
    *************************************

    Raiders didnt have the worse line VR…..stop with the excuses for having Gradkowski start. you dont want the best man to win…you want Top Ramen arm polock boy to start