Campbell as a leader must come to pass


It seems much of Raider Nation is pleased Jason Campbell has seized the role of team leader during the lockout.

Campbell said in two interviews he had a playbook and was organizing a workout at an undisclosed date and time along with Richard Seymour. Campbell would run the offense, Seymour the defense.

Jackson, a smooth operator when it comes to player relations, has apparently mended any fences that were in need of repair over Campbell’s benching in favor of Bruce Gradkowski last year in Week 2. It was Jackson who went to coach Tom Cable and requested the change, and considering the influence bestowed on the coordinator by Al Davis, the head coach had little choice but to comply.

It’s a nice bit of sleight of hand in that Cable was viewed as a Bruce Gradkowski guy. That may have been true, but the offense belonged to Jackson and he twice opted to have Gradkowski replace Campbell.

Now Campbell is saying all the right things about Jackson and vice versa, a good sign in that the offensive mind and the quarterback should operate as one. There are no more gray areas. In the brief span on April 29 when the lockout was lifted, go ahead and assume Jackson, in addition to shipping a playbook to Campbell, also made it clear what he expected of his quarterback should there be another shutdown.

Campbell, who has never played in the same system for two straight years, is taking Jackson’s request to be a leader to heart.

When asked about the qualities he looked for in a quarterback before the draft, Jackson thought the two most important attributes were leadership and accuracy _ the ability to complete big passes and keep drives alive.

The offseason without the coaches provides a unique opportunity for Campbell to make strides toward being a leader. As far as being the kind of passer Jackson desires, we won’t know that until training camp and the regular season.

Because here’s the deal with Campbell _ he has yet to demonstrate he can carry the Raiders offense on a day when the running game isn’t going well.

His season passer rating of 84.5 last year was the best since Rich Gannon won MVP at 97.3 in 2002, but achieved largely because of five games in which he had rating ranging from 105.5 to 127.9 during which the Raiders dominated on the ground. Oakland averaged 216.4 yards per game in those five games when Campbell’s efficiency was highest (71 of 111 for 1,114 yards, eight touchdowns, no interceptions for a 121.2 rating).

By contrast, Campbell’s rating was 65.7 (123 of 218 for 1,273 yards, five touchdowns, eight interceptions) outside of those five games when Oakland struggled on the ground and needed to control things through the air.

As much as Jackson is talking up Campbell, the fact remains that at the present time, the quarterback is not under contract past this year. Unless they sign him once the lockout ends as a show of confidence, he’ll likely be playing for that contract this year.

There was considerable buzz the Raiders liked Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Sports Illustrated’s Peter King was in the 49ers’ draft room and reported San Francisco was convinced Oakland would have taken Kaepernick had they not traded up to get him.

Whether the 49ers were correct in their assessment, only the Raiders know for sure. If they were thinking quarterback in the second round, it means they weren’t necessarily sold on Campbell past this year.

The bottom line is Campbell can lead all he wants, but any designs he has on becoming Davis’ next Jim Plunkett will rest with him on occasion carrying the offense with the pass.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • …………period!

  • Harder2000

    @ Priesttj,

    I agree, thought you meant it the other way – sorry, my bad! Let’s hope this road is the right one!


    Seen it mentioned in a couple reports and on blogs (know blogs is not reliable in any way), but didnt really put too much thought into it as he played at 225 last year and JC said he’d been bulking, noting he had told him to balance it out so he didnt lose too much speed.. Tried to find the reports about the weight(not any official reports), but couldnt, so just disregard it – will post them if i find them again.. But the JC comment was from his interview that you probably already heard..

  • “There’s A Voice,
    That Keeps On Calling Me.
    Down The Road,
    Is Where I’ll Always Be.
    Every Stop I Make,
    I’ll Make A New Friend.
    Can’t Stay For Long, Just Turn Around And I’m Gone Again.

    Maybe Tomorrow, I’ll Wanna Settle Down,
    Until Tomorrow, I’ll Just Keep Moving On.”

    Funny that singing this makes me feel better….

  • ……huming works as well.Try it – you’ll have a great Sunday.

  • Although just thinking there…Michael Vick should give it a miss.

  • TerrapinRaider

    I dont think he was 225lbs last year. More like 210-215ish. But I am not 100% on that.

    I think people just went silly with the 235 stuff based on Campbell’s interview, which is typical.

    My best guess would be 220/225 range. 235 would be getting too big for a WR. He would definitely lose valuable speed at that weight imo. So you got to assume at most he put on 5-10lbs of muscle from 210-215 playing weight last year. And his speed may still be intact.

  • TerrapinRaider

    To be less precise I would venture to say he is now 215-225lbs; which is a pretty intimidating size for a WR.

    I do worry about the speed he may have given up.

    DHB is listed at 6’2″ 210lbs on Raiders.com. I really think he played somewhere around that weight last year.

    Larry Fitzgerald is listed at 6’3″ 218lbs or thereabout.

    I don’t think DHB goes far beyond that so we can create a base for him. That makes for a very sizable and intimading WR if he has kept the speed to boot.

  • Thec07

    Not worried about DHB speed or size. Does he have the insticts, and hands?

  • Harder2000

    You might be right Terrapin, must admit i havent followed it too closely..
    Do remember reports and pictures indicating he had bulked up last year however, and the 225 were thrown around.. But they could be wrong naturally!
    I dont think he played at 210 last year, he seemed larger and more muscular than the previous year.. But JC mentioning it this year, reffering to the speed, must mean it is quite substantial, or at least clearly visible – so we will get a chance to see during camp..
    And youre right, pretty intimidating, meybe he got tired of being harrassed at the line.. -)

  • Harder2000

    Just saw that he has finally started an open profile on twitter, then maybe he can shed some light on it himself..

  • Thec07

    Like I told you guys after the draft last year JFORD is a footballer first, has great WR insticts, and hands…

    JFORD has it….
    DMOORE has it…..
    DHB after 2 is “working on it”

  • Thec07

    Route running can be taught….
    Speed, instincts, great hands cannot…

  • priesttj

    I would definitely tend to agree with you on that T’pin last year I think he played at somewhere around 215 this year he may have added 5 lbs of muscle. I think and I’ve said this before he gets rerouted a lot and he has to re-establish his route and sometimes the ball is either to early or thrown away as a result. He’s doing it to fight off DB’s because he thinks that’s what’s needed but it’s not. He needs to learn to stay disciplined and run cleaner routes and learn to setup a DB so that the DB doesn’t anticipate the route he’s running. He also needs to learn to adjust his route to the defense better in order to give the QB a target. Like Timmy used to just sit down in a window and give the QB a target. DHB drifts and the QB gets confused, once he understands how to do that the DB will be at his mercy. But he has learn to do it. That’s why it takes WR so long to develope because route running is damn near an artform.

  • Jerry, just kill this blog and give it to priest. Change the blog’s name to: “The Priest’s Pulpit…Al Davis Knows More Than You!”

  • priesttj

    The ability to catch the ball can be taught and has been many times you may never have natural hands but catching a football is taught all the time. Instincts can be taught to a certain degree you may never be as good as someone with natural instincts. The only thing that’s impossible to teach is speed. No one comes into football and has instincts until he learns the position then repetition begets instincts some much better than others.

    The only thing that’s impossible to teach at all is God given speed.

  • priesttj

    That’s a great idea MR I’ll have to look into that I think I have a lot to say.

  • Dan Land


    What made D Moore drop to rd 4? Thanks.


    DHB hasnt even shown flashes of being a top notch WR. What makes you confident he can develop into a top flight player? Thanks.

  • SnB Production

    DHB has to listen to his coaches and get more aggressive on the field. He’s going to drop passes…but if he can make a few big catches no one is going to care. He has the physical tools and speed. He needs to sit down with Jacoby Ford and absorb some of his personality.

    Go up and TAKE the ball man!

  • SnB Production

    Al Davis can do what he wants as the owner. However, its the coaching chaos that has been the biggest reason for this 8 years of mess.

    The draft? He’s done better in the last year or two….but still has work to do to overcome the big mistakes from 2000 to 2007 – a lost decade of draft picks

  • priesttj

    Even Michealangelo had his down periods so did many great men. No one is infallable we’re all flawed people just trying to do the best we can. He was once great at what he does and still is capable of biulding a team as we have observed. But no one is perfect, certainly not him certainly not me and certainly not you…..

  • Dan Land

    The Great Al Davis is the reason for all the coaching turmoil. The Great Al Davis is the reason for the botched FA moves. The Great Al Davis is the reason for the bad drafts. The, huh ummmm, “great” Al Davis’s GREAT days are long behind him.

  • priesttj

    Maybe so maybe not, we’ll certainly see wont we?

  • Dan Land

    How many years of losing will it take for you to be convince the man has lost “it”?? 10? 15? 20?

  • priesttj

    Someday maybe soon Mr Davis is going to pass away and when that happens……I’ll have a stiff drink and shed a few tears and salute him. He was incredible from beginning to end there was no one like him………….period

  • priesttj

    And I’m not going to let a few ignorant people rob me of one second of the enjoyment of watching him succeed and fail miserably because that is what life is all about. People fail even at the things they love the most. It’s a part of life with Mr Davis I’m cool with whatever happens because when he was great it was magnificent so when he’s not so great I’m rolling with my dawg………..damn the torpedoes!!!

  • SnB Production

    priesttj Says:
    May 15th, 2011 at 11:23 am
    Even Michealangelo had his down periods so did many great men. No one is infallable we’re all flawed people just trying to do the best we can. He was once great at what he does and still is capable of biulding a team as we have observed. But no one is perfect, certainly not him certainly not me and certainly not you…..
    True enough….as long as Al Davis has learned from his mistakes and goes ahead and fixes the situation and gets this team back to where it rightfully belongs

  • SnB Production

    We should never celebrate failure. Learn from it, yes…but never celebrate it.

  • Dan Land


    Will you continue to be a Raider fans once Al Davis passes? Or is Al the main reason your a Raider fan?

  • priesttj

    Sometimes because we have a rooting interest we think things should be done the way WE WANT them done. The way things were doen in the past are no longer useful because it’s not working the wya we think it should. Well sometimes in life we do everything right and it still comes out wrong, people are not robots their flawed frail humanbeings who do things we don’t expect them to. We don’t read minds and cannot read the future so life happens. Guys get on drugs and get hurt or just decide they don’t want to do it anymore. No one can control any of that.

    People are frail humans when you got married to the women of your dreams did she ever disappoint you? Did your children evr disappoint you? or anyone you love do things you don’t expect? That’s called life!!

    It also happens when you draft people you barely even know you do your due diligence research them and even put a PI on them. And they decide they want to party and hang out. You’re paying them millions of dollars but their too immature to be responsible. Did YOU make a mistake or did life just happen???

    It happens to the best of us…………….period

  • Al Davis doesn’t even recognize his key mistakes. Sure, he’s admitted to have made them, per se. But he gives only a couple of specific examples. He’s been making major mistakes since the ’80s, and has owned up to hardly any of them. And, he continues to make similar mistakes. Still has no GM. Still meddles. Still drafts for speed and agility over football skills. Still hasn’t owned up to any of these mistakes. So, he hasn’t learned from his mistakes. He’s still making them. A long as he’s involved, even remotely, he’s making a mistake. And until he owns up to that, and learns from it, his team will continue to suck.

  • Priest, if the league somehow removed Al Davis from the Raiders, I’d still be a Raider fan. Would you? You tell me who the real “Raider fan” is.

  • priesttj

    MR look man you have no clue what he does or doesn’t do. You have an opinion and that is fine but that’s all it is is an opinion….

    You never biult a team nor do understand how one is biult. I know just enough to know that I don’t know nothing and you know even less……….so it’s easy to sit back and say I know better when the simple fact is………………YOU DON’T

  • priesttj

    Nor do you know me so get a clue and stop reaching……….I’m done no more attention to you or your comments……………period

  • Dan Land

    Even the fastest horses get put out to pasture Priest, age catches up with EVERYONE and EVERYTHING…Al Davis is no different.

  • 1eyedpirate

    Gannon and Campbell are 2 different guys… Gannon was like a coach on the field and that’s what made him good…. Cuz his arm strength was mediocre however his touch on he ball was great…. Campbell needs to be that coach on the field to be able to take the next step…. His arm strength is great and he has shown good touch at times if he can make the reads and calls the right audibles then we r in business… My opinion has always been that if a qb is gonna be good he will be good from the gate…. But there are exceptions… Gannon was a damn good back up early in his career and could have started alot sooner…. Let’s hope Campbell can find his mojo this year or else we will be looking for a new franchise qb again…. I got a feeling he is gonna do above average due to the fact that the o-line looks more solid…Gannon benefited from an awesome in front of him…Whatever the case, like Jerry said he better start carrying the offense with his arm when needed or he is done…..

  • Just Fire Baby

    Just got done watching the NFL replay of all the games of week 9. (Chiefs home game)

    Pretty lame that they spend 45 minutes on the morning games and 15 minutes on the afternoon game.

    Only showed about 5 plays from scrimmage that weren’t ST plays, and a few notes.

    -they show 1 McFadden run. KC had 7 in the box, Reece did a beautiful job, and a KC defender didn’t touch McFadden until he was 20 yards down the field. Brilliant job by our O-line and FB.

    -The Barnes TD was another solid job by our O-line, but an even better ball-fake from Campbell. Well done Soup.

    -That Nick Miller fumble on the punt could have been a season-ender. Glad he won’t be returning punts next year.

    -Cassell finds Dwayne Bowe on MM34, and scorches him with such ease, that there is just no way MM34 can be considered a FS. It takes Mitchell longer to get out of his back-pedal than it probably takes Al Davis to get out of bed in the morning.

    -The Jacoby Ford OT catch was amazing. Good throw, better catch.

  • lefty12

    I can understand people being optimistic about the young talent we have on our Oline,but the way some say it looks more solid this year is premature.It is full of young ,new players and is definitely a wait and see group.

  • LOL
    tj, you dont like name calling? Start with yourself my dude, take a look in the mirror, freakin hypocrite!

    Priesttj Says:
    May 13th, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Hey KK if you disagre man disagree your name calling brotha pisses me off

  • DaveB

    Did someone really just say it’s ok for Al Davis to destroy the team, because it’s his team?

  • DaveB

    That’s ignorance at it’s best.
    It’s not ‘Al’s house.
    It’s an organization that answers to many.
    From the league, to the networks, to the fans, to the players.
    Anyone who says anyone has the right to destroy, or drag down a team, or organization, is, in their way saying “ya, he is making a whole slew of stupid decisions, but he’s the owner, so I will meekly go along, because I don’t have a backbone”

  • DaveB

    I think it’s time for another billboard on 880 🙂

  • Yeah Dave the last one was so affective.


  • Raiders for life

    Al grew up in Brooklyn, slicked back hair, New york accent and a fine white suit. He is stuborn and stuck in his way.
    Do I love the guy? Nope, but I do respect what he has accomplished.
    I thought Al was starting to lose his mojo then looked at the 2010 draft:
    Plus as an added bonus: Potential starter B. Campbell.

    2011 draft Al signed off on 3 more potential starters
    D. Moore
    Al has forgot more about football than I’ll ever know. I hope he can get one more SB and a new stadium before he passes.

  • SnB Production

    “Just Win Baby!”

    Everything else is just posture and noise.

  • Thec07

    Dan Land Says:
    May 15th, 2011 at 10:50 am

    What made D Moore drop to rd 4? Thanks.

    what Rd was JFORD taken in? Thanks…

  • MB, billboard goes up, humiliating Al. The following season, the Raiders are 8-8.

  • I say, keep with the billboards. Al acted like he didn’t care. But things changed after that billboard went up. First billboard got us to 8-8. Let’s see if a second one can get us to 10-6, and a playoff appearance.

  • “Al Davis, 8-8 is good. We’re not losers anymore! But it’s not enough. Hire a GM, now!!!”

  • Raiders for life

    What difference would it make to hire a GM when Davis owns the team???? Oh I know, the Raiders would hire and fire general managers faster than head coaches.

  • Buckeyeraider

    ‘Sup fellas.

    Vegas, you still around? Just finished reading through the thread and I don’t like you picking on my boy MM34 like that. lol.

    Yes, he got beaten by Bowe badly for a TD in that KC game, but what the hell does that have to do with his ability to play FS?

    That was obviously a busted coverage. Probably by the new 10 mil dollar man Stan Routte, who lined up in the slot vs. TE Moiake (SP?), leaving Mitchell essentially at outside corner covering KC’s #1 WR Dwayne Bowe at the LOS.

    An obvious mismatch and blown coverage, that any QB would exploit. In fact the reason MM34 was so slow out of his back peddle was, that right up til the snap of the ball…he’s hopping up and down trying to get dumbazz Routte’s attention that he’s lined up in the wrong position and blown the coverage. Helllllooo.

    So he was essentially covering up for Routte at CB. What FS is going to win that matchup? I don’t get the inference that he can’t play the Raiders’ single high FS. Would Vann McElroy have fared any better vs. Art Monk? Eddie Anderson vs Cris Carter? Eric Turner vs Jerry Rice? Stuey vs…..well, nevermind. Prolly not.

    I wouldn’t discount the option of MM34 patrolling the deep secondary ala Jack Tatum. I think he’s got the speed and range to do it. But, that’s just my opinion. And maybe Big Al’s. We shall see.

    P.S. His 2nd rnd pick butt needs to start somewhere, whether FS or SS…. I don’t care. He needs to be out there. Period.