454

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.

  • Share/Bookmark

Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • SnB Production

    Buckeyeraider,

    You were right on target. Routt jacked that up by not looking up and surveying the field.

    Dwayne Bowe on Mike Mitchell 1-1 should NEVER happen!

    He better be starting FULL TIME next year.

  • Raiders for life

    I have a question about the saftey position. Branch can hit, Mitchell can hit but whats up with all the negative Stevie Brown thoughts? I missed 3 games on TV last year…the 1st Donks game, Pitts and 49ers. Did I miss something that leads everyone to believe that Stevie is PS bound?

  • priesttj

    Buck on that play you’re exactly right except one thing MM34 wasn’t playing FS he was playing SS. It’s rare that a FS gets caught in coverage if you watch Huff since he’s been a FS he rarely is in coverage unless it’s 4 wides or a bybrid formation. Like two TE’s or some innovative thing. He normally is playing single high which is the same as saying centerfield. The SS is in coverage on every pass play. if you think back when Huff was playing SS and Stu was the FS. Huff was always covering the TE because he was playing Strongside. The word free in free safety is exactly what it means free to roam and play the eyes of the QB which could dictate where he goes.

    Watch a game, any game and you’ll see Huff is rarely man up on anyone. That’s teh responsibility of the free safety.

  • priesttj

    RFL No man they are high on SBrown and that is the reason I don’t see Huff back here they are stacked at the Safety position not that Huff wouldn’t halp if he stayed but it would cost Brown. Because Huff would more than likely get starter money. I really like Brown he is very instinctive and make splays when they are there to be made something that is a pet peeve of mine. He’s a natural FS IMO I could be wrong but I would let him play the QB PLUS he hits and brings his lunch pale. I see him playing a lot.

  • Buckeyeraider

    Priest,

    I know that Mitchell has only played SS or more so “Big Nickle” at or near the LOS.

    I was responding to an earlier post by JFB, where he said after watching the replay of the 1st KC game, that we could give up any notion of MM34 switching to FS this offseason.

    He cited the TD pass to Bowe as evidence that Mitchell is too slow out of his back peddle to cover WR’s like Huff, and play the single high FS. I’m paraphrasing, but that’s the gyst of it, I think.

    I was just responding that, I thought it was a busted coverage and not fair to judge him by that play.

    It’s my opinion that you get ANY safety lined up vs. the other teams # 1 WR at the LOS…that is a mismatch that any QB worth his salt will exploit, probably with about 90% success rate.

    I think MM34 with his 4.43 speed and natural born instinct to hit any moving object in his path COULD excel in the role of enforcer in the Raiders deep secondary like the late, great Jack Tatum.

    But, that’s just my opinion. Jerry doesn’t seem to think so, and neither does Vegas. I was just bustin his chops a little. All in good fun.

  • priesttj

    OK Cool I tend to agree he could olay either position but I think Branch would be better served to play FS he struggles badly at times st the SS position he just can’t cover worth beans.

  • Nnamdi21

    350. Correct assessment of that KC play.

    MM34 played FS at Miami of Ohio me thinks but that meant he’d have a steeper learning curve and adjustment to the bigs. Not sure if he’s there yet and pretty sure he’s NOT ready to play single high for the Oakland Raiders.

    Who knows what our secondaries going to look like. Woodsen is a HOF’er but that doesn’t mean he can coach. We’ll all have to find together and see which or who responds.

    Branch reminds me of Woodsen sometimes but faster. IF Branch can get his coverage down, we’re onto something.

    If not, ugh? with Nnamdi and Huff gone, thats bad bad bews friends.

    Things are NOT settled in the secondary by a long shot in Oakland

  • Raiders for life

    Any thoughts on Jeremy Ware? I’ve seen some highlights on youtube and he looks to be a solid tackler. Not sure about coverage but he can hit.

  • priesttj

    MM34 would be great at FS the kid could cut it loose then but the problem is he’s just as good at SS. That’s why I would put Branch at FS give him a chance to survey the field at single high and make an impact because we cannot afford another 10 TD passes given up at SS. Get him out of there.

    You guys think single high is rocket science it’s not nearly as hard as it’s made out to be in here you just have to be instinctive and aggressive. Branch IMO can get it done at FS no prob.

  • Just Fire Baby

    What’s happening Buck?

    Yes, it could have been a busted coverage (nobody else seemed to be jumping around looking around except him, so either he was the only 1 who knew or he didn’t know what he was doing).

    My point is that he looked abysmal in coverage. Bowe ran a simple post, and MM34 (busted coverage or not) was non-existant on the play. Up 4 with 7 minutes to go, I don’t want to see our future starting FS make Matt Cassel look like he is throwing passes in 7 on 7 drills.

    In today’s NFL, with all these spread offenses and what not, Mitchell is going to have to cover someone, sometimes, whether it FS or SS.

    If he plays it like he did Bowe IN THE MOST CRUCIAL POINT OF THE GAME, I am not too hopeful.

  • DaveB

    Problem is Al does what he does because he’s old, and stubborn.
    Billboards are an unavoidable statement that everyone isn’t like this TJPriest guy, who bows down at the mere mention of Al’s name, and that some, even many, if not most are tired of the circus that surrounds Al Davis, and his loopy decisions.

  • priesttj

    I for one was impressed with what I saw from Ware probably because i didn’t expect much. But he was a pleasant surprise, he didn’t embarrass himself. And he made a few plays he has decent ball skills as well. I was surprised.

  • priesttj

    It’s just one play JFB don’t make soo much out of it. The kid played very well last year and you’re taking one play and killing the guy.

  • http://www.cnn.com RAIDER

    R4L,

    A GM could spot talent that Al can’t see. Al wouldn’t just fire him right away. Having one person upstairs that isn’t a total kiss ass would make a huge difference.

  • http://www.cnn.com RAIDER

    It sounds to me like Davis’s ass kissers in here would rather the team lose than win with any help outside of Al’s leadership. You guys are a strange bunch.

  • Dan Land

    There are more than a few fans who are Raiders because of Al Davis…as long as hes around the wins/losses are secondary.

  • Raiders for life

    DaveB Says:
    May 15th, 2011 at 6:26 pm
    Problem is Al does what he does because he’s old, and stubborn.
    Billboards are an unavoidable statement that everyone isn’t like this TJPriest guy, who bows down at the mere mention of Al’s name, and that some, even many, if not most are tired of the circus that surrounds Al Davis, and his loopy decisions

    ##############################################

    I agree and disagree, Al was a miserable failure from 2002-2009. Now, look at the starters from the 2010 draft. Al signed off on some potential starters from the 2011 draft. If Hujax sticks around for a few years I will be exicited. But you just never know with AL.

  • RaiderRockstar

    The end of the road could be near for McNabb

    Posted by Mike Florio on May 15, 2011, 6:53 PM EDT

    Getty Images
    In the wake of the latest one-two punch against Donovan McNabb — a fresh round of withering (albeit misguided) criticism from boxer Bernard Hopkins and a report that McNabb refused to wear a wristband containing the offensive plays last season in order to preserve his image — one writer who covered McNabb’s up-and-down tenure in Philly has offered up an intriguing take.

    At a time when many assume McNabb will simply land with a new team for 2011, Geoff Mosher of DelawareOnline.com believes that McNabb career could be kaput.

    “Perhaps there is no worse sign for McNabb than the fact that the Vikings, coached by former Eagles assistant Leslie Frazier, almost tore a biceps tendon reaching for Christian Ponder at 12th overall,” Mosher writes.

    And then there’s this observation: “NFL teams are forever getting younger, more athletic and more coachable at the game’s most important position — not older, injury prone and with an ego the size of Texas.”

    Though we’re not yet ready to drop a shovel of dirt on McNabb’s 12-year NFL career, it’s a possibility that we no longer would regard as shocking. McNabb will demand being installed as the Day One starter, and he’ll want the kind of financial package that inherently will demonstrate that the Eagles were wrong to trade him and that the Redskins were wrong to dismiss him. At this point, we can’t think of a team that will do it — and we can’t envision McNabb accepting any lesser terms in order to continue playing.

    Much can change between now and whenever the lockout ends. But those changes possibly will have to come as much from McNabb’s view of his current abilities as they will from the needs of the teams who are trying to decide what to do at quarterback in 2011.

    ***

    PFT didn’t mention Oakland as a possible landing spot?

    sweet! McNabb can go to Miami or Detroit to embarrass himself at the end of his career, like Daunte Culpepper

    a Carson Palmer 4 Donovan McNabb straight up trade should be in the works if it isn’t already …

  • Buckeyeraider

    Vegas,

    You’re right. He got beat pretty soundly. I still don’t think you want a safety at the line in press coverage against the other teams No. 1 WR. That’s just asking for trouble. Whether it’s Mitchell or anybody else.

    Unfortunately, I think Huff is gone, probably off to multiple pro bowls as a Cowpoke. Puke. I hope I’m wrong.

    There is probably going to be a shake up in the secondary. Maybe Branch slides over to FS. Like Huff, he played some CB in college. Exclusively actually. Maybe he’d be a natural. I like Tyvon Branch, and hope he rebounds from a difficult season.

    MM34 at 220 lbs has the size and tackling ability to thrive playing near the LOS at SS. He actually showed somne pretty good coverage ability against some top TE’s including Gates and Houston’s TE, too.

    So, maybe that’s the way they go. I’m just saying, don’t discount the notion of AD having visions of sugarplums and his surprise 2nd rd pick, MM34 knocking the piss out of people in the role of enforcer in the deep secondary, dancing in his head. Maybe he’s right.

    I guess that’s one of the intriguing training camp (if they have one) battles that we’ll have to watch.

  • Just Fire Baby

    I REALLLLLLLY like MM34 as a SS, because he is such a sound, physical tackler in the box.

    He just looks like a fish out of water in space and that doesn’t translate to our FS position.

  • RaiderRockstar

    MM34 would be great at FS the kid could cut it loose then but the problem is he’s just as good at SS. That’s why I would put Branch at FS give him a chance to survey the field at single high and make an impact

    ***

    Mitch & Branch will both start at safety. it’s up to Chuck B, Rod Woodson & Kevin Ross to play the right guy at which spot. Probably the guy with the best coverage ability will play FS because both as “in the box” SS types can lay the wood and knock you out cold

  • RaiderRockstar

    JFB,

    does 1 play define a young players career?

    if so… Jacoby Ford’s fumble cost us a win against J’ville late in the season so I guess he has ball security issues and shouldn’t be in the mix as a return man. Right?

  • RaiderRockstar

    I like Tyvon Branch, and hope he rebounds from a difficult season.

    MM34 at 220 lbs has the size and tackling ability to thrive playing near the LOS at SS. He actually showed somne pretty good coverage ability against some top TE’s including Gates and Houston’s TE, too.

    So, maybe that’s the way they go. I’m just saying, don’t discount the notion of AD having visions of sugarplums and his surprise 2nd rd pick, MM34 knocking the piss out of people in the role of enforcer in the deep secondary, dancing in his head. Maybe he’s right.

    I guess that’s one of the intriguing training camp (if they have one) battles that we’ll have to watch.

    ***

    Co-Sign!

  • Buckeyeraider

    RRS,
    How’s it going, man? In here kinda late aren’t ya? I didn’t think you posted, unless it was on the companies dime. lol. Welcome to the PM crew.

  • Guy
  • Guy
  • RaiderRockstar

    How’s it going, man? In here kinda late aren’t ya? I didn’t think you posted, unless it was on the companies dime. lol. Welcome to the PM crew.

    ***

    LOL @ Buckeye!

    yeah bro. Usually spending time with the fam at this hour. time to put my 6 month old baby boy to bed in a few

    just checking in to see all the Laker fans turned OKC fans blog chatter since they advanced today. I think Jhill is the only guy going for Dallas and thats because of Dirk Hasselhoff. Most other guys like Dakota are sittin on the couch sporting Durant jerseys

  • RaiderRockstar

    only 5 guys threw fewer INT’s than Jason Campbell last season:

    Tom Brady
    Big Ben
    Mike Vick
    Josh Freeman
    Matt Cassel

    not bad, eh?

  • RaiderRockstar

    time to log out. later gents!

    see you in the AM :P

  • TerrapinRaider

    Corrections are in order:

    1. THE SS has to have better coverage skills than the FS! Who do you think covers the TEs in our division every year1?!?!?!?

    2. My gosh man, crucifying a guy based on one play that more than likely wasn’t even his responsibility?!? Goddamn that’s ridiculous! …common sense would force you to ask what the hell is MM34 doing cover the #1WR in the 1st place???? That sht aint suppose to happen. Thats like asking a center to guard a shooting guard.

    But please at least get the 1st one right. Sheez I’m tired of reading the FS needs to have the best coverage skills. ITS “COVER THE FIELD” not coverage skills the FS needs to be bette at!!!! Sheez!

  • Buckeyeraider

    G’night RRS.

    Thanks for that link about MM34, Guy. That was a great read. He’s been a favorite of mine since he was drafted. The pick was ripped by the experts like Kiper and Mayock.

    But, the kid is a player. He was a late riser. I don’t know how he fell through the cracks with the experts, but there is no way in hell there were 20+ safety prospects that were better than him that year. No way.

    The Raiders got a steal, IMO. He started off a lil behind the eight ball because of the rule that kept him out of all the minicamps. Then a pulled hammy kept him out of all preseason. Probably kept him from a starting spot, which Branch claimed.

    There were signs early on, that this kid was gonna be a player as a rookie. He’s got excellent timing and technique as a blitzer.

    As Vegas pointed out, he had twice as many sacks as the first two drafted DE’s combined. lol.

    He will come up and lay the lumber, too. That horrible game vs NYG where most other Raider defenders rolled over and died like dogs, MM34 came up and drilled Brandon Jacobs at the goalline. Took him on headon.

    He’s got a better nose for the ball, and instincts to make plays, than he gets credit for, IMO.

    People like to rave about Stevie Brown, and his instncts for being around the ball. No disrespect for Stevie…but MM34′s done it in the reg season. Tipped pass that was intercepted in endzone vs SD. Caused some fumbles and recovered others. All in limited playing time.

    MM34 starts somewhere this year. Print that, as Rockstar would say.

  • armond

    i was at that game against the chefs and every1 was pissed at routt. mitchell was clearly NOT suppose to be on bowe and we all knew cassel was going there. if i remember it right routt was late running over to get bowe and thats when cassel snapped the ball to go to bowe. whatever the case may be i know mitchell wasnt suppose to be there. dont have to get into the fs/ss argument cuz its been well stated who covers who.

  • s1K_R8RS

    We need Jason Campbell to be our leader. He needs to get in the WR faces when they drop easy ball and on OLman faces when they blow an assignment. I want him to be like Tom Brady, where he screams and motivates his offense.

  • http://www.cnn.com RAIDER

    AL DAVIS SUCKS!!!

  • priesttj

    I’m hoping the longer Camp is here you’ll see his leadership more and more. What he’s doing this offseason is HUGE as he improves he’ll have the crediblity to do what you suggest without someone challenging him.

  • http://www.cnn.com RAIDER

    Al does what he wants? Yeah, so do bums. There’s a barometer for success…

  • Buckeyeraider

    G’night fellas.

  • http://www.cnn.com RAIDER

    Translation:

    G’night fellas = let me switch to another screen name. brb

  • Raiders for life

    Buckeye, I don’t know much about Mitchell except that he doesn’t arm tackle like Huff did early on. He will “Knock you the F_ _ K out.” I’m guessing that MM34 taught Romac that hit on Sproles.

  • http://Www.bullycains.com r8dercain

    DMAC will lead the league in rushing this season.

    That is without a doubt!!

  • http://Www.bullycains.com r8dercain

    With that being a FACT we should make the playoffs.
    Bush will also have 600+ yards from scrimmage throw in Taiwan
    an some careful passing an stout defense. Were talk shhhh!!!!! I won’t say those two words!!

  • http://Www.bullycains.com r8dercain

    Three headed monster a running back. Oooohhh man it’s gonna be exciting watch this tem play. Come on goodell getur stuff together

    GIVE US FOOTBALL!!!
    Or give us death!!!

  • priesttj

    Be a pretty good team, how good depends on health. If we stay healthy we can be dangerous.

  • RaiderDebo

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    May 15th, 2011 at 12:23 pm
    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.
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    Did you see the highlights from the Tenn-SD game? VY shredded SD’s D. The guy is getting better as a passer every year. Starting to believe the hype from that deep ball accuracy article last week. VY is deadly when ge goes downtown. Iff and when he is let go, he is easily the #1 FA QB on the market.

  • priesttj

    Love that desparation Cain, the feeling is mutual.

  • priesttj

    That would be seond to Mark Bulger IMO Debo he is easily the most accurate QB in FA. He’s as accurate as Aaron Rodgers although not early as mobile.

  • Raiders for life

    Bush had a 1st and 3rd round tender so hopefully the Raiders want him back. With a healthy DMAC and T. Jones in the line up……HOLY SHIZ.

  • 8RaiderReign8

    RAIDER Says:
    May 15th, 2011 at 8:25 pm
    AL DAVIS SUCKS!!!
    ____________________

    AL DAVIS has 3 Superballs! I believe, despite the numbers and facts, 3 Superballs are above average.

  • Raiders for life

    Did you see the highlights from the Tenn-SD game? VY shredded SD’s D. The guy is getting better as a passer every year. Starting to believe the hype from that deep ball accuracy article last week. VY is deadly when ge goes downtown. Iff and when he is let go, he is easily the #1 FA QB on the market.

    #####################################

    I’m not sure if he will fit into Al’s scheme. Remember Al’s last press conference? He said he is tired of dealing with head cases. I just don’t think that Vince Young is going to be a Raider. But who knows???

  • http://www.cnn.com RAIDER

    You look at the Rooneys…success throughout, only short slumps. Eddie Debartolo was solid his entire tenure as an owner. Then you have Al Davis. Good for the first 15 years, awful the next 25. You tell me.