Gradkowski/ Campbell Duo Ensure Raiders' Rise to AFC West Championship
The pieces are finally locked in for the Silver and Black. For years now there has been a lineage of flaws for the Raiders. This season, however, shows glimmers of greatness.
To begin with, there were the problems in pocket protection—Aaron Brooks can attest. However, the offensive line has improved with LG Robert Gallery, LT Mario Henderson, and C. Samson Satale. Oakland's former QB (J. Russell) had sufficient time, he just held onto the ball for too long.
There were also holes in the run defense. The Raiders were in need of "run stuffing" linemen and once again the problem was fixed with the additions of DE Richard Seymour, LB's Kamerion Wimbley, and Rolando McClain.
Finally, the QB issue. This was resolved with the release of JaMarcus Russell. The Raiders were successful with backup QB Bruce Gradkowski, which proved that the missing piece wasa QB that had heart. This was proven with a great last minute win against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Gradkowski has a good arm and is exciting to watch. He was certain to be the starter until Donovan McNabb was picked up by the Redskins. McNabb had a new team however this meant that Campbell lost his starting position until a call from Al Davis.
QB Jason Campbell finds a home in Oakland. Jason Campbell has a great arm and a young core of hungry receivers in Oakland. He also has coach Hue Jackson, who has brought "head turning" competition to the Silver and Black. Jason Campbell appears comfortable, and during OTA's his throws have been on the money.
Oakland's players have welcomed new coach Hue Jackson, and there's been nothing short but positive talk around the team, the media and the league when it comes to the future play of the Oakland Raiders.
There's also great news coming that WR Darrius Heyward-Bey's catching abilities have vastly improved. I still need to see it on the field but I'm hopping for the best. If not, then WR Johnnie Lee Higgins will step up.
The fact of the matter is that the Raiders have two solid QBs that have the heart to win games. Both of these guys are winners and have the competition that had been lacking in Oakland. This was the final hole in the Raiders side, and it's sealed now. This season should be a real eye-opener to the NFL audience.
The Raiders have the talent this season, and they have no reason not to claim the AFC West. I expect to see RB Michael Bush pound a lot of defenses this year. The run attack is there, and with Campbell or Gradkowski so is the air attack.
This will definitely be an exciting season for the Oakland Raiders, and Raidernation.
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