Rewind back the end of April, and on the saturday morning of April 24th 2010, I was told by one of my close friends that, "Dude, The Oakland Raiders just traded for Jason Campbell". Of course, I shot it off as a joke until I heard ESPN Radio confirm it.
I was stunned more than anything, but estatic all the same. I felt like truly along with drafting Rolando McClain; that Al Davis, Tom Cable, and the rest of the coaches knew just what they were doing.
But I had no clue of all that would follow with the move.
For the first time in seven years, starting that weekend, Raider Nation honestly believes that we have a dangerous team that could challenge the Broncos and Chargers to win the AFC West. This isn't delusion or a false hope, it's damn real anticipation.
Even more cheers and applauds would occur when 12 days later, JaMarcus Russell was fired, and with that, hopefully ending his forgettable, infamous legacy he had with our team.
What's even crazier right now? Is that the media is even starting to buy into the hype courtesy of the trade!
You see, it's one thing to have a crucial and logical draft. Because it's a toss up if all of the players, half, or even a bare few pan out.
It's a totally different thing to bring in a fresh young quarterback that threw for 3,618 yards, 20 touchdowns, completed 64.6 percent of his passes last season. We haven't had someone with those type of consistent stats in awhile.
Senior NFL writer John Clayton believes the franchise will not only surprise people, but also has enough to take themselves into a winning year next season. ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth thinks they'll make the playoffs.
Even NFL.com's fantasy football expert Michael Fabiano has our quarterback ranked 9th, and considers him someone to pick up in the late rounds.
WHAT?!? AN OAKLAND RAIDERS QUARTERBACK A FANTASY FOOTBALL OPTION?
Believe it baby, Jason is making a huge difference.
Fellow Raider Nation bleacher report writers have replaced their Gradkowski pictures with Campbell pictures. Which is a little sad, but Bruce Gradkowski is totally the backup our team needs if any random injuries occur. Great replacement I think.
It doesn't end though, with the fans and news outlets. The team is in full support of Jason Campell as well.
"For him to come in here and grasp the offense and take control of it, it's amazing", said left tackle Mario Henderson, "Just shows the type of hard worker and studier he is".
Tom Cable a few weeks back also praised his work ethic, "He's here for four days, go's to minicamp, doesn't blink".
Future Pro Bowler, and my upcoming fantasy football tight end Zach Miller is bragging also, "I've seen how far we've come as a offense, and we're much better and guys are developing".
That is straight up, real talk feedback. These guys aren't just covering for him, they're obviously are pumped about having him lead the squad next season.
So in short, the feeling with The Oakland Raiders is that the silver and black pirate ship is finally turning the sail around. If they aren't playoff ready, they're well on the road there due to all the additions and subtractions, as the division isn't that tough to begin with. Misery is fading, and genuine enthusiasm is around the fanbase.
Maybe though, the impact of Jason Campbell has only begun. Stay tuned Raider Nation, this isn't a gimmick, so start believing the hype.
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