Former first-round quarterback Jason Campbell has been welcomed with open arms in Raider Nation. This came after he was made the scape goat for Washington woes on offense. They did have a top 10 defense in 2009.
Who else could they blame?
Washington has since started to build the offense around McNabb instead of Campbell.
Raider fans have to be thankful for that! There is a plenthora of reasons why!
Raider fans would have taken his 3,618 yards passing last year. That was more than what we passed for as a team last year.
There was also a place for his 20 touchdowns. That's double the touchdowns that Raiders threw for in 2009. The Raider offense only had 17 total touchdowns on in 2009.
Campbell threw for 207 first downs to the Raiders' 131 first downs passing. The Raider defense could have used the rest last year.
It also helps that hostile territory doesn't bother Campbell. His quarterback rating of 92 on the road last year suggests just that.
The Raiders could have still been in the game when down 14 points last year. Campbell had a quarterback rating 112 with five of his 20 touchdowns coming when behind by such a margin.
Here is my statistical deal sealer. Campbell threw 18 redzone touchdown passes with no interceptions. The Raiders might have beaten the Ravens last year had Jamarcus Russell not thrown a redzone interception.
Mental Strength and Desire
Laser-rocket arms and intellegence are very important. But mental strength under adversity and desire to work to improve are the most important qualities.
No matter your skill set, the roller-coaster ride of the NFL will test those two qualities more than any other. Greatness will never be yours if you fall short in this category.
Campbell has not fallen short here. Despite all of the new offenses he's seen, he has improved every year. The talent around him hasn't been the greatest either.
Franchise left tackle Chris Samuels had a career ending injury. Therefore Campbell was often seen running for his life in 2009.
The Redskins also struggled to run the football last year. Add that to the fact that tight end Chris Cooley was injured for much of the season.. Santana Moss was Campbell's lone weapon.
Despite all that, Campbell had a career best year with a respectable 86.4 quarterback rating. That's mental strength and desire.
Intelligence and Work Ethic
There is ablolutely no doubt about these qualities in Campbell. He saw five offensive coordinators in college at Auburn. He still managed to play well enough to be a first-round pick.
He has also seen five offensive coordinators since being drafted by the Redskins. Yet he has still managed to improve in each of his three full years as the starter.
He has managed to throw for more touchdowns than interceptions in each season as well. You must be smart and work hard to pull that off.
This category makes it all the more amazing that he is coming off of his best season as a pro. The West coast offense they run in Washington is not a fit for Campbell and his big arm. Throwing on rythym with quick decisions isn't for everyone.
It certainly doesn't take advantage of the arm he has. That has to be a portion of the reason the Redskins traded him. McNabb has a big arm but is a career west coast quarterback.
NFL Today analyst Charlie Casserly said, "Campell was drafted for Joe Gibbs's down the field system. He does't fit the west coast system. It's like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole."
That makes him a perfect fit for the Oakland Raiders. Davis likes to go down the field. He brought in Offensive Coordinator Hue Jackson to do just that.
Jackson has previously developed big-armed quarterbacks Carson Palmer (Bengals) and Joe Flacco. (Ravens) Both of those offenses made improvements as Jackson took full advantage of those big arms.
What you surround a quarterback with is what ultimately decides how successful he will be. Campbell has walked into a situation of plenty.
There are three guys on the Raider squad that are a good quarterback away from a breakout season. Campbell will also have two sub-4.3 receivers to stretch the field.
6'4", 225-pound Chaz Scillens is back from injury to back the Raiders number one receiver. To go with that size, Schilens runs a 4.3 40 and has the hops and hands to make circus catches.
Blazer Louis Murphy is a big play waiting to happen. Murphy overcame a stretch of the drops to have a 34 catch for 521 yard and four touchdown season. Murphy is also one to go up and get the ball.
Zach Miller is the best young tight end in the game. He had 66 catches for 805 yards and three touchdowns in 2009. This was with not so great quarterback play.
Campbell and the aforementioned trio are sure to break out as they each will have the help of the other to do so.
2009 first-rounder Darrius Heward-Bey seems to have improved his hands a bit in minicamp. He and 2010 fourth rounder Jacoby will Ford at least stretch the field. The offense will light it up more if these two 4.2 guys can catch the ball even a little.
The Raider running game should return in 2010. Oakland did address the offensive line this offseason for the "thunder and lightning" combination of Michael Bush and Darren McFadden.
How fast will the draft picks learn?
Does Al have another move up his sleeve?
Who will play left tackle?
Will the Raiders rely on a man that caused two quarterback casualties last year?
Campbell is already motivated and a hard worker. Being made the scape in Washington has to have him burning inside. He will now get his chance to show his former owner Daniel Snyder what he could do with an offense built around him.
No one expects him or the Raiders to do much anyway. Plus Davis will tell Campbell the same thing he told Jim Plunkett in 1980.
"It's not important that you play well Jason. It's important that we win."
Jason Campbell is everything the Raiders could want in a quarterback. He's big, tough, strong, smart, and has a rocket-arm. He is also a hard worker that prepares.
The Redskins refused to build around him and blamed him once they didn't succeed. Now he's in Oakland with a team and scheme built around him before his arrival.
His move to Oakland certainly looks to be the best thing to happen to his NFL career to date. Oakland Raider fans appreciate him already. His career rate of improvement has him scheduled to break out this year.
He will go from zero to hero in no time in Raider Nation.
2010 marks Campbell's transformation from Redskin trash to Raider treasure.
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