Does Jason Campbell Have the Tools To Be Great?

D.J. O'ConnorSenior Analyst IIIJuly 22, 2010

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 27:  Jason Campbell #17 of the Washington Redskins looks to pass during the game against the Dallas Cowboys at FedExField on December 27, 2009 in Landover, Maryland. The Cowboys defeated the Redskins 17-0. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Larry French/Getty Images

Many Raiders fans believe that Jason Campbell is the man for the job of leading the Raiders' return to glory. Some fans have been slow to believe the hype surrounding the trade. 

One thing for sure is that Campbell will be tested when the Raiders open training camp on Wednesday. He will have live pass rush and his receivers will be involved with contact.

Until training camp opens, we have to look at Campbell himself to see how good he is or how good he can be. I have listed some skills that make a great quarterback and I have evaluated Campbell in these areas.


Work Ethic

One thing for sure is that if a quarterback doesn't put in the time to learn the offense, he can't lead it.  Look at Oakland's previous quarterback to see what happens when a quarterback takes Tuesday off. 

Campbell is a very hard worker.  Along with his work ethic, he is a class act.  Despite all the harassment he took in Washington, he never shot back or took the low road.

Expect his work ethic to increase now that he has a chip on his shoulder from being replaced by Donovan McNabb.


Decision Making

This may not be very important because Brett Favre is a great quarterback and look at his decision making.  All jokes aside though, this is a much needed skill for a quarterback to guide his team down the field to put points up on the board.

One critique of Campbell is that he checks down too much as opposed to going for more yards. 

In Oakland, his check down may be the better option. His check down options will be Zach Miller, Darren McFadden and/or Michael Bush. But if DHB can truly catch the ball, then let's air it out.



Quarterback's need to have mobility to escape the pass rush, especially when they have a poor offensive line.  Unfortunately, Oakland's offensive line doesn't look much improved for 2010. 

One of the stories I heard from the Raiders minicamp right after the draft was that Campbell appeared to be much more mobile than expected.  He was able to run bootlegs nicely.  One of the reasons Gradkowski and Frye had some success in the Raiders offense was their mobility.  This will be vital to J.C. surviving long enough to show his other skills.



A quarterback must be able to rally his team.  Look at how much better the Raiders played with a fierce Bruce Gradkowski opposed to a laid back JaMarcus Russell.  Look around the NFL and you won't see many quiet quarterbacks on successful teams.

After OTAs, Louis Murphy said that Jason Campbell was taking charge in the huddle.  Campbell was criticized for lacking leadership in Washington so time will tell who is right and wrong.  


Supporting Cast

This is out of Campbell's control but it is still very important.  Don't believe me?  Ask Matt Cassell how much teammates effect the success of the team.

I think Campbell will bring out the best in the Raiders young wide receivers who now have a quarterback who will hit them in the hands and not overthrow constantly.  Zach Miller is a fine young tight end so the only question mark is the offensive line.


Arm Strength and Accuracy

Any quarterback who wants to reach the NFL has to be able to throw the ball somewhat deep and with pinpoint accuracy. 

Campbell has the accuracy to be great with his completion percentage at 64 last year. He has improved every year statistically in the NFL. He is expected to be even better in Oakland's vertical favored offense. 

If Campbell can hit his speedsters on the outside with the long ball then the Raiders will be a threat to score on every play.