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Jason Campbell: Where He Goes, the Oakland Raiders Follow

NAPA, CA - AUGUST 01:  Jason Campbell #8 of the Oakland Raiders works out during the Raiders training camp at their Napa Valley Training Complex on August 1, 2010 in Napa, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Steven SmithCorrespondent IAugust 18, 2010

Do the Raiders have leadership?

The initial knee jerk reaction would be to say "of course."

If asked who those leaders are, Nnamdi Asomugha and Richard Seymour are most likely the first names to come to mind and you would be absolutely right. With eight Pro Bowls between the two, there is no doubt they have earned their respect and right to be leaders.

What about on offense?

You would probably be more hesitant in your answer. By stats and the sheer default responsibility that comes with the position, Jason Campbell gets the nod.

But can Jason Campbell really be "the guy?"

If Campbell's stats of the past five years are any indication, the answer would be—maybe?

Since being the 25th overall pick in the 2005 draft, Campbell's career has had a rocky start.

The former Auburn Tiger showed promise in 2006 when he started seven games. The height of his success came in a 6-2 record for the first half of 2008 that ended in a deflating 8-8 season. The call for a new QB by the fans and media didn't stop until April 4, 2010.

During his stint with the Washington Redskins, Campbell had almost as many coaching changes and coordinators as well, the Raiders.

Sympathizers will say this never allowed him to truly develop into a top flight quarterback. Even with the instability of the Redskins franchise, Campbell was able to improve his completion percentage, yards and touchdowns every year.

In all the major stats that define a quarterback, Campbell comes out as a middle of the pack player. An average quarterback is far better than what the Raiders have had, but the Raiders don't need average. They need an elite player to man this team.

Can Campbell be an elite player? That is yet to be seen. The talent and the work ethic is there—unlike the previous signal caller.

The Redskins didn't think so as they traded a second-round pick for an older quarterback with a bigger financial burden and gave Campbell up for merely a fourth-rounder.

There was no outcry in support of Campbell by fellow teammates.

This is a fresh start for Campbell, but in a number of ways it's still similar to where he was a year ago. A new system to learn, young unproven players to build with, and the same goal for success and relevance.

Campbell is in the second act of his career and by seasons end, he needs to have the fans and organization screaming "encore." If he doesn't, he may be finding himself in deja vu situation where he's once again not wanted.

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