For many fans of the legendary Oakland Raiders, you still have to wonder: Is Jason Campbell the QB to lead the Oakland Raiders to the Superbowl in 2011? Does Jason Campbell have the skills, leadership qualities, and fire to keep the team running like a finely tuned machine? If you look back at the great ones like Ken Stabler, Tom Flores, Rich Gannon, Jeff Hostetler, Daryl Lamonica and lastly the infamous Todd Marinovich...kidding. Can you picture Campbell playing at the Gannon level? Maybe.
The Oakland Raiders are rebuilding the coaching staff by adding veteran players, for excample Steve Wiszneiwski and Greg Biekert, to coach the new players. The improvement should prove be immense. However, is QB Jason Campbell the best player to give the Raiders their best shot at the Superbowl? Does the team still need a top rated passer?
Jason Campbell began to look at ease in the pocket by seasons end. If he was matched against former QB JaMarcus Russell...well ..I am certain it would be a landslide vote for Campbell. Heck, I would have been pleased to have Jay Schroder over Russell.
One great quality about Jason Campbell is his professionalism and mannerism. At a time when the Raider fans "boooed" him of the field in a home opener against the St Louis Rams, Campbell remained silent and poised. He never complained about the QB position and simply let the season ride itself out.
Campbell can possibly be a Superbowl quarterback if you consider that he wiped out the AFC West in 2010. He didn't complete that task alone either, as RB Darren McFadden and the new Raiders rushing attack looked improved last season. Should the Raiders stay balanced offensively and defensively, Jason Campbell will perform better than last season. The team has an elite roster.
Jason Campbell is still new to Oakland and after he gets used to the various speeds of his receivers, he should be able to pick defenses apart. At present he does have some speedsters in Jacoby Ford, Louis Murphy and Darrius Heyward-Bey. Heyward-Bey is still improving and should see at least one more season in a Silver and Black uniform. However, the team lacks a number one wide receiver. One of these players must step it up.
To compliment the passing game is the rushing of Michael Bush, Darren McFadden and Marcel Reece. With all of these weapons, it is easy to see a dominant season for the offense in 2011. The team is becoming a home for elite athletes.
One drawback for Jason Campbell is that he tends to hold onto the ball too long and hopefully this will be addressed in his training. Yet, when he has the time to set, he throws the football like a dart. Swift and very accurate. The Oakland Raiders will more than likely look for offensive lineman in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Last season, Jason Campbell posted 2,387 yards, 13 TDs, 8 Int's, and had a QB rating of 84.5. Remember that he did not play all 16 games. He shared playing time with Bruce Gradkowski until a starter could be chosen. Campbell spent most of the season being acclimated to the offense after only arriving from Washington a season ago.
A bright moment in the season for Jason Campbell was the historic defeat of the Denver Broncos in Denver. The Oakland Raiders won the game 59-14. Because of this game, Campbell won the hearts of most of Raider Nation. He had floundered against the San Francisco 49ers but played remarkably well against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Physically, Jason Campbell has taken some pretty solid hits, but has managed to stay in the game. Many of us recall what happens when he leaves the field and Kyle Boller enters. Let's leave that alone. He has been pretty reliable and does not fall to the ground as did former QB Jeff George. Yes, the all talented QB who went to the gridiron when a gust of wind passed him.
Jason Campbell has the potential to take the Oakland Raiders to a Superbowl next season provided a few things happen. The first would be "pocket presence". Jason Campbell has to find his "go-to guy" when the pocket collapses. Presumably, this would TE Zach Miller. Jason Campbell appears to be comfortable with Miller, who has emmerged as the primary receiving option.
He also needs to release the ball a second or two earlier. His confidence seems to be growing, that's a plus and will lead to improvement and successful completions.
The second thing would be the wide receivers. At this point in time, there is no number one receiver for the Oakland Raiders. At the start of the season I thought it was Louis Murphy, but by the end it appeared that Jacoby Ford was the man. Darrius Heyward-Bey is still developing. Question is: Is Heyward-Bey worth the time and effort? My suggestion would be to replace him with a solid NFL draftee. Find a hungry rookie with the speed Al Davis likes. Either way I would guess Heyward-Bey has at least another year.
The wide receiver duo of Jacoby Ford and Louis Murphy are sleepers that could explode next season. Provided the Oakland Raiders can keep the team together, these two players will make a lot of TDs for the Silver and Black. They are extremely fast and have great hands.The Oakland Raiders look extremely promising with its recent coaching hires and the young talent they have picked up i.e. Rolando McClain, Jason Veldheer and Jacoby Ford.
Jason Campbell can take this team to the Superbowl because he is surrounded by talented players. The offense should look improved with the addition of coach Al Saunders. Jason Campbell timing with the speed of his receivers should be in his favor and create huge passing yards in 2011. A number of Denver repeats possibly?
Overall the Oakland Raiders are looking good. I mean real good!