Oakland Raiders: Why Jason Campbell Needs to Step into His Role as a Leader

James ArcellanaCorrespondent IIMay 5, 2011

KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 02:  Quarterback Jason Campbell #8 of the Oakland Raiders throws a pass in a game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on January 2, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Tim Umphrey/Getty Images)
Tim Umphrey/Getty Images

Al Davis pronounced that Jason Campbell was the future quarterback of the Raiders, going so far as to compare him to Raider great Jim Plunkett.

This incredible comparison is made even more incredible by the fact that Campbell was run out of town in Washington and even lost his starting job in Oakland to journeyman Bruce Gradkowski at one point during his first season with the Silver and Black.

Campbell has been given something that few NFL quarterbacks ever get—a second chance. After struggling at times with the Washington Redskins, Campbell was given a second chance to prove his worth as a starter with the Oakland Raiders.

However, Campbell has not fully embraced that opportunity this off-season despite being given a huge opportunity. The Raiders are at a critical point in their rebuilding process. After having their best season since losing the Super Bowl, it is imperative that the Raiders continue to move forward and not take a step backwards.

Unfortunately, the NFL lockout is a major barrier to achieving that goal.

The Raiders have a new head coach, lots of new position coaches, and a defensive coordinator. Without being able to meet with the coaching staff during the off season, the Raiders will likely have some growing pains early in the season (if there is one) as they get used to the new schemes.

However, while getting acquainted with the coaches and learning the new schemes is important, working with your teammates is equally important and the lockout is not stopping that from happening.

All over the league there are stories about groups of players getting together in order to work out and practice, but none of those stories were about the Raiders.

Of those teams who are having organized workouts, there is a common theme—they were organized, at least in part, by the team's quarterback. From Matt Cassell in Kansas City to Drew Brees in New Orleans, quarterbacks are taking their teams by the reigns and doing their best to ensure they are ready for the 2011 season.

The fact that Jason Campbell has not done the same is concerning to me. He has the opportunity to show that he is the leader of the team. He one of the most senior members of the Raiders young offense and plays a position that demands you to be a leader.

Every day that the Raiders do not hold practices, they are losing ground on those teams that are holding organized practices. One of which being division rival Kansas City.