The Litmus Test in Oakland: Can the QB Stand Up and Take Control?

Raider Card Addict@RaidercardadictSenior Writer IJune 2, 2010

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 21: Quarterback Jason Campbell #17 of the Washington Redskins drops back to pass against the Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field on December 27, 2009 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Larry French/Getty Images

When you scroll through the names of the quarterbacks the Raiders have had in their history, you have some pretty great ones to choose from out there.

Names like Lamonica, Stabler, Plunkett, Gannon and even Tom Flores come to mind. Blanda, in a pinch was a great relief pitcher, to borrow a phrase from the Major League Baseball department.

Some, not so.

Cotton Davidson came to us after some decent games in the AFL, but was horrid by the end of his career. Marc Wilson makes most fans cringe at the thought of him taking a snap.

And no one wants to imagine how Todd Marinovich or JaMarcus Russell would have turned out, should they have been allowed to continue their perspective careers.

While Todd's destruction was self-induced, Russell's own actions closed the door in Oakland for him, ranging from sleeping during team meetings, weight issues and forgetting which play is on the docket...stuff of nightmares.

For Oakland, the term addition by subtraction is useful in this case, as any replacement for Russell seems to be an improvement...case in point, Jason Campbell.

Jason, recently picked up in a draft-day trade, joins us after the Redskins picked up Donovan McNabb, who the Raiders were also interested in picking up. When the news broke, one can only imagine what Russell was thinking....


However, Campbell is only one aspect that has the Raider Nation thinking the light at the end of the tunnel is not a train. Last year after Russell was benched, Bruce Gradkowski hammered out two wins in short order, while Charlie Frye picked up a third win as well.

Three wins in five weeks, from two backups didn't bode well for Russell.

Now, the Raiders have a total of four quarterbacks, as shortly before the draft the team picked up Kyle Boller primarily as a backup until Bruce Gradkowski is healthy enough.

From the money and the experience side of things, this is Campbell's job to lose. He has played football for several different offensive coordinators, so learning the ropes in Oakland shouldn't be that hard. Bruce is around, should Campbell get injured.

More importantly, though, is what having a good quarterback means for the club.

Sustained drives. Completions on deep routes. The ability to change up plays, getting to the tight ends as needed, the running backs as an option but also the ability to run if the play is called for.

Most importantly, to bring some common sense to the position...if the protection breaks down, not to stand there and get sacked.

For Oakland, Campbell and Gradkowski both have the mettle to perform and bring out the best in the players with them. With Frye in the mix, who was willing to play until his body couldn't do it anymore....Oakland's future looks bright.


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