I think it is safe to say the Nation is thrilled by the acquisition of Jason Campbell. This is not surprising since many of us were dreading the sloth in a lineman’s body manning the QB position for the silver and black next year. Let’s just say the bar is set pretty low for QB expectations here.
While Gradkowski earned our respect and has his supporters, I haven’t seen much sentiment that he should be the starter over Campbell. We are ready for the Jason Campbell era to begin.
What can we expect out of Campbell?
I decided to go to the most reliable source, the members of Hogs Haven, for the real 4-1-1 on the man they call J.C. (could there be any more appropriate initials for the man following Russell?). Check out their responses or just keep reading to see what they had to say.
I received responses from over 20 different Hogs and I have to be honest, I am even more excited about him being a Raider now, than I was a couple of days ago.
The Hogs are as eager to express their respect and well-wishes for Campbell as we are ready to say Russell is like a couch, only dumber. I didn't read one negative word about Campbell's attitude or approach to the game. It is safe to assume Campbell will show up ready to work, learn and give everything he has.
We can be certain that is what we are going to get off the field, but what can we expect on it? The Hogs helped answer those questions, too. Jump in.
According to the Hogs he has the ability to get first downs with his feet. He is not a run first QB, but when he does, he makes plays. He has good speed for a man his size.
There is also no doubts about his arm strength. He can sling it long or burn a zone with a bullet pass.
Another quality that drew unanimous praise from the Haven of the Pig is his ability to take a pounding and come back for more. Unfortunately, this is likely a quality we will have plenty of chances to witness first hand.
The biggest knock on Campbell I came across were concerns on his performances late in games. Apparently, he is an all-pro in the 3rd and lost in the 4th. He has 4 career 4th quarter comebacks, but the Hogs are frustrated with blown games and lack of comebacks in the 4th. They do not blame this all on him. They are quick to point out that he has not received much help from his offensive teammates, but they are certainly skeptical about his ability to lead a late game come back.
It was pointed out that he has a less than optimal release and a bad feel for rushers he can’t see, which tends to lead to the dreaded sack and fumble or as we call it the Russell.
It was also noted that Campbell lacks the pinpoint accuracy required to be a dominant west coast QB. The Hogs mentioned he has average accuracy. I wouldn't know. I have forgotten what average accuracy looks like.
The other big weakness of Campbell that was pointed out is his struggle with his reads. He can miss the big read and also can lock onto his receiver. Some of this, no doubt, is due to the fact that the guy has faced a revolving door of systems. Of course, this should help him pick-up the Raiders offense quickly as one Hog said, "(He) probably knows every football system ever invented because he’s played in all of them.
While he can struggle with his reads, Campbell knows how to protect the ball in the redzone. Last year, he had 18 TD’s and no INT’s while his team was playing on the field’s G-spot. This surprised even some of the Hogs. While some were surprised that this number was so lopsidedly good, even more were shocked that the ‘Skins had that many chances in the scoring zones.
We have discussed his lack of deep throws, but we may not have to worry about his ability to make them.
The Hogs are somewhat less than appreciative of Jim Zorn’s coaching ability and play calling and the majority seem to feel that his lack of deep throws are a result of play calling and not his inability to make the throws. He obviously has the arm strength and it is felt the accuracy will be there if he gets the chance and time to unleash them.
Overall, they feel that for a 4th round pick, Campbell is a steal. They would classify him as an average starting QB who seems to be getting better. Many feel that with a little blocking he will be an above average starting QB.
Who knows if the Raiders will provide these things for him next year, but if they don’t at least we know Campbell will still be able to function on at least an average level. An average season from the starting QB will seem like a MVP campaign after what we have been through.
I almost forgot, apparently the dude can’t slide, which should be good for a laugh or two if he doesn’t get his head taken off. I guess they actually tried to bring in a slip and slide to help him learn, but he hurt himself trying. It was promised that the first time I get to witness him sliding I will shoot beer out of my nose.
I can’t wait to start joking about our QB’s inability to slide instead of him shooting craps with one hand and eating from a bucket of fried chicken with the other. Welcome to the Raider Nation, Jason! I think you'll find you are more than welcome here, because even though the guy you are replacing is 7' tall and weighs 782 lbs. you have really small shoes to fill.