Jason Campbell was supposed to be the next great Raider QB, with Emperor Al declaring him the next Jim Plunkett.
Hey Al? I think there might be a little monkey wrench thrown in those plans.
Bruce Gradkowski is starting today. And while some say it's because he's more mobile, brings fire to the team, keeps Mario awake and blocking scared, I think it's something that can be defined in 3 letters
D. H. B.
The second year wideout, who last year we all agree was atrocious, needs to step up this year for this team to be competitive. Chaz Schilens is turning into a perennial injury report. Louis Murphy had us scared with early drops. After that? Take your pick between Johnnie Lee Higgins, Nick Miller, and whatever lineup of castoffs we have. And what did our newest future "franchise QB" do in week 1 with him?
1 catch, 11 yards.
Now, I don't know how well he was covered. But even I look at that and go "WTF??" If you have a 1st round talent who can run, even if he's developing hands, you throw him the damn ball. You get a guy who needs confidence the ball early and often. Even if he drops it the first time, you go back to him to show trust in him because he needs that confidence.
Let's go back to the preseason, which many people believe means nothing. I call BS on this because it displayed what JC needed to do and failed to do. Week 3, 1st drive. Jason Campbell was given instructions by TomHueAL to target DHB. And he did. And we scored. On a defense that later took out said Campbell and happens to be coached by a defensive badass in Mike Singletary who has a top 10 D. Granted, until JC was involuntarily seated and Greatkowski came in and showed why he's Great, our offense sputtered to a halt. But notice that DHB played better.
Fast forward to week 2. JC in one half targets DHB 3 times for 1 completion. Enter Bruce. 2 of his first 3 passes go to DHB. Both are completed. In fact, according to the play-by-play on NFL.com, on the 7 drives the Raiders had, DHB was targeted on 5 of those drives. The first 3 drives, he was the first play.
And do you notice that Cable stated "chemistry with the receivers" as the reason Campbell was shown the bench. It certainly wasn't Zach Miller or Louis Murphy he spoke of. It was the guy who had such a bad season he changed jersey numbers.
I titled it so because A) we caught a lot of flack for drafting him instead of Crabtree, B) he's a Terrapin, or turtle, and C) it fits both he and Bruce. While they were spending this offseason busting their tails off to get better (and getting hurt or fatigued in the process), everyone talked up a new QB who led his team to a 4-12 record and screamed for TO or some other primadonna wideout to come in. Looks like we might have been better off keeping what we had.
Side note-Darren McFadden is, after week 2, the second leading rusher in the NFL. Kudos, and keep it up.