When it comes to the Raiders, I can be easily swayed. Just three days ago, had you asked me about Bruce Campbell's NFL future and I would have said that he was likely not going to be in the NFL long. Now, I'm thinking he may earn a starting spot soon.
After spending his rookie season on the bench or inactive and then showing up for camp with an injury, that Bruce Campbell was an afterthought. Then Bruce Campell took to the practice field. There were reports that he looked solid, and specifically that he more than held his own on Lamarr Houston in pass rush situations.
And with that one little report my interest piqued. I fully expect to hear he looked rusty and lost. The fact that he stepped right in and was able to handle NFL players was speaks volumes. Still, it was just one day of practice. I tried to temper my expectations.
Fast forward to Thursday's practice and we have Hue Jackson un-tempering my expectations. Action Jackson:
"Obviously, year two into the process of Bruce Campbell, there’s something great there. What he needs to do is go play now. He’s practiced, he’s getting healthier, he feels good about where he is now. He just needs to go in a game and perform and that’s what we’re looking for."
For Hue's part, he did offer up the tempering caveat of "What he needs to do now is go play," but just the fact that Campbell is in a position where he is ready to go play, and not learn the NFL on the practice field, has me expecting much bigger things from Campbell.
I'm not going to go as far as I say I expect him to start Week One, but I do feel comfortable in saying I expect him to be an NFL starter. Jump over for a Sports Science look at his freakish athleticism.....
Sport Science: Bruce Campbell.flv (via gg616)