Fresh Start for Campbell


By Zack Cimini

Teams sometimes have to part ways with an unfinished project. Washington did just that when they cut ties with Jason Campbell. The yearly overhaul was a constant new beginning for Campbell, who hasn’t had the same regime under him for consecutive years ever. As the season wound down last year everyone knew Jim Zorn was headed out. That seemingly meant Campbell would be sent away as well as the Redskins had been talking of it for years. Once Donovan McNabb entered the fold it was all but a sure lock as soon as the Redskins got the right offer for Campbell.

The fact that Campbell has landed with the Raiders seems like a part two for an organization that’s been unsettled in front office moves. They’ve made just as many poor free agent signings as well as their share of carousel moves on the sidelines. Through it all though the team has done well with on the field performance. They’ve hung tough in games and have had a decent defense to go along with a drive sustaining tandem force in the backfield. Downfalls for the Raiders came directly from the player handling the football under center.

JaMarcus Russell just did not show that he was willing to work on building from a porous not a clue rookie to a laughable overweight show for check starter last season. Jason Campbell is the exact opposite. He has taken the heat for years in DC but brushed aside all the talks of his job being in jeopardy. Until it was relinquished he just went out and performed with no excuses. Those punishing years as a Washington Redskin are going to pay dividends in the Raiders silver and black.

If a team like Oakland can back a JaMarcus Russell than having Campbell on their side is going to be comparable to Cincinnati dumping Akili Smith and transforming to Jon Kitna than Carson Palmer. Campbell will have a solid two to three years to work himself in, and honestly we do not see him needing more than a year to get acclimated. There are strong areas of concern but Campbell should come in as a leader and boost the work ethic of the natural talented youth around him.

Chaz Schilens showed great upside before starting off last year with a nagging injury, and Darrius Heyward-Bey never could get going with Russell. Campbell should also boost the threat of the running game by extending the secondary from creeping up to the line of scrimmage.

All in all Campbell’s first year with the Raiders is not going to be pretty for fantasy standards. Keeper league participants should have a strong eye on Campbell though. He is a young growing quarterback with strong intangibles compared to the rest of his aging counterparts. Unless he totally loses his drive to the Raiders organization woes, than Campbell should make a few steps forward in his career that should have taken place years ago. For 2010, Campbell can only be looked at a backup quarterback in competitive leagues, and unnecessary starter unless your team gets stricken with injuries.


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