I’ve always considered the Oakland Raiders fans some of the most loyal in the league. A Raiders home game rivals a Kiss concert with fans dressed in elaborate costumes. In the past these fans raucously cheered players like, Howie Long, Tim Brown, Marcus Allen, Bo Jackson, and Jim Plunkett, to name a few. They were the silver and black, mean and tough, but those days seem like a life time ago, back when the silver and black could be seen in black and white, but that was supposed to change this year. The dysfunctional franchise finally seemed ready to make its return to relevance.
The cause of optimism, a strong draft, and the addition of starting quarterback, Jason Campbell. Campbell, a former first round pick of the Washington Redskins, was supposed to be a stabilizing force, the franchise quarterback the Raiders have longed for. Teaming with Miller, Bey, Murphy, McFadden, and Bush, Campbell was expected to be the final piece in the creation of a potent NFL offense. After the misery that was the JaMarcus Russell era, the Raiders now had a QB with a history of some success in the league, a capable, willing leader, or so they hoped.
The problem as I see, is Campbell never seemed like a good fit for the Raiders offense. Anyone watching Redskins games could see Campbell had skills necessary to play in the NFL, but he doesn’t have the arm strength to match the vertical game the Raiders like to play. He also has a laid back style of leadership on the field, and the Raiders need a quarterback with more fire. That’s not to say Campbell doesn’t work hard, he does, but something seems missing from his game. Maybe he can figure things out while he spends time on the bench. If Campbell fails to regain his starting job, Oakland will once again be in search of their franchise QB.
It seems the Raiders have been looking for a capable starting quarterback since the Rich Gannon days. Jason Campbell, Bruce Gradkowski, JaMarcus Russell, Jeff Garcia, Josh McCown, Aaron Brooks, Marques Tuiasosopo., and Kerry Collins, are some of the players who’ve lined up under center for the Raiders since Rich Gannon left town. Hard to create a winning team, when your most important position is in constant flux.