Finally, the Oakland Raiders look competent. In a an uncharacteristic off season, the Raiders have made moves, that look to immediately better their football team. Oakland traded for Redskins QB, Jason Campbell, sending a 2012, 4th round pick to Washington. The Campbell signing will hopefully add stability, and productivity to the quarterback position.
The Raiders began last season with former 1st overall pick, JaMarcus Russell as the starting quarterback. Unfortunately, Russell found little success, and was eventually benched in favor of Bruce Gradkowski. Former first round picks Darren McFadden, and Darrius Heyward-Bey, also struggled to find success. McFadden battled injuries and ineffectiveness, and Bey had difficulty getting open and holding on to the ball. The best offensive weapon on the Raiders team, was tight end Zach Miller, a former second round pick.
After years of disappointing, and questionable first round picks, the Raiders may have gotten it right this year, selecting the highest rated linebacker in the draft, Rolando McClain. With Kirk Morrison being traded to the Jaguars, the starting job is McClains to take. Joining McClain, is defensive tackle, Lamarr Houston, the Raiders second round pick. The two rookies will team with Richard Seymour to help improve the Raiders rush defense. While the draft improved the Raiders on the defensive side of the ball, it was a trade that should provide the biggest improvement on offense.
Jason Campbell comes to Oakland having completed 61.2% of his passes, with 55 touchdowns, 38 interceptions, and a passer rating of, 82.3 for his career. In comparison, JaMarcus Russell’s career numbers are, 52.1% completion, 18 touchdowns, 23 interceptions, and a QB rating of, 65.2. With Al Davis seemingly ready to move on from JaMarcus Russell, maybe the Raiders offense, ranked 31st last season, can finally improve.
Jason Campbell will have adequate weapons, Zach Miller, Louis Murphy, Chaz Schilens, and last years first round draft pick, Heyward- Bey at his disposal. With an effective quarterback guiding the offense, opportunities should open up for running backs, Darren McFadden, and Michael Bush. The Oakland Raiders took the first step in turning their struggling team around, they had a good draft, then went further and upgraded their quarterback position. Oakland has assembled a good off season, which should finally translate into a better season.