QB Jason Campbell takes the snap from under center. Photo by Tony Gonzales.
Consistent improvement defines the professional career of Oakland Raiders QB Jason Campbell. The veteran has proven to be a durable pocket presence in his six NFL seasons and looks to make the 2011 campaign, his second with the Silver and Black, his best season yet.
Campbell was no stranger to success entering the league as a rookie, having led Auburn to an undefeated record and an SEC Championship as a senior in 2004 before being selected in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. After looking on from the sidelines in his first year, Campbell saw increased action over four seasons with Washington and his quarterback rating improve in each of his first five seasons. He also started the first 13 games of the regular season in 2007, helping the Redskins to a playoff berth despite missing the end of the year due to injury.
The veteran passer started 32 straight games for the Redskins before receiving an opportunity to reach his goals on the West Coast, when the Raiders traded for him during the 2010 NFL Draft. The Silver and Black received the services of the quarterback for the price of a fourth round pick, and immediately handed over the reins of the offense to Campbell.
The strong-armed signal caller was joined in his first season in Oakland by then-offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, pairing two outstanding offensive minds to lead a new Raiders attack. The new partnership ultimately paid dividends, as the Raiders doubled the team's scoring output from the previous season and ranked second in the league in rushing in 2010.
Campbell's skills were on full display during a three game Oakland winning streak during the middle of the 2010 campaign. The Raiders kicked off the stretch with a record-setting victory at Denver on October 24, with Campbell leading a unit that racked up 508 total yards and recorded a 59-14 win. For his part, Campbell completed 12 of 20 pass attempts for 204 yards and two touchdowns, including a 43-yard strike in the first quarter. He also registered a career-high 127.9 quarterback rating. Campbell was even more impressive during a dominating 33-3 victory at home over the Seattle Seahawks the following week, notching his first 300-yard passing performance as a Raider with 310 yards on just 15 completions. He also tossed two touchdown passes including a 70-yard connection to WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, helping the Raiders offense post a season-high 545 total yards.
"Around the fifth game of the year, we won three games in a row and we hit our stride," said Campbell. "Guys started to learn each other since we had a new football team and guys were new in a lot of difference places. But once we started to gel, you could see some of the talent we have."
Campbell capped the three-game stretch in dramatic fashion, piloting the Raiders to a 23-20 overtime victory against the Kansas City Chiefs at home. With his team down by three points late in the fourth quarter, Campbell led the Raiders on a 53-yard drive that included two key completions to WR Jacoby Ford to set up the game-tying field goal. He then connected with Ford again in overtime for a 47-yard gain to set up a 33-yard field goal to give the Raiders the win.
Campbell continued to excel down the stretch, leading the Raiders to wins over San Diego, Denver and Kansas City to close out a perfect 6-0 record against AFC West Opponents on the season.
Heading into the new year, the Silver and Black returns significant offensive weapons from a year ago. Campbell has also been reunited with new offensive coordinator Al Saunders, with whom he worked early in his career with the Redskins.
"Coach Saunders is very detailed," said Campbell. "I remember when I was in Washington, he does a lot of different things and he wants things done right and helps us grow to get better."
The seven-year veteran enters the 2011 campaign looking to build on last season's success and ultimately leading the Raiders to new heights as a team.