A wag might be tempted to quip: If Jason Campbell is the answer, it must be an awfully dumb question. But for the Oakland Raiders, the ill-fated former Washington Redskins quarterback might actually be an answer. He’ll at least be an upgrade. Campbell, traded to Oakland from Washington for a 2012 fourth-round pick, will also get a fresh start.
Consider: Despite a porous offensive line and the Redskins’ pitiful 4-12 record, Campbell had one of his best seasons statistically. He completed 64.5 percent of his passes and threw for 20 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, and an 86.4 passer rating. By contrast, JaMarcus Russell — the former #1 draft pick Campbell would likely displace as starting quarterback — completed just 48.8 percent of his passes last season, throwing only three touchdowns, 11 interceptions, and amassing a league-low 50.0 passer rating. Over his career of 31 games, Russell has racked up a 52.1 percent completion rate, 18 touchdowns, 23 interceptions, 15 lost fumbles, and a passer rating of 65.2.
Jason Campbell brings a work ethic, maturity, and level of quarterback play that far exceeds anything Russell demonstrated so far, to say nothing of being in better physical condition. But he does bring his own problems of whether he is a good fit for a West Coast offense — and even if he is, does Oakland have enough weapons to allow even a Drew Brees, Peyton Manning or Tom Brady to be successful?
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