Oakland Raiders  

 

Campbell rekindles winning feeling in Raiders owner Davis

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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Al Davis sees history repeating itself -- in a good way -- for his Oakland Raiders.

The reason? Quarterback Jason Campbell, whom Davis compared to Jim Plunkett, another cast-off signal-caller who piloted the Raiders to a championship.

Faulk: Raiders could surprise
The Raiders can be a surprise team. If you look at the teams in the AFC West, the top two teams from last year -- the Chargers and Broncos -- are both in a state of flux. There are a lot of changes going on. The Raiders could surprise some people. I like how they played football late in the season last year after they got JaMarcus Russell out of the starting QB position.

-- Marshall Faulk

"I really predict great things for (Campbell)," Davis, the Raiders' owner, said in an interview with Sirius NFL Radio's "Late Hits" show Tuesday night. "I hope he doesn't let me down. I don't think he will.

"This team has a lot of potential and a lot of great young players."

The Raiders' most recent winning season -- 2002 -- also was the last time they reached the Super Bowl. But Davis believes Campbell, whom the Raiders acquired in a draft-weekend trade with the Washington Redskins, can do for the 2010 Oakland team what Plunkett did for the 1980 version, which won the Super Bowl.

"I see this young Jason Campbell as a football player like I saw Jim Plunkett," Davis said. "He has everything. He was 13-0 in college at Auburn. He can throw up the field, he can run, he's big, he's smart."

Another thing was clear in the interview: 81-year-old Davis' competitive spirit is as strong as ever.

"It's our want to be great once again, to join the ranks of the elite and get back that No. 1 rating in terms of wins and losses since we've come into the league," he said.

Campbell's first opportunity to impress his new boss will come in the Raiders' preseason opener Thursday night, when Washington's former first-round draft pick -- who is replacing Oakland's No. 1 overall bust, JaMarcus Russell -- faces the Dallas Cowboys.

"Yeah, I get the Cowboys and DeMarcus Ware and Jay Ratliff I know well," said Campbell, who started against the Redskins' NFC East rivals five times in the past 2½ seasons. "I have the opportunity now to start playing some games and stop looking at the same old faces every day."

Campbell is accustomed to change in his career, with three different offensive systems in five years with the Redskins after four different schemes in as many seasons at Auburn.

"I'm happy that he's in a situation where he can kind of get under an offensive coordinator's wing ... just kind of get in a system and grow," said Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff, who was Campbell's teammate at Auburn for four seasons. "This is a fresh start for him. That's something he kind of needed. I think he's going to be a premier quarterback in this league."

Campbell has thrown 55 touchdowns and 38 interceptions while going 20-32 as a starter for the Redskins after being a first-round pick in 2005.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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