Training Camps are set to open league wide in the upcoming days. There are interesting stories from coast to coast, including how the Oakland Raiders may fare this season now that they have at least a modicum of stability at the quarterback position. Out is JaMarcus Russell and in is former Washington Redskins signal caller Jason Campbell, who was acquired by the Raiders via trade in April.
Campbell joined 106.7 The Fan in Washington D.C. to talk about being a part of the Raiders organization, the difference in how things are done there and D.C., if he holds any ill feelings towards the ‘Skins, the impressive speed on the Raiders roster, the Raiders offensive line compared to the ‘Skins line a year ago, and the Albert Haynesworth saga.
On what it’s been like being a part of the Raiders organization:
“You know, when I first got here, their main thing that they was preaching was just winning. Everybody was just like winning everyday, it was winning. They’re trying to change the mindset and getting back to winning. And like you said, in 2002 they were in the Super Bowl and got beat, and the year before that they got beat in the AFC Championship Game when Brady got the ball knocked out and they didn’t get the ball, they gave the ball to the Patriots, and the Patriots ended up going to the Super Bowl and winning it that year. So they’re just talking about trying to get back to the winning ways and the work ethic has been outstanding since I’ve been here. Just watching the way they work this offseason, all the guys showed up this offseason, everybody was working out, trying to push each other to get better. Nobody complained about how hard we were working or what we were doing. They all understand what it takes to win and that’s what we’ve got to do. They’ve been preaching that the last seven years and it’s been a losing season for them. And this year they want to make a change.”
On the optimism in Oakland now that they seemingly have some stability at the quarterback position:
“Yeah they’ve got a lot of talent. The one thing I noticed when I first got here is speed. They can run from top to bottom. That’s the thing Al Davis is going to have a lot of is big guys and a lot of guys with speed. And I think the guy who has made the biggest improvement this offseason is Heyward-Bey. He’s already fast, but his route running in OTAs and at mini-camp has improved dramatically, and catching the football also. I think you have to credit some of that to Hue Jackson, the offensive coordinator who came over from the Baltimore Ravens last year and is with us again this year. He pushes an uptempo practice, he pushes guys to a whole another level. Of course we have a lot of other young wide receivers, but they’re talented, they’re big, and they’re fast. And then on defense, they’ve been carrying the team for years, so it gives me a whole lot of confidence to be here and be a part of something like this, and definitely if we can turn it around and get back to winning ways it will mean a lot.”
On if he spends much time thinking about the Redskins, particularly the fact about how they invested in the offensive line after he left:
“You know, I saw a couple of things that was moved and you know, it frustrated me a little bit. But to a point where I was like, I’ve already moved on, I’m with a new team, another opportunity, and I’ve just got to look forward to the future out here. I can’t dwell on the past and wish things would have been different or could have been done differently. But you see all the moves that they’re making, it just goes to show you the important part of the game that’s needed in order to be successful week in and week out. That’s what they’re trying to do. They’re adding depth along the offensive line, they’re trying to get some guys in there to try to sustain a 16 game season, especially in the NFC East where everything is built and done in the trenches.”
On Albert Haynesworth and how he thinks that will sort itself out at the start of camp:
“First of all if he showed up to camp 30 pounds lighter, that would be good for him, but in a team sport like that it’s going to mean a lot more that that when he shows up. There’s going to be a heart to heart I’m sure between him and his teammates and especially the guys that have been there all offseason putting in all the effort to try to turn things around. So I’m pretty sure him showing up 30 pounds lighter will be good for him, but there’s still going to be some heart to heart conversations that need to go on, and they’re going to have to move past it pretty quick and get over it in training camp and move forward. But of course everybody would like for him to be there because of the chemistry of the team. Chemistry is not something that happens over night and something that happens in a week’s time. Chemistry comes from spending time together on the field. A guy doesn’t have to know what a coach is calling at certain times during the game because he can get a feel from the guy he’s playing beside because he knows him so well. But if you’re not getting those reps together, it’s hard to get a feel for one another.”