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Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Is Jason Campbell the next Jim Plunkett?

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

It’s great to hear from Al Davis.

The man always has something to say when he talks publicly. His latest words that have caught folks' attention is that he compared new quarterback Jason Campbell to Jim Plunkett in a Sirius NFL Radio interview.

Plunkett’s name carries a lot of weight in the Raider Nation and for good reason. Plunkett resurrected his career in Oakland and led the Raiders to Super Bowl wins during the 1980 and ’83 seasons.

The comparison of Campbell to Plunkett’s career path is reasonable up until this point. But let’s wait on comparing Campbell's impact in Oakland to Plunkett’s until Campbell proves he is anything more than just an average player that the Washington Redskins gave up on.

I’m glad Davis is excited about Campbell, but let’s put this in perspective. One of the reasons Davis took on journeyman Kerry Collins was that he thought he was a scrappy vet who could re-energize his career with the Raiders. It didn’t happen. I’m not saying Campbell will be more like Collins as a Raider than Plunkett. I’m just saying Plunkett’s ride with the Raiders was special.

When I first heard of Davis’ comments, it brought me back to the NFL owners’ meetings in 2007. It was a month before the NFL draft and the Raiders had the No. 1 pick. Davis told a small group of reporters that there was a player in the draft who reminded him of John Elway.

That player? JaMarcus Russell.