Originally Published: September 2, 2010
Tom Pennington/Getty Images JOHN CLAYTON QB RANKING (19): After five up-and-down years in Washington, Jason Campbell has been given a fresh start in Oakland. He's a career 61.2 percent passer.

Expert Picks (Consensus: 2nd)

Intelligence Report

Five things you need to know about the Raiders:

1. Jason Campbell will help: The biggest positive about Campbell is that he is not JaMarcus Russell. That will go a long way in Oakland. Russell was cut in May after three disastrous seasons. Campbell is not an elite player by any stretch, but he is a legitimate, competent NFL quarterback. That alone will help Oakland improve on offense. The Raiders scored only 17 offensive touchdowns in 2009. Expect that number to increase fairly dramatically this season.

2. Michael Bush will be dependable: The Raiders want Bush or third-year running back Darren McFadden to become a legitimate No. 1 back. The Raiders really don't care which one it is, but they want to see these players reach their potential. I think Bush is the man for the job. McFadden is talented, but he has been hampered by injuries in his short NFL career. Bush is a bigger back who has the ability to wear down defenses. Don't expect the thumb injury he suffered in the preseason to have an impact on his long-term effectiveness. Bush will establish himself as a reliable runner.

3. The receivers need time: The Raiders will be improved on offense, but the receiving crew could betray the team on occasion. In three years, this unit may become a strength because it has so much potential. But it has to prove itself. Top receiver Chaz Schilens has big-league ability, but he has been bothered by a foot injury for more than year. Second-year players Darrius Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy both have potential, but they haven't shown they can be reliable on a weekly basis.

4. The run defense should be improved: One of the Raiders' biggest problems the past few seasons was the run defense. It was ravaged last season. Improving the run defense was Oakland's top priority in the offseason. The Raiders drafted linebacker Rolando McClain and defensive end Lamarr Houston in the first two rounds with the design of stopping the run. They are two stout players who are not afraid to close gaps. Richard Seymour has been moved from end to tackle and he can be a dominant run-stopper at times. While the Raiders' run defense still faltered at times in the preseason, it shouldn't be a colossal issue as it has been in the past.

5. Hue Jackson will have a major role: Get used to hearing and reading Jackson's name as he will have a gigantic role on this team. The longtime successful assistant was handpicked to ignite Oakland's offense as its coordinator. He will call the plays and be in charge of the team's passing game. Raiders owner Al Davis is a huge fan of Jackson's. If the Raiders falter early and Davis gets the itch to make a head-coaching change, Jackson could replace Tom Cable.

-- Bill Williamson, ESPN.com

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