NFL notebook

On eve of camp, Raiders name former Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell their starter

By Mark Maske
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 29, 2010

Jason Campbell enters his first training camp with the Oakland Raiders as their starter at quarterback.

Raiders Coach Tom Cable named Campbell the team's starter Wednesday on the eve of training camp.

"I'm excited about Jason," Cable said at a news conference. "And while we're at it right now, Jason is the starter. . . . He's going to go out in the first huddle, and he's going to do that."

The Raiders open their camp Thursday after an offseason in which they obtained Campbell in a trade with the Washington Redskins. Campbell was displaced as the starter in D.C. by the Redskins' trade for Donovan McNabb.

His primary competition for the starting job in Oakland is Bruce Gradkowski, who has been sidelined by a torn pectoral muscle. The Raiders released former top overall draft pick JaMarcus Russell in the offseason.

"The first thing people are going to want to ask is where does Bruce and the other guys fit into this in terms of competition and all that," Cable said Wednesday. "Bruce hasn't done anything for the last three months. So he'll catch up and he'll get himself up to speed, and he'll go out and battle and all that. But as we move forward [Thursday] morning and go to practice the first time, Jason will be in the first huddle."

Cable said he expects the Raiders to be much improved this season.

"I know we're going to be a good team, and I'm not afraid to say that," Cable said. "We're going to go after the AFC West. I'm not afraid to say that. I believe that. That's what we're gonna do. It's not anybody's. If they've picked someone for it already, that's too bad. It doesn't work like that. You've got to play the games, and this team will be ready to do that.

" . . . Just listen to the players. Just talk to them. From where we were, we talked about the negativity. We talked about becoming competitive and all those things, and trying to eliminate some of the negative issues and stuff. We've done that. We are very competitive.

"Now it's time to take the next step, which I've talked about with them all the time. . . . The next step is to not listen to all the negative . . . . All that is back there. What's in front of us is winning a championship. That's the goal now. Let's go for it."

Goodell, Madden to tour

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is scheduled to begin a tour of NFL training camps next week, joining former coach and broadcaster John Madden on Madden's famed bus.

The league announced that Goodell would visit eight training camps in six days, beginning Monday.

CONTINUED     1        >

© 2010 The Washington Post Company