Going into the 2010 season, the Raiders felt they had an answer at quarterback for the first time in years. Jason Campbell was finally going to be comfortable with an offense and live up to the hopes the Raiders held when they traded for him. For the first part of the season, he did just that, leading the team to victories over the Broncos, Jets and Texans before being injured and lost for the season against Cleveland.
The Raiders acted quickly, trading for disgruntled Cincinnati QB Carson Palmer. He would struggle in his first game the very next week against Kansas City, but was solid from then on, throwing for over 2700 yards in only ten games with Oakland. He did throw a lot of interceptions, but was never really helped out by his defense and he was constantly trying to make it all happen himself. With Palmer at the helm, Darrius Heyward-Bey finally developed into a serious threat in the passing game and proved to be more than the bust as which he had previously been perceived.
Jason Campbell played well in his limited time as a Raider, but he was never more than an average caretaker quarterback, and those type of guys can only succeed with an elite defense, which Campbell never had. Palmer showed he can succeed regardless, but will make mistakes along the way, although he will hit more often than he will miss. Next year Palmer is without question The Man at quarterback, and hopefully the Raider defense can improve with a year of his experience and stability.
Down the road, Terrelle Pryor may be the guy. He showed good deep accuracy and great mobility in college. He will need to develop a lot as a passer and a reader of defenses, but he is extremely talented and likey well worth the third round supplemental pick spent on him. This year was a very stressful one with mixed results at QB for the Raiders, but the future looks bright.
2011 Grade: C+