Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

August 21, 2010
Wimbley, Campbell star in Raiders' 32-17 demolition of Bears

A few thoughts on the Raiders' 32-17 demolition of the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field (I watched on television and will travel with the Raiders in the regular season), while keeping in mind exhibitions are near meaningless in terms of wins and losses:

-What in the world were the Cleveland Browns thinking in letting linebacker Kamerion Wimbley go for a mere third-round draft pick? Yes, I realize that this was an exhibition game, but Wimbley getting four sacks, mostly as an edge rusher in nickel packages, was a welcome development for the Raiders.

Wimbley.jpg

-Wimbley's sacks were four of the six the Raiders had on the night, with Tommy Kelly and Thomas Howard each contributing one. Speaking of Kelly, the high-priced defensive tackle came to camp some 30 pounds lighter and decidedly more motivated.

-When was the last time you had to pick which first series was more impressive, that of the offense, which went 81 yards in 10 plays and 6 minutes, 33 seconds to score a touchdown, or the defense, which sacked Jay Cutler on second and third down to force a punt? Keep in mind the offense had to atone for two Robert Gallery penalties in the first four snaps.

-Jason Campbell, playing without receivers Darrius Heyward-Bey and Chaz Schilens, showed the poise of a veteran leader and touch of a veteran quarterback the Raiders have been so sorely missing since Rich Gannon retired. At least early on. After completing his first five passes, Campbell looked a tad uncomfortable as he was just five of 15 thereafter, including an all-advised interception in the red zoned. But he finished with 170 yards passing and had good pocket presence and sense enough to scramble and buy himself more time when he sensed the pocket collapsing. I won't even get into how many times JaMarcus Russell cost the Raiders with his lack of pocket awareness.

Jason Campbell.jpg

-Looks like new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson is not afraid of calling some misdirection, every now and again. Especially the play-action screen pass. It worked well enough on third-and-17 from their own 12-yard line that Michael Bush rumbled for 24 yards and a first down. Marcel Reese also picked up 40 yards on a similar play.

-Speaking of Bush, he looks comfortable getting reps as the featured running back. Wonder how that sits with his camp roommate, Darren McFadden? Truth be told, would be interesting to see McFadden, who sat out his second consecutive exhibition with a sore hamstring, on the receiving end of such passes and enabled to create in space.

-With Charlie Frye lost for the season after undergoing wrist surgery this week and Bruce Gradkowski still nursing a sore groin, Kyle Boller made another strong case to be Campbell's backup. Boller completed seven of nine passes for 55 yards and, like Campbell, had a rushing TD. Colt Brennan also got in for two series and completed his lone pass for 14 yards. Gradkowski had better feel some sort of pressure.

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Defensive starters Nnamdi Asomugha, Chris Johnson and Richard Seymour all sat out.

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For timelier updates, follow me on Twitter @PaulHGutierrez

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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