Here’s more proof that it’s a small world and a round one. Hue Jackson, head coach of the Oakland Raiders, hired Al Saunders as the team’s offensive coordinator. The move reunites Saunders with Jason Campbell, his quarterback with the Washington Redskins in the 2006-2007 seasons.
Now Campbell gets the new experience of spending a third year with an offensive coordinator, Saunders, but not three consecutive seasons.
Saunders was an offensive consultant with the Baltimore Ravens in 2008 and 2009 when Hue Jackson served as offensive coordinator. He is a proponent of the Don Coryell downfield offense. His teams in St. Louis and Kansas City were very potent.
Jackson has said that he will continue to call plays for the Raiders offense in 2011. Saunders should cement his philosophical approach.
Campbell had this to say about Saunders: “He is really smart and he’s an offensive coordinator that knows the ins and outs of the game. I can remember when he was in Kansas City, before he came to Washington, and I think [they were] the number one or two offense in the league, like, every year and just the consistency of being at such a high level. I had an opportunity to be with him under two years and he is a great guy to be around. Professional. He’s a guy that is very intelligent about the game of football.”
Saunders, Campbell and Jackson are all former Redskins, but Jackson departed after 2003 before the arrival of Campbell and Saunders. With the announcement, Campbell has something new, a ring of familiarity that he’s never experienced when a new offensive coordinator comes aboard.
When Joe Gibbs abruptly left the Redskins after 2007, team owner Dan Snyder mumbled something about “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” to profess his commitment to consistency in Jason Campbell’s development.
Then he fired Saunders and hired Jim Zorn to install the West Coast offense.
The curious reunion of Campbell and Saunders with Jackson bears watching for what might have been with the Washington Redskins.