Campbell: 'I have to respond'

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Campbell: 'I have to respond'

Jason Campbell spoke with the media for the first time since his season-ending clavicle injury Friday, joining The Drive on 95.7 The GAME. Here is a transcript of Campbell's interview.

On the injury:

Its frustrating. Id like be out with my teammates on Sunday.

Did you have a Why me? moment?

Coming over here was a fresh start... I felt great about coming here... This year started off really good. Overcoming so many obstacles... losing Mr. Davis. Still winning... Its such a big year for me and our team... Its not a time for me to get negative or down. I have to respond... get my health right. Once I get healthy, well see what happens from that standpoint.
On the play versus Cleveland in which he was hurt:
I knew if I cant get the read I wanted that Id probably have to run for the first down... Then Cleveland LB Scott Fujita tackled me, he landed right on top of me... the only thing I felt was a bone just crack. And I knew at the time it was my collarbone... One part of the collarbone was up and the other was down... It had broken in tow... I knew I was hurt... but just wanted to know how long? Just kept asking how long?

How much did Coach Hue Jackson talk to you about the Carson Palmer trade?

I didnt really get a chance to talk to him before the trade happened. I had surgery Sunday night... so I still didnt really know what happened. Started getting text messages... theres been a trade... and thats when I saw what happened. As a player in this league, you cant worry about the things that go on from a business side of things... you know what youre worth... you know what youve done for this franchise since you got here

My goal is to get back as healthy as possible when I can... dont get caught up with all the things going on and whats being said because we all dont know. I dont want to put myself in a position where Im stressing about stuff I dont need to be worrying about.

Do you feel disenfranchised based on the chance that youll be back this season?

...It upsets you to a point, but youve been in these shoes before... You just dont ever know whats going to happen... dont get caught up in it.

What was going through your mind when you saw the Hue Jackson Carson Palmer press conference?
I was halfway still on pain medicine. It was kind of a moment of silence. My fianc looked at me to see if I was gonna say something. Theres different things that go through your mind but you dont want to fill your mind with those thoughts... My whole mindset right now is to keep things as positive as possible... I want to be as supportive as to them my teammates as they were to me... Everything will work itself out.

Can Carson Palmer come in and play this Sunday?

...Theyd have to cut down some of the playbook because we do a lot of different shifts and motions to try to keep defenses on their heels and from that standpoint, you have to try to do things thats easy for him and at the same point, he can adjust to because hes been out of football for awhile... They will definitely have to simplify a lot of the offense.
What has Coach Hue Jackson said to you about your future with the team?

He said Dont worry about any of the things out there being said... just worry about getting healthy. I still believe in you. We brought you here. Youve done everything weve asked of you. You helped turn the franchise around. Youre winning. Youre playing good. Dont get frustrated... just focus on getting back healthy and move forward.
How are you thinking about moving forward for the rest of the season?

My standpoint is that Ive built such a relationship with these guys. Im very close to a lot of the guys on the team... and its hard not to be there with them. My standpoint is I dont know what the future holds... My goal is that when Im healthy and get back on the field, and play, and play well, and then well see what happens.

How would you sum up Raider Nation to Carson Palmer?

First, I appreciate everything that Raider Nation has done since Ive been injured... as a player, you really take that to heart. My family, they really appreciate it. When you come here, to the Raiders, this is a real fan base... Im so happy for them to see a football team... to give them something to cheer about.

Raiders sign rookie OT Sharpe, LB Lee, all four seventh-round draft picks

Raiders sign rookie OT Sharpe, LB Lee, all four seventh-round draft picks

The Raiders signed several members of their 2017 draft class, the team announced on Friday. Later round picks put pen to paper following the first week of OTAs, which began on Monday.

Fourth-round offensive tackle David Sharpe and fifth-round linebacker Marquel Lee highlight this group of signings, as both players inked four-year rookie contracts.

All four seventh-round picks also signed their first professional contract. That group includes running back Elijah Hood, safety Shalom Luani, offensive lineman Jylan Ware and defensive tackle Treyvon Hester.

These deals aren’t hard to work out. The NFL and the league’s players union agreed on a rookie wage scale in the last collective bargaining agreement that slots salaries by draft order, which leaves little negotiating room within the set payment structure.

The team’s top picks remain unsigned, though they’ll get done in time. First round cornerback Gareon Conley, second-round safety Obi Melifonwu and third-round defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes remain unsigned.

Here’s a list of estimated contract values over a four-year rookie deal for each signed draft pick, per spotrac.com:

OT David Sharpe (No. 129 overall): $2,986,415 total; $586,415 signing bonus
LB Marquel Lee (No. 168 overall): $2,653,693 total; $253,693 signing bonus
S Shalom Luani (No. 221 overall): $2,494,414 total; $94,414 signing bonus
OT Jylan Ware (No. 231 overall): $2,484,295 total; $84,295 signing bonus
RB Elijah Hood (No. 242 overall): $2,469,750 total; $69,750 signing bonus
DT Treyvon Hester (No. 244 overall): $2,468,601 total; $69,750 signing bonus

Marquel Lee gets to play for his father's favorite team: 'He started bawling'

Marquel Lee gets to play for his father's favorite team: 'He started bawling'

ALAMEDA -- Marquel Lee’s NFL draft weekend wasn’t always fun, a byproduct of high hopes unrealized. The former Wake Forest linebacker slid into Saturday and waited well into the fifth round before his phone lifted spirits.

A 510 area code brought Lee out of an emotional rut, one so deep he started wondering whether he’d get drafted at all.

“When I got the call from the Raiders, everything changed,” Lee said in the latest episode of NBC Sports California’s Raiders Insider Podcast. “I was so excited to play for this organization.”

Marquel Lee wasn’t the only one. His father jumped over the moon.

“He might’ve been more excited than I was,” Marquel Lee said. “He started bawling. I’ve never seen my dad cry like that.”

Corey Lee’s tears don’t come easy. He’s a no-nonsense military man who served 11 years in the Navy before entering the private sector. He was a strict but fair father and football coach who instilled the discipline and work ethic required for his son to realize great potential.

Corey Lee is also a lifelong Raiders fan. Seeing his son get drafted by his favorite team created a perfect emotional storm.

“I’m as die-hard as they get,” Corey Lee said. “When they called his name in the fifth round, it was such a great, powerful moment. There was some relief, because he worked so hard and sacrificed to reach this point. When families were on vacation, we were in summer camps and working out hard.

“Everything we did was to prepare him for the next level. I was so proud to see him achieve a goal he had.”

Corey Lee didn’t break down completely when Marquel Lee officially became the Raiders’ fifth-round selection. This proud papa let emotion overcome for a beat, and then darted for his bedroom. He returned to the party with a brand new Raiders hat and a No. 89 Amari Cooper shirt from his vast Raiders collection.

Marquel Lee threw on dad’s gear to honor his new team and the golden opportunity to play for a linebacker-starved Raiders team.

That wasn’t Marquel Lee’s first time in silver and black. He rocked a full Raiders uniform at age 2, complete with a helmet, football pants and a Tim Brown jersey.

He donned one again when rookies reported to the Raiders offseason program earlier this month. The full-circle moment wasn’t lost on Marquel, a man proud of his past and excited about an NFL future.

“There’s a picture of me in a Raiders jersey, pants and a helmet on my second birthday,” he said. “I look at it now and think, ‘Wow. It really happened.’ I’m wearing a Raiders uniform for real. My dream is becoming a reality.”

Corey Lee grew up a Raiders fan in Southern California, going to games with his family at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Pardon Marquel for not following in those footsteps. He grew up on the East Coast when Donovan McNabb was a superstar and gravitated toward the Eagles. Ray Lewis performed in Lee’s Maryland backyard and became an athletic role model.

Marquel watched tons of NFL football with his dad, complete games where father and son would talk about strategy and scheme. Marquel would watch game tape with his father at an early age and when Corey Lee deployed with the Navy, his mother Katanya – she, too, understood football -- made sure that practice continued.

Marquel Lee was armed with natural athletic gifts and cultivated knowledge of the game, allowing him play quarterback and middle linebacker as a junior at Westlake High in Waldorf, Md. His dad was a guiding light as youth instructor, a JV head coach and a varsity linebackers coach, but took steps to separate family and football.

“As a father, I never would allow him to call me dad on a practice field or anywhere,” Corey Lee said. “I was always ‘Coach’ during the season, whether we were at home or at practice, because I wanted to keep him in that mindset.”

Football was a primary focus back then, when the family often traded summer vacations for skills camps. Despite buzz around Marquel’s talents, Corey was against his son doing interviews with recruiting websites or ranking services. Father wanted his son’s head on straight, and it has remained that way. 

Top schools were slow to come around, but gravitated after Marquel fully recovered from a torn patella and stood out early in his senior year. He chose Wake Forest, a commitment his father wanted upheld even with late interest from other programs.

His growth continued as a collegian, and took a real spike during the 2016 season. Wake Forest’s defensive captains graduated, leaving him to assume a leadership role and put team over stats. Lee considered his junior season at Wake Forest subpar, and vowed to do better.

“I was pressing a lot, trying to rush my time and trying to get to the NFL,” Lee said. “I was on a road where I thought I wanted to leave (school) early. I was so hard on myself, especially if I didn’t produce. That’s why I said it was subpar. I don’t think I played like a team player that year.

“(The next season) I made a decision to finish what I started and be the leader I always knew I could be. I wanted to help my team get to a bowl game. I hadn’t played in one. That was a major part of me coming back in 2016. … I grew up a lot. I feel like I gained respect as a team leader, and really understood what it took to own that responsibility.”

Lee might have major responsibilities as an NFL rookie. The Raiders don’t have quality options at middle linebacker, and Lee will be allowed to compete for a starting spot. It’ll take an excellent spring and summer to earn it and give the Raiders confidence to hand an important starting spot to a rookie. The Silver and Black could add a veteran to that position group, though they have high hopes for their fifth-round pick.

“We definitely think he has the potential to start,” Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said in an interview with 95.7-The Game. “He’s a long ways away from that. We haven’t even begun to get the pads on, so a lot will be determined in training camp and the preseason. So far, he has looked very good.”

Lee considers himself well prepared for the challenges ahead, and believes he can compete at the professional level.

“I’ve been getting ready for this a long time,” Marquel Lee said. “My dad has been telling me that this experience will be different. It’s not like college anymore. It’s a job, and I have to be mentally prepared for everything I’m about to do. I’m here and I’m learning and I’m trying to do my best.”