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Skins Big Media Bias: Caught Red Handed

Apr 25, 2005, 9:51 PM EDT

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I’m not one to whine much about media bias against the Redskins. Yes, there is a lot of negative reporting about the Redskins. It’s hard to find a Skins draft grade out there above what I got in high school physics (and there’s a reason I’m not a rocket scientist). My line of reasoning has been based on the fact that until they make the playoffs again or at least post a couple of consecutive winning seasons, the critics will be out there.

Sometimes, however, the critics get caught in a biased moment. When something they said in a context that doesn’t involve the Redskins suddenly does pertains to Danny Snyder’s team, the positive spin becomes inoperative and turns negative, or vice versa depending on the situation.

Read the following statement and tell me who made it:

Campbell looked really good — so good that you find yourself wondering: How can a scout watch this kid and not label his arm, athleticism and field presence all first-round gifts?

Was it Joe Gibbs or Vinny Cerrato? Auburn coach Tommy Tubberville? Some homer Redskins blogger out there?

No, it was said in this article by Peter King. Yes, the very same Peter King who annually draws the ire of Redskins fans when he leads to charge to block Art Monk’s entry into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The very same Sports Illustrated writer who hasn’t had anything good to say about the Redskins since the Norv Turner era.

To say that he is ga-ga over Campbell in the article, which was published two weeks before the draft on April 11, would be an understatement. You have to click over to the third page before you find the nut of the story:

Next I watched Campbell. My first question was: Where’s this guy been hiding? The simple answer: Behind Brown and a very big Cadillac. Campbell is 6-4 3/4 and 230 pounds. His pass-drop is quick and textbook perfect. He sets up well in the pocket, bouncing athletically until he finds his receivers. He never flinches against a pass rush, moving deftly this way or that to avoid traffic. He throws on the run better than Rodgers or Campbell. On one throw against Kentucky last fall, he rolled out from his 46 to his right, then flicked a sideline throw 19 yards downfield for an in-stride completion. That’s the kind of throw he’ll be asked to make 100 times a year in the NFL.

He concludes in regards to what quarterback the 49ers should draft among Alex Smith, Aaron Rogers and Campbell:

I hope they take another look at Campbell. I sure would if I were Mike Nolan.

But, hey, if you’re Joe Gibbs, you’re a fool to make the trade for the 25th pick in the draft in order to take a quarterback who is in the writer’s view an equal to the #1 overall pick, according to King.

On Monday on PTI, King literally laughed at the Redskins for drafting Campbell, saying that it was obvious that the right hand didn’t know what the left hand was doing. He made absolutely no mention of the fact that he thought that Campbell was Smith’s equal. If he did, then that would have blown the whole media template established that the Redskins are the gang that can’t shoot straight.

If you’re trading a couple of mid-rounders for a shot to get an guy who’s as good as the best quarterback in the draft, that’s a pretty shrewd deal. That’s something that, to the Peter Kings of the world, the Redskins can’t make. So, just like in the Nixon White House, previous statements become inoperative. Campbell’s talents are first-round gifts when another team might be looking at him. When the Redskins take him in the first, they’re bumblers.

We’re always suspected it, but now we have the goods on at least one of them.

  1. Anonymous - Apr 25, 2005 at 11:54 PM

    Read his Monday Morning quarterback column today and you’ll see just how little sense Peter King makes. He says Campbell will be one of the five best players to come out of this draft, then somehow still criticizes the skins for taking him. Huh?

  2. Anonymous - Apr 26, 2005 at 1:31 AM

    If Ramsey does well this year, everyone will say the Campbell pick was a waste. But that’s nothing more than a nervous maybe, and Gibbs knows it. So what do you do? You got a guy you think is that good, and you an have him for some mid-rounders, you do it. As a result, we may not be secure at QB, but at least we have a lot of potential.

  3. Anonymous - Apr 26, 2005 at 2:46 AM

    Peter King is a fool, but I don’t think he said anything contradictory in this case.

    Here’s what King had to say this morning:

    —–

    3. I think, when history judges this draft, one of the best five players in it will be Auburn quarterback Jason Campbell, who went to Washington at No. 24. That isn’t to say Washington did a smart thing, paying a ransom for the pick — particularly when it already has another quarterback there who’s good enough to win with and considering Joe Gibbs will be at some racetrack by the time Campbell is an experienced starter. I’m just commenting on the quality of the player. He’s good.
    —–

    i.e., “good player, bad pick for Washington”

  4. J_B - Apr 26, 2005 at 11:56 AM

    King is far from alone in the “Good player, Bad pick for that team” mindset.

    Chris Mortensen said the exact same thing because he feels that Joe Gibbs won’t be around when Campbell enters his prime.

    And if one of the reasons for picking the guy is the similarities between Auburn’s offense last year and what the Redskins are running now, what good does that do if Gibbs is gone by the time Campbell is coming into his own?

    I’m of a similiar thought process right now.

    I like both Carlos Rogers and Jason Campbell as football players.

    I just don’t like the picks for this team at this time.

    Especially in light of the fact that the Redskins gave up next year’s 1st round pick to get the 25th pick this year used to take Campbell.

    In a year from now that trade could end up being Matt Leinart or Chris Leak and two more picks for Jason Campbell. I mean, this offseason has been more about plugging holes on a 6-10 team than it has been about improving the team so that they aren’t picking in the top 10 next season.

    Sorry, while I like Campbell, I don’t believe he’ll be that good.

    I hope this works out in the long run, but I do not have a good feeling right now.

    And I’ll be really ticked off if the Redskins gave up a top 10 pick in 2006 to land Campbell.

  5. J_B - Apr 26, 2005 at 12:29 PM

    http://www.washtimes.com/sports/20050426-121046-3165r.htm

    I think Dan Daly figured the plan out.

    He said that this offseason and the losses of Smoot, Pierce, and Coles taught Gibbs that there is no more loyalty in the NFL.

    So he knew that, after what went down with Brunell last year, Ramsey was gone after 2006.

    The starting QB in 2007 was then either going to be a rookie that was drafted and developed or a vet that was brought in throuigh FA or a trade.

    And then Gibbs looked at the last two FA QB crops and he wasn’t exactly blown away. Especially given how Brunell worked out and he was THE GUY that Gibbs wanted in FA last year.

    So that means draft a guy and develop him.

    And they saw Campbell, liked his physical tools, and felt that drafting him now and letting develop for a year or two behind Ramsey would put the Redskins in a solid position in 2007 once Ramsey left as a FA.

    Only time will tell whether the plan will work out. But I think that sounds like the plan and it does make sense.

    The only part that scares me right now is giving up next year’s #1 pick and doing more plugging of holes in the offseason as opposed to improving the team.

    The only two ways that I see the team getting better in 2005 is if the offensive coaches get drastically better and if they can stay healthier.

    But, if they are better in 2005, and they only gave up a mid to late 1st to Denver in the trade, and Campbell turns out to be a good to great NFL QB, then it was a smart move.

    Only time will tell whether this was a smart move or just another FO blunder under Snyder’s watch.

  6. Doug - Apr 26, 2005 at 12:30 PM

    Here’s a possibility I haven’t heard anyone mention: Maybe Gibbs drafted Campbell because he is not satisfied with Brunell as the backup. Maybe he expects Campbell to become the backup by next year, at which time he’ll let Brunell go. It makes sense to me to want to have a quality backup. You never know when your starter is going down with an injury.

  7. J_B - Apr 26, 2005 at 1:26 PM

    I doubt the Redskins will be able to afford the cap hit to let Brunell go that soon.

    Besides, you don’t pick a guy in the 1st round to be a back up QB. Especially if you give up 3 picks to get that 1st rounder to take the QB.

    Campbell is Gibbs’ QB of the future.

    Ramsey never was “his guy”.

    Brunell was Gibbs’ QB last offseason and Campbell is Gibbs’ QB of this offseason.

  8. J_B - Apr 26, 2005 at 6:55 PM

    Check out Peter King’s latest take on the Campbell pick:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2005/writers/peter_king/04/26/mailbag/1.html

    CHRIS, YOU ARE SO RIGHT. From Chris of New York: “Peter, do the Redskins have a clue? By drafting Jason Campbell, they now have three QBs making substantial money (two first-round deals, and one albatross). They also trade Laveranues Coles for an inferior receiver, and take a huge cap hit in the process. Do they have any idea about how to manage the cap? Has Gibbs lost his magic?”

    I can’t figure it out, Chris. In three straight years, Washington has gone from one quarterback of the future to a quarterback for two or three years to a different quarterback of the future. They’ve used a second-round pick (for Patrick Ramsey), a $43 million contract (for Mark Brunell) and now three draft picks — a third this year and first- and fourth-rounders next year — to bankrupt their player-acquisition process for next year’s draft. “Insane” would be a charitable way to describe what the Redskins have done.

  9. mbarnes202 - Apr 26, 2005 at 8:39 PM

    Yeah,
    This “kings ransom” business and the comment that “the Redskins don’t value picks like other teams do” comment I read from Pro Football Weekly seem a bit strange to me– the traditional draft value totals for the trade actually favored the Redskins, so I don’t know where they’re coming from on that one.
    Also, the Bills JUST LAST YEAR traded away their #1 this year to draft their QB of the future in Lossman, and I don’t remember the same brouhaha over that trade.
    Now, the questioning over our investment at QB does, I think, have some merit- If anything, it absolutely, completely makes Brunnel’s signing an utter and total waste and huge salary cap albatross.
    As to Daly’s article, I don’t think that makes too much sense. We’re drafting a QB in the first round because we’re worried that in two years Ramsey will bolt in FA? Does that mean that we have to draft another QB in three years to prepare for when Campbell hits his contract year?
    But Gibbs’ stance on Ramsey is untenable– he’s our QB to lead us to the playoffs, but Campbell is our QB of the future. You could say that if Ramsey were 35, but Ramsey’s 26, so that makes no sense to me.
    Gibbs obviously does not like Ramsey. I have no clue why. It certainly seems a shame.

  10. Anonymous - Apr 26, 2005 at 9:52 PM

    Until the skins start winning some games and having more turnover when it comes to coaches and players — and by far — than any other team in the league, none of this stuff is going to stop.

    The past decade has been a joke. And it ain’t the media’s fault.

  11. J_B - Apr 27, 2005 at 11:43 AM

    You can’t compare the Bills situation to the Redskins this offseason.

    Buffalo didn’t take a QB in the first round of the 2002 Draft.

    Buffalo also had nobody behind Bledsoe who was going nowhere fast. And, they hadn’t just traded for and signed Bledsoe to a mega contract the yesr before taking Losman.

    There were plenty of people in Buffalo that questioned the move.

    The Campbell move also looks worse because this year’s draft was seen as a weak one and last year’s draft was viewed as a strong one.

    Plus, the Bills traded for a 2nd 1st round pick in a strong draft year. The Redskins added a 2nd 1st round pick in a weak draft year.

    The situation the Redskins are in this offseason is not at all like the one Buffalo was in last year or Baltimore was in 2 years ago when they traded up to get Boller.

    Only time will tell whether it was the right move, but I completely understand where the criticism is coming from.

    This move has a strong probability of blowing up in the Redskins’ faces.

    I hope that doesn’t happen, but I won’t be at all surprised if it does.

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