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Benching Campbell would be a big mistake

Dec 1, 2008, 7:51 PM EDT

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Let’s cut straight to the subject that’s been buzzing around the message board and talk radio world:

Should Jason Campbell be benched?

Clearly, his performance has fallen off in the past seven games. After the first five games of the year Campbell’s QB rating stood at a very respectable 100 and he hadn’t thrown an interception. Now, he’s at a mediocre 87.5 rating and he’s thrown four picks. After five games, ESPN’s Ron Jaworski said that he was a candidate for MVP. Now people are saying he’s the main reason the offense has been MIA.

So that has board posters and talk show callers calling for Campbell to be replaced. Put in Todd Collins, look what happened when he went in at this time last year. Put in Colt Brennan, look what he did in preseason. Do either one of those but get another guy for next year. Campbell can’t make decisions, he holds the ball too long, he can’t make the throws, he can’t read defenses, he’s not a leader.

It’s important to note here that this outcry for Campbell’s ouster is coming strictly from outside of Redskins Park. Usually when there is dissatisfaction among the players with the play of the quarterback, some off-the-record comments will be made to some of the media types. I have checked with a couple of reporters who are out in Ashburn frequently and they both told me that there has been no grumbling about benching Campbell.

Let me repeat, none. Zip. Zilch. Zero. Nada. Not a whisper, not a grunt.

Now, I’m not going to go and try to put lipstick on the pig that has been the Redskins offense over the past month and a half or try to minimize Campbell’s role in it. A grand total of two touchdowns in three big November home games speaks for itself. The quarterback takes the snaps, he runs the show, and he gets Miss DC. A lot of it is on him.

But it’s not all on him, and that’s one of the two points I want to make here. This offense is not a well-oiled machine just needed a stud quarterback to take the wheel. Dropped passes, ill-timed penalties and missed blocks are problems that I can see with my own two eyes.

Yesterday, Jim Zorn went into detail about how Antwaan Randle El ran an 11-yard pattern when he should have run an eight-yard pattern. That made Campbell’s throw appear to be low when it was exactly where it should have been. Instead of being to turn around and easily take a couple of steps for a first down, Randle El was touched down short of the first.

The second point to make here is directed at those of you who point to Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco and say, see, it shouldn’t matter that Campbell is learning a new offense, these guys can step right out of college and get it done.

Yes, Flacco and Ryan are having good years. That’s no guarantee that either of them will be good quarterbacks in the NFL for a long time. Did you ever hear of Daunte Culpepper? The learning curve is different for all quarterbacks. Let’s look down the list of the top QB’s in terms of rating and see how their careers have unfolded:

  1. Tony Romo—Did not throw a pass for almost three and a half years before bursting onto the scene.
  2. Phillip Rivers—Drafted high, did not play much for two years, has been good but not great in three years as a starter.
  3. Kurt Warner—Couldn’t make it out of college, played Arena League, bagged groceries, made the Rams as a backup, got his chance due to injury, won two MVP’s, declined, nobody wanted him, now back as an unquestioned starter.
  4. Drew Brees—Played in one game as a rookie, posted QB ratings of 76.9 and 67.5 in his first two years starting, had two great years with the Chargers, was allowed to leave as a free agent in favor of Rivers, has had two and a half stellar years in New Orleans.
  5. Chad Pennington—Played little in his first two years with the Jets, then broke out in his third year, has been steady if unspectacular since then.
  6. Jeff Garcia—Canadian League, made the Pro Bowl in San Francisco, bounced to the Lions and Browns, both of whom had major QB issues, to the Eagles where he took over for an injured McNabb and led them to the playoffs, to Tampa Bay.

I defy you to find a pattern there and tell me where Campbell “should” be at this stage of his career. No, he hasn’t shown a steady progression from game one as a starter through yesterday, his 32nd game behind center. But neither did most of the guys listed above, or many other solid starters around the league.

Take the quarterbacks of the last two teams the Redskins have faced. Matt Hasselbeck, under the coaching of Jim Zorn in Seattle, had many fits and starts with the Seahawks. Then, in 2005, he got it. A year later the Seahawks were in the Super Bowl and may well have won it if not for some strange officiating calls.

And Eli Manning seemed to be completely lost as late December of last year. Nobody in NFL history has thrown more incompletions in a game than he did against the Redskins in the Meadowlands in Week 15 of 2007. A few weeks before that, he’d thrown four interceptions in an ugly loss to the Vikings. His demeanor was way too laid back. He’s now wearing a Super Bowl ring.

Not that all of this means that it’s a slam dunk that Campbell will be leading a parade down Constitution Avenue holding a Lombardi Trophy this year or any time soon.

It does mean that there is a potential payoff in being patient, letting Campbell stay in there until he and the other 10 guys on offense are executing the offense the way it’s supposed to be executed.

Sometimes to best way to change things is to make no changes at all. This is one of those times.

  1. drwnc - Dec 1, 2008 at 9:42 PM

    THANK_YOU!
    Campbell needs to become the leader and the quarterback of the team but it does not need to occur with a benching.
    Campbell is under contract and should be allowed to win the job and win a new contract based on performance given the time frame of the contract, The front office choosing to not offer him a contract now seems to be thinking the same. Collins is not the answer.

  2. Warmontco - Dec 1, 2008 at 10:06 PM

    Great post!! I’ve seriously been a deer in the headlights myself when it comes to trying to explain the experience of Matt Ryan compared to Campbell. You hit the nail on the head. Excellent.

  3. Joe in Raleigh - Dec 1, 2008 at 10:17 PM

    Agreed. But I’m not so sure about extending that patience to the kicker and punter.

  4. Anonymous - Dec 1, 2008 at 10:23 PM

    Perhaps the Ashburn faithful have already given up and have already come to terms that a real quarterback with real fire power will never start for the Redskins.

  5. Anonymous - Dec 1, 2008 at 10:38 PM

    dont look now suisham just missed another kick. i think plackenmier kicked another touchback. and smoot is having a hard tome catching toomer cause hes got 7 million in his pocket

  6. Rich Tandler - Dec 1, 2008 at 10:42 PM

    Agreed, drwnc. I would rather wait on signing Campbell and I don’t think that he’s in a hurry, either.

    And also agreed, Joe. I’m still not sure why Brooks got whacked.

  7. drwnc - Dec 1, 2008 at 11:16 PM

    Look a punter is available:
    From the Green Bay Packers official site posted 12/01/2008

    The Green Bay Packers have released P Derrick Frost, Ted Thompson, Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations, announced the transactions Monday.

    Agree, I’m not sure why Brooks was released unless plans are to bring him back for tryouts again next year.

  8. Brianm23 - Dec 1, 2008 at 11:17 PM

    Uhhh..no You can hope in one hand and crap in the other. Let’s see which one gets filled up faster. This team needs a person not scared to make mistakes and not afraid in the pocket. Jason is scared and he acts clueless out there. He isn’t the sole fault for the offense floundering, but you know as well as I do that it ALL falls on two people. The QB and the Coach. The QB gets replaced first, then the coach. See the Browns for details.

  9. Chris C. - Dec 2, 2008 at 12:28 AM

    Thank you Rich! This is a work in progress and any great team takes years to build. This team will get better, Jason Campbell will get better. In fact, with as well as he has done in his first year in the West Coast Offense I look for him to be a lot better next year.

  10. Chris C. - Dec 2, 2008 at 12:32 AM

    And really, replacing the QB and the Coach during first year?

    This microwave generation with fixing everything overnight, sigh. Shouldn’t we wait a few years and let the coach get his players that he wants on offense before we replace him?

  11. drwnc - Dec 2, 2008 at 12:32 AM

    Brianm23 agree,
    If this game is played the exact same at this time in 2009 a change will be required…see Browns for details.

  12. JDKeebler - Dec 2, 2008 at 1:04 AM

    "Clearly, his performance has fallen off in the past seven games." This is an understatement for the ages. Yes his performance has fallen off but at NO time was he performing like a TD scoring QB. So it has slid from his high-water mark of adequate…back to his usual horrible nature.

    No, it isn't one of those times. Hesitation to make a change and inactivity do anything but knock the team out of the playoffs.

    Here's why.

    Playmaker, Gunslinger, Laser Arm, Deep Ball Threat. All were labels once used to describe Jason Campbell's abilities and potential.

    Let's break those down.

    Playmaker…nope can't achieve sufficient pass placement to give receivers a favorable chance to make catches on the run. Over throw, under throw, throw over wrong shoulder forcing WRs and TEs to twist and dive to make catches. NOT a recipe for long TD passes or even deep completions.

    Gunslinger, Laser Arm; I can't even address this one without laughing. Gunslinger, no, SCUD missile with busted guidance system, maybe.

    Deep Ball Threat…what he's threatening to complete a pass over 30 yards…SOMEday?!?

    Sure there has been no outward cry from Redskin Park to bench Campbell. That’s not something you do until you are ready to pull the trigger on the switch…if you have an OUNCE of brains. Coach Zorn himself has said Jason needs to improve, he hasn't, and he’s even regressed. Now it is time to show what happens if you don't improve. Otherwise you risk losing the team.

    What incentive is there to perform if you don't need to meet your job requirements to keep your starting job?

    Absolutely it is not 100% Jason's fault…but no one intelligent is saying that. What is being said is we're killing our defense by keeping it on the field all day on game day. Portis is leading the league in rushing, the line was blocking well enough for Campbell to post decent numbers earlier this season…the WRs aren't dropping THAT many balls…what else could it be?

    I'll concede for now that it's early for judging Flacco & Ryan…but let's look more closely at your other QB comparisons…shall we?

    Tony Romo-was an experiment…nothing more. It just happened to work out when an opportunity arose and the rest is history. Let's see him WIN a playoff game before we anoint him as elite, hmmm?

    Philip Rivers-On September 11, 2006, Rivers made his first start in pro football against the Oakland Raiders. Rivers managed the game well despite only passing 11 times, but completed 8 passes as well as one TD in a 27-0 rout of the Raiders. After his first game, Rivers led the NFL in QB rating with 133.9

    The fifth week of the season, the reigning Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers came to town and Bill Cowher's defensive game plan revolved around stopping LaDainian Tomlinson. This game marked a turning point for Rivers, who aided by head coach Marty Schottenheimer's opening of the playbook, proceeded to take the game on his shoulders and lead the team in a come-from-behind victory throwing 24-of-37 for 242 yards and two TDs, winning 23-13.

    On November 12, 2006, Rivers had the best game of his short career and led the San Diego Chargers to an improbable comeback against the Cincinnati Bengals. Down 28–7 at halftime, Rivers led the Chargers on six drives culminating in touchdowns. After driving in for the Chargers first touchdown after halftime, Nick Hardwick, River's center, reminisced about Rivers, mimicking his southern drawl, "He's yelling 'Y'all don't think we're out of this' to the Bengals. When he said that, I said, 'Shoot, I guess we ain't out of this. Right on.'" Rivers himself threw for 337 yards and three touchdown passes, while LaDainian Tomlinson scored three of their four rushing touchdowns. San Diego outscored Cincinnati 42–13 in the second half winning the game 49–41, matching the biggest comeback in 23 years for the Chargers.

    Rivers led several 4th quarter comebacks in 2006, and posted the league's highest 4th quarter quarterback rating. As a result of a stellar performance throughout the season, Rivers was selected to the 2007 Pro Bowl. After a 14–2 season the Chargers were set to play the New England Patriots in the divisional round of the playoffs. The Patriots won 24–21.

    That's a pretty fair first year starting, no?

    For the 2007 after a 1–3 start, the Chargers finished 11–5, winning the AFC West for the second straight year. The Chargers also won their first two playoff games since the 1994 season, beating the Tennessee Titans and the Indianapolis Colts before falling to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game 21–12.

    Following the playoff loss, Rivers revealed that he required surgery to repair his anterior cruciate ligament, an injury he had played through during the Chargers' playoff run – this operation would require 6 months recovery. However, Rivers promised to be back in time for training camp before the start of the 2008 season

    In 2008 Philip Rivers is rated # 2 in passer rating (100.5) under Tony Romo (103.2). He has 23 touchdowns this year (rated #3) under Kurt Warner (24) and Drew Brees (24)

    In 45 career NFL starts, including playoffs, Philip Rivers has only once thrown more than two interceptions in a game.

    So where EXACTLY is the just "good" part in all that? Okay, so he didn't dominate while he was on the bench and not playing…lol.

    Kurt Warner played hurt too long fearing losing his spot. He's NEVER played badly when remotely healthy.

    Drew Brees hit San Diego when they had next to no weapons and an aging D, as that was rectified, he "got better". He was let go as a younger, healthier, similar option was already in house and under contract.

    I'll grant your review of Pennington if you note his two major throwing side injuries [hand and shoulder].

    Your use of Jeff Garcia supports the bench Campbell argument; it never took him more than 2 years somewhere to start winning games…

    I'll accept your challenge. Campbell should not be holding the ball for 5-7 seconds before making a throw. Especially out of the shotgun where opposing D's don't have to even wonder what he's going to do. He should know how to lead a receiver so as not to disrupt the rout they are running, and he should NEVER throw into triple or better coverage. BY two season's worth of starts almost ALL of the QBs you mentioned were beyond making those mistakes except in RARE circumstances. Campbell is not. At this point you need to wonder if he ever CAN be, much less if he ever will be.

    Eli Manning. Great example. 2005 Eli's second season was largely a success. He finished in the top 5 in both passing yards and touchdown passes, while leading an offense that finished 3rd in the NFL in scoring, with a total of 422 points. It was the most points the Giants scored in a single season since 1963. The Giants won the NFC East with an 11–5 record.

    2006 Lost to Eagles on a last second field goal…

    2007…do I need to rehash it?

    And this season…nuff said.

    I defy YOU to show me 4 similarities between Manning and Campbell's progression, other than to say they both are QBs and play in the NFL.

    In closing do you really want to wait 2-3 more years and commit tens of MILLIONS of cap dollars just to find out IF Campbell can improve?

    I don't, and I'm finally not alone.

    Make the switch, before it's too late and we renew a contract we may not need to. I'd rather spend all those dollars improving the O-line to protect whomever we have back behind it.

    Go Skins!

  13. JDKeebler - Dec 2, 2008 at 1:05 AM

    apologies for the errant multi post

  14. Anonymous - Dec 2, 2008 at 1:35 AM

    RTandler said:
    I believe that he can be a very good starting quarterback here for a very long time. There’s no certainty, of course, but he has the physical and mental tools to do it, IMO.

    Mental tools to do it?

    What mental tools, Rich?

  15. Rich Tandler - Dec 2, 2008 at 1:37 AM

    Thanks for your thoughts, JDK. You raise some interesting points. To answer a few of them:

    –Campbell has 30 completions of over 20 yards (10 QB’s have more) and three of over 40 yards. That’s not many but it’s as many as Eli as one fewer than Peyton.

    –My about no controversy was that there isn’t even a hint of a controversy in Redskins Park. Well before the coach makes such a change there generally are locker room grumblings. Now I haven’t talked to every beat writer out there but I’ve talked to enough to know that there simply haven’t been any off-record complaints about Campbell. None. In other words, the players disagree with your assessment.

    –Thanks for bolstering my point that there is no straight-line development pattern for QB’s. Great stories about Rivers, but come on. No weapons? LT has been the most feared offensive weapon in the league for four or five years. He’s as good a runner a Portis, if not better, and a far superior receiver out of the backfield. He’s a QB’s best friend.

  16. taoofryan - Dec 2, 2008 at 3:37 AM

    Good post.

    To all those calling for JC’s benching:

    Kerry Collins, Matt Cassel, Peyton Manning, and Ben Rothlesberger all have WORSE ratings and their teams are all probably headed for the playoffs. The receivers couldn’t hold on to the ball, the defense couldn’t stop anyone, and our kicking/punting has been horrendous. In every loss it’s never been one thing, but many areas where the team has been disappointing. You fix the problems. You don’t overreact. Collins has had to learn a new system for the first time in seven years and Colt Brennan excelled against scrubs in pre-season. Anyone seriously thinking that we need to replace JC is an idiot.

    There is not one logical reason to make a change at quarterback right now….not one.

  17. Buck - Dec 2, 2008 at 3:46 AM

    Who knows what will happen if the Skins lose at Baltimore and Philly? The throngs and mumblings may be too much to overcome

  18. Anonymous - Dec 2, 2008 at 4:22 AM

    Since you brought up Flacco and Ryan, I would like to point out that both have some linemen drafted in the first and second rounds since 2005. The last linemen the Skins drafted in the first or second round was in 1999. Both the Ravens and the Falcons have a younger, faster and stronger OL.

    You don’t draft linemen in fantasy football. Neither do the Redskins.

  19. Jeff - Dec 2, 2008 at 4:48 AM

    I think Campbell is a good quarterback.

    My fear is that he’s never going to be any better than good.

    Rich knows the numbers better than I (or anyone, in all likelihood), and others have posted details comments that you can interpret as you will.

    But aside from the stats, he doesn’t seem to bring any intangibles to his game. None. He’s a QB machine. Read. Step. Process. Throw. His best magic is an occasional scramble. But nothing special.

    And he doesn’t seem to be able to inspire his team the way a Brady or a Romo or a Favre can. People play better around those men, and worse when they’re absent. There’s lots of reasons why, but Campbell hasn’t developed that yet, and there’s some evidence that he really never will. I can’t think of ever seeing him exhibit tangible leadership.

    Is that something that develops? Or is that one of those have-it-or-don’t unteachable things? I think it’s the latter.

    There’s no in-house scuttlebutt because he’s not going to get benched – yet.

    But if we don’t see some inspired play in the next two weeks, it’s likely going to knock us out of the playoffs, and it’s likely going to result in some serious introspection at the QB position.

    Remember, Campbell is a Gibbs guy. Not a Cerrato guy, not a Zorn guy. He might ultimately be the man at QB for the Skins for a while, but he doesn’t have the distinction of being the man chosen to lead this offense.

    And since the QB position ties tightly into the WR position that SEEMS so stacked and yet underperforms, and since Portis is excelling – practically carrying the entire offense, and since the QB is the engine of everything the offense does outside of the RB position, you HAVE to take a serious look at what’s happening there.

    And I think you do this if we’re eliminated from the playoffs, but not before.

  20. Anonymous - Dec 2, 2008 at 9:36 AM

    In my opinion, Jason Campbell is a mediocre QB, not impressive in the least. He holds on to the ball entirely too long, or instead of throwing a pass he launches up a hail Mary pass that can be picked off. He does not seem comfortable. I remember watching Colt Brennan in Pre-Season and he got rid if the ball quickly and helped the Skins come from behind and win, now he was impressive, I’m sorry to say that Jason is not. I have nothing against Jason and was actually looking forward to him playing, but enough is enough…he is not ready. He is like a deer in headlights.I don’t see the Redskins advancing to the playoffs with Jason Campbell at the helm.

  21. Rich Tandler - Dec 2, 2008 at 12:34 PM

    To respond to some of the “mental ability” questions:

    The fact that Campbell is from the South and talks in a soft drawl does not mean that he is dumb and it doesn’t mean that he can’t be a leader.

    I can’t “prove” that he’s smart any more than you can “prove” he’s not. I believe that his hesitance on the field is due to his low comfort level in this offense, which he has yet to master. You can believe otherwise and we can agree to disagree.

    Unlike you, however, I have talked to every Redskins QB since Brad Johnson, backup and starter, and my opinion on Campbell’s mental ability is based on that. And I also can say that I’ve talked to many Redskins beat writers who have talked to Campbell and the other QB’s much more than I have and none of them seems to think that JC lacks the smarts to get the job done. And, trust me, these are not guys who hold back their opinions about players and coaches.

    That’s not conclusive proof by any means, I’ve been wrong and certainly the beat writers have been wrong. But that’s the foundation for my opinion. It’s up to you to accept it or not.

  22. Anonymous - Dec 2, 2008 at 1:00 PM

    When things are going wrong for the offense, it is the job of the coaching staff to adjust things to make it possible for things to improve. I see no evidence of this. The play calling has been lackluster. IMO, the Redskins offense has been predictable and defenses are able to stuff the plays because they know when the Redskins will run. The passing game never gets started because the run isn’t there like last week against the Giants.

    You can point to double teams on Moss and you can complain the REL isn’t getting it done as the 2nd receiver. In the west coast offense, this shouldn’t matter. the WCO is supposed to have a bunch off other players ready to pick up the slack and catch the ball. The coaching staff should seek to put other players into position to make plays when the primary targets are covered. Look at how well the Tom Brady used to succeed by spreading the ball around to a bunch of different players. When you do this, the defense cannot double everyone and you succeed by keeping them guessing.

    I am not going to dismiss Campbell as the QB at this point. He’s not perfect, but he has been executing well enough in a new system. IMO, the woes of the offense should be put on head coach and the offensive coordinator. It is their job to recognize problems and put their team in a position to win. Blache seems to be able to do this with the defense. It is time for the offensive coaches to do the same.

  23. John - Dec 2, 2008 at 1:58 PM

    I hear alot of people say bench campbell and then i get into a convo with them and find out they dont know squat about the redskins.

  24. John - Dec 2, 2008 at 2:01 PM

    With that said HTTR JC #17 all day all night!

  25. Joe in Raleigh - Dec 2, 2008 at 2:43 PM

    The last time we benched the QB for a guy who was great in college and had a hot preseason against scrubs, we ended up with Danny Wuerffel under center. Do we really need to go through that again? Are our memories really that short?

    JC and Portis are the 2 things we have going for us on offense. Sadly, everyone else seems to be the problem.

  26. Bud - Dec 2, 2008 at 2:56 PM

    Campbell traditionally slows in November and December. I have never seen the Redskin coaches stay with a quarterback that has not stepped up this long before!!! Collins had a good playoff run last year. Colt Brennan had an excellent preseason. What do you call a person that continues to do the same thing and expects different results????????

  27. Vicc - Dec 2, 2008 at 3:49 PM

    TRUTH!!!!!

    Jason Campbell has 32 TD’s in 32 games. In 10 of those games he as thrown 0 TD’s. That is more than 25% of the time.

    It’s not that he is inconsistent, it is that his release is very slow and defenders consistently get a jump on our passing plays because of it!!! Have we even run a successful slant this whole season? Would it hurt to pumpfake every once in a while??

    I’m sorry, I really liked Jason, but he will never ever ever ever be a ProBowl Qb and any offense with him at the helm will never ever ever ever put up enough points to scare anybody. He is allergic to throwing TD’s and the stats point to it.

    I’m not saying Colt is the answer, but the man throws TD’s. It doesn’t matter how or why, Colt just throws TD’s. Put him in! We are wasting Clinton Portis’ prime years!!!!!

    Lemme blow your mind:

    Jason Campbell in 13 preseason games/2 touchdown passes

    Colt Brennan in 5 preseason games/3 touchdown passes

  28. Outer Urban Cadet - Dec 2, 2008 at 4:08 PM

    I think the anti-Campbell crowd is tired of watching the last few uninspiring games. Other teams in the NFL actually score touchdowns. But at 7-5 it’s hard to bench any QB.

    Some say we need to wait a few years for him to develop. How long do we wait? He is 14-17 in finished games with the Redskins. This is a great record if you feel like never making the play offs. But let’s just wait a few years for him to develop, and if it doesn’t work out, then we will just have to a few more years for someone else to develop. And the Synder era continues…

    I agree that reasonably you can’t bench Campbell at this point, and we still have a chance to make it to the playoffs, but with the 6th ranked defense in the NFL our record is not expectable. We should be 9-3, having beaten the Cowboys and the Rams.

    But we are a respectable 7-5. If we win out we might make the play offs.

    But let’s look at why people are upset from a positional standpoint:

    Rushing: Sellers and Portis take it to everyone and they make chumps of folks stomping’ on them.

    I’m so proud of the O-line this week because they shut everyone up. Campbell had time.

    I don’t appreciate people hating on our receivers and blaming them for Campbell’s poor performance, because the opposite is true!

    We already know how great our defense is.

    As far as Jason Campbell goes, I remember always being nervous about him. I loved the stories early in the season when the story was about how well he was picking up the WC offense. Lately though, it’s been rough. All of us who want some fresh blood in there are still rooting for Campbell. We still want him to do well. We just don’t know if he has it. This Sunday we face another team great at shutting down the run, and the now what = Campbell which = not promising.

    Zorn had a great chance coming in and having the chance to pick his starter. With Colt new, and Campbell back from injury, he had a head coach’s dream of being able to just say, “That one”.

    He picked the wrong one and here is why:
    POTENTIAL POTENTIAL POTENTIAL

    “People who don’t know squat about the ‘Skins?”
    Not true. We just don’t see a lot of potential in Campbell. QB’s who don’t start well and turn out great seem to have had a hurdle or two in their game and they always looked like they were about to have a breakthrough and be amazing. THEN IT HAPPENS. I have been waiting for Campbell’s break out game, and where is it? I keep thinking the next game, but after his latest performance, I still hope for it deeply, but I do not expect it as I did before.

    Don’t know squat about the skins? Instant gratification generation?”

    I don’t think so. There are a lot of haters who are high and mighty. Do you think the Jets are doing well only because of his arm? It’s because he is a leader and a great inspiration.
    Campbell as a long-term franchise leader? I don’t see it.

    It’s watching the performance and demeanor of a QB. Campbell looks soft, scared, confused, nervous, and unconfident in himself. He is afraid to thread the needle it seems, which is a shame because he had some nice passes against the Giants. Finally! But usually he won’t throw unless a guy is wide open. And he usually looks only at his primary receiver, one side of the field, and waits. He has the same habits over and over, and he can’t read a defense. He has a slow wind up, and against the Giants he dropped back way too far.

    I personally want to see Colt. We got so lucky picking him up and he looked dynamite in the preseason. But he was playing “scrubs”, right? Just like at Hawaii, he was playing against scrubs. He’s no good because the people he plays are no good? That is illogical. Especially when you realize he was playing with “scrubs” on his team.

    Colt has energy, passion, and heart. He isn’t afraid to make risky plays, which Zorn unfortunately criticized. Colt is quick also. Fast release and great variation in pass. He controls the ball very well in the air and makes it look easy. Plus he is so charged up and enthusiastic.

    I am fine with him sitting out as a rookie and learning the ropes. But we should really be thinking about why we picked him up and how serious we are about finding that Franchise QB.

    I would rather us not make the play offs this year, so that we see Colt next year, rather than squeak in and see Jason again next year, and watch this team struggle and gruel it out for years to come.

    Colt Brennan is the kind of QB that the Redskins need. One with heart. One who loves the game. Loves it. Like Farve loves it. Like we love it. The kind of plays that put you in awe and the kind of emotion that makes you feel it. Colt isn’t scared of anyone.

    I’m glad there aren’t grumblings to replace Campbell, and there shouldn’t be, and I’m glad there aren’t. We are 7-5.

    However, that doesn’t mean people are happy. I would expect the ‘Skins to stay a tight team and be a little closed lip. But he is disappointing to watch. Maybe it will change. But HOW LONG DO WE WAIT?

    None of us know for sure what going on and what’s best. So let’s all just say:

    Go ‘Skins!

    …and put in Colt.

  29. dr wnc - Dec 2, 2008 at 4:59 PM

    But HOW LONG DO WE WAIT?
    Campbell is signed through the 2010 season, I have thought all along that his performance in learning the new system will be the determining factor to him recieving an extension this year or not. How long do we wait, it’s this year with a transition next year to hopefully the “franchise QB”. An abrupt change now provides no value or any solutions. You could say “Benching Campbell would be a big mistake”…Rich did!

  30. Anonymous - Dec 2, 2008 at 5:35 PM

    nothing against colt but does anyone actually watch the games? Its called pre season, colt played against nothing close to a 1st string defense. And in college he played in the WAC, im assuming most people on here saying put colt in dont have much knowledge of Colts carear at Hawaii. He set all type of records which i completly and 100% respect and give props to but like i said it was in the WAC, look at who he was playing and then watch what happaned when they played Georgia in the bowl game, he didnt look very good.
    Im not saying colt is or isnt the answer but i can tell you right now benching JC is the WRONG!!!!!!!!!!

  31. allen - Dec 2, 2008 at 5:53 PM

    Wow,
    Rich- I’ve never seen so many posts! I have said this before, but for the record – I think Jason is fine – it is this weird variant of the West Coast Offense I don’t like – and by that I mean I don’t like Jason running it. He is a drop back passer with a nice arm. He needs time to read his progressions and (not get sacked), and then use his arm to go mid to deep down field. This offense is not set up for him. It really is set up for a guy like Collins – and no, I don’t want to see Collins, I want to see Jason be able to use his talents. Either Zorn will have to adapt his offense, which is unlikely, or eventually we’ll tire of Jason struggling in the pocket. I think Jason is more like a Rypien, but with better north/south running ability. The only problem is, we don’t have an O line anywhere near as good as Rypien had.

  32. Anonymous - Dec 2, 2008 at 6:15 PM

    Of course it would be a mistake to bench Campbell, but wouldn’t it be nice if it wasn’t?

  33. Anonymous - Dec 2, 2008 at 6:42 PM

    Rich,

    If the Skins are soon looking at next season, do you think they should start Brennan to give him some experience, but more importantly, to see what he can do?

    If they don’t play Brennan at all, that would suggest they’re afraid of the answer. What I mean is most would expect him to play poorly yet on the other hand, what if the offense suddenly clicks? Then what?

    Attorneys know to never ask a question they don’t already have the answer to. With Brennan, no one knows the answer.

    Your thoughts?

  34. The Evil Scientist - Dec 2, 2008 at 7:52 PM

    that last comment is the silliest thing I’ve read in a long time. Put the rookie in on a 7-5 team? So the Redskins should give up on this season even though they’re pretty healthy, above .500, and have a favorable schedule down the stretch? Who are you people that are suggesting this nonsense? Jason Campbell will be fine. The offensive line needs work, the play-calling needs some tweaking, and his performance needs to improve, but for crying out loud, he’s had a good season, the Redskins have had a good season, and they’ll continue to improve as they grow into the system. Calm down, folks.

  35. Anonymous - Dec 2, 2008 at 8:03 PM

    Mr. Evil,

    Sorry my question seems silly to you, but I don’t find anything silly about putting in a rookie QB to see what the Skins have and I did imply ONLY IF the Skins are done for the season i.e. out of the playoffs.

    There is nothing wrong with this unless management is afraid Brennan will do well which would then automatically create a controversy.The fact Campbell is looking for an extension in 2009 doesn’t help either.

    Maybe better to leave the unknown alone, huh?

  36. Anonymous - Dec 2, 2008 at 8:53 PM

    It is hard to believe that at 7-5 this is even a conversation. I think the heat of the beginning of the season has slowed down, and people are getting rowdy. We picked up Colt for a reason, but I don’t think it’s to replace a QB with a winning record. Sure, Campbell hasn’t been stellar, but he’s still on his way to leading us to the play offs. The answer to beating these teams isn’t replacing Campbell. Talking about it is kind of silly, I think a lot of people are just disappointed, but we shouldn’t be. We are 7-5 and still in the playoff hunt. A lot more than most a fans can ask for.

  37. HawaiianTime - Dec 2, 2008 at 9:16 PM

    The Skins are on a prayer to get a wildcard spot. They need to win out and get help. There are talks that CP will sit out the Ravens game (Our offense for over 1/2 the season). JC rarely reads the D and we’ve been dependent on CP carrying the O, so what are our chances in getting the wildcard? SLIM as CP is hurt and JC can’t carry the O. I’d like to have the confidence, but it’s hard to have confidence in someone that is lacking in that department. Maybe, he gets it in this next game???

  38. Anonymous - Dec 2, 2008 at 11:17 PM

    I’m LMAO!! You computer coaches are hilarious. Face the facts that WE (Redskins) lost to 3 teams that are all better(except those goons in Dallas) than us period.JC is solid and he will get better as he gets more games under his belt. what about the drops of Thrash, Kelly, Randle El, all at crucial times that would’ve kept the chains moving at crucial times. we are in a btter position record wise than we have been in any of our playoof runs the last 3 years. Stay Tuned…

  39. dr wnc - Dec 2, 2008 at 11:17 PM

    Campbell: Deja vu
    ESPN the Magzine did an article earlier this year
    “REVERSING FIELD
    To understand just how Jason Campbell makes it work for the Redskins, we had to reveal his life … in reverse.
    by Justin Heckert”

    Key excerpts:
    SEPT. 6, 2003
    Campbell gets booed off the field. For the second straight game, the junior fails to direct a touchdown drive—and for the second straight game, the Tigers lose. So much for their preseason No. 6 ranking. So much for Campbell’s experience as a third-year starter making a difference.
    SEPT. 18, 2004
    It’s late, awfully late. Fourth-and-12, Auburn down 9-3 to LSU. The third game of Campbell’s final season is about to end with a loss at Jordan-Hare Stadium, in front of the largest crowd ever to see a football game in the state of Alabama. Coordinator Al Borges can barely stand to watch from the sideline. He took over the position in the off-season, replacing Hugh Nall, who replaced Bobby Petrino in 2003, who replaced Noel Mazzone in 2002. Is it any wonder Campbell has been struggling all day? As much as Borges tells him to let it rip in the new West Coast, the QB still sometimes plays as if he were afraid to mess up.

    As the stadium waits, quiet as a spool of string, Campbell takes the ball from under center. The Tigers blitz. Before he’s hit by two defenders, Campbell finds receiver Courtney Taylor with a 14-yard pass to get the game-saving first down. Three plays later, he hits Taylor again for a 16-yard touchdown. The Tigers win 10-9 and don’t lose a game all season.

    college is not the NFL, but a QB with character does not change!

  40. Chris - Dec 3, 2008 at 12:01 AM

    If you don’t like blue, go green. When you get tired of green, pick red, when red bores you, pick yellow.

    Look at the teams that are winning consistently in the NFL, year after year. NOT just this year.

    Eagles, Patriots (w/out Brady), Steelers, Ravens, Giants. All these teams DEVELOP young players and continue to draft them, something we just started to do this year. We do nothing except commit ourselves to another year of learning our QB position if we change it now. STABILITY is needed for this franchise, not knee-jerk reactions.

    Stop the madness. Grow a QB. Eli Manning was getting called out to be benched by the fans until what, Week 9 or 10 last year? What did he do after that, just win a Superbowl? And he’s been in the same offense his whole time in the NFL.

    Jason Campbell, in his first year in the most difficult offense in the NFL, has kept from turning over the ball and put up a great completion percentage. Defenses are taking away Moss, and there is no other WR on our roster right now that can consistently get open. He can get better, and Jim Zorn believes it, and he knows QB’s better than any of us.

    And come on, he doesn’t have the mental capacity? Someone out there know his SAT scores? How the heck can someone say that?

  41. Anonymous - Dec 3, 2008 at 3:11 AM

    The Redskins will not put a rookie QB in at this phase of the season when they have any chance of making a postseason appearance. Let’s be honest, Colt Brennan is a project and he will be brought along in good time. It is rare that a rookie QB looks good in the NFL. Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco got the whole preseason to get ready to play. Colt will need to carry the clipboard and wear the sweater for at least this season before he gets a shot. Next offseason, he will get his shot and that will be time to talk about his chances. For everyone who is looking at his stats in the preseason, please remember that he primarily was playing in the 2nd half when no starters were playing on the opposite side of the ball. His success in the preseason is qualified by that alone.

    Campbell is not playing spectacular ball, but he is being careful and not committing stupid mistakes. Flashback to last couple of seasons. How many times in years past did we see Campbell lead the Skins down the field and then commit a costly turnover just when they were about to do something grand? I seem to remember seeing that 2 or 3 times. Right now, the Skins are having trouble moving the ball period. They are not getting anywhere close to the opponent goal line. This has to be fixed. The coaches need to find a solution that can make Campbell successful.

    As for Portis, the Skins should keep him benched this week against physical Baltimore. Betts, Alexander, and Rock should get the load by committee. Betts alone has the talent to carry this team. We should give him a chance.

  42. Al - Dec 7, 2008 at 4:13 PM

    Campbell is not capable of carrying a team. Every week it is obvious that Clinton Portis is needed to perform or else we are screwed. If Portis fails to show up, either because of injury, poor run blocking, or great defense, we stand no chance. Part of that is our receivers, but a good quarterback can make due.

    Campbell has a lot of tools, but he seems to be lacking in football intelligence and leadership. You can see plain as day that there is no sense of urgency in him. He does not take command of a huddle. He is unable to throw this team on his back and carry them for more than one game.

    I do not feel that Campbell should be benched because what we have backing him up is even more pitiful. I know he did it last year, but I really don’t want Collins leading this team with the playoffs on the line. I would rather have Colt, but there is no way you can expect the rookie to go in there and get it done after not playing all year.

    I think that we need to stick it out with Campbell and desperately search for 2 more quarterbacks in the offseason (one with backup experience and one high draft pick rookie) to compete with Colt Brennan next year.

    I have been a huge Jason Campbell supporter all along, but I have had enough of waiting and seeing and hoping and falling.

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