The Jason Campbell Saga

Olav SmithContributor IApril 26, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - DECEMBER 28:  Quarterback Jason Campbell #17 of the Washington Redskins passes the ball during the game against of the San Fransisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on December 28, 2008 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

The Redskins have selected an excellent pass-rushing DE out of Texas named Brian Orakpo.  He may play left end.  He may take Marcus Washington's place at outside linebacker.  He may switch back and forth.

Whichever way Greg Blache chooses to play him, the defense will be improved because of this pick. 

Personally, I had written that the 'Skins ought to focus on offense instead of trying to "fix" their fourth-ranked defense.  But there is a lot to be happy about as a result of this pick today.

Given this good news, what does the Washington Post write about?  In their continuing war with Dan Snyder, they feature a piece on how not to treat your quarterback.  

Now everyone knows that Campbell can't be feeling too good about these continuing efforts to give him some competition for the starting position. 

First, it was the attempt to arrange a trade for then-Denver quarterback Jay Cutler. Now, most recently, it was the attempt to trade up to get USC quarterback Mark Sanchez in the draft.

If the Redskins had given up a lot to get Sanchez, then there may have been room to criticize them for the decision.

The Redskins have needs on both the offensive and defensive lines. They also have a need at wide receiver, unfortunately, despite drafting two receivers in the second round last year.

And no quarterback can win on his own.

But they did not pull the trigger, and they did not give up too much to get Sanchez.  They were willing to give this much, and no more.  So, good for them.

That said, quarterback is still the most important position on the field.  And an excellent quarterback gives your team a better chance at winning than an average or below average quarterback does.

Jason Campbell has not proven himself to be an excellent quarterback yet.  He has some flashes of promise. 

The Redskins seem hopeful that he might turn the corner and become at least a better-than-average quarterback.

But he's not there yet.

I can buy the argument that Jason Campbell has done well enough to deserve trying to build a better offensive unit around him before giving up on him.  

What I can't buy is that the quarterback of an NFL team should be pampered by not having anyone behind him to push him.  

This is not a matter of giving up on Campbell.  It's simply a matter of Campbell not doing enough to give the coaches and fans enough confidence to sit back and feel satisfied that the quarterback position is well taken care of.

It's not.

Campbell may improve this coming season.  He may not.

Should the Redskins throw big money at him when they have doubts as to whether he can deliver the goods?  No.

So, Jason Campbell should get used to having to prove himself.  Because in the NFL, if you haven't proven you're the man beyond any doubt, everyone's going to keep looking for a potential replacement for you.

That's just the way it is.