Jason Campbell Will Make or Break the 2009 Redskins

Cyril QuinnContributor IMay 13, 2009

ASHBURN, VA - MAY 1:  Jason Campbell #17 of the Washington Redskins throws a pass during minicamp on May 1, 2009 at Redskins Park in Ashurn, Virginia.   (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

In 2008, the Washington Redskins started off at 6-2 and Jason Campbell had not thrown a interception through eight games.

But after being undressed by the eventual Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers, Campbell and the Redskins would sputter to a 2-6 finish and a 8-8 season.

In 2009, if the Redskins want to finish what they started Jason Campbell must take the next step to becoming a franchise quarterback.

Campbell enters this season with all the pressure in the world, as he is in the last year of his contract and the Washington brass clearly is not sold on Campbell being a long term solution.

The Redskins attempted to trade for now Chicago Bear quarterback Jay Cutler and also flirted with idea of moving up in this year's draft to get Mark Sanchez.

Campbell has to improve his mechanics he has an elongated release and he tends to lock in on one receiver. A second year in Jim Zorn's offense should help make his decision making quicker and if either Malcolm Kelly or Devin Thomas emerge that will give Campbell another reliable target to go with Chris Cooley and Santana Moss. 

None of this matters if Washington does not address it's offensive line issues. Washington has one of the league's oldest offensive lines and they did not address this during the draft.

Washington has not drafted an offensive linemen in first round since Chris Samuels in 2000. The play of the offensive line is a major reason why the Redskins so finished poorly and why Campbell struggled.

The Redskins at worst will be competitive.

Last season they featured the NFL'S fourth ranked defense and with the additions of free agent Albert Haynesworth and top draft pick Brian Orakpo should add a much needed pass rush that ranked in the bottom half in terms of sacks and forced turnovers. But the Redskins can't lean on the defense for 16 weeks if they want to make the playoffs in maybe the league's toughest division.

In 2008, the Redskins were the only team in their division to average less than 20 points per game.

If the offensive line holds up they will make the playoffs—if Jason Campbell has a better grasp of Jim Zorn's offensive they will make the playoffs—if one of their young receivers emerge they will make the playoffs.

Washington has one too many "ifs" for my liking and they will again find themselves on the outside looking in.