Win in '09: Why the Campbell Man Can

SB ReportCorrespondent IIMay 14, 2009

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 21:  Quarterback Jason Campbell #17 of the Washington Redskins in action against the Philadelphia Eagles during the game on December 21, 2008 at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The season could not have started much better for Jason Campbell in 2008. He didn't throw an interception for the first eight games and was even considered a long shot for NFL MVP.

He finished the year with five touchdowns and six interceptions. The Redskins went from a playoff team to finishing with a losing record.

From there, Campbell spent his entire offseason in the eye of the storm. Daniel Snyder all but held a press conference offering up his starting quarterback. ESPN essentially guaranteed Redskins fans they would have either Jay Cutler or Mark Sanchez in 2009.

Fortunately for Redskins fans, Snyder did not offer his entire draft to replace Campbell.

Uncharacteristically, Snyder sat on his draft pick and landed the premier defensive end in the draft. Combined with the acquisition of the most dominant defensive tackle in the game the Redskins may have solved the even greater deficiency on their team—an effective pass rush.

Last years Redskin defense was probably the greatest defense never to get after the quarterback. Teams have made amazing playoff runs with an amazing pass rush alone. Ask Tom Brady—even the best quarterbacks fold in the face of pressure from the defensive line.

The Redskins where the only top five defense not to make the playoffs.

Only two teams produced fewer turnovers than the Redskins.

Campbell rarely started with the ball that he wasn't staring at the length of the field. There's an NFL team 45 minutes north on I-95 that wins purely by punting the ball and waiting for field position to present itself.

Imagine if Jay Cutler had been treated the way Jason Campbell has been in the media. Cutler had his home and his parents' home on the market at the first rumor of a trade. Not once, has Campbell reacted to his situation in a way detrimental to the team. He has proven his character on the grandest stage.

The Redskins will win next year with Campbell. In fact, they should never have planned on winning any other way. He has proven he can protect the football. This fact alone sets him apart from half the quarterbacks in the league.

Had it not been for a few overthrown balls and Santana Moss brain farts, Campbell would have likely finished somewhere around 16-18 touchdowns. A healthy Portis and improved defense should be all Washington needs next year to be a contender.

It's time for Washington to rally around its quarterback. Learn a lesson from its neighbors in Philadelphia - quarterbacks take enough beating on the field to have to deal with it from their "fans" as well.