Covering for Jason Campbell

Jarrett CarterAnalyst IAugust 24, 2009

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 13:  Jason Campbell #17 of the Washington Redskins warms up before a NFL preseason football game against the Baltimore Ravens on August 13, 2009 at M & T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland.   (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Throughout this summer, much of this space has been dedicated to sticking up for Jason Campbell. When ownership and fans turned their backs on him for the availability of an unhappy Jay Cutler and the national fancy for Mark Sanchez, it was all I could do to remind people that Campbell was the guy for the Washington franchise.

And while there is nothing overtly wrong with Jason Campbell, this preseason has yielded a perspective that some people are all too willing to have.

There isn’t much right with him, either.


Most football folks know that preseason is not the time to make film for your regular season opponents, so much of what you see over the next two weeks won’t be an indicator of what will happen beginning Week One. But while Campbell has reduced his uncertainty on what to do and where to go on plays, he hasn’t looked particularly sharp or accurate.

Headed into Friday’s game against New England — in which the starting offense will play at least the entire first half, more than in any of the four preseason games — Campbell has played five series, completed 4 of 13 passes for 48 yards with neither a touchdown nor an interception. He has failed to lead a touchdown drive.

“To me, it’s what we have to do — take shots,” Campbell said late Saturday night. “I can’t worry about my stats and everything, because we’re trying to do something to help us out during the year.”

Fortunately, Todd Collins has not looked spectacular in his outings, so the early indications are that a sputtering first-team offense has very little to do with the personnel. Campbell can rest easy knowing that Collins won’t take his spot. Chase Daniel, on the other hand, might very well supplant Colt Brennan as the king of preseason swag, but that’s another post.

A lot is riding on this season for Campbell, and while his play hasn’t been despicable, it hasn’t been close to remarkable. For someone whose job is on the line, that may not be enough to keep him around the entire season.

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