Jason Campbell’s teammates are treading a very thin line between blatantly distancing themselves from the quarterback, or extremely lacking savvy when it comes to media questions about the quarterback.
Take today’s Washington Post article about Campbell ignoring the critics. The headline makes you think that teammates will come out and talk about his strong camp, or chide fans and media on their misinterpretation of his lowly preseason numbers.
Instead, you get comments like this.
“If he was smart—and I’m pretty sure he is—he wouldn’t even listen to it. They can’t throw the ball for Jason. They can’t catch the ball for Jason. All they can do is say what he needs to do more of.
Half of them can’t do what he does or haven’t done what he does. I just feel like you have to take it like, ‘They’re doing their job, so let me do my job.’” – Santana Moss
“Some people wanted him gone; some people are happy he’s here. Jason just has to go out and do what he can. He’s got to keep a level head and not get too high, not get too low. He’s still got to lead this team at quarterback. You got guys who are busting their butt to keep him here.” – Clinton Portis
And what about this jewel from Chris Cooley in a discussion on D.C.’s most beloved athlete?
“This is the first year anyone’s cared about hockey,” Cooley disagreed. “It’d be me or you. And if a quarterback came here and played, it’s 100 percent the quarterback.”
To his credit, Cooley is probably too simple to realize he made a backhanded comment at his teammate, so he can partially slide for that one.
But it is interesting of Campbell’s Pro Bowl-caliber, high-profile teammates, none of them have taken the step to say, verbatim, “Jason Campbell is our quarterback. He is our best quarterback, and gives us the best chance to win. I look forward to playing—and winning—with Jason Campbell.”
No, they aren’t required to say anything. But who knows what wonders it would do for the talk radio circuit, the fan reaction, and most importantly, Campbell’s confidence? What wonders could this team accomplish if Jason Campbell’s teammates were bright enough to live off of the fence in the most important season in the quarterback’s career?