JZ to JC: Why the Redskins have found the winning combination

Jennifer JohnsonAnalyst IAugust 10, 2008

Last night's final stat line wasn't mind-blowing for the upstart QB of an organization riding high on the wings of the past.  And yet there's a certain air of confidence brewing in Washington D.C. for the impending future.  Jason Campbell is proving he's worthy of staying in this most storied of football dynasties for many years to come.  And here's the evidence to prove why I believe this to be true.

The West Coast offense is allowing Jason to showcase his strengths, and limit his weaknesses. Jason is reading the defensive quickly and throwing the ball out in the flat in seconds.  I am noticing that he is developing a rhythm with Antwan Randle El, whether it be on a deep route or on a slant route.  Both are effective and result in yardage gained. I counted at least three completions to #82 for 4 yards or more, because Jason was decisive and checked down to the right receiver when he needed to. 

Nothing was forced.  Last year's quarterback danced in the pocket,  and was easily rattled by the pass rush. I am not saying he was perfect. 7 for 10 for 71 yards doesn't earn him a trip to Canton alongside DG and AM, but it's the nuances of a quarterback's style that ultimately can mean the difference between good and great.  And he is lucky too.  One man is relentlessly preparing him for this challenge.  Of course I am speaking of Jim Zorn.

The teacher is putting in overtime as well.  And the players are better for it.  Watching replays of Redskins Nation is like going to summer school for how to become a polished quarterback in the NFL.  Zorn physically demonstrates how he wants Jason to direct his passes, as if it's the early 80's and he's suiting up on Sunday for the Seahawks.  "What I want Jason to learn is that he must not aim at a target, like he's shooting at cans.  Think of his receivers as skeet. Think on the run, even when you are calling the play in the huddle."  This is fantastic news to hear if you want to be competitive against the Cowboys, Giants and Eagles

Zorn's message to the players:  I will do everything in my power to assist you succeed, but you have to be dedicated and be coachable.  He isn't going to coddle these guys like their newborns.  If you aren't up to his level of standards, you are history.  Bye bye Baby Stewie.  Schweigert got beat in Week #1 for a 30-yard td pass from the Colts third string QB, and he was gone the next day.  I say bravo.  It's been said ad nauseum, football is a game of inches.  And i am delighted to say Coach Z has copied and pasted this lesson into their psyches.  

So we head to week #3 in the preseason, and the Skins are set to tackle another living legacy.  Brett "It was so long ago, it feels like a dream" Favre is slated to start at home. Retirement apparently for this guy is something you do every year.  So Jet's fans enjoy the afterglow of the mighty Favre frenzy.  As I peer into my crystal ball, my guess is that you are going to wish you had Jim Zorn and Jason Campbell as your main men.  The future is now New York.   Are you ready for some football?