So... here we are in 2011 and Jason Campbell is an Oakland Raider, while Donovan McNabb is a Viking.
Isn't it sort of strange? Campbell was at one point, the guy every fan wanted to point the finger at for the team failures, while McNabb was getting some love in the place of brotherly love for helping carry their team to the playoffs.
Campbell is an Oakland Raider and he is getting praise for helping his team win games. McNabb is now a Viking, but because of his struggles, a lot of Viking fans want to see the young quarterback (Christian Ponder) play because they feel that their season is over anyway.
Campbell was a first round pick for the Redskins in the 2005 draft coming out of Auburn.
He sat on the bench in his first year, didn't see action until the 10th game of his second season. Campbell performed well and he was a full time starter for the Redskins. Year by year Campbell kept improving, but he wasn't quite in that elite status.
The team wasn't winning, and Redskins got (more than a little) frustrated with the team and the young quarterback. Campbell posted a career high in interceptions with 15, but he also posted a career high in touchdowns with 20, and a career high completion percentage of 64.5.
Which was a bigger mistake by Mike Shannahan?
But Redskin fans ignored those stats and said that those stats lied, and didn't tell you how bad he really was.
The fans wanted a new quarterback, and wanted Campbell gone, as always the fans begged, and the fan received. On April 4, 2010, The Redskins traded for McNabb.
On August 11, 2010, The Redskins traded Campbell to the Raiders.
Campbell didn't have great numbers for the Raiders, but you can definitely say that he probably did better than McNabb did. Campbell had 2,387 yards, 13 touchdowns and eight picks. McNabb had 3,337 yards, 14 touchdowns and 15 picks.
Campbell had under 3,000 yards, but he was less turnover prone than McNabb was. People thought the Redskins could make the playoffs with McNabb, while the Raiders were going to be a bunch of no talent scrubs.
The Redskins went 6-10, while the Raiders went 8-8. The Raiders didn't make the playoffs, but they showed significant improvement under Campbell, and The Raiders found the first good quarterback they can actually believe in since Rich Gannon.
Who's more to blame for Campbell's departure?
The Redskins were tied for the worst division record with Cowboys. Donovan McNabb was demoted to third string for the final three games of the season. The Redskins didn't show any improvement, they might of even gotten worse. McNabb was not the quarterback they could believe in for the short term future, and they shipped him off to Minnesota.
Campbell has played in different offensive systems for almost his entire career, while McNabb in the NFL, had played in the same system for 10 years. And Redskin fans thought that McNabb was just going to take over and make the whole crappy team good?
What's funny is the fact that you Redskin fans got pissed off at Mike Shannahan for benching McNabb, but if he did the same thing to Campbell, you probably want to give Shannahan a raise.
Campbell is playing well with Raiders and they look like a legitimate playoff contender at 3-2, the Redskins are 3-1 with Rex Grossman at the helm. Grossman is playing decently, but Redskin fans have to look at the stats and wonder, would we be 4-0 with Campbell?
When I think of the arrival of Donovan McNabb and the departure of Jason Campbell, I can't help but think, what would happen if Campbell had stayed in Washington with Mike Shannahan as coach? Would he have been unsuccessful? Or would he have been the next John Elway?
That we will never know.