Thursday, October 8, 2009

Campbell Deserves the Benefit of the Doubt

I meant to post this a few days ago, but exams and mononucleosis decided to join forces and kick my butt. Seriously. It's sore. Anyway, it's not that important, just like most things I post aren't, but still...I need to get this off my chest.

Dan Steinberg wrote a very interesting article the other day on Jason Campbell. The gist of it, for those too lazy or without the balancing skills to read two blog entries simultaneously, is that teammates are fully behind JC17 and are practically begging him to get out of his own head - to 'unleash himself', as Steinz puts it. This came following Sunday's turnover laden 16-13 victory over the woeful Bucs, in which Campbell fumbled on the team's first possession and threw three interceptions to Aqib Talib.

My question, directed at nobody in particular, is how the hell can Campbell get out of his own head when we - fans, media, uninformed idiot bloggers - lock him in there?

The fact is we are never happy with his play.

Could he be putting up better numbers? Absolutely.

Could he be putting up better numbers in this system with this offensive line, with this receiving core, with this uninspiring playcalling? I really don't think so.

Campbell is the fall guy. Let's face it. That's what he is. And nothing he does will ever be good enough for us, at least until the rest of the offense exhibits competence. Sometime in the year 2013 is my guess.

The first three games? Campbell was too conservative, checking down way too often, too afraid to go for the jugular, a la Colt Brennan Brett Favre.

Last game? Campbell took too many risks, trying to make plays that weren't really there which resulted in turnovers.

To his critics: you can't have it both ways!

Is it important for him to find a medium? Of course. But without sufficient help from his teammates and coaches, he is being forced to find this balance on his own, a pretty daunting task. Yea, I know, he makes millions of dollars a year, blah blah blah, but he's also human. It's damn near impossible to exceed already unrealistic expectations in a failing context. And that's exactly what this is - a failing context.

So next time Campbell does something less than perfect, try to give him the benefit of the doubt. He's better than you think he is. No, he's not Peyton Manning, but he ain't Danny Wuerffel.

At least he's got his teammates' support, and hopefully that positivity will breed some success.

From Clinton Portis following the game: "That was the best thing that happened today, seeing Jason throwing the ball around and having turnovers and bouncing back and continuously fighting and everyone kept fighting with him."

Portis' pockets is straight, and we know that. Maybe with some success, Campbell's will be too when it's all said and done.


  1. Campbell hasn't been the fall guy forever. He's been the excuse guy--not good enough player blah not good enough play calls. He hasn't been in the same system. UGH HE AUDIBLED TO A BETTS RUN ON 3RD and 8 TWO WEEKS AGO.
    He lacks swagger and, as Rodney Harrison has said, is showing that he is a NFL backup. A good backup but a backup.
    Really, I mean how many times has Campbell overthorwn touchdown passes in just the last 2 years?
    You know what quarterbacks have worse recievers and are playing in a new system? Jay Cutler and Mark Sanchez

  2. Jay Cutler and Mark Sanchez are not welcome on this site, Doc, and you know that.

  3. I agree completely with Rico here. The Skins have much bigger problems than Campbell, who is at least a top-15 QB in this league. Teams have won with worse QBs, the bigger problem is a mediocore D that was very good last year, and got an injection of talent and somehow got worse. Campbell has been as good as Eli Manning until late last year, and without the great o-line, but Eli is a superstar, and Campbell is nothing..hmmmm

    Mark Sanchez has actually been pretty bad so far, but wins because of a sick defense and good o-line. Cutler has also not been good at all. Probably a good time to mention JC had the most passes dropped by receivers last year in the league.
    Theres the ranking through 4 wks, which is low for JC, as he was top half last year.

  4. re: the risk-taking.

    Campbell has always been a QB whose skills are best suited to gun-slinging. Trying to mold players into things they are not has been the 'Skins M.O. since Day One of the Snyderrato Reign of Terror, continued through Gibbs, and continues still.

    These interception mistakes are ones he should have been allowed to make his first three years. But high expectations and incongruent systems have led him to focus more on NOT FUCKING UP than pushing his limits. Now with the situation bordering on nothing-to-lose, we're seeing the gunslinger come out a little.

    Like anything the Redskins do, it's not what you see on the surface that's the problem, because what you see on the surface is the result of a ripple effect of problems flowing from the rotten core: poor management. Every and any mistake is 100% the fault of the shithead morons in charge and I will refuse to see it any other way until Cerrato is fired and Snyder hires a real GM and keeps his weaseling little face out of everything. aka, never.

  5. re: never.

    (h/t Mister Irrelevant)

    "At least Al Davis is fucking old. Yeah yeah, he's a vampire and can't be killed blah blah blah. The reality is, that old man is gonna croak WAY before Dan Snyder does. And when that happens, there's a chance the Raiders could end up in the hands of someone who isn't a complete fucking nutbar. And at least Davis had the courtesy of waiting until he was old and senile before turning incompetent. Even Mike Brown makes a good decision once in a blue moon. Even the LIONS managed to fire Matt Millen. They took eight fucking years longer than they should have, but it did happen. Redskins fans are offered no such comfort. Snyder will be in charge for decades, he will continue to repel any and all criticism with childish disdain."


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