A LOT has been written about Jason Campbell this offseason. I don’t know why. You’d think that the Redskins front office would have tried replacing him twice to garner that much ink… Oops, I just caught up on my reading.
Okay, let me start out by saying I like Jason Campbell. I believe if he’s given help (effective wide receivers – yes, that’s plural and an offensive line that can give him time to throw) he can be a QB of a Super Bowl winning team. Is he a finished product? No. And there’s no need to continue rehashing how he’s had so many new systems to learn. That’s the way it is.
But here’s what I believe he is: a guy who has talent, a great work ethic, and a great attitude. I don’t get it when people complain that he doesn’t have enough emotion. When has that been a prerequisite to be a great QB? It’s probably easier to root for a guy like that, but it’s not a necessity. Can anyone honestly tell me that Joe Montana was that much more of an emotional guy than Jason Campbell? Maybe you think if Montana was more emotional, he’d have won 6 Super Bowls instead of 4. I like Brett Favre, but (well maybe not today), but in the height of his career, he was overvalued, mainly because he was so likable and a guy who jumped around and celebrated. I’m not saying he wasn’t a great QB, I’m just saying I’d take Montana any day.
Now don’t go whining that I’m comparing JC to Montana. Of course not. All I’m saying is judge JC on the things that matter. He may not show it, but he has more passion than most QBs. Because you know the best way to measure passion? How hard you work when no one’s looking. Have you ever tried working really long hard hours at something if you didn’t love what you were doing? Money only motivates for a short time. You have to love what you’re doing to sustain it. And JC is a great and willing worker.
Next, the Skins made their bed by bringing in Zorn instead of sticking with an Al Saunders type offense. That means you have to let the players develop into it. Matt Hasselback, who had already been in the offense in Green Bay, was benched in Seattle at first. It took Zorn several years to make him a Pro Bowl QB. I believe JC is on a faster track. Let Zorn keep making him better, and give him the wide receivers, and an offensive line, and maybe a 3rd running back who can take it all the way any time he touches the ball.
Does his skill set fit the west coast offense? I think so, but it’s something to find out. Donovan McNabb also has a strong arm and he’s in a west coast offense. Does JC need a quicker release? Yes. Does he need to make some better decisions? Yes. But he’s working hard at those things, and I believe they’ll come.
As for who the Skins tried to replace him with, I’m so glad they didn’t (or were too hamstrung to be able to). I don’t like Jay Cutler. He’s a whiny little bitch. He racked up big numbers against the lamest defenses the AFC West had to offer and still threw too many interceptions. He may always be a guy who throws more TDs and for more yards than Campbell, but he’ll throw a lot more interceptions, and the kind that will kill you in the 4th quarter – the kind Favre has thrown the last few years to lose games. Plus, whiny little bitches don’t make great leaders. The Skins would have traded, what, two first rounders (and more) to get Cutler? That means no Orakpo this year, and no high draft pick next year (which hopefully will be an offensive lineman). It would’ve been such a bad trade. What scares me is it seems the only reason the Skins didn’t make it is because Denver liked Kyle Orton better than Campbell (yeah, good luck with that Denver.)
Sanchez. No one knows if he’ll be good or not. Living on the west coast, I saw him play several times, and he looked really good sometimes (The Rose Bowl against Penn State), but he also had some definite clunkers. I think Campbell is better, although maybe only slightly. But if we had Sanchez, we wouldn’t have Orakpo, and maybe wouldn’t have a high draft pick for next year. Not worth it! So glad they didn’t trade up to get him.
The thing about sports, is everything usually gets answered in time. The question is how long do you wait for the question to be answered. I think the best franchises are usually the most patient ones, and let their players and coaches develop. Will the Skins be patient? We all know they haven’t always been – but that doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t be.
After the season, we’ll know a lot more. I just hope good, sound, well-thought out decisions are made – and not rash ones for big names. Remember, Joe Gibbs was once not a big name – and was allowed to get beyond a difficult start to his first season.
The Skins are in the toughest division in football. They may go 9-7, or even 8-8 (hopefully much better than both), but if they were in the NFC West, they would probably go at least 10-6, probably better. Stay patient with this team, let them develop, draft O-lineman and let’s see what comes of it over the next few years.