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Campbell’s Soup Not Quite Hot Yet

By Mark Solway | November 22nd, 2006

Jason Campbell would have undoubtedly liked to begin in his NFL career on a winning note, but he has to be happy with what he was able to accomplish in his first NFL start. The Washington Redskins chose what some people thought was an odd quarterback scenario this season; Mark Brunell would start games, Todd Collins would backup during games, and Campbell would be the third string quarterback. Somehow a misconception seemed to develop that Campbell wasn’t able to take hold of the reigns as the team’s number two quarterback developed. It isn’t, nor was it ever the case. People paying close attention know that the Redskins have stated all along that Collins was just the backup to close out any game that Brunell might be taken out of. Campbell was always the guy that would get the ball if at any point the Redskins decided to turn over the keys to the offense for any reason other than injury. Nevertheless, the Redskins reluctance to pull Brunell as the starter seemed to only fuel the talks in the media, and consequently amongst fans, that maybe Jason wasn’t ready to play in the NFL. Otherwise, why not give him a shot? Well he finally got that shot against Tampa Bay this weekend, and one thing is certain; he didn’t look out of place out there. In fact, there’s a lot to be said for the composure that he showed in his debut. He didn’t get the win, but he showed a lot of poise and ability for a quarterback that has never played a snap at the NFL level. He may not have been able to jump start a Redskins offense beginning it’s post-Clinton Portis season, but he certainly made some great plays, and he didn’t make any ‘rookie mistakes’ that hurt the team. Campbell completed 19 of his 36 passes for 196 yards, and threw for two touchdowns and perhaps more importantly, no interceptions. He looked comfortable in the pocket, didn’t struggle with the speed of the game, and put on an excellent showing for his first NFL start. Campbell may not have got the win, but he proved to everyone including himself that he could play in the NFL. I’ll go one better and say that Jason Campbell had a better game than any other Redskin on Sunday. In a season with little left to play for in the standings, it’s good for the fans to have something of interest to watch from now until the end of the season. The possible future of the Redskins debuted last week against Tampa Bay. After seeing Campbell play, it’s nice to have at least one reason to believe that the near future can be brighter than the immediate…

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