Jason Campbell's Enunciation
During that Eastern Motors shoot in June (see above), Antwaan Randle El and Santana Moss kept ribbing Jason Campbell about his country accent, and about how no one could understand him coming out of the huddle. I figured they were largely joking.
"His words, oh my goodness," Randle El said at the time. "We have a shift called 'Falcon.' He can't say it. Ask him to say it. But that's my boy. He's just country, the words don't come out right...The first couple times, you'd come out of the huddle like, 'What? Hold on, hold on, what? What???' But now we got it, we know what he means."
("He's got a knack for being crazy," Campbell later said of Randle El. "He's wearing me out a little bit. He's like a wild problem child.")...
"I don't know, I guess it's not citified enough for them." Campbell said of his accent. "I tell them: 'I keep it simple.' Nice and easy."
That was then. Now all the sudden, this has become a legitimate line of inquiry from the legitimate journalists, and all the offensive coaches and players are praising Campbell for having better enunciation this summer. I guess that was a serious story. Whoops. Today, Randle El was asked for a particular time when communication was an issue (and not by me, either).
"The Tampa game was tough," ARE said. "I think that was his first game. He wasn't nervous; he was ready to get into the huddle, but when he would call the plays it was sometimes hard for us to understand him and we would almost have to ask for it again. I think he realized that last year, and I feel like it was a great experience for him to get those seven games last year. We would tease him about it and would tell him that he has to get better than that. We didn't understand him at first. You have to send your best troops out ready to play, and we can't go out with the wrong plan. So that is something that we have worked on, and he has gotten better."
(Randle El was also asked to compare Campbell's accent with Fred Smoot's. He sort of dodged the question, but did say that Smoot "is what we call a complete nut.")
Crazy, right? I mean, has an NFL team ever had to hire a speech coach for a quarterback? Is professor Henry Higgins available? Can Campbell say "The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain?" Is there a reference I could have made slightly less dated than that?
August 1, 2007; 12:14 PM ET
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