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Zorn Offers More Campbell Praise

Number of Redskins-devoted media members + D.C. obsession with quarterback play + Jim Zorn's willingness to talk + Jason Campbell's scant preseason playing time + nothing else going on in D.C. sports = a situation in which the head coach daily answers more questions about his quarterback than Campbell has completions this month.

I'll fully admit this is completely ridiculous, and yet I'll go drink from that fountain as long as Zorn keeps pressing the cool, thirst-quenching button. Today's squirt was offered on ESPN 980's Jim Zorn show, when the first three questions were about Campbell, including one question specifically about the one and only completion Campbell recorded in the Steelers game.

And, as per usual, Zorn was generous in his Campbell praise. His first response, in full, after being more or less told that some Redskins fans were freaking out.

"Well we've been through 37 practices in training camp and he's improved dramatically," Zorn said. "And I would say this, that it started with the minicamps, the OTAs, it ran through all the controversy and all the training camp practices, and these games, he's just not playing that much. The only thing that I'm trying to push him is a faster start. And we'd love immediate completions, we'd love immediate touchdown passes. I would love that too.

"But we are getting a lot of REALLY good things by him. He's taking command on the line of scrimmage. He's got us out of particular plays and got us into other plays on the line of scrimmage that have been outstanding. I think his tempo has really improved. The thing we're looking for is on a couple of throws...there was probably two that I would have like to have seen him be more accurate on, and that would be my beef if anything, and it's not a big one. I mean, I called two screen passes and both were disaster plays. He did the right thing. I mean, he threw them into the ground and I'm saying, 'Right on.' I mean, maybe everyone else is saying, 'Gosh, what a lousy throw.' "

Next up, a question on whether there was a checklist for fans to grade Campbell on things other than completions.

"Yeah, that's a good point," Zorn said. "I think that one thing that the coaches see is heroic play....If [a play's] designed and gets run just like it's designed, I mean, everyone gets excited about that. I think where the checklist comes in is if a play is called, the protection is there where you feel like that QB had enough space if you will to make a decent throw, and then the throw is poor, where it's high, it's inside, outside, it just wasn't an accurate throw. I think then you kind of look off and you see the coach talking to the quarterback on the line of scrimmage.

"But some of those throws that happen in a game, you're just excited that he threw it away, that it wasn't a major disaster, and I think that's part of the checklist, is did he hit what he was throwing at with no pressure, or did he have to go through heroics. I mean, some of the quarterbacks in the National Football League, Jason included, have to go through heroics to make big plays, and he's done those things. And then sometimes there's really no chance.

"I mean, when I grade him on a game, I'll put on the grade sheet, 'You had no chance, there was no chance here.' I'm giving him the indication that I saw what he saw and I approve of what he did. And then I'm hard on him also. I want things to be perfect. I continually push him, we continually talk to raise his game up....We're still trying all these elements, which creates a little problem for him, because some of the game does not have continuity to it yet. Because he's in, he's out, we're trying to run the ball, we're trying to throw the ball. There's a lack of continuity because it is the preseason."

And then, finally, we come to the one glorious completion, that 10-yard hook-up with Chris Cooley.

"They blitzed us, they had Cooley covered; he had to avoid the rush, scramble--I call it a pocket scramble--and still have the presence of mind to locate the ball to where Cooley could get it," Zorn said. "It was a great throw. And then he had another completion as well, and we had an illegal formation, for a big first down....But things happen in the game, and that's what's great I think about playing it, is nothing is ever the same."

Except the fact that the coach will be asked 438 quarterback questions following the game.

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 25, 2009; 2:45 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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The media loves to keep controversy alive...Will Campbell live up...will Colt live up...on and on...

It's easy to get caught up in the hype..we did it with Sonny & Billy. Doug and Jay Schroeder and on and on...

Zorn's fate is tied to Campbell..if Campbell flops Zorn is history...Just root for the team and success and stop trying to project the will take care of itself...

Posted by: pentagon40 | August 25, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Why are fans and the media obsessed with Jason Campbell? Perhaps it's due to his consistently poor play over the years? Perhaps it's due to the fact the Redskins were desperately and openly trying to replace him with Jay Cutler then Mark Sanchez?

Perhaps it's due to the fact that Campbell consistently leads his open receivers out of bounds on bombs down the sideline?

Perhaps it's due to the fact that he can't throw straight?

Posted by: nativedc | August 25, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps its that fact that you no nothing about football.

Posted by: punchdaclock | August 25, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Snyder, Cerrato, and Zorn need to start acting like leadership that wants to compete for the top prize in sports - the Super Bowl. The time for these touchy/feely encounter group assessments is over.

Posted by: hz9604 | August 25, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

2nd Year in the west coast system! Please give the man a chance! I think coach Joe Gibbs knew what he was doing when he drafted J.C. PLEASE give him a chance!

Posted by: vexed50verizonnet | August 25, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Time is up... He doesn't have a contract, and it does not seem to be a motivating factor. There may not be a "longterm solution" in the eyes of many, but I am willing to give the other guys a chance. It is total BS that even with a pourus o-line this should still have been a playoff team last year. Nice guys ALWAYS finish last.

Posted by: SkinzNWiz | August 25, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: keisongpowell | August 25, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Criticism leveled at JC this year seems solely focused on his passing game. A large part of the game, to be sure, and worthy of major scrutiny.

But Zorn makes good points that go beyond just coming to the aid of his quarterback in public. As I understand it, JC isn't in charge of calling the blocking scheme this year. I don't know how many quarterbacks in the NFL *are* supposed to do that, actually. (Anyone have info on this?) Perhaps this is allowing him to make adjustments better and quicker, which I'm all for.

Not counting his decisions to throw a ball away during a play, I'm curious how many times JC did make any kind of adjustment at the line in the past two games, and how many times did it result in a particularly positive outcome?

Posted by: fan-o-matic | August 25, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I think Jason could be a great QB, but unless Zorn does a Joe Gibbs and builds his offense around his players skills, Campbell won't bring a championship here. Zorn's offense requires quick decision making, and a quick release. That is not Jason's strength. That doesn't make him a bad QB, just that he needs the right offense - a strong running game and a vertical pass attack - Raiders style. Maybe that's what they were trying out last week...

Posted by: bfjam | August 25, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

See the problem with being glad that jason had the presence to throw a ball away is that it still ends up in a loss. Plain and simple it is losing football. The quastion you should be asking is why does he have to throw it away so much. There can only be three possible choices. 1 is the coaches can't script a play where anyone gets open - not likely, 2 is that our players are not good enough to get open - again not likely, and 3 Jason is not good enough to find an open receiver wuickly enough to throw it too him. By the time he stops staring down the primary receiver he is under pressure and must throw it away. for all the people saying give him more time, where have you been? How many QB's in their 5th year of losing football still have job security? You can make whatever excuse you like. he has never had success. you need your QB to make a few plays a game. To go out and do whatever it takes to make the play and he simply can't. if it unfolds perfectly in front of him, he does his part 67% of the time. that is horrible. Please remember this when posting. The only reasons Jason Campbell is here is because Denver thought Kyle Orton was a better option, and no GM in all of football would give us 2nd round pick for him that we needed to trade for Cutler. Nobody wanted him. They preferred KYLE ORTON!!!

Posted by: dbrine1261 | August 25, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

And fanomatic i do not believe the criticism is even mostly on his passing game though it certainly could be. It is in his ability to mount drives and score points. We don't car if he never throws a pass more than 5 yards if we drive the field and score points. Our defense gave up less than 20 points 8 times last year that we lost the game. We need to score 20 points a game one way or another. The defense is going to get a few this year, and if we replace Randle El and Cartwright the ST may get a few more but the offense simply has to get in the end zone. Collins took the same team over at the end of the year a few years ago and instantly, mid game the offense looked like they belonged in the league. He may not be the guy, but neither is Campbell.

Posted by: dbrine1261 | August 25, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

sorry 7 games that we allowed less than 23 points and lost. donmt want to make it worse than it actually was.

Posted by: dbrine1261 | August 25, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Bleeding Hearts of the world UNITE! JC again is the kid that just can't produce anymore and thats unfair...Offensive lines, 5 different coordinators! WHATEVER!!!! He should have his PHD in Offense but can't apply it!

Posted by: LongTimeSkinsFan | August 25, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Jason Campbell will be a Pro Bowl quarterback 6 months from now. And I cannot wait to see what the Campbell-haters have to say then.

Posted by: Barno1 | August 26, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

JC is a fraud and an imposter. Barring conviction on a major crime charge, he knows he'll get paid the same this season -- win, lose or draw. He also knows that barring a major miracle, he won't be back here next season -- except perhaps in a visiting team's uniform as their 2nd or 3rd string QB. But in the meantime, he'll still be able to cash all his checks -- and laugh all the way to and from the bank. Hence, JC ain't bothered (really don't give a damn) about scoring, moving the football, completing passes, managing the clock, or anything else that might be associated with winning. And the sad thing is that Zorn is now fully complicit in this fraud and extortion -- because the coach is continuing his full-fledged but misguided effort to encourage some semblance of performance from his lost cause of a QB by blowing smoke up his backside.

Posted by: Vic1 | August 26, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Vic1, that might very well have been the dumbest post in the history of the DC Sports Bog.

To summarize: you think Jason Campbell has no incentive to play well this year because he knows he won't be playing in DC next year. Perhaps the fact that his contract is up at the end of the year and he is playing for a new contract, with this team or in free agency, MIGHT give him a little incentive to play well...maybe...just a thought.

Simply put: Vic1, you haven't the slightest, tiniest, shread of clue what it is you are talking about and would do yourself, and all of us on here, a big favor by not commenting anymore on subjects that you are so clearly unfamiliar with.

Posted by: Barno1 | August 26, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Just read any of the comments attributed to JC and Zorn after the last game -- and tell me if there's any hint of JC taking personal responsibility for his poor play -- or Coach Zorn holding him accountable for it. All I see is a QB who offers a never-ending series of excuses and just doesn't give a damn -- and a coach who allows it all. JC has already banked the better part of his earnings for the last several seasons -- knows his days are numbered here -- and unfortunately, is about as good as he'll ever be.

Posted by: Vic1 | August 27, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

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