Jason Campbell Says He's a Leader, Dangit
For the second time in a matter of months, the particularly vocal among us have been arguing that a key D.C. sports personality is not fiery enough as a leader. First, it was Manny Acta, who defended himself by saying that bluster isn't necessarily effective, and that anyhow he would never fake it for TV cameras.
"I have very good control of my emotions," he said last June. "I can control my emotions extremely well. That doesn't mean that I'm perfect, and I'm not here and there going to snap. Because I do, behind closed doors."
"People didn't see those times behind closed doors where he was a very different guy one on one or with the team privately out of the sight of the media when he could be very forceful and direct," Stan Kasten said after Acta was fired.
Now, come September, people are complaining that Jason Campbell is too passive of a leader, not fiery enough, not willing to get in people's faces, not willing to get thrown out of games for kicking dirt on umpires' shoes. And Campbell's defense has certain Acta overtones. Here's what he said Monday to LaVar and Dukes on 106.7 The Fan, when LaVar suggested that some fans think Campbell doesn't do enough rabble-rousing on the sideline.
"See, that's not true, because [Sunday] I did a lot of that," Campbell said. "It's just not caught on TV. The camera's not on me 24-7, where they see me when I'm doing that. I was on people a lot [Sunday]. One time I got on my own self. People probably think you're crazy, fussing at your own self, but most definitely I was upset with the guy knocking the ball out of my hand.
"But other than that, I'm on guys. In practice I'm pushing guys, I'm on guys, I'm hollering at guys to pick it up, do what we've got to do to have a better practice. People just don't hear that and people just don't catch that on camera. And I'm not gonna do it when I know the camera's looking at me, so I can be like, 'Oh, I did it,' just because I know the camera's on me. I'm not doing it for that. I'm doing it when it's supposed to be done, and at the right time and the right place.
"Yeah, I do a lot of that. I'm calm and cool for the most part, and then sometimes there's a little something else that comes out of me, and it's not gonna always be caught on camera, where it's showing the whole world that 'Oh, he really gets onto his guys' or whatever. It's not about how you get onto somebody, but you're doing something for a purpose."
"After watching the film, there's not one guy that can be like 'I didn't mess up, I can point the finger,' because if they do, they're lying," he said. "It can go from top to bottom, and each guy can point out things that they all could have done better. Coaches also."
He was also asked whether he's comfortable in this offense.
"You know, there's things that I feel like we can do, eventually I feel like we will get to and get to doing 'em," Campbell said. "One thing about it, you have a quarterback that has a strong arm and everything, likes to get the ball deeper downfield and hit those deeper and intermediate routes. And I think right now coaches, they watch the film, they just want to make sure if the time's gonna be there to hit those deeper routes, or are we having an understanding of how far we're supposed to get on the depth of routes....
"I think from coach's perspective, he probably just thought maybe this is not the time to try to put ourselves in position where we lose yardage, let's just try to keep things where we're moving in the pocket just because of the heat and the pressure that they bring."
When asked if he wanted to take more shots downfield, he said "every quarterback wants that," and "if a quarterback tell you they don't, then there's something wrong with them." And when asked if he has enough opportunities to try that, he said "Ummm" and paused.
"There's your answer right there," LaVar said, although Campbell later defended Zorn.
"Coach and myself were talking earlier, he's like of course there's more things he want to call, of course there's more things he wanted to do, but we didn't have the ball a lot earlier in the game to attack some of the stuff," Campbell said. "It was a little bit of a touch situation, because now it's hard to utilize some of the play action, utilize some of the things you wanted to do.
"And he knows there's things he wants to get to, calling things. And he understands players and what we have to do is that trust thing, we have to be able to trust each other, no matter what's called or no matter what's on the field.Eevery play's not gonna be a perfect play or a positive play but make sure you have more big ones at the end of the day than the ones that you mess up."
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