Campbell: "Football is a man's game"
Throughout Sunday's win over the Raiders, Fox was showing highlights of Jason Campbell getting crunched, Jason Campbell lying on the ground in pain, Jason Campbell running for his life, alongside graphics showing just how many times Jason Campbell had been hit, hurried, etc.
"It takes that nowadays in the National Football League," Coach Jim Zorn said, when asked about the abuse Campbell absorbed. "You've got to have not muscle-bound QBs, but you've got to have strong QBs that can take the punishment....When he gets those hits, he's able to concentrate through the issue of that."
Campbell said much the same when asked about the abuse during Comcast SportsNet's post-game show.
"That's part of football," he said. "I remember when I got ready to play, my mom asked me if I [really] wanted to play football. She wanted me to play basketball, and I chose football. I told her football is a man's game."
Campbell made sure to add that basketball is a man's game, too, but you probably don't end up getting piledriven by as many 300-pound dudes on the basketball floor. Campbell was also asked about his seeming reluctance to slide this weekend, when he rushed four times for 20 yards.
"I told y'all two weeks ago that you would not see me slide again," he joked. "Now if a guy's coming directly at me, I'm gonna slide, but today I just felt like my shoulder was already sore, and as I've been sliding it's been really ugly and it's always putting my left arm down. Today I couldn't put my left arm down, so I just tried to take the hit and keep moving."
The bigger question, though, is how this offense--having lost one piece after another--has become so much more productive in the past three weeks. Campbell was asked about the impact of offensive assistant Sherm Lewis, and he gave credit to the entire offensive staff for deciding to open up the gameplan.
"I think he's fit in well with the coaching staff that was already here," Campbell said of Lewis. "I feel like the coaches that were here have done a good job, didn't get angry during the process, just stayed the course. And now I think they have some continuity together, some chemistry, and it's not about one person. I feel like all of them as a staff during the week work together to design plays, to get open and attack the field, and I think that's the difference between now and early in the season. Early in the season, we [were running] more an intermediate passing game and just trying to control the ball. Now, we're more just trying to score, and we're taking more shots."
And as for his own improvement?
"Coaches are just letting me play," he said. "They're just letting me play."
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