New York Times says Redskins need a QB first
"Jason Campbell has been the Washington Redskins' starting quarterback since 2006. But his role appears to be in jeopardy," ESPN.com wrote on Wednesday morning.
Of course, this bit of drama was based on the Mike Shanahan quotes used in Rick Maese's story from Orlando, which to my ears, were slightly less dramatic.
"I don't think you know until you actually work with somebody for sure exactly how they're going to handle your system," Shanahan said Wednesday morning, during the NFL owners' annual meeting. "I think Jason's handled a lot of different systems in college and pro. He's a big guy, an excellent athlete and he's a worker. So now we get a chance to let it unfold and see how it goes."
Regardless, we're all going to be talking quarterbacks for the next five months, which brings me to the New York Times's assessment of Campbell, having reviewed 2009 Redskins game tape, as the paper has done for every NFL team.
We'd be giving this offense too much credit if we labeled it as bad. Jason Campbell played like a robot programmed for mediocrity. There was nothing natural in his game. His discomfort showed in his refusal to take chances downfield and in his propensity for mistakes in a trembling pocket. To be fair, few quarterbacks would have survived in Campbell's situation.
"A robot programmed for mediocrity" is not included in too many Hall of Fame speeches, near as I can remember. So when the Times ticked off the team's five biggest needs....well, you guessed it.
1. Quarterback: Are there worse quarterbacks than Jason Campbell? Sure. Are there worse players in Washington's lineup? Yes. But the Redskins are one of football's richest franchises. They're in it for titles. They won't win a title with Campbell. So, no sense in wasting time.
Ay. Ouchie. Shucks. If you're listing a team's biggest needs, being one of football's richest franchises shouldn't have much to do with it. And admitting that "few quarterbacks would have survived in Campbell's situation" would seem to indicate there might be bigger needs, no?
Maybe the Times is confusing "needs" with "wants," because a lot of people have a sense of what Washington wants.
'"You know...I just have a feeling we're taking a QB," Devin Thomas told Hogs Haven last week. "I'd love to see an offensive lineman though."
Oh, by the way, Mel Kiper did a chat on ESPN.com on Wednesday, and he managed to link the Skins to two highly ranked QBs not named Bradford or Tebow. He said Washington could be in the mix for Dan LeFevour, and he was asked what the Skins would do in the second round if they go LT in the first:
I would think [Colt] McCoy. He's a Jake Plummer type. I'll stand by what I originally said, if Shanahan sees a little Plummer in McCoy, then he might take him. You could never argue with Okung and McCoy becoming Redskins. But that's a gamble, because McCoy might not be there. He's a hot guy right now. McCoy carried that team. He had Jordan Shipley, who were the only two constant performers in that offense. They didn't have the great back or tight end. That's why the criticism of McCoy is that he dinks and dunks, but when you don't have time to throw the ball, that's what you do.
Campbell, by the way, was at Wednesday night's Caps game, cheering on the good guys. Can't say that about Sam Bradford or Tim Tebow, can you?
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