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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," 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 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?

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 25, 2010; 10:46 AM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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Next: These Caps and D.C. sports history


Every year it's the same thing. Redskins are going to draft this QB, trade for that QB, and on and on. And here we go again.

Last years QB, Brian Orakpo, turned out to be pretty good once we figured out he was better suited to play defense. So hopefully this year's QB is also a good blocker who can play a little offensive line too.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 25, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I'm convinced that all of these "reports" are courtesy of agents trying to bump their clients' draft stock.

No one, with any straight face, can say that this team's #1 need is a QB.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 25, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Typical Post jock-sniffing.
By what standards are the Caps "good guys"? The same ones that still make out Arenas to be a "good guy"?
Does anyone really think Campbell is a good QB? I know it's not politically correct in DC to say so, but everybody else knows Washington will never be a winner with such an obviously detached robotic choker at the helm. He is toast.

Posted by: jos587 | March 25, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

You take out Jason Campbell's ability to scramble and we had the worst run game in the league, and a line that ranks bottom 5 in both QB hits and sacks. Ok passing game was middle of the pack. But usually when you see rankings of Average, Bad, Terrible you try and fix the terrible and bad before toying with the average.

Posted by: alex35332 | March 25, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

New coaches, especially when they're brought in as part of a complete overhaul like the one going on in Washington, tend to want to build the offense around their own QB.

If this team drafts a QB, it should be because Shanahan wants to start over, not because the position is the #1 need.

Because no one who actually saw this team play could possibly believe it's the most pressing gap to be filled.

Posted by: JohninMpls | March 25, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

You gotta figure our first pick is either Bradford or Okung, whichever one is available. If Okung, pick 2 will be a QB; if Bradford, pick 2 will be an OT. I mean, this just seems obvious, but maybe it's just me.

I seriously doubt they'll both be gone.

Posted by: RIP-21 | March 25, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

So now Jets fans know what the skins needs are? They better stick with the Jets.

Posted by: ged0386 | March 25, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinking the Skins will trade down to get an extra pick or two because, most everyone here is right, QB is NOT our no. 1 need.

Posted by: shanks1 | March 25, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Dan: Nice article -- until this, "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?" Guess what? They're in demand. They don't need us -- we need them! I wouldn't expect them to suck up and show up at Caps games. Campbell needs to suck up all he can. A pic and mention of him at a Caps game should be the LAST time we ever talk about the guy. The NYT comments were too nice. And yes -- ESPN was grasping for a story. Shanny's comments were straightforward -- no reason to read more into them.

Posted by: Hefe1 | March 25, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

It's good to see that Tom Coughlin and Jerry Reece are writing draft pick recommendations for the Times.

Posted by: jack_mo_99 | March 25, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone remember what happened last time the Skins picked a Quarterback with their #1 pick? They would be better using the pick on the offensive line.

Posted by: dean-smith339 | March 25, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

its too much pressure on campbell without a running game portis is too injury prone and with one of the offensive linemen retiring the skins should go for an ot

Posted by: rileymclehan9000 | March 25, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

The Redskins already have a Colt as QB; Brennan, that is. Why do the Skins need another Colt?

Posted by: memyselfI1 | March 25, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Guessing that the whole idea about this years draft is blown out of proportion but that's what makes this year so exciting and it could be itemized by the organization but instead The Times wants to be included into the issue just because the city holds the draft every year or so which is no problem to me but there story could not favor blowing all the free agent money like last year then a one sided pickup. They just would like to hear who is the biggest most boldest bank account, meaning they won a super bowl last decade and the skins are suppose to prove themselves by spending big money. On the contrary beliveing in miracles comes in the form of hard work ethic and a little bit of luck, so save it for the fishes and fly south for the winter and have your summer in miami while the skins make it to Hawaii and the super bowl this decade to come. Bring on the talent with time and patience peace be with you major news article form the times. I would rather see a Yankees game then watch the super mario giants vs. the skins in the new stadium. Notjing against manning because of his ethic and commitment to the team but Campbell has his local area teams down pack after watching a preview of the Eastern Match up in the NHL.

Posted by: dinkndunkjinglehiemersmits | March 25, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

The truth hurts especially from a NY paper...but Clausen isn't the answer either.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | March 25, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Ouch. But the plain truth is that the Times hit it right on the head. Campbell's a nice guy but isn't worth wasting a helmet on as a quarterback and the entire city at some gut level knows this is true - bad line or no. Yep, we sure do need a line that can play professinal football and not end up in traction after every game. But no point in having that with a QB who is going to make it all pointless.

Whoever we get as QB in the draft, let's make sure he's got the right stuff.

Posted by: dstafford2 | March 25, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

@jos587 & Hefe1

Wow, calm down, this is his blog, he can call the caps whatever he wants. He obviously wasn't trying to make a serious point.

Posted by: trousers | March 26, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I'm not only saying it with a straight face I am saying it with a true Burgundy and Gold face: "THE NUMBER ONE NEED FOR THE WASHINGTON REDSKINS FOOTBALL TEAM IS A QUARTERBACK!!!" The reason is patently obvious; They don't have one!

That being said, the #1 need for the franchise is a an owner who has some idea of Redskin history, traditions and identity and what the concept of a true TEAM really is; from top to bottom.

Posted by: wiseoldude | March 26, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

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