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Who's Up Second?

Okay, so we know that Todd Collins is the backup quarterback for Week 1. We know Jason Campbell is the No. 3 QB for Week 1 - exactly where he was a year ago. We know that if Mark Brunell gets in a game, Collins, unequivocally, is the man off the bench. Beyond that, I'm not sure that Joe Gibbs really cleared up too much Monday night.

Anything else, whether it be in Week 2 or Week 8 or Week 13, well, that's subject to change. This is the plan for now, a plan that is set for Week 1, and, says Gibbs, would only change if Brunell got knocked or pulled from a game. To me, it's pretty clear what the pecking order is, and it's a great job of couching the situation by Gibbs and a great way to keep Campbell's spirits up and make him feel like part of the equation. Shrewd thinking there.

But come on, if Todd Collins comes in and manages the game and the Redskins are a competitive team and Brunell is out a week or so, do you really see Campbell going in the following week? Not me. Not with the expectations for this team and not with the familiarity Collins has in this system. Even Coach Joe conceded that "The Campbell Solution" could be altered at any time, and this issue revisited depending on the play of the other quarterbacks, the team's place in the standing, etc.

Bottom line, should Brunell go down for any reason, Collins gets the first crack to show that he can be the guy for this team. That's all any backup can ask for. And we know how it's gone here the last few years. When Patrick Ramsey took over for Brunell midway through the 2004 season, Ramsey started for the duration of the season; when Ramsey was knocked out in Week 1 last year, Brunell came in and started every game from there on out.

All any coach can guarantee is who his top dog will be going into that Sunday/Monday, and who the No. 2 is. Right now, it's Brunell and Collins. I can appreciate the tact the staff is taking and it all makes sense from their perspective. But I still feel like what happens on game day from here on out will dictate the moves made at quarterback much more so than any long-term proclamations made a week before the season starts.

"Heavy Metal Parking Lot" arrived in the mail last week. Will get it signed as soon as possible and off to the winner of the Redskins chant contests ASAP. It's a nice deluxe version of the documentary Had one etiquette question: Would it be horrible of me to watch it first? I figure I had to cut the packaging off to get it autographed anyway, and it wouldn't hurt if I gave the DVD a spin to test drive it, right? Let me know what you guys think ...

Really wanted to talk to Steve Young for that Brunell story that ran over the weekend, but we never could get on the same page. The last time he called me back was during the exhibition with the Ravens, and I never heard the phone ring. Steve says hi to all his DC fans, however, and says he'll be at FedEx next week as part of the ESPN crew doing the game ...Catch Parcells's pitch for those "Backyard Football Drills" DVDs yet? Likes like Tom Emanski has found his stiffest competition yet for cheesiest sports product commercials of all time ... Here's to hoping Jimmy Farris gets a job somewhere. Second straight year he was one of the last/toughest cuts, but there was just so much receiver depth here ...

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. I'll check in again later this afternoon.


By Jason La Canfora  |  September 5, 2006; 8:00 AM ET
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Next: Afternoon Update (couldn't come up with anything better; pretty weak, I know)


go ahead and watch the movie. just don't spill anything on it.

Posted by: bill | September 5, 2006 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I believe it's in poor etiquette to make the virgin viewing if the DVD is not for you. However, perhaps you should ask the person to whom you're sending it. If said individual doesn't mind, then feel free to give it a look.

Posted by: Colin | September 5, 2006 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I believe making this call falls in the category of "editor's duties" (you don't want to know the others...), therefore I must say that it is wrongwrongwrong to watch the DVD before you award it to the winner (unless you have a shrink-wrap machine and can cover your tracks). Why don't you give the winner an empty six-pack while you're at it?

Posted by: Jason's editor | September 5, 2006 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Buy the DVD yourself and get it signed. It will only promote more brilliant films like HMPL.

Posted by: Rando in LA | September 5, 2006 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I thought everyone would be going crazy over the Qb, but, no, it's Heavy Metal Parking Lot day.
What about this. I'm thinking I'll let Cooley watch it first if he hasn't seen it. Then he can, ehem, deflower the DVD, and I'll watch it, too, then give it to the winner? No? Is this not a happy compromise and some interesting verbal spinning along the lines of, oh, I don't know, a certain backup QB situation?

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | September 5, 2006 11:53 AM | Report abuse

It would be grossly irresponsible of you to tender a gift without fully validating its proper operational worthiness from start to finish. Quantum physics tells us that the very act of observing a particle changes the state of that particle. How will you know whether the process of autographing the DVD rendered it inoperable? You don't know. You can't know. Unless you watch it. End to end.

Posted by: Thor | September 5, 2006 11:58 AM | Report abuse


Getting back to the back-up QB situation, the current plan is exactly what I told my friends I would do, but I never thought Joe Gibbs would do it! If you think Campbell is better than Collins (and I do), then you want him as your #2 QB. But if he has to be inserted in the middle of a game with no prep, then he might be ill-suited for this, especially if you have a QB (Collins) who knows the system really well. Granted, Collins could come in the middle of the game and look like John Elway, but that's highly unlikely. Assuming he doesn't light up the field, it makes sense to put in Campbell with a week's preparation, IF you think Campbell is better than Collins. Makes perfect sense to me!

Posted by: Dsmac | September 5, 2006 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Dsmac. Why not take Gibbs at his word? The staff believes that, with a week's prep, Campbell will give the team its best chance of winning. That's a perfectly reasonable judgment, and I see no basis for Jason's inference that Gibbs's comments yesterday were designed solely to protect Campbell's ego.

Posted by: LJ | September 5, 2006 12:43 PM | Report abuse


Does anyone know what happened to Buck Ortega? Everytime he was on the field he was catching balls, but he didn't even make the practice team. What'd he do wrong? No blocking?

Posted by: KK | September 5, 2006 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I know that you are a huge soccer fan, so I have movie recommendation, go rent Green Street Hooligans. It is about West Ham United and their unruly following. Great insight into the world of soccer hooligans.

Posted by: Todd | September 5, 2006 1:37 PM | Report abuse


Buck was signed to the Browns' practice squad. As a fellow Ortega fan, I'd be curious to see whether Jason has any knowledge as to whether the Skins offered Buck a spot on their squad? Same thing with Jasper Harvey (who got signed to the Eagles' squad).

Go ahead Jason, watch the DVD.

Posted by: PJ | September 5, 2006 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Hey everyone, what's up? It's not that I'm not taking them at their word, but when everyone involved admits that everything is sbject to change other than Collins being the No. 2 for Week 1, it kind of makes you think. Then when you look at the track record of going with veteran QBs, and Saunders's trust with Collins, I just see it still being an open-ended situation. Even Joe would agree with that. Other than Collins being the backup this week, everything is else subject to change, right?
That's all I'm saying. And in the meantime it diffuses questions about Jason's development or any potential distractions there, and bottom line is that unless Brunell gets badly hurt, he's going to be in there. The guy has fought through some tough stuff to play every Sunday, and that's not going to change now.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | September 5, 2006 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Good for Buck! If he's backing up Kellen Winslow, Jr., he should be on the field before Columbus Day.

Posted by: KK | September 5, 2006 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I think all Gibbs is saying right now is he doesn't want Campbell going in for Brunell in the middle of a game without a week of practice. It's clear if Campbell's going to play, they want to give him a week to prepare, get the plays down pat, etc. Whereas Collins wouldn't need that because he's been in the offense 3,000 years. Gibbs just doesn't want to put Campbell in that kind of tough situation for his first NFL playing time.

I also think if Collins plays, it's clearly another audition time for him. He hasn't played since 1997 basically, so I think it's fair that he has to show he can play well in the regular season before Gibbs starts slurping Collins as the clear back-up like the Post has been the past few days. It's not like he lit it up in the preseason for one thing. Yeah, he looked good against the Ravens, but that was the most meaningless time of the preseason: the 2nd half of the 4th preseason game. Nobody's playing then and everybody just wants the game over. Gibbs shouldn't be making big decisions based off of that junk, and he smartly didn't.

Posted by: Walt | September 5, 2006 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Did the Browns sign Twiki too? The little guy could probably QB up there.

Posted by: P Diddy | September 5, 2006 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Go ahead and watch my dvd. it's going in a frame up on my wall anyways...

Posted by: Rudy (The barno who wrote "wake me up before you go, Joe") | September 5, 2006 4:36 PM | Report abuse

It simply tells me that Jason has not fully learned the playbook and that he iz clearly better talent wise and potentially the No #1 wont even be long before he iz the number # 2 outright before the season iz what I tell ya .....if the SKINS start out 6-2 !

Posted by: Anonymous | September 5, 2006 6:43 PM | Report abuse

I love the commercial where Fred McGriff goes "This is the instructional video that gets results!" Amazing line Fred. Is Parcells wearing an 80s warm up suit with Aviators on? That Tom Emanski is a genius.
Todd is right too, check out Green Street Hooligans, a quality rental.
Enough about back ups. How do our walking wounded looking coming into week 1? Portis and Springs have question marks on thier returns but the team's official Injury Report is void of any name as of tonight. What gives?

Posted by: Dorf | September 5, 2006 7:54 PM | Report abuse

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