Saturday, June 27, 2009

Let's Look At........

Let's Look At..... is a regular off-season feature that will focus on each position of the Redskins. It's a simple primer to get you ready for training camp and frankly help fill the void of the off-season.

The Quarterback

2008 Summary: Things started well for Jason Campbell, despite having a new head coach (Jim Zorn) and having to learn his third offensive scheme in four years. He lead the Redskins back with a bomb to Santana Moss to beat the Saints in week two. Then, he helped the team win back to back road games against Dallas and Philadelphia. There was a point in the season where Campbell was incredibly efficient and was getting some articles from the press about being an MVP candidate.

However, as the season went along the offense and Campbell struggled. An injury to RB Clinton Portis led to a lack of a run game. Also, age and injury on the offensive line led to Campbell getting hit/sacked more often and this led to more interceptions. There was criticism from both the media and the fans that Campbell (and/or Zorn's schemes) were to conservative and predictable. Some argued that Campbell was playing too safe, but was also having difficulties in getting the ball off quickly (a must in a West Coast System). There was also concerns that Campbell wasn't a vocal leader. The season ended with Jason Campbell being under heavy scrutiny with modest statistics (13TDs, 6INTs, 3,245 yds, 84.3 QB rtg.) and a mediocre 8-8 record.

2009 Off-Season: Was rough for Jason Campbell. First, the Redskins tried to trade with the Denver Broncos for disgruntled QB Jay Cutler (aka. The Mope). The Skins failed in the attempt, nor do we know what the Skins really offered to get Cutler, but one must guess it was enough for the Bears to give up a boatload of picks (1st rounders in 2009 and 2010, a 3rd rounder and Kyle Orton) to get Cutler and a 5th rounder. There were various rumors of the Skins attempting to trade Jason Campbell, but it never happened. Then, there was the interest in Mark Sanchez. Enough interest that Peter King went out to say Dan Snyder was "smitten" (Ed. Note: You should click on that link it has some opinion piece on Brennan and more Campbell stuff) with him. Of course, the Jets jumped ahead of everybody and took Sanchez with the 5th overall pick and the Skins took Brian Orakpo at #13 (which almost everybody is happy with the selection).

Campbell has taken the pressure and has been incredibly classy and professional during the off-season. Instead of demanding a trade like Cutler, Campbell has just continued to work harder to master this WCO system. The public opinion has leaned in Campbell's favor ever since. Also, multiple sources from PFT to the WaPo and Comcast has indicated that Campbell has taken command of his offense and has become more of field general.

Current Roster: Colt Brennan, Jason Campbell, Todd Collins, Chase Daniel

Biggest Position Battle:

Colt Brennan vs. Todd Collins
(for #2/back-up QB position)
Brennan was the highlight of the 2008 pre-season. Collins led the 2007 team on an amazing run to the playoffs after Campbell was knocked out for the season. It's pretty much a lock that Jason Campbell will be the starter (barring injury or complete failure), but who will be the guy behind Campbell? The 2nd year guy with his own cult or the aging veteran who led the Skins to the playoffs. It will be an interesting battle. I actually think Brennan has the early edge.

Player to Watch: Chase Daniel. Campbell is a no brainer. Brennan will be another highlight of the pre-season, but I figured that Daniel would be a player to keep an eye on. Why you ask? Well, Todd Collins isn't getting any younger and Daniel is another one of those highly rated NCAA QB's that fell in the draft (Daniel was signed to the Skins as a UDFA). The Skins in a few years could have some very talented young QBs if both Brennan and Daniel pans out. I'll be curious to see what he can do in the pre-season.

Projected Starter: Jason Campbell. This is the do or die year for Jason Campbell and for Jim Zorn for that matter as both of their careers will depend on how the Skins perform and how well the offense plays. Campbell is in the final year of his contract and will not be extended, so either Jason Campbell will be getting a big money contract from the Skins or another team in 2010 or he will be looking for a new job as a back up for another team next year. Campbell will need to improve upon his delivery and getting the ball downfield (at minimum getting 1st downs). If he can, with a healthy Clinton Portis and a even stronger defense, the Redskins could be a huge surprise and go far this year. Fail and the Redskins remain mediocre. Zorn will be fired and the Redskins will probably draft a QB in the 1st round of the 2010 draft.

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