Campbell, however, had too many “he-should-have-thrown-it-to-the-other-guy” moments. The football didn’t wind up in the end zone enough whenever it started in Campbell’s hands.
As a prospect, Griffin is rated significantly higher than was Campbell, whom the Redskins chose with the 25th overall pick in 2005. Campbell held a clipboard for 11
2 seasons while serving as Mark Brunell’s understudy. Griffin probably won’t get the white-glove treatment. The minute Griffin signs, he should receive the type of hands-on experience that comes only from playing. He has the ability to do it.
The Heisman Trophy winner is faster, quicker and better at eluding the rush than Campbell. He’s considered a more polished passer than Campbell was coming out of college. Like Campbell, Griffin has a take-the-hill-first mentality. He’s the type who will lead by example, from the weight room to the field. Unlike the mild-mannered Campbell, however, Griffin could also command by the force of his charisma.
“From what I’ve seen and heard about him, he’s very confident,” said Campbell, who has yet to meet Griffin. “It seems he doesn’t let a lot of things bother him. That’s what you have to have to play quarterback in this league: because you know the bumps are coming.”
Then there’s the off-the-field experience for the District’s most famous person who doesn’t reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The Redskins’ starting quarterback usually occupies that position. The potential impact of a black superstar quarterback in the District cannot be underestimated.
Campbell was embraced for spending significant time in the community, and Griffin “definitely has an opportunity to make a difference for a lot of kids,” Campbell said.
“The fans will welcome him and embrace him. He’s going to a great city that will support him just because he’s [the Redskins’] quarterback. And if he gets involved in the community, if he does stuff off the field, it will just make it even better for him.”
At some point, Campbell, entering his eighth season, will probably reach out to Griffin, as Doug Williams and Donovan McNabb once reached out to Campbell. If asked, he’ll offer as much or as little advice as Griffin seeks.
“Guys helped me,” Campbell said. “I’d be glad to help him if I can.”
Just before finishing our interview, Campbell was generous enough to say he hopes Griffin’s Redskins career turns out much better than his did. “I definitely hope it works for him,” Campbell said.
The Redskins and their fans certainly join him in that sentiment.
For Jason Reid’s previous columns, go to washingtonpost.com/reid