By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Washington Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs announced yesterday that veteran Todd Collins will be the backup quarterback based on his performance in the preseason, with former starter Mark Brunell now the No. 3 passer. It was widely assumed among the players that Collins had won the No. 2 job, with Brunell coming off surgery and struggling at times this preseason, and Gibbs informed both players of his decision yesterday before revealing it to reporters.
"I have great confidence in both of them," Gibbs said. "But after thinking it over and talking about it we're going to go with Todd, and then Mark. Obviously, we have our reasons for making sure those guys are here. I feel comfortable with our depth there."
Collins, 35, has not started a game since 1997, but now he is just one injury to Jason Campbell away from getting that opportunity. Brunell has now manned all three quarterback positions for the Redskins, alternating between starter and backup in each of the last three seasons since signing with Washington in 2004.
Brunell, 36, said that he was not overly concerned with which of the backup roles he was granted since he shares a strong working relationship with both of the other quarterbacks on the roster. "Todd and I will both have to prepare each week like we are the starters and do whatever we have to do to be ready to play," Brunell said. Collins said he was enthused about the opportunity and is very comfortable as the No. 2 from his time playing backup in Kansas City.Bodiford Shines
Wide receiver Shaun Bodiford, whom Washington claimed off waivers this week, has made an immediate impression on the Redskins with his speed, but said his teammates have not seen anything yet. Bodiford, 25, sprained the medial collateral ligament in his right knee a few weeks ago when in camp with Green Bay and says the knee is still "so-so," adding, "Wait until it gets better."
Gibbs said that Bodiford, who has kick return skills, is completely healthy and has no restrictions in practice -- "I'd say he's 100 percent," Gibbs said -- and he likes what he has seen of him. The Redskins have been desperate for receiving help all season, working out veterans, signing wideouts during training camp, but still finding themselves with insufficient depth. The wide receiving group lacks size -- Bodiford will not help there at 5 feet 11 -- but the coaches are hopeful Bodiford will emerge here after injuries led to him being released by Green Bay and Detroit since signing with the Lions as an undrafted free agent in 2006.K. Campbell Practices
Linebacker Khary Campbell (hamstring) took limited work in practice, Gibbs said, but the rest of the team practiced. . . .
Gibbs is looking forward to seeing Miami's new coach, Cam Cameron, this weekend. Cameron is a former assistant with the Redskins, used much of Gibbs's offense in installing his own system at various college and pro stops and used to hang around Gibbs's staff during training camp at Carlisle, Pa., before hitting the big time. Cameron credited Hall of Fame quarterback Sonny Jurgensen, a Redskins broadcaster, for helping him along as well when he was in Washington. . . .
The Redskins have scored an average of just 15 points in three season openers under Gibbs since 2004, failing to reach 20 in any of those contests. Miami has a top defense, but the Redskins would like to get off to a better start on offense. "We don't want to do what we did last year," center Casey Rabach said, referring to a season-opening, 19-16 loss at home to Minnesota.