Reestablished Campbell Isn't Going Anywhere

The Washington Redskins' first-team offense scored 17 points in the first half in a 27-24 loss to the New England Patriots.
By Mike Wise
Saturday, August 29, 2009

Whenever I read a poorly constructed e-mail lambasting Jason Campbell -- or, okay, willingly participate in a debate on Miserable Suburban Guy radio -- I have to remember to conserve my passion for a debate that matters.

Like health care.

Or "Hard Knocks," or "Mad Men."

Heck, Re-tweets vs. Original Thought.

Because I can't waste another spare minute defending the player who is rightly the Washington Redskins' starting quarterback this season, the guy who marshaled his team down the field in Friday night's 27-24 loss to the Patriots, managing a first half that the Redskins' porous defense almost ceded to Tom Brady and Randy Moss.

In fact, the next person who seriously wants to engage in a meaningful argument about why Campbell can't play like he's related to Archie Manning, or Brady or Drew Brees, I submit the next paragraph as conclusive proof of why you're wrong.

Shaun Hill. JaMarcus Russell. Brady Quinn. Kyle Orton. Marc Bulger. Mark Sanchez. Trent Edwards. Byron Leftwich. Daunte Culpepper. Matt Schaub.

At this moment in his career, I would take Campbell over every one of those NFL starting quarterbacks. (I want to say Matt Hasselbeck, Jay Cutler and Joe Flacco, too. But to avoid the predictable, "You homer, Wise, Hasselbeck went to a Super Bowl, Flacco was one game short of playing in the Super Bowl and even owner Daniel Snyder and Vinny Cerrato, the team's executive vice president of football operations, wanted Cutler instead of Campbell." I'll just stick with those inferior 10 quarterbacks listed above.)

The point is, before the masses grow dark and dour over the quarterback they have leading their offense, think about who they don't have and be thankful.

Look, Campbell needed this as much as his loyalists, to thread a beautifully thrown ball to Santana Moss along the left sideline on his first possession -- a spiral that just evaded the Patriots' defensive back. After completing as many passes in the first two preseason games (four) as Michael Vick completed while taking six snaps on Thursday night, Campbell needed to put up 17 first-half points against the Patriots, and he watched Chris Cooley catch and rumble for 73 electrifying yards in an offense so bereft of the big play a year ago.

Heading into the Meadowlands on Sept. 13 against the Giants requires regaining your confidence, even in the preseason.

But more than that, Campbell needed his fence-sitting supporters back, the people doubting whether he has the goods or whether he's Patrick Ramsey in training -- just another kid with a cannon arm who, between musical-chair coaches and systems, had his head on a swivel.

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