Shanahan expects Redskins to compete for starting spots at every position, including quarterback

Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan expects to get a look at the top quarterback prospects heading into next month's draft.
Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan expects to get a look at the top quarterback prospects heading into next month's draft. "To see the delivery in-person is something that I enjoy doing," he said. (John Mcdonnell/the Washington Post)
  Enlarge Photo     Buy Photo
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 25, 2010

ORLANDO -- As Mike Shanahan embarks on an active and busy hunt for the Washington Redskins' quarterback of the future, he's not yet ready to make any decisions about the 2010 starter.

Shanahan on Tuesday said that he doesn't expect to name a starting quarterback before training camp, which means for the first time in his career, Jason Campbell will enter camp and find himself locked in a battle for the starting position. Shanahan said he'll be closely monitoring Campbell during the team's offseason conditioning program and the upcoming minicamps to determine his exact role next season.

"I don't think you know until you actually work with somebody for sure exactly how they're going to handle your system," Shanahan said Wednesday morning, during the NFL owners' annual meeting. "I think Jason's handled a lot of different systems in college and pro. He's a big guy, an excellent athlete and he's a worker. So now we get a chance to let it unfold and see how it goes."

Campbell has been the Redskins' starter since midway through the 2006 season. He began both his rookie year in 2005 and the '06 season as the Redskins' third quarterback.

Across the league, speculation has centered on the Redskins chasing a new quarterback in next month's draft, and Shanahan said nothing to dissuade such conjecture Wednesday.

If the Redskins aren't planning on drafting a quarterback next month, they'll be spending a lot of time and energy tricking the competition. Shanahan said he will personally scout the draft's top quarterback prospects, checking out four or five quarterbacks in-person over the course of the next month.

The team is scheduled to see Oklahoma's Sam Bradford, rated by most analysts as the draft's top quarterback, at his pro day in Norman, Okla., next week. They'll also have a private workout with Bradford a week before the draft. Other top quarterbacks in the draft include Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen, Central Michigan's Dan LeFevour and Texas's Colt McCoy.

Shanahan already has watched Tim Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner from the University of Florida. Along with Washington General Manager Bruce Allen and Scott Campbell, the team's director of player personnel, Shanahan made the short drive from Orlando to Gainesville, Fla., last Saturday to see Tebow in a private workout.

Speaking publicly about Tebow for the first time since the workout, Shanahan offered a glowing review Wednesday, saying, "I like everything about him."

"Here's a guy to me that brings everything to the table. He'll interview with 30 people, work out for everybody, when you're with him, he's just an off-the-chart guy," Shanahan said. "Those guys don't come around all the time. Especially with the success that he's had.

"I just think he's something that's very special," he added.

Tebow has been criticized for his mechanics and his throwing accuracy. His footwork is still suspect, but Shanahan says he saw noticeable improvement on Saturday from what Tebow showed scouts and coaches at the Senior Bowl in January.

CONTINUED     1        >

© 2010 The Washington Post Company