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Thursday, September 24: Jason Campbell And Jim Zorn, Up Close

Posted by Matt Terl on September 24, 2009 – 8:25 am

There are a lot of commenters here who like to speculate about Jason Campbell. About his intelligence, about his leadership abilities, and most of all about his relationship with head coach Jim Zorn. And I can insist that Campbell is better than people suspect in every one of those categories; I can write it until my hands cramp up and I can’t type any more, but it was always tough to present evidence to the contrary beyond anecdotal evidence.

Fortunately, NFL Films had both Campbell and Zorn miked up during Sunday’s game, and this resulting video makes things much clearer in just five minutes. It also makes me feel a lot better about the Rams game as a whole. Just fascinating stuff all around.


You can watch it in even higher resolution at NFL.com, but the most impressive parts come through loud and clear here:

• Zorn and Campbell, unified in their analysis of the long-pass-that-wasn’t:

Zorn: “We just had a touchdown if we’d’a blocked that one. Man. That’s too bad.”

Campbell: “Hey great call on the noose, that’s a freakin’ touchdown, man.”

• The coach and the players, just as frustrated by the lack of scoring as the fans were. After Sellers’ dropped TD-that-wasn’t:

Zorn: “K, there’s two opportunities gone.” Then, to Campbell over the headset, “Well, you can’t catch the ball for the guys.” And then, maybe a little later, as Eminem’s Lose Yourself comes over the stadium P.A. “God! Can we score a touchdown? I don’t think they’ve stopped us yet.”

• On the fourth-and-1-that-wasn’t, Campbell slapping the guys in the huddle on the helmet and saying, “Gut check time, let’s go, here we go.”

And then Campbell relaying Zorn’s encouragement to the guys in the huddle — and adding his own emphasis. “Hey, we get this, game over,” he says, as per Zorn. Then, “But forget that junk; let’s go score.”

• And Rams coach — and former Giants defensive coordinator — Steve Spagnuolo, not only thanking Zorn for taking the knee instead of punching the ball in on the final series, but making an observation about the game that makes the lack of scoring seem much less troublesome. “That was like an NFC East game,” he says.

“Unbelievable,” Zorn responds.

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