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A Whole Mess Of Links, Many Dealing With Quarterbacks

Posted by Matt Terl on February 16, 2010 – 11:32 am

Some things you might have missed from the last few days, including a metric ton of draft chatter largely revolving around the quarterback position:

Over at the National Football Post, former Redskins player Matt Bowen makes the case for keeping incumbent quarterback Jason Campbell. But wait, terrifyingly vocal anti-Campbell contingent! Don’t get too fired up just yet! Although Bowen makes a lot of the familiar pro-Campbell arguments (multiple systems, offensive line issues, still a work in progress, etc.), he’s not advocating that Campbell be retained and named the unquestioned starter. He writes:

Keeping Campbell around is the smart play for the ‘Skins. And it’s a necessity, in my mind, if reports are correct about Shanahan’s desire to start developing that talent at QB.

The ‘Skins want to draft a rookie QB at No.4? OK, understandable, but don’t let Campbell walk because of it.

Campbell is a restricted free agent. And because of that, the ‘Skins can get him for cheap – basically a one-year deal. Place a high tender on him and let him compete.

But the best point Bowen makes, actually, he makes almost in passing. “Since he took the job,” Bowen writes, “Shanahan has spent his time watching tape on Campbell.” And that, to me, is the key. All the debate in the world about drafting a QB or not, signing a QB or not, Campbell as starter or not … it’s all interesting, but a lot of it is completely moot depending on what Coach Shanahan’s seen in all that tape. And that’s something we’ll only know when we see what he does.

Which isn’t going to stop the debates, of course. Nor should it.

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Jason Campbell And Rock Cartwright Watch The Presser

Posted by Matt Terl on January 7, 2010 – 9:40 am


Some quality work from Comcast SportsNet here: Chick Hernandez watches the press conference introducing Mike Shanahan with Jason Campbell and Rock Cartwright, two of the six captains of the 2009 team. I find watching these guys watch this press conference interesting for two reasons, and they rarely overlap:

Reason 1: It affects them very directly. As fans, we watch because we want the team to improve. We want to hear that this new coach is going to clear out the guys we want gone and bring in guys we think are better. We want to hear that he’s going to institute some discipline and really make the players work. As players, they have to worry about being gone, about being subject to that discipline, and about undergoing a grueling new training camp.

Reason 2: And yet they sound just like us. There are plenty of times during this video where you could replace Rock Cartwright or Jason Campbell with Random Guy From The Barstool Next To You and not notice the difference.

The video starts with a bunch of Reason 2 stuff as the press conference begins on the TV in front of the guys.

Rock Cartwright: “What d’you think Jerry Jones think about that?”

Jason Campbell: “How many guys you think he’ll actually keep? How many coaches you think he’ll keep?”

RC: “I don’t know, man. I don’t know. That’s gonna be tough to figure out.”

[Onscreen, Mike Shanahan is asked about his immediate to-do list.]

RC: “I can’t even imagine coming in, man. You got so much stuff you gotta do.”

JC: “You got a TON of stuff. You probably already been looking at some stuff, though. You been looking at some stuff about a month and half, two months now. Ever since after the Detroit game.”

RC: “He’s probably been watching the games and everything, too. You know that.”

I’ve lumped the above exchange under Reason 2 because — you’ll notice — it doesn’t actually sound like the two guys actually have any particular reason to believe that Shanahan’s been making plans since the Detroit game. It’s just that they, like so many fans, assume that it’s true.

Then we get some examples of Reason 1 as onscreen Shanahan is asked about Jason Campbell and mentions in his response that he’s going to go over every play of Campbell’s career.

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Wednesday, December 2: Redskins Discuss Easy Bake Ovens

Posted by Matt Terl on December 2, 2009 – 10:52 am

One last bit from yesterday’s “Holiday Wishes Come True” event, hosted by Renaldo Wynn and his wife LaTanya (along with the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, the Family of Faith foundation, and Target).

Even though the event was about giving tangible gifts to kids as we get into the meat of the holiday season, Wynn made absolutely certain to remind everyone what the real purpose of the event — and the holidays — is. “Whenever we’re given the opportunity,” he said, “that’s our goal as human beings: to serve others. And it’s just a great feelin’ when you come and you give yourself to someone else, I think that’s the greatest gift you can have.”

And he’s probably right about that. Still, though, the kids seemed really enthusiastic about the material gifts they were getting, too. Read more »

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Redskins Talk Disappointment And Optimism Today

Posted by Matt Terl on November 4, 2009 – 6:08 pm


For obvious reasons, there were a lot of quotes coming out of the Redskins locker room today that dealt with owner Daniel Snyder’s statement yesterday that he feels disappointed and embarrassed with the first half of the season. That was not a surprise.

Santana Moss discusses the owner feeling disappointed:
“I think we all are. It’s not a good feeling to be who we are and where we are right now. We know it’s people out there that pay a lot of money and that respect what we’ve been trying to do, and you hate to let ’em down. But at the same time, I hope they understand that we’re not TRYING to, you know what I mean?” Read more »

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A Lighter Mood In The Building

Posted by Matt Terl on October 21, 2009 – 2:53 pm

If there was one thing that was clear during open locker room and the first portion of practice today, it’s that the players on the team are actually loose and ready to go. The oppressive tension and electricity that characterized Monday were gone, and … honestly, the mood around here hasn’t seemed this pleasant in more than a month.

“Its hopeful,” Clinton Portis told the assembled media. “Everybody in the locker room is still showing hope. We have a tough opponent coming in this week, and we know they coming in here ready to win. We have to find a way to fight. We’re going to be on prime time television Monday night. We haven’t done good really this season; here is the time to turn it around.” Read more »

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ESPN Says It'll Be Jason Campbell For MNF

Posted by Matt Terl on October 19, 2009 – 11:07 pm

The official word on this week’s quarterback situation is still “TBD” — which may actually be an acronym and not a word — but ESPN’s Matt Mosley, author of the always-informative NFC (B)East blog, begs to differ.

Jason Campbell will get the start at quarterback this week for the Washington Redskins, a league source told ESPN.com’s Matt Mosley on Monday.

The Redskins play a high-profile Monday night game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 26.

As that high-profile game will take place on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, their reporters are certainly going to be alert to stories that potentially have an effect on it.

That said, you’ll still have to wait until sometime later this week — no later than Thursday’s practice — to see if Mosley’s unofficial word matches up with the official one. It’s kind of like a lottery scratcher, only without the second chance drawing. Or the prizes.

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Monday, October 19: About That QB Switch…

Posted by Matt Terl on October 19, 2009 – 12:24 pm

It’s one of the great truisms of professional football that the backup quarterback is the most popular guy in town. This is because the backup quarterback represents hope, change, the belief that one minor switch can reverse a season that’s rapidly heading south.

But the backup QB is like the old quantum physics thought experiment about Schroedinger’s cat. Stripping out the details, what you essentially do is construct a situation in which a cat in a box has a precisely 50-50 shot of being dead or alive — and, for as long as that box is sealed, the cat can be considered both dead AND alive. As soon as you open the box, though, the possibilities all collapse into a single truth: either the cat is dead, or he’s alive. The end.

Well, the Redskins opened the box last night to see how Todd Collins was doing, and the results were … mixed. Read more »

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Thursday, October 8: Clinton Portis Walks The Runway For Charity

Posted by Matt Terl on October 8, 2009 – 9:57 am

Santana Moss wasn’t the only Redskins player doing his part for charity on Tuesday. Clinton Portis partnered with Becky’s Fund and Eric Finn Custom Clothiers to host Walk This Way, an event to benefit victims of domestic violence. The event took place on the rooftop of the Liaison Hotel in D.C.; a runway had been built in the rooftop pool, and Portis and Jason Campbell both appeared as models during the fashion show component.

It would be easy to just write about this as a Hey-These-Guys-Were-Models-For-A-Night — and I’ll get to that, no doubt — but Portis took the event extremely seriously. When I asked him about it the day before, he talked at length about the importance of stopping domestic violence. When I asked him about the modeling component that night, he talked about the seriousness of the cause. He talked to TV cameras about the cause.
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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: Read more »

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2009 Captain's Photo, Take 2

Posted by Matt Terl on September 23, 2009 – 2:37 pm

When last we visited our intrepid team captains, they had assembled for their group photo only to find that Jason Campbell was wearing a suit that was several shades too light. Today, they tried again.

Much better. Success! And no one even had anything sarcastic to say afterward, even when I asked.

“Jason got enough of it last time,” Mike Sellers said.

Then he stopped to think for a minute and corrected himself:

“No, as a matter of fact, I do have something to say.” Read more »

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