About 75 minutes after the Washington Redskins’ loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, Joe Gibbs welcomed Jason Campbell into his dressing room/office at FedEx Field for a quick chat.
Campbell had thrown two costly interceptions and committed a few other young-player gaffes in the first true hiccup of his short career as the Redskins’ starting quarterback.
Gibbs didn’t know what he would encounter, a depressed or matter-of-fact player. To his delight, he got the latter.
“I wasn’t sure if I was going to see him shook up and down on himself,” Gibbs said. “But he was great.”
The two quickly reviewed the game, which included a 14-0 Redskins lead that turned into a 24-14 defeat.
“It shows how much he cares, and it shows how important it is to him that I stay positive,” Campbell said.
That Campbell was handling the setback with poise instead of a woe-is-me attitude represented another example to Gibbs that he made the right decision when he promoted Campbell from third string to starter three weeks ago.
In three starts, Campbell is 48-for-95 for 531 yards, five touchdowns, three interceptions and a 71.9 passer rating.
Beyond the numbers — the first three weeks of the Campbell Experiment features a 1-2 record — he has won over his coaches, chiefly Gibbs and associate head coach-offense Al Saunders.
“He’s going to be picking up knowledge as he goes,” Gibbs said. “He’s on track.”
Before Campbell, Saunders hadn’t worked with a young quarterback since Mark Vlasic played two games for San Diego 18 years ago. Like Gibbs, Saunders didn’t know what to expect.
“I love it,” Saunders said. “It’s a great thing because he has talent, he has a great temperament for the game and I’ve really enjoyed watching his development because he’s made progress.
“It has created different challenges because I have to go in a different direction during the week to find a strategy and a plan for what will work best for Jason. There is so much on his plate right now. You have to make sure he’s not overwhelmed and the things you do want him to do, he can do it at a high level.”
Gibbs and Saunders both have a huge stake in seeing Campbell play well. He is Gibbs’ hand-picked quarterback of the future. Saunders calls the plays, and it’s up to him to make sure Campbell is comfortable running the massive playbook.
The coaches like that Campbell never gets rattled and always learns from a situation, be it positive or negative.View Entire Story
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