- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 5, 2006

The Washington Redskins have two No. 2 quarterbacks.

Coach Joe Gibbs revealed his quarterback plan yesterday at Redskin Park, and it’s a two-pronged strategy.

Scenario A: If Mark Brunell goes down during a game, veteran Todd Collins will be the reliever.

Scenario B: If Brunell gets hurt and can’t play the next week, second-year player Jason Campbell will be the starter.

Gibbs said it is the first time he has used such a system but defended the decision by saying both quarterbacks have performed well enough to deserve an opportunity.

“As the year goes on, things could change, but I think this is the best way for us to go into the season,” he said. “This fits us really well with the talent we have. Todd, on short notice, can go right in and be super sharp and can do all the stuff. Then we could get Jason in there with a full week, and we believe he has the kind of talent that can win football games for us.

“This is subject [to change] week to week, but it’s the way we’re going to start, and we all think it’s the way we’ll be the strongest at that position.”

The Redskins open Monday night against the Minnesota Vikings. Brunell, who turns 36 on Sept. 17, has not missed a start because of injury since coming to the Redskins and has left only two games with injuries.

Collins, 34, has 17 career starts but none since 1997, and he hasn’t completed more than one pass in a game since December 2003. He was 32-for-54 for 394 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in the preseason.

“He said a lot to everybody by going in [against Baltimore] with the young guys in the second half, and what he showed there is what we’ve got — somebody who is big, strong and makes good decisions,” Gibbs said.

Campbell, one of the team’s first-round picks in 2005, was 26-for-51 for 270 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions in the preseason. Gibbs’ decision to include him in the quarterback mix is a clear sign the team is happy with Campbell’s progress.

“He can throw a ball in places a lot of people can’t,” Gibbs said. “He’s a really talented guy who we think is the future of the Redskins.”

Gibbs said the move wasn’t made because neither quarterback distanced himself in the competition to be Brunell’s backup.

“They did win jobs, and they gave us exactly what we were hoping to get,” he said. “One guy is proven coming off the bench [Collins], and the other guy [Campbell] has done everything to keep us thinking he can win games for us right now.”

Brunell will continue to receive the bulk of snaps in practice.

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