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TRAINING CAMP COUNTDOWN

- The Washington Times - Friday, July 20, 2007

THE WASHINGTON TIMES' RYAN O'HALLORAN WILL EXAMINE ONE REDSKINS POSITION GROUP EACH DAY THROUGH THURSDAY, THE DAY BEFORE THE TEAM OPENS TRAINING CAMP. TODAY: QUARTERBACKS.

What happened last year: After a 3-6 start, Joe Gibbs started looking to 2007 when he benched Mark Brunell for the second time in three years and moved Jason Campbell from third string to starter. Campbell went 2-5 with 10 touchdowns and six interceptions. The Redskins' passing offense finished 21st in the NFL (189.2 yards a game).

Who's back: In his third season, Campbell is the quarterback of the present and future. Brunell is back for his fourth season but must show he has recovered from offseason shoulder surgery. Veteran Todd Collins returns for a second year, but his status is tenuous at best.

Who's new: UTEP's Jordan Palmer, Carson's younger brother (88 TDs in college), was drafted in the seventh round, and the Redskins also re-signed Casey Bramlet, cut last year in training camp but coming off an NFL Europa title (15 TDs, five INTs). Palmer, Bramlet and Collins likely will compete for the No. 3 spot.

Key issue: Is Campbell ready for prime time? He doesn't have a choice. Unless he's completely awful or gets hurt, he will get 16 chances this fall to prove he was worth a first-round choice in 2005. A big factor on how he performs will depend on his supporting cast. If he has a healthy Clinton Portis and a dependable group of receivers, he should perform well.

Quote: "His confidence is evident. Everyone sees it. As an individual, when you have confidence, no matter what you do, you're that much better. Last year, he did a lot of thinking. Now he's a guy that's confident in his throws." — wide receiver Santana Moss on Campbell

Comment: Although Campbell will have games in which he throws three interceptions and looks like a rookie, he is not the weak point of the team and should be a serviceable-but-not-yet-spectacular player this season.

Got a question about the Redskins? Send them to Ryan at skinsmailbag@washingtontimes.com.