Jason Campbell’s motto should be “never let ‘em see you sweat.”
Six days after his return as Washington’s starting quarterback was ensured by the team’s second failure in less than a month to replace him, Campbell patiently answered all of the media’s questions, even as rain dripped all over his bare head following the first of five practices in this weekend’s minicamp at Redskin Park.
“There [was] a lot of stuff going on this offseason, emotionally and mentally, but I’m at a standpoint now where I’ve got to put all that behind me,” Campbell said Friday. “I can’t be out on the field, playing games, where I’m feeling pressure to do certain things to get a new contract or in order to prove a certain point. I’m not going to do that. I’m going to do what I do and just do it better.”
In the team meeting that preceded minicamp, coach Jim Zorn addressed the trade talks involving quarterbacks Jay Cutler and Mark Sanchez.
“It was just to say Jason’s had a tough offseason so far with all the stuff swirling around,” Zorn said. “I commended him for dealing with it in a very positive way, and he’s taken that to the field.”
Campbell said he’s so comfortable in his second year in the offense that he’s ready to assert himself more.
“I can push guys,” the 27-year-old said. “I’m more mature. I can be the leader. I’m ready for that next step. I definitely feel the support of my teammates and my coaches. It would be unfair to them if I wanted to act in a rebellious way, if I wanted to act mad.”
Campbell said he’s trying to get better at something different every day.
“Today, my main two things were trying to be explosive under the center and learn the technique of pushing the ball back at the end of my drops so I’m able to release the ball quicker and not have much of a windup,” he said. “I can see a major difference when the ball comes out. You may miss a couple throws by trying it, but you gotta get used to it so that when the season comes around, the ball’s coming out a lot quicker.”
Glenn still mum
Fifth-round pick Cody Glenn declined to explain why he was suspended for the final three games of his senior season at Nebraska. Glenn had admitted he lied after being drafted Sunday when he told reporters he was punished for selling tickets.
“I can’t get into specifics,” said Glenn, citing the wishes of Nebraska coach Bo Pelini. “It’s kind of a deal with the University of Nebraska, me and Coach Pelini. I regret the comment and the whole situation and I’m just trying to move on. I regret misleading anybody. It caused a lot of ruckus that I regret.”
Phillip Daniels, who missed all of 2008 after tearing two knee ligaments on the first snap of training camp, was back at his old left end spot. The other changes on the defense from last year were at right tackle, where $100 million man Albert Haynesworth is rooted, and at strongside linebacker, where Alfred Fincher got the nod with Rocky McIntosh attending a funeral. McIntosh is expected to return Saturday.
With Chris Samuels recovering from triceps surgery, Devin Clark was the first-team left tackle. Stephon Heyer was ahead of Jon Jansen at right tackle. With Santana Moss (shin splints) and fellow veteran receiver James Thrash (neck) unable to work out, Devin Thomas ran with the first team. Offensive tackle Mike Williams (weight), receiver Malcolm Kelly (knee) and rookie fullback Eddie Williams (knee) also didn’t practice.
Defensive tackle Vaka Manupuna, who was in camp in 2006 and 2007, re-signed with the team.
Year 2 arrives
Zorn said he was happy with the start of his second season.
“Our veteran players took a leadership role and kept the tempo up,” Zorn said. “Everybody kind of knew the pace and knew the majority of what we were doing. We didn’t have to teach the snap count. We didn’t have to teach them to get in and out of the huddle like we did last year. We’re that much further along.”