Jason Campbell on the situation in Washington: “It’s embarrassing to be the first win for four teams this year.”October 20, 2009 – 10:40 am by Jimmy Shapiro
This year was a make-or-break year in Washington for the Redskins. After spending huge money in the offseason on Albert Haynesworth and improving the roster, Daniel Snyder wanted to see results on the field. Going into the year, Jim Zorn and Jason Campbell were both on the hot seat and it was time for both of them to perform. The Redskins have probably had the easiest schedule of any team in the NFL and yet the only thing they have to show for it is a 2-4 record. While he’s not the only reason for their struggles, Jason Campbell has just not played well enough as a former first round pick during his time in Washington. First round picks in the NFL are held to a higher standard and Campbell is no different. While he’s had to deal with a number of coaching changes, a number of system changes, different injuries and some chaos around him, he just hasn’t played like a first round pick.
This past weekend, the Redskins played against the hapless Chiefs and Kansas City was able to notch their first victory. During the game, Jason Campbell was struggling so much in the first half that he was benched in favor of Todd Collins. After the game, Jim Zorn was removed of his play calling duties. Needless to say, the Redskins are a complete mess right now and are searching long and hard for answers to try and turn their season around. If they don’t get answers soon, Jim Zorn may be looking for a new job and Washington may be looking for a new quarterback.
Jason Campbell joined 106.7 The Fan in Washington D.C. with former Redskin LaVar Arrington to talk about what went wrong this past weekend against Kansas City, how he handled the benching this past weekend, and the chaos in Washington.
On Jim Zorn giving him an ultimatum:
“Anytime you’re a competitor, you’re a quarterback, and you hear something like that your focus goes a little bit away from what you’re supposed to be doing. Just early in the game, having that conversation that we had, you kind of had a feeling about something but you really couldn’t put your hand on it. I think in this game I probably missed three or four plays in the first half that I wish I could’ve hit. They may not have been touchdowns, but maybe prolonged the drive or something. At the end of the day I think I had too much going on as far as distractions. As a quarterback you can’t worry about what’s going on in front of you and everything. I should’ve put more trust in the guys in front of me. Not worrying about I got to get the ball out quicker and get onto my next progression. You can’t do that. You just have to go out there, go through your progressions, stand back there in the pocket strong, read down the field and not worry about other things. I should’ve just been more focused on what I need to do.”
On his reaction to the benching:
“My reaction, of course you’re going to be upset. No one likes to be put on the bench. Especially when you’ve been through something worse in the first half before, you’ve come back strong in the second half and led your team to victory. That’s the hard thing about it. Sometimes halftime is a time to go in there and regroup as whole unit and you come out in the second half and you correct things. It’s not any one person. It’s so much going on. I don’t even know where to start. It’s disturbing, it’s frustrating, it’s upsetting and it’s a tough situation. Its probably one of the toughest situations to be in no matter who you are, but you have to block everything out, stay focused, keep your head up, keep moving, get ready for this weeks game and try to start fresh. You can’t do anything about the situation that’s been dealt. You just have to just play hard and look at your own self in the mirror and say ‘what can I do to be more successful regardless of anything.”
On whether or not he was rooting for Todd Collins:
“As a professional, someone comes to you, and they say we want to see if the team can get a spark, that’s professional as a teammate, okay, you want to do everything you can to support your team and you want your team to win. That’s the way I was looking at it. It’s not like I was looking out there and hoping he doesn’t have success. No, if he goes out there and has success and does what he needs to do for us to win, then that’s what happens.”
On whether he is preparing as if he’s the starter:
“My mindset is that I am. I’m preparing myself that way and I’m a professional about everything, that’s what I get paid to do. You want to be in positions where we all can be successful. It’s not like we’re trying to go out there and do the things that are done. It’s just so much chaos, we are just trying to work through it and get this thing turned around.”
On how they can turn the season around:
“The only way you can do that, as hard as it is, we’ve got to put the last couple weeks out of our head. It’s embarrassing to be the first win for four teams this year, but we have to put everything to the side. Understand that this Monday Night game against Philly, we can either make it a new start or it’s going to be the same old same old. What we’ve got to do is put it aside and what we’ve got to do is pull together as teammates, believe in each, fight for each other, play with some heart and play with some pride. I think sometimes on offense we feel like everything has to be perfect in order for us to prevail and if we’re not just perfect, then here we go again it’s the same old same old. We’ve got to get that out of our heads and realize there is going to be 70 plays in a game, all 70 aren’t going to be perfect, but 5 or 6 of those plays are going to win or lose you the game. You never know what plays it’s going to be, so don’t worry about being perfect all the time. We’ve got to play loose. I feel like we aren’t playing loose, we aren’t playing to have fun and win games. In order to win games in this league, you got to play loose, you got to play to have fun and compliment each other. We have to let go of tension. Can’t have tension if you ever want to prevail. If you always feel like if you don’t make this catch or this throw or this play or this tackle, you can’t have that. You have to let all of the tension and intense things go.”
(This post was written by Chris Fedor of WKNR in Cleveland)