Redskins are sending Campbell mixed signals

Imagine for a second that you’re Washington Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell. You’re coming off your first year in the West Coast Offense (which you had to spend all of last year learning) and you pass for 3,245 yards, 13 touchdowns and compile a QB rating of 84.3. Now granted, you didn’t set the football world ablaze, but those are pretty decent stats for your first year in the system.

You (remember, you’re still imagining you’re Campbell) enter 2009 feeling pretty good about the season ahead. It’ll be your second season in the West Coast Offense and while pundits suggest it takes at least three years to master the system, you’re looking forward to building off the success you had in 2008.

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, your overzealous owner Daniel Snyder attempts to trade you in efforts to acquire disgruntled quarterback Jay Cutler from Denver. He of course fails, then meets with you to clear the air and reinforce that you’re still a part of the Redskins’ future. But a day later, the weasel turns around and starts talking to free agent Byron Leftwich, who would no doubt compete with you for the starting quarterback job next season if he were signed.

Look, I understand that football is a business and if Cutler is more suitable to run Washington’s offense, then Snyder has to do his due diligence to try and make a move. But to meet with Campbell one day and reinforce him that he’s still the starter only to turn around the next and talk to Leftwich is a pretty suspect move by Snyder. Leftwich has zero experience in the West Coast Offense and you can’t tell me that his elongated release would be a good fit for that system. Considering the WCO is predicated on timing routes and a quick release from the quarterback, Leftwich is the exact opposite of what you’d want lining up under center.

I give Campbell credit, he’s not making a public scene (not yet anyway) and he even said that he’s going to work on becoming the type of quarterback Snyder wants. But one has to wonder what Snyder’s plans are. He obviously has some doubts that Campbell can be the guy and what’s worse is that he looks like he’s going to try and quell those doubts by making a rash, unnecessary move (i.e. signing Leftwich).

It’s pretty clear that Campbell is the type of quarterback that needs a decent surrounding cast around him in order to win. He’s not Peyton Manning, but he’s not Akili Smith either. Who knows, maybe Snyder is only talking to Leftwich for a backup role. But that’s doubtful consider Leftwich still views himself as a starter in this league and if he wanted to remain a backup, why not just re-up with Pittsburgh and try to win another Super Bowl? That said, if Snyder truly believes that Leftwich is a better option that Campbell, then he might be in for a rude awakening.

4/5 Update: Washington has apparently told Leftwich that he would be Campbell’s backup if he signed with the Redskins. Leftwich has said all along that he would rather remain in Pittsburgh if he’s going to be a backup.

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