Apparently Peter King is Just That Into Jason Campbell

I was standing in front of a group of people yesterday — not team employees, and no one I recognized — who were discussing Peter King’s incredibly favorable assessment of Jason Campbell’s performance thus far. The general tenor of the discussion was mild surprise at King’s enthusiasm, that Campbell has had a good camp thus far but not a transcendent performance for the ages. The rhetorical question that kept coming up was “Is King really THAT impressed?”

The answer seems to be yes. Yes, he most definitely is.

The first I heard of it was my own interview with King, conducted while he was making the visit to Ashburn that would become his Training Camp Postcard. I asked him to tell me something that wouldn’t make it into his Postcard, and here’s his response:

I’ll tell you something that IS going to make it into my postcard: I thought Jason Campbell had one of the best camp practices I’ve ever seen a quarterback have.

I was suitably surprised and impressed and, as a fan, pleased. Sure enough, when the postcard was published, King remained effusive.

But I’m guessing his passes hit the ground about four times in two hours Friday morning. What a display of deft downfield touch and accuracy. Now, this comes with no one hitting him, obviously. But Campbell had a superb practice, and when I asked him about it, he was totally matter-of-fact. “That’s how I have to play every day,” he said.

Okay. Pretty much just as he told me, and that’s that, right? I mean, surely the ongoing Brett Favre drama is going to lead his popular Monday Morning Quarterback column, and he’ll go to other camps and get material, and this isn’t some kind of STORY or anything.

Then we get this, in the “10 Things I Think I Think” section of MMQB.

I think I am smitten with Jason Campbell. The guy’s going to be good. Maybe really good. He’s sure of himself, throws a nice, soft spiral downfield — harder when he has to — and is more confident and self-assured than anyone learning an eighth offensive system in his last nine years of football has the right to be.

And the next day, he ends the MMQB Tuesday Edition (devoted to reader responses), in a tangentially-related question, with this:

I never, to be honest, place a huge amount of stock in how a team looks in July, except with unproven players like Jason Campbell who play superbly when I see them. That’s important, a guy with a new coach in a new scheme looking great.

Now, the most important thing to remember is that this means nothing of any note as far as Campbell’s likely production. King has spoken highly of, among others, Danny Wuerffel and Rex Grossman.

What it does seem to mean, though, is that Peter King, legendarily a tremendous fan of Brett Favre, may be transferring his affections to another big QB with a strong arm. Something to keep an eye on, unless King is torn to pieces by the rabid Texans fans who have been offended by his comments about their team.

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14 Responses

  1. It’s about time Pete should the Burgundy & gold some love

  2. Mark, … Peter King is a non-athletic jock wannabe, a journalist not a person who actually knows sports through competing … let’s stick to the facts, please. We, workers and athletes alike, are all measured by the previous year’s performance … we can all agree on that … it is called an Annual Performance Evaluation. That is how we are paid and how bonus money is doled out. The following is reality for Campbell’s 2007 performance:

    First the framework … Campbell has been tutored by some of the game’s greatest minds for four years … through 2007 that was three years … one of those hands-on guys was Joe Gibbs who made one decent QB, one nobody QB, and one career bottom third QB Super Bowl winners. So with all of that tutoring for him, unlike any I’ve seen for any other player in my nearly 60 years of watching and assessing the NFL, the results are these for 2007: Ranked in the bottom third of NFL QBs (21st) … 5 Wins – 7 Losses … 12 TDs – 20 Turnovers (11 Ints and 9 lost fumbles ,,, with 6 other fumbles), far below average … Zero TD passes to a Wide receiver until game 9 … Less “Explosive Plays” (20 yards or more) in 12 games than Todd had in four games … Todd had a TD drive the first drive after the half in all four regular season games he started, Campbell zero in 12 … Campbell had an opportunity to hold a lead or win the game in 6 of his losses, lost all 6 … Before anyone dashes to the “experience ” excuse let’s clear that up; at the time Campbell had 20 NFL starts and Todd had only 17. I could go on but you get the picture. This site tends to skew the facts tp favor Campbell so I felt compelled to rectify that. As Bill Parcels has stated countless times … “You are what your record says you are”.

    In terms of annual performance would any of you had gotten a bonus with that sort of performance in your job?

    If Campbell performs at a high level for an extended period (a few years) then folks should get excited … for now it is wait and see … the guy has already cost the team a run at the Super Bowl in 2007 (had Todd not taken over the QB position the team would have missed the playoffs) so stop with the Farve comparisons … we already had to endure the embarrassing push by this site for the 21st ranked QB to be in the Pro Bowl last year.

  3. Remembe that Peter King kept Art Monk out of the Hall of Fame for many years. He should be banned from Redskin Park.

  4. Mr Hyatt, you are on quite a high horse there. While you are looking at these numbers, did bother to compare them to any other quarterbacks playing within their first four years in the pros? Did you consider while comparing Campbell to Collins, that Moss and Randle El didn’t practice the entire time Campbell was starting save for the first 3 weeks in the case of Randle El. Did you also consider that Collins most likely had a much more unrestricted play book to work with, and more freedom in the playcalling?

    As far as experience is concerned, one must consider that 12 years in the league means something for a player, and 10 working in the same offense also means something. While I don’t necessarily think Campbell is the next Favre, his spot at 21 in the league is NOT the whole picture either.

    Just my 2 cents.

  5. Mr. or Ms. Blue Collar … wow, I see no need to get cutting or nasty I did not direct my comments at you … nor were they lofty … they were simply documented performance facts. I was writing from a management and coaching perspective, which is how I look at sports so not to be influenced. As you may have guessed I’ve gotten tired of the over-praise he gets when his actual performancre does not , as of yet, warrant it. Moreover I’m a stickler for stating facts, good or bad, and it has become fashionable for folks to pick and choose only good numbers to represent Campbell. In sports there are always countless variables such as injuries, scheduling, weather, personality conflicts, etc. so Campbell’s situation is not unique in that regard.

    I’m a Redskins fan … I do not focus on individual players other than jump off the couch when they do well and and bury my head in a pillow when they do not just as every fan does … players come and go but the team stays. To answer your question … yep, I have compared Campbell to others using like criteria many times.

    .

  6. For the fans that really payed attention to jason campbell’s performance as a whole last year and not just some stats that was pulled from some internet site. In my personal opinion JC played well last season. Of course there were some ups and downs (end of game at Dallas and Tampa Bay) but we were in all those games until the end were he guided the 2 minute offense to lead the team down the field in hopes of winning the game at the end . That was to be expected. He took his lumps and he will learn from them but with that being said heres some “stats” that were left out of the well thought out article just above lol. For the non-believers go back at look at the tape there is proof that his final stats would be much different from what they were, given the following circumstances. The obvious one would be injuries to the offensive line and to the starting wide-outs. In 2006 in his first real nfl action JC only had one fumble and lost zero playing behind THE starting line that yielded 19 sacks for 4th place in the NFL all season for two different QB’s. Last year he had LT Samuels out all preseason, LG Kendall just got on the team the first week of training camp. C Rabach was plague by a strained groin muscle and had to sit out a game during the season, RG Thomas tore a triceps muscle in week 2 and returned briefly (4 series) in week 14 before he tore it again, RT Jansen who broke and dislocated his right leg and ankle week 1. Now plug in RT Fabini who had never played RG in his football life until last season with RT Wade and UNDRAFTED ROOKIE RT/LT Heyer who played well (i might add for an entire season) for a starting line in the NFL this translates to choas for the people that protect him. Thus we have the stat of 13 fumbles with 8 being lost. Now to the WR Moss, Randle El, and Thrash were all plagued with hamstring injuries all season until later in the season around Week 12. JC and Moss hooked up on countless 30 to 40 yard strikes all season (preseason included since they did it in all three games they played together) But i guess this doesnt count because there wasnt any touchdowns scored so you completely erased them out of your memory bank. But it sure set up great field position though in which Portis, Sellers, and Cooley all scored TD’s. Hey Cooley even made it to the pro bowl from that production and JC threw 7 of Cooley’s 8 TD’s to him. Randle El posted career numbers 51 catches for 728 yards and one score ( which was caught from Portis) in week 16. But the stat that you wont find is haw many times he was stopped on the one yard line. Week 1, week 3, week 5 which come to mind but straight from Coach Gibbs’ mouth ” I tell ya El has been stopped about 6 or 7 times on the 1 yard line this year” Sounds to me like JC’s TD production would have shot up to 18 or 19 TD’s for the year. It seems to me like witnessing 60 years of football would have made this a clear fact. In reference to the Win, Loss (5-7) With the exception of the unmentionable week 8 game the redskins where up, tied or down by less then 7 points at the half, third quarter and sometimes the fourth quarter and Vinny Cerato has stated this several times both on redskins radio now redskins nation and Mike and Mike on espn. A few of JC losses came on bad coaching decisions. Week 3 vs. Giants he lead the team all the way down the field in the two minute offense to the one in which the coaching staff runs the same running play twice in a row both for losses. End result loss. Week 6 @ Packers cold a rainy day players are slipping all over the field no one can keep their footing but JC has to run toss plays, screens and reverses. The reverse to moss for the fumble resulted in a scoop and score for Green Bay was actually the go ahead score for the win for GB. What you forget SINCE you like stats so much 21-37 237 yards, 2 td’s (1 rushing, 1 throwing)1 int, 1 fum. which was not lost.
    Week 10 and 11(Eagles, Cowboys) Sean Taylor goes down in end of third quarter, end result McNabb throws long td’s to Brown on a back up saftey in Prielou and a screen pass to Westbrook. for the Cowboys one you got that earlier in the post but what i didnt say was giving up 4 td’s to one person who averages for a career 4 catches for 39 yards a game when he plays the redskins in which they targeted 2 back up safeties on 3 f those td’s. Still only loses by 5 points on a last minute drive. Stats that game 33-54 348 2 td’s 1 int 1 fum. Week 12 Bucs on a day in which the entire offense turned the ball over 6 times, JC leads a comeback again and again (2 int)only to fall short by 4 points after being down by 14 headed into the fourth. Week 13 Bills after an emotional week in which we lose the best safety in football Sean Taylor R.I.P we lose that game due to the infamous double time-out from a HOF coach who didnt know the rule at the time to put the Bills in great field position for a last second field goal. Week 14 Bears JC leads the team on a few scoring drives only to have the kicker miss easy kicks. JC goes down dislocated knee cap. Enter Collins who doesnt have any succuss with the Bears defense as well tied 0-0 with a little over 2 minutes to go in the 2nd quarter. bears with the ball Griese drops back throws a pick to Springs who returned it to the 20 to give the team an emotional lift. Next play td pass to Yoder. Springs picks it off again to lead to three more points and a 10-0 lead at halftime. From there no looking back for the skins. Coaches opened the play calling up to Collins because he was a vet and knew the playbook all 700 pages of it which he had been in for the last 8 years(JC only 2) teams were not ready for Collins 3 game success because theree was no tape on him because he hadnt played in the NFL in 4 years and parts of the other 4 only at the end of games after the game was already won by the starter and only had to handoff to the RB and occasionally throw a pass. Once they figured him out and got a pass rush in his face he was useles. He has an old arm at age 38 that can only throw touch passes and could not hit open targets down field when he had to improvise. Standing in the pocket with no latteral movement will not cut it in the nfl when there is 6’5 270 DE that can run a 4.4 chase you down and hit you in the mouth every play. As far as a Super Bowl shot in 2007 thats not reality. Collins is a good back up quarterback that came in and performed like the starter did last season. thats his job when the starter goes down go in there and play like the starter was not lost. Now i am a die hard redskin fan like yourself but the redskins won as a team and they lost as a team last year and for you to blame the non super bowl run totally on JC is absurd. It makes ur post lose its validity when that gets thrown in there. so please stick with the real facts and watch the game for yourself to develop your own opinion and not just look at the paper or website and use their opinion.

  7. Gitty up..Mr. Hyatt..It might hurt when you fall off that high horse…Seems your over-analytical..Ill just say we will see this year..

    High Ho Silverrrrrr…Awaaaaay..lol

  8. While Hyatt’s observations are something of a “downer”, we would be remiss to dismiss them as “high horse” and “over analytical”. Sports are all about statistics, and statistics rule the day. Campbell’s potential though great, cannot replace or erase his actual performace as noted in his record. I think he’ll be great, I’m excited about the upcoming season, no worries, what i am more concerned with is the tone of this blog. When did King’s “approval” become so important?

  9. I had no intentions of coming across as “nasty’, my apologies for the impression.
    I did however intend to point out that raw number simply don’t paint the whole picture of most any circumstances.

    I also DID point out that while I many other factors in Campbell’s performance and therefore his statistics, none of it matters until/unless the wins and losses flip/flop to the other direction. Quarterbacks are ultimately judged by their wins, not there simple stats. Favre is good example of this, holding the int record is NOT a good thing, but he is easily considered one the best to ever play.

    And King is just another pundit, but he is well respected among many football people. His opinion is far from important, but it’s a step in the direction of maybe a little respect for a front office that has been constantly ridiculed, some deservedly so, some not.

  10. Also, if you watch tape, Campbell was making good throws that were being dropped. Hitting guys on the chest consistently.

  11. “We already had to endure the embarrassing push by this site for the 21st ranked QB to be in the Pro Bowl last year.”

    Is it really that embarassing? The 25th ranked one won the Super Bowl. The 26th ranked one was on the cover of Madden. I’ll take Campbell.

  12. that post up above was long as hell, but it was ridiculously accurate.

    i guess you are a ‘supreme skins fan’

    i think campbell has a hell of a season this year, as long as we can stay relatively healthy, especially on the o-line. a good running game = better passing game.

  13. I am still laughing at the first quote,” It’s about time Pete should the Burgundy & gold some love”. You are a superstar in my book. Awesome.

    Everyone else seems to think they know what is and what isnt. Let’s just wait and see the boy go. I went to the final practice and was quite impressed. I have to admit I have been to every skins camp for the past 10 years and recently, starting with Spurrier, I have been given side line passes. They were all a cluster F***. It was embarrassing to say the least. Gibbs, who I love dearly, was no better. He seemed lost at times, we all saw it. Zorn has sparked a very new and exciting approach to the whole thing. Who doesnt love a story about a guy who was given a chance in this crazy world to take advantage of this gift. I dont know about you but this would be the greatest gift besides winning the lottery and buying the team. There was something special about the way they all carried themselves. Zorn isnt some over paid idiot, (take Gibbs out of the idiot part). He has a real, once in a lifetime chance, to do something great. Im excited an I saw something there that made me believe. That is all I ever ask for. I like Jason Cambell and he looked really good. I dont want to hear any talk before the season starts just show me some heart and let them fly. We will be better this year I feel it, believe it.

    Lets talk after the Giants game.

  14. I think JC is the real deal. I’m also excited by the apparent coaching skills of Jim Zorn. I loved Joe Gibbs, but I think it was time for a new direction in D.C. and I think Joe knew it. I’m excited every year in preseason about this teams chances, but I have to admit, this year there’s an extra spark.

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