Redskins v. Steelers – Pregame: Ron Jaworski on Jason Campbell

I had read where ESPN analyst and former NFL quarterback Ron Jaworski had called Jason Campbell his mid-season NFL MVP, but I hadn’t had a chance to hear his reasoning behind it. So when I saw him on the field for pregame, after his appearance on PTI, I took a few minutes to ask him about it.

So did I correctly read that you’re calling Jason Campbell your mid-season MVP?

Absolutely, yeah.

Why is that?

When you look at the Redskins record of 6-2, I think he’s one of the main reasons for it. Clearly Clinton Portis is playing well, but when I looked at every game this weekend, I saw how much Jason has improved. And I saw the lack of mistakes he’s making orchestrating this offense. Getting them into the right protections, getting them into the right routes – very few quarterbacks in this league can handle an offense like that.

And not taking anything away from Clinton, who’s having a phenomenal year, but I just thought that the lack of turnovers, and the way he’s handling this offense right now, making big plays when they present themselves – Jason Campbell’s a big reason this team is 6-2.

Going into the season, the big stat on Campbell was the whole seventh offensive system in eight years thing. What happened to that — was it just overblown, or is Zorn some sort of great qb coach, or what?

It’s never one thing; I believe it’s a combination. First of all, they kept the running game the same. You know, it was Joe Gibbs’ system, you still have Joe Bugel here, they kept the terminology the same.

But also, I am surprised he’s assimilated the offense so quickly from a west coast perspective. He’s always had that elongated delivery, little bit slow, but he’s really picked up the pace. The release has gotten much better, obviously because of the offseason work that he did, and he’s become much more accurate.

I think another reason is that this receiving corps fits into this system. These are quick guys in space, they work well together on the combination routes … I like the fact that they’re working this type of offense, because it compliments the receivers they have.

You were at practice on Saturday, and you review a ton of film. Have you seen anything that might help the Redskins this evening?

I really believe that to break down the Steeler defense, you’ve gotta have movement. You’ve gotta get the big plays out of play action or quarterback movement. This is not the kind of team where you’re going to drop back and get big plays. I like to use the term “manufacture plays;” I think this is the type of game where Jim is going to have to manufacture and design big plays.

Last question: Zorn ran all these drills — the bag throwing and the dodgeball and all that — and it has has visibly positive outcomes for Campbell. Why doesn’t everyone do these things?

I believe they will. When I evaluate quarterbacks coming out of college for the draft, the one thing I look for is can they throw from different platforms.

In other words, it’s the NFL. If you give a guy in this league time, a pocket to throw from, no pressure … they can all throw the football. What you have to be able to do is throw when people are under your feet. They’re making you move. They’re hitting you in the legs as you’re throwing. You’ve gotta throw sidearm around a pass rush, you’ve gotta come over the top… I like to say “throw from different platforms.”

Clearly, Jason Campbell has learned to throw from different platforms, and that’s been the thing with the pads coming after him, the balls coming at his legs, all the different things that Jim did in the offseason.


One Response

  1. Great work Matt!


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