Every time a team gets down the fans start screaming for the back-up. In this case, a lot of fan noise is for Colt. I notice it is not for Todd Collins, even though he led us into the playoffs last year.
Is there a possibility Colt is the Redskins QB of the future? That is not an absurd question; here’s why:
1. Zorn picked him, so he is a Zorn guy not a Gibbs guy.
2. Right or wrong, fair or not, Campbell has not proven himself.
3. Campbell has a loosing record overall in games he has started in.
4. Campbell had to change everything he did once Zorn took over; footwork to throwing.
5. Zorn’s system requires the QB to either run the play called or audible at the line of scrimmage based upon what the Defense shows him; he did this a lot earlier in the season but not much at all during the recent skid.
6. Zorn’s system requires receivers to adjust routes based upon the Defense’s set up; both QB and receiver have to be on the same page.
7. Campbell has zeroed in on the primary receiver (Moss) too much this year.
8. Campbell is having trouble breaking out of Gibbs’ “DONT MAKE A MISTAKE” mold; he seems very unwilling to take chances.
On the flip side, Campbell’s performance has been undermined by the play of the receivers. Too often Moss gets double, or triple teamed, Randal El can’t get open, and the third and/or fourth receiver runs the wrong route. I am talking about Thomas, Kelly, and Davis here (forget Thrash, Zorn has effectively removed him from the line-up to put in his guys). All three have directly led to the offensive troubles. Here’s how:
Thomas has been active every game this season, but he keeps running his routes incorrectly. It has gotten to the point that Campbell can’t count on him so he does not look his way in passing situations, unless he absolutely has to when Zorn calls a play to him.
Here’s an example: In Cincy, 3rd and 4, 4th quarter, blitz is coming and Campbell has to quick pass the ball; he throws to Thomas. Thomas runs the wrong route and does not catch the ball. Result – punt. Their offense runs out the clock; game over. (There is a good article about Thomas in the Washington Post today; Thomas explains how it is hard to remember all of those plays, especially when in college he only had to learn a few routes and practiced them over and over and over. Well, welcome to the big leagues Thomas! If you can’t get your pea-brain wrapped around the playbook you should not be in the NFL – and the Redskins should have never drafted you).
Davis, our new pass catching TE, can’t wrap his brain around the playbook either, but he has learned enough that they have started using him in games. Campbell does not have faith in him either so he does not look his way.
Here’s an example: In Cincy, second offensive series, 3rd and long (of course). Davis is lined up all the way to the left, Santana Moss inside him. At the snap Santana runs a quick slant inside while Davis goes straight up the sideline. All 3 DBs center on Moss, Campbell looks left and who does he throw to – Moss triple covered or Davis streaking up the left sideline, wide open, with his hand in the air? You guessed it – Moss. Granted, Moss was interferred with (although the refs did not call it), but even if he caught the pass he would not have gotten the first down. Result – punt.
Kelly. A couple of games ago Kelly had some plays scripted for him. It was all over the news. Every time Kelly went in the other team was expecting the ball to go to Kelly, and they were right. He didn’t run his routes right or agressively and failed to catch the ball.
How does this factor into Colt? Well, Campbell will probably get another year in the system to show he can do. Campbell’s contract is up after this year; the team has to decide if he is the future or not. If they decide he is they will sign him to a long term deal. If not, I expect 1 of 2 things will happen:
1. They sign him to a short term (1-2 year) deal and Colt becomes the #2 QB. If Campbell plays well he will remain the starter until the year is out and then the team switches to Colt.
2. They sign him to a long term (3-5 year) deal. Colt stays the #3 for 1 more year, Todd Collins the #2. The following year Colt becomes the #2. After that, if Campbell struggles Zorn will put Colt into the starting lineup.
Both of these scenarios assume no other QB Zorn likes comes down the pike. The wildcard in all of this starts this off-season. If Zorn thinks Campbell is not the answer, Colt too raw, Collins too old, and a seasoned veteran is available that can run his offense better he will not hesitate to get him. Zorn will have the added incentive of job security. It is completely possible.