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Redskins crowded at quarterback

I think it is pretty clear and has been reported extensively elsewhere, despite insistence to the contrary, that Jason Campbell is the starting quarterback of the Redskins and will be throughout the 2007 season, barring injury. I also think -- and I know that this will not please Hogs Haven reader/commenter pookskins -- that Mark Brunell is the clear backup. Perhaps playing devil's advocate, Brunell is the ideal backup as he know the playbook and has proven capable of managing games. He won't win any on his own, but if JC goes down for a few weeks he could come in and mop up on poor competition. Again also playing devil's advocate, the scariest thing about Brunell on the roster is the perception that it shortens JC's leash, given Coach Gibbs' demonstrable affinity for the veteran.

Beyond those two though, there are a lot of guys competing for the 3rd and final roster spot, as Jason La Canfora notes in today's Washington Post, and Casey Bramlet might just be the guy who wins it:

For [Casey Bramlet], finding a way to crack the Redskins' final roster this summer as the third-string quarterback would qualify as a major accomplishment, and thus far, the decision to apprentice in Europe this spring looks like a smart one.

While the Redskins' other quarterbacks -- veterans Jason Campbell, Mark Brunell and Todd Collins, and rookies Jordan Palmer and Sam Hollenbach -- spent the last six weeks training and practicing at the team's facility -- Bramlet gambled that the chance to get game action in a league thousands of miles away would best serve him.

Article comments on QB Coach Bill Lazor's close attention paid to Casey's progress in NFL Europa via film review. It also reminds that Todd Collins could be the odd-man out, given that his role with the team seems to have disappeared. As I argued at AOL Fanhouse (Ryan Wilson suggested that Jordan Palmer could become the new Collins), Todd really can't even play the mentor role anymore given that no one on the roster is in need of his sage advise, given that the remaining quarterbacks (Mark Brunell and Jason Campbell) are now a year learned in its intricacies. Third string quarterback is a last resort that is near hopelessness mode; should your starting two QBs go down to injury for extended periods you aren't a postseason contender, anyways. So why burn millions on Collins, just so you can set him free in the near future, when you could just as easily develop a younger guy into this offense and have him ready, perhaps, to back up Jason Campbell within the next few years?

Commenter Robert at Redskins Huddle posited a scenario that I found quite compelling, actually. I think Todd Collins still knows a thing or two about the Al Saunders system that could benefit our younger quarterbacks or offense in general. Thus, ceding the floor to Robert with my emphasis:

Brunell role is to serve as Gibb's security blanket (he loves vet QBs). Collins knows Saunders playbook backwards and forwards, and I think he is the one likely to tutor the young QBs. The best young QB the skins have is Casey Bramlett who is tearing up NFL Europe.
I'd love to see Collins as a coach, Brunell as the #2 security blanket, Bramlett as #3 and Palmer on the practice squad.
I'd be interested to hear Hogs Haven contributor TexSkins' take on Collins as a coach, as he has been the most vocal and vociferous opponent to Todd as the player (and given his preseason performance last year, that could very well be justified criticism), though I wonder if that ire carries over to Collins as a member of the staff -- one that doesn't eat into our salary cap, by the way.

In any event, the battle is essentially betwixt Palmer and Bramlet, with Todd Collins looking more and more like the excess baggage. One final note on Casey Bramlet and his success in the NFL Europa, he could become one of the last players to parlay a European Vacation into an NFL roster spot, so sayeth Michael David Smith at Fanhouse:

Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue always wanted American football to be a popular sport overseas. And toward that end, he thought the establishment of the World League of American Football, which later changed its name to NFL Europe and is now called NFL Europa, would be a major part of his legacy.

But American football has never taken off in Europe the way Tagliabue envisioned, and now the NFL is considering putting NFL Europa out of its misery.

I couldn't have cared less about the shelf life of NFL Europa... up until that moment it possibly feeds us our 2007 3rd string quarterback. Reader(s) encouraged to pine on that league's fate or perceived fate in the comments section below.