Campbell in the Shotgun
Going into Week 1, Jason Campbell was under a lot of pressure. His excuses were running out, as was his contract, so we as a fan base were eager to see him finally step up and be the franchise quarterback that we all hope he can be. Unfortunately, the result was same uninspiring, average, awkward performance we've grown to expect from Campbell.
His stat line wasn't too bad (19/26 for 211 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT), and actually much better than it was last year in this same scenario.
But despite the numbers, he just looked ... uncomfortable. Most importantly, he really struggled to feel the pressure and step up into the pocket to find space to throw, evidenced by the Osi Umenyiora play that basically put us behind the 8-ball for the rest of the game. Jason himself said in the post-game interview that he didn't see Osi coming, he just felt the ball get knocked away.
Some quarterbacks are better at this than others. Brady is a master finding space in the pocket, but even Trend Edwards, who's hardly an out-of-this-world talent, shows the ability to just find room to get the ball out. Jason, however, really seems to lack pocket awareness.
This is especially clear if you look at his numbers in the shotgun.
Campbell in Shotgun: 14/16, 155 yards passing, 16 yards rushing, 1 TD, 0 INT, 0 sacks, 127.86 QB rating
Campbell under center: 5/10, 56 yards passing, 0 yards rushing, 0 TD, 1 INT, 1 sack (resulting in TD), 27.6 QB rating
Now, I know, there was that last "prevent defense" drive, which I could argue was not a prevent defense (they blitzed several times and played corners close), but just to appease this crowd, here's the shotgun numbers minus that drive.
Campbell in Shotgun Before Final Drive: 9/10, 99 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT, 0 sacks, 112.5 QB rating
I'm not here to defend Jason Campbell. This is his offense, and when it struggles, it's a reflection of him, justified or not, and regardless of how good he is in the shotgun, he needs to improve under center.
But whether or not he's the quarterback in 2010, he's the quarterback today, and a good coach would recognize a player's strengths and weaknesses and create a game plan that revolves around them.
I can only hope Zorn recognizes this as well as gives Campbell more opportunity to pass in the shotgun, and perhaps add in a few run out of there as well. This is certainly something I'll be interested in following as the season progresses.