What follows is an answer to the chorus of complaints from the legions of fans who are tired of being distracted by "sensible" analysis backed by "facts" and "knowledge." If you seek shelter from the twin storms that are "reality" and "logic," then this is your port of call.
1) OK, we here at the Six Pack don’t want to sound alarmist* but it’s time to sound THE alarm. This is a cause for panic and riot and setting things aflame that perhaps should not be set aflame. (For me, little rubber duckies spring to mind; you take that wherever you see fit).
Now, you** should probably sit down: dramatic pause … Jason Campbell had a sub par performance in his third NFL appearance.
I will pause here while you explain your horrific screams to your friends, family, co-workers, or possibly fellow inmates (hi Mom!)
I mean, on one hand you have this head coach Joe Gibbs character saying things like "It will be something he takes a look at and will be a better player because of it.”
BUT, on la otra mano, you infallible wisdom behind the prescient words of Thomas Boswell, SPORTS COLUMNIST***, who with unquestionable clarity and foresight has declared that Campbell will likely take "years" to develop.
2) Sir Boswell (I assume he’s been knighted somewhere by now) allows that Campbell is a rookie and that mistakes are to be expected, BUT he wisely points out that Jason Campbell is NEITHER Tony Romo or Eli Manning.
This little nugget will undoubtedly prevent hordes of Redskins fans from foolishly purchasing jerseys with Romo or Manning emblazoned across the back. No, they will think to themselves “I remember in ye olde column, Sir Boswell doth bring light to the fact that Jason Campbell is NOT TWO OTHER PEOPLE.” Crisises . . . crisis’s . . . problem avoided.
3) But we have not absorbed the totality of Sir Boswell’s wisdom. Not only is Campbell not someone else, but he is indeed a “full-blown project.” (Now, we here at the Six Pack had been telling people he was a partially-inflated project, so you can imagine our embarrassment).
To further our own embarrassment, we decided to look at the stats from Manning’s third start, and Boswell has a point**** … Manning’s line: 12-25, 113 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions. In his previous two starts, the incomparable Eli had thrown one touchdown and four interceptions.
So, in three starts Manning was 35-83, 423 yards, with four picks and one touchdown. (Oh and the Giants were 0-3 in that stretch … in fact they lost his first six starts, but that is clearly not relevant or Sir. B. would have mentioned it).
4) As for the Tony Romo comparison, it is clearly fair to compare his success with Campbell’s struggles, especially when you consider that the Redskins have the 18th best offense and the 28th best defense while Dallas is 4th and 7th respectively. Duh!
5) To further his brilliant discourse, Sir B. informs the unwashed and ignorant masses (us) that Campbell struggled with the blitz and that forced him into some bad decisions.
We can’t believe this kind of analysis is free!
All across the country, defensive coordinators are reading that and slamming their scotch-and-sodas down, while yelling to the squirrels they have hired to design defenses and saying “Boswell, you mad genius, that’s just crazy enough to work! Blitz the rookie quarterbacks and they will struggle! It’s so clear you would think that’s exactly what we’d been doing for 20 plus years!”
6) Finally, on a semi-serious note, we actually like Thomas Boswell -- he’s actually a pretty solid columnist -- he just tends to depress us when he writes about the Redskins.
But for him to suggest that Campbell’s struggles are 1) noteworthy or 2) not analogous to Manning’s struggles is simply without any merit.
The same goes for the notion that ONE game against the Falcons is somehow, magically, a reliable predictor of Campbell’s success, or lack thereof, as a starter in the league.
The reality is that nobody can say exactly how long it will take for J.C. to develop into a solid starter, although we do know that it won’t be instantaneous. It comes with the territory and, yes, “just a little patience” (you’re singing the song, aren’t you?) is required. But to throw up our hands and say “Oh gosh, he’s a project and it’s going to take forever” is defeating and depressing, and we have plenty of both already.
*Yes, we do: Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep!
**The two of you who are standing up while reading this
*** Honorific titles should always be written in all caps, kind of like TV PUNDIT or NIGHT MANAGER.
****No, he doesn’t