Campbell gets second start in a row Sunday
CLEVELAND – Jason Campbell’s streak of starts at quarterback for the Browns reaches two when the Baltimore Ravens invade First Energy Stadium Sunday.
Streaks are usually referred to in larger numbers than two, but with the Browns consecutive starts at quarterback aren’t always assured. Barring injury, it would seem that Campbell will ride out the remainder of the season.
Coach Rob Chudzinski saw enough positives from Campbell in a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs to stick with him. One area that undoubtedly stood out to Chudzinski was Campbell’s quick release, which limited the Chiefs’ strong pass rush to only one sack.
There’s a feeling once again in the locker room that there’s a chance of winning each week. It was that way when Brian Hoyer was starting, but the same can’t be said about Brandon Weeden’s starting assignments.
“It’s always tough when you have to come in in the middle of the season and not having a lot of reps with the ones in the offseason,” offensive tackle Joe Thomas said. “I think he did a great job of picking up the offense, getting comfortable with his receivers, playing with a good tempo and speed and playing with confidence. It was obvious that he has a lot of experience under his belt as a starting quarterback.”
Thomas was then cornered by a direct question about why the offense looked better with Campbell and Hoyer at quarterback, but the same didn’t apply with Weeden on the field. As a wily veteran of close to seven seasons, Thomas didn’t stick his feet into those waters.
“You can write about that on your own,” Thomas said. “I’m not going to compare guys. All I can say is that Jason did a good job.”
Campbell connected on just 57.5 percent of his passes against the Chiefs, but, according to offensive coordinator Norv Turner, some of his incompletions were thrown well.
What impresses Turner about Campbell is his ability to adapt to the system. Campbell has played in numerous systems with four teams during a nine-year career.
“The thing I like about Jason is sometimes when you get guys that have been in two or three systems, they’re kind of set in their ways,” Turner said. “He’s really absorbed and bought in to what we’re doing.
“Even in the game Sunday. We had some communication problems that were little things that kept us from making some plays. There were four or five plays where we don’t get the most out of them.”
The hope is that those problems won’t be as frequent now that Campbell has one start to his credit.
“All I know is they’re all tough,” Campbell said. “You look at our schedule and we go against a top-five defense every week. You have to focus on the details of the game. You’re trying to cram a lot into a short window. I think my experience gives me an opportunity to understand some of those things.”
The next step is to develop more consistency. Both the offense and defense were awful in the first half against the Chiefs. According to cornerback Joe Haden, “They (the coaches) went at us (at halftime) like they never went at us before.”
The result was a better second half on both sides of the ball.
“Our emphasis is to play four full quarters,” Campbell said. “We haven’t done that just yet. Be more consistent in what we’re doing.”