Campbell Says Things Will Be Easier This Time

Jason Campbell shares his thoughts on having his fourth offensive coordinator in four years and the Tigers' new offense.

Auburn, Ala.-- Jason Campbell jokes that he may have set a new NCAA record during his career on the Plains. However, having the most new quarterback coaches and offensive coordinators in a career is not the kind of record that most QBs are looking to break.

"The only thing you can do about it though is continue to keep proceeding and continue to keep pressing on," he says with a smile. "Really, the only thing you can do is laugh about it."

Having been through this process a time or three before Campbell, who leads Auburn in career completion percentage at 63 percent, says that he feels like things will be different this time in making the adjustment to the Tigers' new offensive coordinator Al Borges.

"You know how to go about it better than you did when you were a sophomore or going after Coach Petrino left," Campbell notes. "Because you didn't know how you were going to adjust because you had finally found a system that kind of fit you and someone that knew how to use your abilities within the offense. But, I think now since I have been through it so many times it is easier for me to adapt than some of the younger guys."

Despite having less than a week to get to know Borges, the Tigers' quarterback says that he is quite impressed with the things he has seen.

Campbell threw for a career-high yardage total of 270 in his final regular season game last year in Auburn's victory over Alabama. He completed 18-27 passes in that game.

"Having sat down and talked to him you can tell that he is a real student of the game and you can tell that he has a lot of experience from the way that he speaks to you and the things that he has shared with me over the last two meetings we've had," Campbell says. "He is a real good people person. He is strict just like when Coach Petrino was here. He talked about how strict he is and the stuff that he wanted done in his offense and I think that will bring the best out of me."

Campbell, who has thrown for 4,599 yards and 25 touchdowns in his career, says that he feels like Borges has a lot of tools in his offensive scheme that can make the Tigers successful.

"He is real balanced," the senior QB says. "He is a West Coast guy. He tries to give defenses a lot of different looks. He has different kind of throws that he likes in certain situations and he tries to spread the ball around. He tries to keep the defense on their heels and not give them a hint of what you are doing. So, he does a real good job, I think, of mixing the plays up and trying to set up something for later on. You know, he always does something early in the game and tries to set up something for later on."

Coach Borges has said that he wants to leave in the effective things the Tigers are doing and overhaul other phases of their offense to make them better and Campbell says that is exactly what he has seen from his new coach thus far.

"I am pretty sure that with him coming from the West Coast the things that he has done in his passing game have been successful," Campbell, whose 149.23 passing efficiency rating in 2002 is the second best in AU history, notes. "There is no reason that he wouldn't slide his stuff into the offense this year. He has already told us that our passing game is going to change.

"Our running game is basically going to stay the same as far as my run checks and everything, but that is good. The passing game--you can always learn the passing game. It is just a matter of sitting down and going over it and just going through your progressions."

Campbell says that another plus with the transition to yet another offense is that this time it is something that he knows a little something about from prior experience.

"I think it fits very well because when I came out of high school this is the kind of offense that I played in," the senior explains. "You know, throwing the ball a lot and throwing in different areas and doing a lot of stuff with it. In the past we have been more run-oriented and pass second. I think this year we are going to be more balanced instead of people depending on us to run the ball a lot. This year we are going to have to be balanced to make it to Atlanta."

Another key that the quarterback has already noticed is the way Borges' offense will help handle the blitz. "He said sometimes blitzes are going to come through, but you let them come through because they should never get to you if you use the right amount of footwork and get the ball out where it is supposed to be at that time," Campbell says. "He said that because the West Coast offense is such a quick game most of the time--but then you hit people deep--he said that it is hard for the defense to get to you even if someone misses a block."

Campbell also explains that he believes Coach Borges' idea to have both Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown in the backfield together much more will make the Tigers' offense a force to be reckoned with this season.

"I am excited about that because not only can they run the ball, they can catch the ball out of the backfield and do something with it," he says. "You know, when we have both of them on the field at the same time we can definitely play action and they won't know which one is getting the ball and that is very important. I think we get both of them on the field at the same time because the experience both of them have. Then the defense can't key on which one is going to get the ball, or are we going play action, or are we going to flare them out of the backfield. So, I think we are going to cause trouble for defenses."


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