Snider: Campbell or Brunell?

Let's get to it -- Mark Brunell or Jason Campbell?


  Does any other position matter to Redskins fans? We could be talking about Rocky McIntosh replacing Warrick Holdman or bringing in a new punter. How about why Antwaan Randle El emerging over Brandon Lloyd as the second receiver? Why isn't T.J. Duckett the second prime runner over Ladell Betts?

  All worthy topics, but nothing gets Washingtonians heated like politics and quarterbacks. This is a town of leaders, after all.

  Coach Joe Gibbs won't surrender to mob politics anymore than President Bush governs by polls. And they shouldn't. You're the boss. Make the decision on how you feel and if it doesn't work, then you're gone and someone else gets the job. But I respect someone who isn't swayed by the public because, let's be honest, the public is fickle.

  Gibbs believes the team can still make the playoffs because that's what he's paid to do. Players and coaches really only think about the next opponent, not the big picture. It sounds cliched, but true. If you asked Gibbs to rattle off the next four opponents, he couldn't do it. I've known very few football coaches who could.

  Gibbs is thinking which quarterback gives him the best chance to beat Indianapolis on Sunday. Obviously, it's Brunell. The rookie isn't going to beat perhaps the best team in football in his debut with a suspect team around him.

  OK, I'll give Brunell one more game to at least show something even in defeat. Score 24 against the Colts -- win or lose -- and I won't denounce Brunell. But somehow, I don't think that's going to happen.

  And here's where Gibbs and I will part. If the team falls to 2-5, then let's be honest and admit the season is trashed. The Redskins would have to win 8 of 9 games to make the playoffs against eight winning teams. That makes last year's five straight wins seem like a freebie.

  Gibbs won't admit the team is out of it until the final weeks. And even then I'm not sure he would change passers. I don't expect Gibbs to move Brunell barring injury. And that's a real shame.

  At 2-5, it would be time to ready Campbell during the bye. Find out what he can do. It may look ugly, but so what? Vince Young looked ugly at times for Tennessee, but he made some plays in the victory. In a year or so, Young may be a legit NFL passer. Campbell has been around 1 1/2 seasons and we have no idea what he can do.

  The Redskins invested two first-rounders in Campbell. It was a bad decision then because Gibbs doesn't like young quarterbacks, but let's live with it. Brunell is clearly finished and the Redskins need to know if Campbell is the future or they need to get someone in free agency.

  For conspiracy theorists, there is some thought Gibbs is pondering retirement after the season so he's not worried about readying Campbell for the next coach. If I don't think Gibbs knows who he's playing in a few weeks, I doubt the coach has decided whether to walk in January.

  Just six weeks ago, it looked like the team had a good chance to make the Super Bowl. Now I freely admit being wrong. This team will be lucky to finish 8-8. The only good that can come of it is readying for next year and that starts with Campbell.


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