Gibbs and Jason Campbell are about to enter a paradox.
Would instant success by Campbell be the best or worst thing for Gibbs?
If Campbell starts quickly, everyone will second guess Gibbs for waiting so long to start the second-year passer. Fans will be happy with winning, but also feel cheated of a possible playoff run. Maybe the 3-6 start could have been 5-4 to keep Washington in the playoff hunt.
Gibbs will be seen as the culprit. That can't end well.
But let's try the other way, which is more probable. Campbell starts poorly. He throws picks and the team keeps losing. Fans will be disappointed the Redskins spent three selections on Campbell. Why did Gibbs overpay for this guy?
Like most Redskins games, this isn't a winnable situation for Gibbs. He'll be criticized either way. Of course, better to be winning while fans are whining, but Gibbs' delayed decision leaves him no wiggle room.
Did you see Gibbs on Monday when announcing Campbell was the starter? He looked like a prisoner making a forced statement. It took him a couple minutes of hedging before even saying the words -- Campbell is starting.
Instead of publicly supporting Campbell, Gibbs was backpedaling. That can't help Campbell's confidence.
Letting players leave for their day off without telling anyone but the three quarterbacks also shows Gibbs reluctance for the move. Players heard it from the media. That's not good. Better to call a quick team meeting before they left and tell everyone straight out than let it fester for two days before returning to practice.
The season isn't going to end happily. Losing Clinton Portis doesn't help. The defense is a disaster. Campbell probably isn't going to matter in too many outcomes, but it's good to get started on the future. Maybe today's pain will lead to tomorrow's playoffs.
Because right now, this quarterback controversy has been a needless pain.
Rick Snider has covered the Redskins for 23 years and is the Washington Examiner columnist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org