Ten Sport Review: Campbell Surprises

Ten Spot Review--There were two big surprises last Sunday. On the upside, Jason Campbell played virtually error free ball and, on the downside, the defense couldn't stop a poor offense.

1. Is Jason ready? There was no way to know until he played a game. So, in fairness, we weren't sure. After watching him, there's no doubt Joe Gibbs made the right decision. This game was not lost based on the quarterback play. Campbell was poised in the pocket, had great zip on his passes and made a variety of throws. He did not make a killer mistake and took a couple chances. His arm strength is impressive.

2. Will Santana Moss play? We did not think so and he did not. We have no idea when he'll return, but he was clearly missed. Would he have caught that first pass? Sure. But would the Bucs have played him the same way they played Brandon Lloyd? Maybe not.

3. Who will step up for Moss? Here's the answer: nobody. Or, OK, James Thrash who is reliable. Want to know why they don't throw to Lloyd more? He's unreliable. If he's sometimes running the wrong routes, how can the QB look his way more? Chris Cooley had a nice game. Campbell went to the guys he could trust.

4. Can Lloyd have a big game? We said we wouldn't count on it and we were right. Lloyd is not physical enough to beat the cover-2's consistently and, again, the unreliability plays a major role. But, hey, it was a great trade.

5. How will Ladell Betts do? We thought it depended on the Bucs' defense and their health. Turns out he did not do well, with only 18 yards on seven carries. The Bucs often used eight men on the line. But neither Betts nor T.J. Duckett really did well; Duckett had one nice run but looked too much like Ron Dayne on the others.

6. What's the biggest concern with Jason? We thought it would be the mistakes he would make. He didn't make many, at least none that led to turnovers. He appeared off on certain routes, which can be blamed on rustiness and a lack of timing. That can improve. Really, he was fine. He handled the noise well; some players were concerned about how he would run the huddle and that was OK, too. We'll see how he holds up over the coming weeks, but for his first start how can you complain. Gives you hope.

7. Will Jason make plays? We thought he would because that's the kind of player he is. And he made them. The 15-yard bullet to James Thrash stood out the most because he had to use his mobility to sidestep a blitzer; he kept his eyes downfield; he delivered a strike. The touchdown pass to Todd Yoder was nice, too, because he threw with such power slightly across his body.

8. Will he do better than Bruce Gradkowski? It was hard to tell and even afterward it's hard to say becaus Gradkowski played a nice game. Granted, he was going against a worse defense and that helped. But aside from a couple throws, he was solid. We thought he'd test the deep stuff with Joey Galloway and he did. With success.

9. Will the Redskins' defense have a big day? Wow, was I wrong. I thought they would have a big day. I anticipated a couple turnovers, which they got (one was a gift). But here's what I also said: ''For heaven's sake, if they can't shut down this offense, they should hand in their checks. I'd like to see Lemar Marshall show up this week. I think the experiment with him in the middle should come to an end after this season.'' Marshall did not show up. But he wasn't the only one. Washington's D clearly lacked intensity, something players agreed with. Of course, Gregg Williams did not but that would be an indictment of him. Still, I saw guys who gave up on plays once it went past them. Marcus Washington and a few others did not. But there aren't enough guys like him.

10. Will the Redskins win? I thought they'd lose a one-point game (14-13) so I was close. But some of that stemmed from the fact that Campbell was so much an unknown, plus they lacked their top receiver and running back and were playing on the road. Given all that, they still could have won. But at 3-7 they're playing for next season. The final six games is about who should be here next year and who shouldn't. Unfortunately, there are members in the front office who will return when they're clearly part of the problem.


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