Q&A With Joe Theismann

Q&A with Joe Theismann--The former Redskins quarterback talks about his old team.

Q: What did you think of Jason Campbell this year?
A: I thought he got better as the year went on. The big thing at the QB position has to be a comfort level between the guy on the field and the guy calling the plays. When you really take into consideration Jason's situation, he started seven games. When you look at it like that, he had a total of 21 practices and that's where you start to put it together. How much can you accomplish in 21 practices? There were a couple instances where he put a nice touch on the ball. He showed flashes and signs of having the ingredients of being someone who could be quite special. In this league, you only need to be solid. In that Giants game, when Jason got dinged, Mark went in and tried to run for a first down and came up three yards short. That shows an element that Jason can bring to the game because in that game when he broke free, he got the first down. It's his athletic ability, the use of his legs, the way he throws. I like it all. He will get better as he continues to work with the receivers and he'll get better as he grows more comfortable in the offense and just being the guy. … He could be the first guy to actually come in and play for more than one year. I see Jason, God willing he stays healthy, as having the ability to be able to go out and week in and week out give the Redskins a chance to win.

Q: How far away do you think the Redskins are?
A: Unless they get the defense fixed, they won't be better than 8-8 if they're lucky. You've got safeties who, instead of understanding they're the last line of defense, they just come up and fly up and put big hits on people. The fact that Tiki rushed for 234 yards against them, that number should be posted in the locker room. Every day in the offseason they should walk in and look at that and be embarrassed. It should be a constant reminder that they were embarrassed on national TV. Until they can stop the run, they're not gonna win. I don't care who you are.

Q: What do you think of Sean Taylor?
A: Let me say this: Sean Taylor potentially has a chance to be the best safety in football. Absolutely. If he would just learn to play the position correctly instead of being out of control and instead of getting stupid penalties. Sean Taylor has the ability to be the best. I've never seen an athlete that has everything: size, speed, hands, athletic ability. Sean just has to get control of his game. He's a big version of Troy Polamalu. The thing that Sean has to understand is that you don't have to make SportsCenter with every hit. Just get the guy on the ground or slow down and let someone else come help you. The problem is, the Redskins are a run to the ball defense, but unless you slow someone down there's no running to the ball. It becomes a chase it situation. Sean is unbelievable and this year coming up is a tremendous opportunity for him to become the elite safety. He should be a Pro Bowler. Part of my frustration with him is that one element; if he can grasp that one element he's unstoppable and he would make such a difference in the Redskins' defense. I look at him and say, ‘When does the light go off?'

Q: What about Brandon Lloyd?
A: We won't go there. … Here's a kid that had an opportunity, or has an opportunity, to be someone who can contribute. You can't be great Monday through Saturday. You're evaluated by what you do on Sundays. And the wide receiver position has evolved into one of toughness and it doesn't matter how big you are. It matters how tough you want to be.

Q: Is there anything you'd add on offense?
A: Santana is a Pro Bowler. David Patten is moving toward the end of his career. It would be a good opportunity for Brandon. Antwaan is still that special guy you use in special situations. But it wouldn't hurt them to get someone with James' size only younger. I don't see Brandon being that physical receiver. You could use someone in that position, but you need someone with experience. The other thing is, teams are going to be successful based on what happens in the front line. If any of these guys go down is someone good enough to play? Last year Ray Brown was the guy. You mean to say you can't find a player with eight years experience vs. 20 who can play and start for you? You have to have depth in the line. It's never about the starters; it's always about the next level.



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