Starter: Jason Campbell
Top backup: Mark Brunell
Training camp battle: For the No. 3 spot between Todd Collins, Jordan Palmer, Sam Hollenbach and Casey Bramlet. The latter three have received more hype, such as it is, this offseason. Bramlet had a successful NFL Europa season, but so did Gibran Hamdan once upon a time. Just remember this: Al Saunders really likes Collins, so one of the three has to impress big time. None of the other three would exactly be in demand if they were cut. Then again, Collins would not be either.
Strengths: Campbell shows excellent poise and has a big arm. He's athletic enough to escape trouble and can make plays with his legs. He throws a nice deep ball and is developing as a leader. Brunell offers experience.
Weaknesses: The knock on Campbell is that he's not a good fit for Saunders' offense, at least not the one he wants to run. So they'll be a run-oriented, play-action pass type offense. Nothing wrong with that. But the fear by some around the league is that Campbell still does not read defenses well. As for the backups, Brunell might be experienced, but he was ineffective last year and is coming off an injury. In other words, Campbell needs to play well.
Outlook: The season hinges in great part on Campbell's development. He's a hard worker who has improved his fundamentals and has looked pretty good in offseason workouts. That's not always a great indicator, but it sure beats the alternative. Campbell is dedicated and we love how calm he is. But we're not going to proclaim this some breakout season. Campbell will be helped by a healthy Clinton Portis, not to mention having a year with Saunders. But he'll need more help from wideouts not named Moss to really succeed.
Better than last year: Yes, because Cambpell should be better.
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