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Campbell Continues to Show Progress


Jason Campbell played one of the best games of his young career in Sunday's 34-3 win over the Detroit Lions.

Campbell was sharp and in a rhythm from the start of the game and he outperformed the Lions' Jon Kitna who entered Sunday as the league's top passer.

Campbell completed 23-of-29 passes for 248 yards and two touchdowns. His QB rating: 125.3.

"I told Jason on the sidelines that I thought it was one of the best games that he has had for us," head coach Joe Gibbs said. "I thought he stepped up and made plays. He made smart decisions all day long. He took what was there and didn't try to force things."

It was another step up the NFL ladder for Campbell, who made just his 11th pro start.

"Every time he takes a step up, I think it's huge for the Redskins," Gibbs said. "You have a young guy there that is starting to work his way up. We are just going to keep doing that. I felt like it was probably his best effort since he has been starting with us."

Campbell got in a passing rhythm early, but it wasn't until midway through the second quarter that he got the Redskins on the scoreboard.

Campbell completed passes to Mike Sellers, Antwaan Randle El and Chris Cooley to lead the Redskins into the red zone. Campbell then tossed a 7-yard touchdown pass to Cooley for the score.

"[Getting into a rhythm] makes a big difference because you feel like you're getting into a fluid offense," Campbell said. "No matter what coaches call, you can get in there and make something happen. That's what we did today as an offense.

"We still left some things on the field, but at the same time we did what we needed to do to win."

On Campbell's second touchdown pass, an 8-yard toss to Sellers, he rolled left and waited until the last moment until Sellers was open one yard in the end zone.

"It was improvised," Campbell said. "The play was going to try to get to Cooley, but the [defender] kind of grabbed on Cooley a little bit. As a quarterback Coach [Al] Saunders (always teaches us to try to stay alive as long as possible.

"If you can, run and get the first down but if you can buy time then if the guys uncover themselves, do that. I took care of moving towards the sideline and Mike did a great job of sliding over to the open spot."

Asked if he felt Sunday's game was his best performance as a pro, Campbell replied: "Just being in a rhythm as a quarterback, that's probably the best that I've felt, but also the Philly game on Monday night I felt like I got into a rhythm early on in that game.

"Overall, anytime you can go out there and move the ball the way we did, it's positive. It's still a growing process, but at the same time I felt like I grew a lot [Sunday]."

Campbell also spread the ball around to eight different receivers in the game.

During the bye week, the offense had come under some criticism because Santana Moss and Randle El were the only two wide receivers with receptions in the first three games.

With Moss sidelined due to a groin injury, Randle El was the top beneficiary of the passing game with seven catches for 100 yards. Randle El left the game late in the first half with a hamstring injury.

James Thrash stepped up in place of Moss and had two catches for 11 yards. Keenan McCardell, who signed with the Redskins on Oct. 1, had two catches for 39 yards. Brandon Lloyd had one reception for nine yards.

"The receivers that we have are fast getting to open spots," Campbell said. "Coach [Al Saunders] tried to take advantage of that today. We knew we would be missing Santana, but the other guys did an outstanding job stepping up and making plays.

"Keenan came in and did an outstanding job. Brandon came in and caught a pass. Reche Caldwell lined up in the right position. In a short amount of time they did an outstanding job of preparing themselves.

"I told Randle El he could have had another career day, but I guess he wanted got hurt in the first half and he couldn't show up to the second half."

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