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Campbell Enters Offseason In State of Flux


Jason Campbell could only laugh.

Whether he returns to the Redskins or not in 2010, it seems likely that he will have to learn another offense.

He has already played in three different offenses in five NFL seasons. It's something that has often been brought up in terms of discussing his development as an NFL quarterback.

Time to start over again?

"I'm used to it," Campbell said. "But at the same time, how many offenses are really out there?"

It has been a trying season for Campbell, who finishes his third season as the Redskins' starting quarterback on Sunday in San Diego.

In some respects, it was Campbell's best season. He completed 327-of-507 passes for a career-high 3,618 yards, 20 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He gradually developed a rapport with young receivers Devin Thomas , Malcolm Kelly and Fred Davis.

Then again, it may have been his worst season. The team struggled to a 4-12 record, he played in front of a makeshift offensive line most of the year, he was briefly benched during a Week 6 game vs. Kansas City, and absorbed 41 sacks.

The hits took a toll.

"I'm pretty much sore all over," he admitted. "Physically, it's the most I've been hit in a year. At the same time, it's not about me. A lot of guys are going through a tough year this year. We fought the injury bug as hard as we could for a five and a half week period, but things catch up with you in the end."

How did he stay upright and manage to start every game?

"He took the time to treat his body right in the offseason so he could stand up under the hits during the season," said Jim Zorn, whose own future with the club seems tenuous at best. "Is he getting hit more than other quarterbacks? A lot of them. He is getting hit. He's a tough human being. I think he concentrates through things. It is part of the nature of the game.

"He's got to move in the pocket and throw the ball. He's got a tough job, he really does. And he would not want it any other way. He would want to be the starting quarterback here regardless of it being fair or not fair. I think it's a real privilege and it's a treat to be the quarterback of the Washington Redskins."

Now Campbell begins an offseason of uncertainty.

Feels like merely a carryover from the season, though.


Campbell could be either an unrestricted free agent or a restricted free agent this winter, depending on the league's negotiations with the player's union on the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

It's a situation that Campbell knows he cannot control.

Nevertheless, he seems prepared.

"You never know what's going to unfold and you have to be open to both situations," he said.

Last offseason, the Redskins considered trading for quarterback Jay Cutler and then select rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez in the NFL Draft.

Even as Campbell was named one of the team captains, he dealt with questions all year about his standing with club officials and his future with the organization.

Did he feel underappreciated?

Did he feel he has something to prove?

And does he even want to return to the Redskins in 2010?

"I just pray about the situation and whatever happens is going to happen," Campbell said. "I'll be ready for any situation, whether it's here or somewhere else. I'm going to prepare myself this offseason to get back healthy--that's my first and foremost thing. I'm pretty sure everything else will take care of itself."

New general manager Bruce Allen is already in the fold and a new head coach could be on the way as soon as this week.

Campbell is among a large group of Redskins whose status is uncertain.

"A lot of guys probably understand the situation," he said. "There are going to be some new faces, and there are going to be some old faces probably gone--we all know that. That's part of the program and part of what's going to have to take place.

"The one thing that you want on your team is just a bunch of true character guys, a bunch of team players, and guys who are willing to lay it on the line week in and week out.

"You want to make sure everyone is on the same page and you want to make sure everyone is trying to obtain the ultimate goal of winning a Super Bowl."

Whether he is back with the Redskins or playing elsewhere next season, Campbell said he did not want to experience a season like this one again.

If that's motivation, he'll take it.

"This has been a long year for all of us," Campbell said. "Everyone is looking for a fresh start, to start over. This is definitely a year that is going to stick with all of us for as long as we play because going through everything we went through this year, it can help you in a way by knowing you don't want to go through this experience again."

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