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Finally, Home Cooking For Campbell

During the Redskins' last game at FedExField, a 22-19 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Nov. 5, restless Redskins fans called for Jason Campbell to get his first NFL action.

Since then, Campbell has been named the Redskins' starting quarterback and fans will get their first regular-season look at the second-year quarterback this Sunday against the Carolina Panthers at FedExField.

Does Campbell feel pressure before his first real game at FedExField?

No, he says simply.

Added running back Ladell Betts: "He should be more comfortable. It's usually easier for a guy to play at home than on the road. We'll play with the same type of intensity and he'll be all right."

It's the first of three consecutive Redskins home games, so Campbell will have plenty of time to get comfortable playing at FedExField.

On Sunday, Campbell is likely to feel more pressure going up against a Carolina Panthers defense that just pitched a shutout last Sunday against the St. Louis Rams and is ranked ninth overall in the NFL.

"I have to go out there and take it one play at a time and one snap at a time," Campbell said. "We are going against a tremendous defense--they have a lot of players who can go out there and get after you. Their front seven is incredible. If you look at their secondary, they've got some big players, so it's going to be a big task for us."

The defensive line is led by defensive end Julius Peppers, who has 11 sacks this season and will match up against right tackle Jon Jansen. Mike Rucker, Kris Jenkins and Maake Kemoeatu make up the rest of a stout front four.

The linebacker corps is without Dan Morgan, who is on injured reserve, but converted safety Thomas Davis, second-year player Chris Draft and veteran Na'il Diggs make up a solid trio.

The secondary is fast and aggressive, with cornerbacks Chris Gamble and Ken Lucas and safeties Shaun Williams and Mike Minter. Gamble, Lucas and nickel cornerback Richard Marshall have two interceptions each to lead the Panthers' defense.

Regarding Peppers, head coach Joe Gibbs said: "If you rated him, I would say everyone in the league would have him number one. He is someone who gives you a lot of problems. It will certainly be tough to contain him. Not only him, but the whole front group there. They have a good scheme."

The Redskins' pass protection units will have their hands full.

"I trust the guys around me," Campbell said. "I can't drop back and worry about what's around me. I need to worry about the things I need to do to get the ball down the field or just move the ball around. I feel very comfortable in my offensive line and my running backs."

Last week, in Campbell's NFL debut against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he completed 19-of-34 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns. He was sacked twice.

Given Campbell's inexperience, the Panthers are likely to stack the line of scrimmage with defenders aiming to stop the run.

So there'll be pressure on Ladell Betts and T.J. Duckett to shoulder the workload. In last Sunday's Tampa Bay game, Betts rushed for 17 yards on nine carries and Duckett had 26 yards on five carries.

"Teams are going to try to stack the box against us and make us pass," Betts said. "So we have to go out there and establish the run--and that means not only number of runs, but also yards per carry. We have to maximize our opportunities."

Associate head coach-offense Al Saunders said this week that coaches will gradually open up the playbook for the young Campbell.

For now, Campbell is being asked to manage games--as in, don't make high-risk, costly throws and don't turn the ball over.

"We are still doing some of the same things we were doing with Mark [Brunell]," Campbell said. "Some things, we do just a little differently. As far as the game plan, we have enough plays that we try to go into the game with. More will come with game experience."

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