Skip to main content

News | Washington Commanders -

For Campbell, Pressure Is On ... Literally


Jason Campbell knows the blitz is coming this Sunday. He's not about to back off, though.

With the Redskins reshuffling their offensive line this week due to Chris Samuels' injury, pass protection is sure to be a focus in practice, in game planning and in the huddle.

Samuels, a six-time Pro Bowl left tackle, is not going to play Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs after he suffered a stinger to his neck in the Carolina Panthers game.

That pushes Stephon Heyer, starter at right tackle, to the left side. Mike Williams, who started at right guard vs. Carolina, shifts to right tackle. And Will Montgomery makes his first NFL start at right guard ahead of Chad Rinehart, who is nursing a shoulder injury.

Got all that?

Campbell does.

With so many new faces at different spots on the offensive line, he stresses that "communication is going to be a key."

"Definitely myself, calling out plays, and with Casey [Rabach] calling out protections," Campbell said. "We all have to make sure we're all on the same page. We have to make sure we're all speaking out and I have to make sure I'm barking calls out really loud so everyone understands what we're doing."

Campbell has been sacked 13 times this season, including five times after Samuels suffered his injury in the Panthers game.

Perhaps a respite against the Chiefs, who have posted just six sacks so far this season?

Don't count on it, Campbell said.

Campbell certainly remembers Chiefs outside linebacker and pass rusher Mike Vrabel. The last time Vrabel played against the Redskins, on Oct. 28, 2007 as a member of the New England Patriots, he logged 13 tackles, three sacks and three forced fumbles.

Campbell has studied film of the Chiefs this week and came away impressed with how they pressured quarterbacks, even though the end result--a sack--was lacking.

"They're doing a lot of different blitzes to a lot of teams they're playing," he said. "It won't be anything different than what they're doing already. We expect them to come in, bring a lot of pressure and play good football."

Campbell, who was sacked 38 times in 16 games last year, has had to scramble to avoid pass rushers in recent weeks.

It has been effective for him--he has 89 yards on 18 rushes this season and has picked up several clutch first downs--but it's not ideal.

Campbell says he has to stay confident in his protection and focus on receivers running their routes.

"It can be tough, but you have to stand in there, see [receivers] running downfield and just kind of feel the rush, not actually look at it," he said. "That's the main part of playing this position. You have to stand in there, continue to stand tall and not worry about the rush."

He admits to sneaking a peek, sometimes.

But, Campbell adds, "If you start to focus on the rush, then you're not focusing on playing the position the right way."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.