The Redskins' backup quarterback competition is...a tie? Sounds about right.
On Monday, head coach Joe Gibbs said Todd Collins will back up starter Mark Brunell on game days. If Brunell is expected to miss a game, then Jason Campbell will start, with Collins backing him up.
Gibbs was careful in his wording when describing the decision.
"If something should happen to Mark and we have to finish the game, then Todd will be the guy who finishes the game," he said. "For the simple reason that he is a veteran guy, he's real sharp. That's the best way for us to go should anything happen to Mark.
"If we have a whole week to go and Mark couldn't start the next week, then Jason would start. So Todd would go to backing up Jason in that game. I think it's the best way for us to go with our quarterbacks, mainly because I think we have two real talented guys."
It's a unique situation, one that Gibbs has never employed before.
"This fits us real well with the talent we have at the quarterback position," Gibbs said. "They are obviously very different because one guy has the experience, and the other is a real talented guy who we feel will be the future of the Redskins.
"[The decision] is subject to week-by-week, but this the way we're going to start the year. This is the best way for us to line it up
Gibbs said the decision to split the backup quarterback role is one that developed over the course of training camp.
Both Collins and Campbell displayed positives during preseason games.
Collins was 32-of-54 for 394 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in four preseason games. He was sacked four times and his QB rating was 78.8.
Campbell completed 26-of-51 passes for 270 yards, with two interceptions. He was sacked eight times and his QB rating was 50.3.
Collins is a 12-year veteran who arrived in Washington last offseason from Kansas City. He joined associated head coach-offense Al Saunders, who coached Collins and the Chiefs' offense the last five seasons. Collins saw little playing time in Kansas City, though, because starter Trent Green stayed healthy and productive.
Campbell is a former first-round draft pick, selected by the Redskins with the 25th overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. He was listed as the third quarterback for every game last season and has played only in preseason games.
As the starter, Brunell will continue to get the bulk of reps in practices, Gibbs said.
"You want to give most of the work to the starter mainly for the simple reason because you only have a limited number of plays in practice," Gibbs explained. "The starter needs to get all of the looks."