(Getty Images/Drew Hallowell)
This just in: Jason Campbell is hot. The Washington Redskins’ fourth-year quarterback enjoyed another sharp, productive appearance on Saturday night against the Buffalo Bills.
On his team’s second possession he led a 12-play, 53-yard touchdown drive. Actually, the drive covered 73 yards in 14 plays as the Skins had to overcome a pair of 10-yard penalties.
In any case, Campbell was on target and in rhythm. He hit Antwaan Randle El in stride, giving the receiver an opportunity to turn upfield for 19 yards on a third and five. On second and 18 he found Ladell Betts on a little outlet pass, hitting him in good position to get some yards after catch to pick up 12. A third and six at the 14 was no problem as Campbell fired a pass into James Thrash to set up first and goal at the four.
In rhythm. On target. In charge. In control.
Yes, it is just the preseason. August games are vaporball; recollections of them become vague 48 hours after they’re over.
The fact that the games are unimportant, however, does not mean that what happens in them is insignificant. And here is what is significant about Campbell playing well:
It’s easier to stay sharp than it is to get sharp.
If a quarterback is clicking and his confidence level is high, he can just keep on doing what he’s doing. He’s looking for ways to refine efficiency of the offense.
If the performance is uneven, you are struggling to try to fix things. Some of what you try might work, some of it might not.
Success breeds success; struggling leads to more struggles. In both cases, there are ripple effects emanating from the play of the quarterback.
Since the importance of everything a quarterback does is magnified, the significance of him performing well from the get-go increases exponentially. If he’s throwing to the wrong spots and misfiring even when he goes to the right place, nobody else can get in the flow of things. Everyone’s progress stalls until the quarterback gets it together.
Still, as good as things may look right now, there is a long way to go before the games that do count start. Things could come unglued in a hurry for a variety of reasons including injury.
But if you’re Jim Zorn you have to like what you’ve seen so far. Having to figure out how to keep a good thing going is a good problem to have.
Rich Tandler blogs about the Skins at RealRedskins.com. You can reach Rich by email at email@example.com