“It’s going to make me a stronger person. I’ve got to stay positive. I’m not going to let this break me, or even define me.” – Jason Campbell on his team’s inability to trade him away for Jay Cutler.
The fact that Dan Snyder and company made a move for Fantasy Football stud Jay Cutler last week shouldn’t be surprising to anyone with even a passing grasp of the Redskins’ front office M.O. Snyder and GM Vinny Cerrato seem to take a look at any name player with a pulse – although their apparent lack of interest in TO was a bit of a shocker – and the Redskins haven’t had a franchise signal caller on the roster since Joe Theismann. It’s not a state secret that Jason Campbell, while certainly having his development hampered by constantly having to adjust to new offensive systems and take snaps behind an aging, spotty offensive line, hasn’t exactly been lighting up the charts from a statistical or even winning-percentage standpoint, making their interest in Cutler understandable.
But for any Redskins fan who was disappointed by the team’s inability to get the trade done, rest assured that in the end, the Redskins arguably have an equally as good, if not better, field general on their roster than the Chicago Bears do now, and that’s because Jason Campbell, especially throughout this latest ordeal, personifies some of the intangible qualities of quarterbacking that have nothing to do with gaudy statistics or whether or not he’ll help some schlub’s fantasy football squad.
As of right now, JC in DC and JC in Chi-town have similar NFL legacies: no playoff appearances and virtually identical win-loss records: 15-20 for Campbell vs. 17-20 for Cutler. But what separates Campbell from Cutler is the fact Campbell is a professional, knows he is growing and learning, and understands the gravity of making huge improvements in 2009. Cutler, on the other hand, is a whiner, knows (in his own mind) that he is a future Hall of Famer, and understands that if he continues his sub-.500 ways in Chicago, it will be Lovie Smith on the chopping block for failing to properly utilize his talents. And don’t forget, Campbell is playing for a contract this year, so he has all the incentive in the world to make 2009 his best season as a professional.
It is, simply put, a matter of leadership. Jason has it; Jay does not. Same reason why Tony Romo has failed to deliver a playoff victory in Dallas, despite having arguably more raw talent and better weapons at his disposal than Campbell. Romo’s not a leader. No one on that team is.
The quarterback question in Washington may in fact still be unanswered, but until then, I’ll take Campbell over Cutler any day.