Ten Questions With Ex-Redskins QB Jason Campbell: ‘I Was the Scapegoat’

We don’t really interview athletes here, and I think the last athlete interview I conducted at all was for Sports Bloggers Live. That show ended four years ago, so pardon the rust.

Also pardon the fact that I botched this recording, so there’s no audio, and some of the answers aren’t relayed in full. I can only type so fast, even if I took typing class in high school. Please do trust, however, that I talked to Jason Campbell and haven’t misrepresented any of his answers here.

Looking at the archives, we’ve made 38 blog posts about Mr. Campbell, many of them contentious and therefore hotly debated. This is the 39th.

Mr. Irrelevant: First, as someone who has been called a Jason Campbell apologist, I’d just like to say, on behalf of the Redskins organization and many of its fans, I’m sorry.

Jason Campbell: Appreciate it. (laughter)

Mr. Irrelevant: Do you think you got a fair shake in Washington?

Jason Campell: No, I don’t. Just because the fact that last season I put up really good numbers, and my star running back was out. Clinton Portis was out for most of the season. Then Ladell Betts came in and got hurt. We lost Chris Samuels. We lost our right guard and our right tackle.

So you’re still out there fighting hard in every game … (something I didn’t pick up) … and there were a lot of close games we should’ve won.

The fact that I was the scapegoat for all of that, it really stung a little bit. It was tough.

Mr. Irrelevant: Does your relative success in Oakland (8-5 record in games played) heal those wounds?

Jason Campbell: I just looked at it as a new opportunity. I felt like going there and trying to turn it around. An 8-8 record, undefeated in the division, we did turn the organization in the right direction.

(He talks a little more about Oakland here, but I couldn’t type fast enough, and I don’t think it was all that interesting for Redskins fans.)

Mr. Irrelevant: Even though Donovan McNabb faced a lot of the same obstacles that you did, were you surprised that he struggled so much this season?

Jason Campbell: In the blink of an eye you’ve got to change everything. And it makes it tougher that he went to a team within the division. You’ve got to learn a whole new offense, new players, get used to everyone. It’s not an easy transition.

(Again, I couldn’t type fast enough, and it wasn’t all that interesting. I blame the interviewer.)

Mr. Irrelevant: Raiders head coach Tom Cable is out, but it looks like offensive coordinator Hue Jackson will be back. Considering that constant scheme changes have marred your pro and college careers, how important is that?

Jason Campbell: Very important. Moreso for our offense, which is probably the youngest offense in the NFL. We have a lot of young guys, and we made big strides this year.

(He talks a bit more about the Raiders here, but I just couldn’t keep up. Here’s where it got really interesting though.)

That’s the thing that stung me the most. I was always trying to put my heart into everything [the Redskins] did. The owner or whatever it was, the owner was always pointing the finger at me. It was always like people were out to get me.

(I really should’ve followed up on that. Damn it.)

Mr. Irrelevant: Now you’re free of Daniel Snyder, but you’ve still got Al Davis to deal with. What are the big differences between playing in Oakland vs. playing in Washington?

Jason Campbell: The biggest difference is the hunger the guys [in Oakland] had this year.

(I’ll be honest, this answer went on for awhile and was probably interesting, but I was too busy trying to type and think of the next question. Again, I blame the interviewer.)

Mr. Irrelevant: SI.com’s mock draft has Cam Newton going No. 10 to the Redskins. Should he live in fear of that actually happening?

Jason Campbell: I think it’s a great opportunity wherever you’re being drafted. No matter what team you go to there’s a chance to play a game you’ve always dreamed of playing. It may work out better for him than it did for me. He may find more stability there than I did.

I appreciated the Redskins drafting me. It’s a great city.

Mr. Irrelevant: Speaking of Newton and Auburn, how much do you despise the BCS? (Note: Campbell’s undefeated, SEC champ 2004 Auburn team was left out of the national championship.)

Jason Campbell: At least find a way to have a four- or eight-team playoff. We’re the only college sport that doesn’t have that.

And you never know how we would’ve matched up against SC that year. There will always be questions.

Mr. Irrelevant: So what are you doing with Taco Bell?

Jason Campbell: (Just read the press release. The wrapper and package folding into a paper football and paper football field sounds pretty cool.)

Mr. Irrelevant: Now that you’re out in the Bay Area, are you hooked on In-N-Out?

Jason Campbell: One thing I’d never heard of was In-N-Out, so I had to go taste it, and I see why people are all over In-N-Out.

Mr. Irrelevant: Have you had Five Guys though? Can In-N-Out stack up to Five Guys?

Jason Campbell: Oh, I’ve had Five Guys. It’s different. People say, “A burger is a burger,” but that’s just not true.

Mr. Irrelevant: Well, thanks for your time, Jason, and thank you for handling yourself so well in D.C. You were dealt a shitty hand, but you made the most of it. Best of luck, man.

Jason Campbell: Appreciate it. Thanks, man.

37 thoughts on “Ten Questions With Ex-Redskins QB Jason Campbell: ‘I Was the Scapegoat’”

  1. Great interview Jamie. As a former college and HS sports reporter I definitely can sympathize with not being able to type fast enough during an interview haha.

  2. I am one skins fan who wasnt happy to see Campbell go. And my wife and I always say that if we ever came across Jason Campbell(not like it would happen), we too would apologize for what he went through in DC.Glad someone got to tell him. Good job man, now get a damn recorder that works.

  3. Always a fan of Campbell-the man, just not Campbell the QB. Caught a couple Raider games where we was supposedly “on” and it was the same miserable stuff he was doing here. We’ll get a sense he’s “improved” only because we don’t have to watch every check-down or bad long ball every Sunday.

  4. Jason was an amazingly classy guy despite getting blamed for most of the Redskins failures. I’m sorry, but not even Brady or Manning could have done much with the line he’s had over the past few seasons.

    But he also seemed to struggle with some things and it was really the best for him to leave Washington and go to a place that played a scheme that fit his style (something that Gibbs wanted to run before Saunders came in).

    Wish Jason and Rock the best in Oakland unless they play the Skins.

  5. Just because Campbell’s team actually won some games this year, doesn’t mean that he was actually playing better. In fact it was much more of the same from him, descent stats that for the most part are compiled in the 4th qtr of a 2 score game with a few minutes left to play.

  6. Brendan, Oakland went 8-5 with JC, 0-3 without him. He also put up an 84.5 rating (18 points higher than Oakland’s other QB and eight points higher than McNabb).

    Again, not saying he’s an all-pro. Just saying he’s at least average.

    Also, Puttz, the Skins didn’t trade JC for a 4th in ’10; they traded him for a 4th in ’12, which is to say they traded him for practically nothing.

  7. Questions that were edited out:

    1) Can I touch your hair?
    2) Can I touch your face?
    3) Please let me touch you. You can call me a girl’s name if you like.

  8. To be fair, I was totally against dumping Campbell, I FIGURED WE WOULD NEED HIM AT SOME POINT THIS SEASON!

    Is this the last Mr. I Campbell post? Have we finally taken our last moustache ride?

  9. Good to see there is still a direct correlation between getting a post linked up on a WaPo site and the decline in general IQ of our commenters.

  10. Possibly one of the most inept interviews I’ve ever read. Seriously, 5th graders interviewing presidential candidates have done a better job.

  11. In JC we had a QB who got statistically better EVERY YEAR. I really wish we had made a commitment to see what JC could have done behind a real offensive line. At worst, he could have stayed one more year and we’d have had a second round pick we could have used on a 3-4 Nose Tackle and a 4th rounder this year.

  12. Good you interviewed JCamz, I enjoyed it! Agree with you; when he was here I told everyone until I was BLUE IN THE FACE that JCamz got a raw deal. I later bought his Skins jersey and wear it with pride now.

    As far as the interview and slow typing…dude, there are all kinds of portable digital recording devices available and there is still RADIO SHACK, then you hire a pretty girl to transcribe it for you. Get it together next time.

  13. The Redskins suck, always will until Daniel Snyder (Napoleon) is GONE. He is a dumbass and thinks the Redskins are a Fantasy team. Jason Campbell is not to blame for their lack of ability, Snyder is. The whole organization (or lack thereof) is a joke.

  14. Jason was treated beyond bad here in DC. He never became comfortable or had fun. He was always taking knives out of his back. The team dogged Doug Williams literary also. The reason l root against them all the time except against Dallas, there l want both teams to lose.

  15. You guys are on the money with JC. He’s never going to be Tom Brady, but I would have liked to have seen him with the talent that Joe Flacco has, or Mark Sanchez. Great offensive lines, strong running games and top flight WRs. Those teams are built the right way. We coulda’ been a contenda! JC performed pretty well for having nothing to work with.

  16. uhh JC..in 2008, Portis, FB, TE and LT all made probowls (S. Moss probowl 2007)….how did you do leading that team…that’s right you produced 16.7 ppg. So let’s throw your excuses out the window alright. Snyder surrounded you with a bunch of probowlers and you still sucked!

  17. As a Raider fan with Sunday Ticket and all games watched, I think I should clear up the JC record statement.

    It is stated that with JC Raiders are 8-5 and 0-3 without. This is partially true. The Raiders won the St. Louis game when JC started, but unless he was pulled and Grad thrown in that is a loss. He was a statue that day and the Rams D-line was all over him. Offense went nowhere.

    Another win you give him credit for was the San Diego in OAK that rallied late in 2nd half. He did not start this but they did win and he had some nice drives. I can give you this one, but not STL…or you can take STL and not the SD game.

    Either way, you can’t have it both ways….even if an apologist.

    FYI, I was on Grad bandwagon and not a fan of JC until his mobility came back and I saw in the Miami game just how bad Grad’s throws are. There are 2 sure TD’s that Jason would have hit on.

    If JC stays mobile then he is a quality QB, but if he is trying to be Marino he is tough to watch.

  18. Jamie those are team stats not QB stats, ever PR is a product of a QB’s system, receivers and etc.

    If I remember correctly you or Chris once cited footballoutsiders.com for QB statistics.

    Campbell this year
    DVOA rank: 32
    DYAR rank: 30

    Campbell ranked that poorly despite having the 2nd best rushing attack in the league to lean on.

  19. FO stats! Nice!

    Campbell’s DVOA was -3.7% this year, which puts him in the Cutler/Kolb neighborhood and is slightly below average, so point taken.

    Note: Last year he was at -1.8%, and in 2008 he was at 8.3%.

  20. Can’t blame you much for the interview as you said it was the first in 4 years, recording got botched and as I know you cant always keep up with typing as its being said (though I type about 50 wpm and peck w/o looking).
    At any rate interesting to know internally Campbell was made the scapegoat as well, when Snyder/Cerratto left us with one of the worst O lines in the game, last season Campbell had no RB and every year the guy had to learn a new scheme. Whether he’s significantly better or not this year, give him a couple to settle in Oakland’s Offense. I’ve seen those guys dropping balls left and right, they’re not really used to having a QB who can get the ball in their vicinity yet. Losing him at that age when he was still unproven but had potential left was probably a mistake. Wish him the best but hope the skins get it together in the off=season more.

  21. The innovative stats are football outsiders are pretty genius.

    Also wanted to apologize for my comment on ES, I talked to beef and it sounded like it might have been the last straw for you guys.

  22. AIG… Really that’s all you look at?? We went 6-2 the first 8 games, with 20+ point outings against the Saints, Cards, Cowboys, Eagles, and Lions. Campbell was also the only QB w/o an INT. Portis was also considered league MVP material at that point. Then he got knicked up, as well as Moss. Also I’m pretty sure by the Bengals game, we had 4 different o-lineman along with Rabach due to injury, and ended up going 2-6 the back 8.

    But, of course, that was all Campbell’s fault. We lost our o-line, and CPs effectiveness, but it was all Campbell. Uh huh. It was Seller’s (or in your case “the FB”) fumble at the goal line that lost us the Cincy game. And it was the defense that lost us the San Fran game, again another 20+ point outing. Those two games, if they are wins, put us in the playoffs at 10-6. If all you are looking at is the overall record, and PPG, then we have a problem. We were on our way to 12-4 if we were healthy the whole year, and probably, a PPG of around 23 or 24. That is if we were healthy, NOT because of ONE player.

  23. To all of those out there getting down on JC, I think he did pretty good considering the fact all he has done his entire career is run from the opp defense. You give him a good off line and he can do some damage to the other teams as Kevin pointed out earlier. this year he came to the Raiders and did ok considering it was his first year (again) with a new offense. To bad it looks like it going to happen to him again unless Al hires Hue as the new head coach for the Raiders. The whole bad interview thing, hey who hasn’t had something go wrong at work once or twice, sh!t happens people at least JM was honest and posted what he/she was able to get…

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