With a bye week, Mondays can be a little tough. I forgot, but it has been a year (or more) since our last bye week. Anyway, we have plenty to talk about, and one of the most engaging conversations in the midst of a 1-7 season (we are on a winning streak) is the future of the St. Louis Rams.
The draft and quarterbacks have been on our minds lately, after watching Marc Bulger fail to live up to even the most modest expectations against the Lions last week (How bad did Hasselbeck look this week against those same Lions too? Not good for Seattle.) The first round of the draft is the most obvious source for a new franchise QB, but what about a young guy with some NFL experience...a guy who needs a change of scenery in a bad way? I present for your consideration - this is not an endorsement, just consideration - the now out of favor Jason Campbell.
Campbell's getting scapegoated in Washington, the lightening rod for a long-mismanaged team. Fair or not, that's made him a lame duck, and a sure-fire entrant into the Spring's free agent derby. Is he worth a shot for the Rams? Let's look a little deeper.
The former Auburn QB was drafted by the Redskins in 2005, a move the team didn't get much praise for after trading up to get him in the first round. He didn't play in '05, but he got into 7 games in '06 and started from there on out for Washington. Take a look at his top line stats from this year.
And here are Campbell's stats from '07 and '08:
Improved completion percentages, improved QB ratings...those aren't too be overlooked for a guy who's getting sacked at a rate that only Marc Bulger could appreciate. He also can run a little bit, saving fans from having to see another half-assed slide just short of a first down.
The Washington playcalling has been even more mysterious than our own; talk about a coaching staff hesitant to use the downfield pass. But, in theory, the Redskins and Jim Zorn run a very similar offense to the Rams. Need we bring up that whole coaching tree thing again? Spagnuolo and Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur are also highly familiar with Campbell, having seen every season from the QB during their days coaching in the NFC East.
The INT he threw that Tye Hill (d'oh!) returned for a TD went right to the hands of the impressive Fred Davis, who dropped it and gave Hill his ready-made INT.
Concerns I have about Campbell: 1) How does the high sack rate impact his future, 2) He'll turns 29 next season, a year younger than Kyle Boller, is that too old for a rebuilding team, and 3) Is he enough?
To be sure, Campbell's not going to be a sexy acquistion for whoever signs him. Expect grumbling. You have to wonder though if he couldn't step in behind a much improved Rams offensive line and run a somewhat familiar offense. This route frees up the Rams to take a WR or DL with their top pick in the draft. Campbell and Kyle Orton are the biggest, more proven names under-30 on the free agent list of QBs for 2010, so barring a trade, finding a QB via this route only gives the Rams a few options, since they don't need to be concerned with the older names on the list.