Monday, November 12, 2012
Campbell ready to start vs. 49ers if needed
By Jeff Dickerson
CHICAGO -- Chicago Bears quarterback Jason Campbell believes his teammates have confidence in him if he has to start next Monday night at San Francisco in place of an injured Jay Cutler.
If Jay Cutler can't play against the 49ers, the Bears have to hope a full week of practice as the starter will make a big difference for Jason Campbell.
"Yeah, definitely (they are confident)," Campbell said. "It was just tough that tonight was my first reps since the season started. If I have to play, of course, during the week I will get those practice reps and get the guys used to you. And they will get used to me as a quarterback, until Jay is ready. That's something that we have all week to get ready for. We don't have to work that out during the middle of the game."
Anytime a second-string quarterback is forced into a NFL game there is going to be an understandable period of adjustment. That was the case with No. 2 quarterback Campbell, who replaced starter Cutler in the second half of a 13-7 loss to the Texans after Cutler suffered a concussion late in the second quarter.
Campbell completed 11 of 19 passes, but the offense struggled to move the ball for much of the half against the talented Houston defense that ranked No. 3 overall heading into Sunday night.
Campbell finished with a quarterback rating of 70.9.
"You know, it's tough when you are sitting on the sidelines," Campbell said. "It's not like we were playing against the 31st-ranked defense or anything. The Texans were a tremendous football team. They were doing some good things and taking away the deep balls. We tried to dump some off to keep us on schedule.
"Coming in off the bench, the one thing I wanted to do was try to get into a rhythm. At the same time, I wanted to keep our team in a good position to score, but not give their defense anything. I was trying to read my keys and do what I do best as far as what I do during the week. I'm standing back and watching. You don't get any reps during the week, so you have to get a lot of mental reps. I was trying to do some of the things I learned during the week and apply them."
Campbell's best play came in the third quarter when he connected with Brandon Marshall on a 45-yard completion that eventually led a Robbie Gould 24-yard field goal.
"Everyone knows that Brandon can get up and get the ball," Campbell said. "I just want to give him a chance on that. I tried to hold the safety with my eyes as long as I could, and let him beat the corner. I wanted to give him a ball that he could go up and get."
However, Campbell's long pass to Marshall appeared to be one of the few times the Bears looked to advance the ball further down the field after Cutler went out at halftime.
"I was trying to get the ball down the field," Campbell said. "They were taking that way. One time I wanted to go to Brandon, and there was a collision. So I had tried to dump the ball off right there. At the same, we tried to stretch the field as much as possible. You can't just force anything. From that standpoint, we're still in the game."