QB Watch: Browns' Jason Campbell

October, 30, 2013
10/30/13
9:00
AM ET
A weekly examination of the Browns' quarterback play:

Campbell
Rewind: Jason Campbell did a lot to soothe nerves -- in the front office, with the coaching staff and in the stands. His 293-yard, two-touchdown day in a 23-17 loss to Kansas City exceeded most expectations and showed the team may be able to count on decent-to-good quarterback play as the season continues. For the Browns, that level of play represents a step up. Campbell showed in the first quarter he hadn’t played much in nearly two years, but after shaking off that rust, he played extremely well. Now he has to keep up the pace.

Fast-forward: The Browns passed on Campbell three times this season as they looked for a quarterback. They started the season with Brandon Weeden, went to Brian Hoyer when Weeden was hurt, then went back to Weeden when Hoyer hurt his knee. Campbell never complained, but it was odd that a guy brought in to be the backup on a $4 million contract was so easily passed over. Campbell now has the chance the Browns took from him two years ago when they broke his collarbone in Oakland: the chance to hold on to the job and perhaps re-establish himself as a viable player in the league.

The calmest demeanor: Campbell must undergo a transformation on the field. Off, he is calm to the point of being placid. He can say the angriest words in the calmest voice. This may be why he is not perceived as fiery; it’s simply not his personality. That doesn’t mean he can’t succeed; it’s just interesting to see a guy act this way in a game that many play with so much emotion.

Prediction: Baltimore is a tough draw for Campbell in his second start, but the Ravens are not your uncle’s team that won the Super Bowl a year ago. Some defensive leaders are gone, and Baltimore, like the Browns, is under .500. But the one thing the Ravens can do is get after the quarterback. Campbell will need to maintain his poise and avoid interceptions if the Browns are to win what could be a winnable game -- provided Campbell is what he showed in Kansas City.

Pat McManamon

ESPN Cleveland Browns reporter

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