Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Jason Campbell as a backup? Home run
By Kevin Seifert
Make that two substantially upgraded roster spots for the Chicago Bears. A few hours after acquiring Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall via trade, the Bears convinced a starting-caliber quarterback to take their No. 2 job, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Jason Campbell is 30 years old and has started 70 NFL games. He has thrown 74 touchdowns against 50 interceptions and has a career passer rating of 82.4. That means he's experienced and has been effective, despite a career of constantly-changing offensive schemes. That's a combination many backup quarterbacks don't have.
You probably wouldn't be enthused if your team signed Campbell to be its unquestioned starter in 2012, not after two quarterback-needy teams -- the Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders -- sought upgrades. But as a backup? He's a home run.
The Bears' collapse in 2011 was a prime illustration of how valuable a backup quarterback can be. They found out too late that Caleb Hanie wasn't up to the job of replacing starter Jay Cutler when necessary. I think it's fair to say they would have had a better chance with Campbell.
Offseason victories don't count in the NFL standings, but they can lead to progress. The Bears are without question a better team than they were 24 hours ago. Phil Emery for president!