QB Campbell eager for fresh start with Browns
CLEVELAND (AP) — Jason Campbell is more interested in getting off to a fresh start with his new team rather than worry about where he might fit on the Cleveland Browns’ quarterback depth chart with Brandon Weeden.
“There’s nothing that’s been promised or has been said or written. But I’m going to come in and help the best way I possibly can,” Campbell said during a telephone conference call Thursday. “I’m not going to really get caught up in the speculation that might be going on.”
The speculation might be tough to avoid, given that the rebuilding Browns signed the eight-year veteran to a two-year contract this week to compete with Weeden, who is coming off an uneven rookie season.
And make no mistake, Campbell’s confident he still has what it takes to be an NFL starter.
“Yeah, I still believe I can still play that position,” he said.
The 32-year-old Campbell has 71 career starts split between Washington, Oakland and Chicago. And the Redskins’ 2005 first-round draft pick feels rejuvenated some 16 months since being sidelined by a broken collarbone.
“Last year, I spent most of my offseason rehabbing, getting my shoulder back right,” said Campbell, who spent last season with Chicago. “Having a full year and a full offseason to get back to feeling good and feeling normal, I definitely feel like I still can play at a high level.”
It wasn’t lost on Campbell that the injury occurred in a game against the Browns.
“I know, how ironic is that,” Campbell asked. “That’s something I thought about when I signed.”
The injury was the latest setback to what’s been an inconsistent career. It happened in his second season with Oakland, and after he helped the Raiders get off to a 5-2 start. With Campbell sidelined for the rest of the season, he eventually became expendable after Oakland acquired Carson Palmer.
“It was tough because you felt like something was kind of taken from you a little bit,” Campbell said. “The only thing you can do about it is keep moving forward. You can’t let it get you down.”
Campbell’s latest fresh start comes with a team that’s also in transition.
Rob Chudzinski takes over as coach after spending the past two seasons as the Carolina Panthers’ offensive coordinator. And former San Diego Chargers coach Norv Turner has been hired as the Browns offensive coordinator.
Campbell said he’s familiar with the type of offense the Browns plan to introduce, saying it’s similar to the one he worked with in Oakland and his final year with the Redskins.
Campbell is 30-41 as a starter. He has completed 1,328 of 2,182 career passes (61 percent) for 14,682 yards with 76 TDs, 52 interceptions and an 82.5 passer rating.
“I thought it was an exciting opportunity to be joining a team that’s a young football team,” Campbell said. “They’re trying to get things turned around, and that’s something I’d like to be a part of and help in any way possible.”
Cleveland went 5-11 last season.