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PFW: Skins Passing Game Getting Closer

From: Pro Football Weekly

The Redskins were encouraged by the improvement of QB Jason Campbell from the opening-week Giants loss to Week Two’s comeback win over the Saints. There are still plenty of adjustments and improvements that need to be made, but the Redskins got at least one thing they wanted from Campbell.

One of the things that showed up on tape from the Giants loss was that Campbell was letting the pass rush affect his timing and delivery. The coaches wanted him to be able to duck away from or sidestep pressure and still get off his throws — especially downfield — without it affecting the placement of his passes.

The best example of this improvement came on the 67-yard touchdown pass to WR Santana Moss where Campbell took a short step up in the face of pressure and still managed to make a gorgeous throw to Moss downfield.

Campbell also showed more poise in stressful situations. The Redskins trailed 24-15 and were faced with a 2nd-and-22 at their own six-yard line with less than 10 minutes left against the Saints, and on the play the Redskins had the wrong personnel and formation at the line. Instead of panicking or burning a timeout, Campbell calmly hit TE Chris Cooley for a 23-yard play that moved the chains, starting what would be a touchdown drive and leading to a victory.

Still, there are things that Campbell needs to improve on. He missed a few open receivers in the game and didn’t go to Cooley enough until late in the contest. Had Campbell hit WR Anwtaan Randle El in stride on one pass, Randle El likely would have had a touchdown. And there’s the matter of starting slowly and getting in rhythm that has been a struggle for Campbell in both games.

All told, though, the Redskins feel better about their passing prospects for the season than they did after the season-opening loss, and the slow integration of rookie WRs Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly should help.

For now, the offensive line appears to be better at pass blocking than with run blocking. The holes just aren’t there for RB Clinton Portis, at least not the ones he and the coaches expected. He’s still running hard and through would-be tacklers, but the big-play element isn’t there.

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