Browns pick up Campbell to compete with Weeden
2012 first-round pick Brandon Weeden is still expected to open the season as the starter, but both the Cleveland Plain Dealer and ESPN Cleveland believe Campbell will be given a fair shot to win the starting job. General manager Mike Lombardi has been very critical of last year's starter Brandon Weeden in the past, and the second-year quarterback will likely be on a short leash.
I'm not quite ready to abandon hope on Weeden, as I thought he showed flashes of solid quarterback play as a rookie, but I still love the addition of Campbell.
As a Raider fan, I watched Campbell play during my team's only two decent seasons since 2002. I understand that Campbell won't lead a high powered aerial attack to the playoffs with the team on his back, but I'm a big fan of him as a game manager who is asked to hand the ball off and make quick, smart decisions in the passing game. Keep in mind, Campbell led the Raiders to an 11-7 record during his two years in Oakland. When was the last time a quarterback did anything remotely close to that? Probably Rich Gannon in 2002.
Campbell found success in Oakland due to a strong offensive line that both protected him and paved the way for the electrifying Darren McFadden. They didn't have the best receivers, but with the defense focused mostly on the rushing attack, Campbell and his weapons were able to be efficient enough to win games.
What do the Browns have in Cleveland? A very strong offensive line with a beastly running back in Trent Richardson. They certainly don't have great receivers, but they have some guys that are good enough to make occasional plays when you need them to. This is the type of offense that Campbell could fit well into, and if he jumps Weeden for the starting job, I think he could have some success with the Browns.
In addition, Campbell's strong arm fits well with Rob Chudzkinski and Norv Turner's vertical style of offense. Weeden has a cannon as well, so this doesn't give Campbell an advantage, but it is worth noting.
With a solid defense that should be stronger in 2013 due to the additions of OLB Paul Kruger and DC Ray Horton, the offense may not be asked to do all that much. Campbell is the type of quarterback that can help sustain a drive, not give the ball away, and fire the ball downfield in certain situations. He could end up being a low-profile quarterback for the Browns who is just good enough to pull out victories.