Jason Campbell, the Redskins' selection at No. 25 on the first round of the NFL draft, is coming off a season in which he lead the Auburn Tigers to a 13-0 mark. He's up for the challenge of learning the Redskins' offense and adjusting to the speed of the NFL game. In an exclusive interview with Redskins.com from Auburn, Alabama, Campbell said he understands that Patrick Ramsey has the starter's job. He plans to learn from Ramsey and all of the more experienced quarterbacks on the Redskins' roster.
Q: With four Auburn players selected in Round One, what was your day like?
A: "Well, it was fun. A lot of waiting, basically. You sit there, nervous. But at the end of the day, it's well worth it. My family's excited about me getting a chance with the Redskins. Naturally, so am I."
Q: Have you spoken to Carlos Rogers, the Redskins other first-round selection from Auburn?
A: "I didn't get a chance to get in touch with him yet. That's really something, you know, two guys from the same program getting a chance to participate with the Redskins. And four Auburn first-rounders at the next level. It's a blessing."
Q: The Redskins have gone from having an emphasis on Miami players to having a focus on Auburn talent. What is the program like?
A: "A competitive pace. Like Washington, a lot revolves around football. Everyone enjoys the game. If you come to Auburn University to play football, you're going to work hard. Our coaches do a great job of getting us prepared. You're always competing. Jason, in practice, he's always saying, 'Jason, don't throw to my side. Don't throw to my side.' That type of competition bring out the best in all of us. Ronnie [Brown] and Carnell [Williams], too."
Q: What do you consider to be your best skills and what do you need to work on the most?
A: "My best skill? When the pocket shuts down, to get outside and still make throws downfield. To get those positive yards with your legs. As far as things to work on, speed, learning the speed of the NFL. Plus, you need to build working relationships with new teammates and with a new way of doing things."
Q: What expectations do you have for your rookie year?
A: "To come in and work hard, learning as much as possible. To try to learn from Patrick [Ramsey], Mark Brunell and those guys. I plan to just take it one step at a time, wherever it leads me."
Q: What were your impressions the first time you met Coach Gibbs?
A: "That he had a very respectful way of speaking. As a little kid, I saw him on TV, leading teams to Super Bowls. And now here he is, talking to me. You get an opportunity to play for a coach like him, it's a blessing."
Is there an NFL quarterback after whom you try to pattern your game?
A: "Well, maybe Randall Cunningham--he's tall, lanky, like me. Randall liked to get outside the pocket and make throws down the field. I can see myself trying to pattern my game after a player like Randall. I like running a lot of bootlegs, trying to put pressure on the defense. Actually, I think there are similarities between the offense Coach Gibbs showed me and what we ran at Auburn. I respect Patrick Ramsey a lot, and I think he's a tremendous player. My frame of mind is to try to learn from the Redskins' quarterbacks as much as possible, so that when my turn comes, I'll be ready. I'm looking forward to learning more about the city, too. It's a great city."
Q: What will be the key for you in trying to pick up a new offense?
A: "At Auburn, I worked with four different offensive coordinators, so that should help me a lot when I try to pick up the Redskins' schemes. That I went through four offensive coordinators in four years forces you to learn new ways of doing things. Having done that should be my advantage."
What do you think of the Redskins' chances in 2005?
A: "The Redskins have an opportunity to be a solid team. You look at that offensive line, with Clinton Portis running the ball. He's explosive, one of the best in the game. And then that defense, it's special. So I'll look forward to great things happening with the Redskins."