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Campbell digs in

Quarterback Jason Campbell this afternoon defended himself amid questions about his preseason performance and whether he feels any pressure to get the first-string offense rolling Friday against the New England Patriots.

"It’s everyone else trying to put pressure on me," Campbell said. "Right now it’s more negative than it is positive. Everyone wants to talk about 1 for 7. Come on. I’ve been 20 for 23, almost, in games before. One for 7 is something I’m definitely not concerned about. We were trying out some new things."

Campbell was in good spirits during a large media session after practice. He joked about facing former teammate Shawn Springs, cornerback Carlos Rogers’ calf injury and offered a guarded perspective on the offense’s slow start.

"We want to score points, of course," Campbell said. "That’s one of our goals. One thing for us is to get out there and get into a rhythm. We really haven’t played a whole lot."

That’s true. Campbell has been on the field for only 27 snaps through the first two preseason games.

Campbell also pointed out that he finished 1-for-7 passing against Pittsburgh last Saturday while the Redskins experimented with some low-percentage deep throws.

"Everyone says, ‘You never go down field.’ Well, we tried to go down the field twice," Campbell said. "We didn’t connect on them, but at least you put the fear in the other defense that you will go down field. And you have to continue to do it."

Campbell and the first-string offense will probably play the entire first half tomorrow and could play into the third quarter.

It’s the last extensive action they’ll get before the start of the regular season, so coach Jim Zorn is looking for encouraging signs from a group that has yet to score a touchdown.

"I want to see a sustained drive," Zorn said. "I want to see us push it in [the end zone] when we get down to the 3-yard line. Not getting down when something happens bad. Being able to come back out, concentrate, make the adjustments, stay together, work hard, fight and scrap for everything we can."

As for possibly facing Springs, Campbell said he has recently been trash talking with his friend. Springs, though, has missed Patriots practice lately with an undisclosed injury, so it’s uncertain whether he’ll play.

"Let me see if he’s going to play first," Campbell said with a smile.

Campbell then moved on to Rogers, whose ailing left calf is reminiscent of the injury that kept Springs out for part of last season.

"It’s Springs rubbing off on him," he joked.

…My question to you: what do you need to see out of the offense Friday to feel opitimistic going into the regular season?