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Zorn: Campbell’s not yet a franchise QB

The main storylines of the Redskins’ season are reaching their conclusions. Much of today’s conversation centered around quarterback Jason Campbell’s development and future. After an uneven season, it would seem that his future is as much in doubt now (if not more) as it was back in July.

This afternoon, coach Jim Zorn offered what might be his most honest critique yet of his starting quarterback. It’s interesting, and it’s difficult to disagree with Z-Man on this:

Can you assess Jason Campbell’s growth since you started working with him?

"I think even in this 16th game he still continues to improve. I think what he did this year was better than what he did a year ago. He showed this year that he can turn a receiver down, really read a coverage, read a progression and get the ball to the right guy. I don’t think he has been as stuck on a single receiver like he was in the first year. Secondly, he has really improved his explosiveness away from the line of scrimmage. His getting rid of the ball, his release, has been much quicker than when I first got here. He’s a bit of a threat when it comes to scrambling. Not every play, but when he takes off he can actually motor down the field a little bit and pick up yards. He hasn’t improved his sliding ability. [Everyone laughs.] Those are some of the areas that I’ve been proud that he’s come the distance that he has."

Is Jason a starting quarterback in this league?

"Well he is. I think of him as a starting quarterback. A lot of people want to just label every quarterback, he’s got to be a franchise player. I don’t know if that is where he’s at. I don’t think it is. But I think he just continues to improve as a starting quarterback in this league."

Can he get to the level of a franchise quarterback?

"Uh [3-second pause], I think the way he works, I think his grit, his determination, he can. But in every instance, the quarterbacks all have help from other guys. That remains to be seen."