Hot Brees vs. cold Campbell; Saints visit Redskins Print
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Thursday, 11 September 2008 11:22
NFL Headline News

 LANDOVER, Md. (AP) -Drew Brees looked at ease in the pocket during the NFL's opening weekend, completing passes long and short to seven receivers. He made the perfect decision to audible in the fourth quarter, reading the defense before opting for a swing pass to Reggie Bush that produced the winning touchdown.
Brees' final tally: 23-for-32 for 343 yards with three touchdowns, one interception and a 124.9 rating in the Saints' 24-20 win over Tampa Bay.
Jason Campbell appeared totally out of sorts in his 2008 debut, failing to complete even one pass until late in the second quarter. He had only two players catch more the one pass, and the hurry-up offense in the fourth quarter never hurried up.
Campbell's numbers: 15-for-27 for 133 yards with one touchdown, no interceptions and an 81.3 rating in the Redskins' 16-7 loss to the Giants.
n't be hard to spot when the Redskins and Saints meet Sunday.
``You can't compare Drew Brees to Jason Campbell,'' Redskins running back Rock Cartwright said. ``It's two totally different offenses. Jason is in a new offense, and Drew Brees has been in an offense for three years.''
The Redskins need to find a rhythm fast because the Saints and the rest of the NFL aren't going to wait. Even the loss of top receiver Marques Colston - out four to six weeks with a thumb injury - probably doesn't level the playing field, not with Bush and Jeremy Shockey among the options for Brees and coach Sean Payton.
``You can't take a play off,'' Washington cornerback Shawn Springs said. ``They are an explosive team.''
No one is saying that right now about the Redskins, at least not convincingly. The Saints are fully aware that an offense that features Clinton Portis, Chris Cooley and Santana Moss has the potential for a big game. But the entire unit's struggles against the Giants were glaring in the first game under new coach Jim Zorn.
``It's challenging always,'' Payton said. ``The term 'continuity' in our industry anymore is hard to guarantee. When there's changes, there's that learning curve. Just starting with spitting the play out in the huddle, that in itself can sometimes be difficult.''
ive years with the San Diego Chargers. He proved to be a quick study, completing more than 60 percent of his passes in five of his first six starts.
``I had started quite a few games going into my sixth season, so I think it was a little bit easier for me to adjust to it,'' Brees said. ``Sometimes it takes a few games, maybe half the season.''
Brees said the most difficult mind-set change in the West Coast is ``understanding that the pass game is kind of an extension of the run.''
``There's a premium on taking completions, getting guys on the move, getting guys the opportunity to catch and run and get extra yardage,'' Brees said.
It also helps to know how to use receivers. David Patten, a free agent bust in Washington when he caught only 23 passes with no touchdowns over two seasons, is thriving in New Orleans. He caught 54 passes after signing with the Saints last year and had a 39-yard touchdown reception last week.
``The key is finding these guys roles,'' Payton said. ``He's a guy who has found a niche here, and I know the quarterbacks have a ton of confidence in what he's doing. He's smart, and he understands what we're looking to do as an offense, and he brings a little juice.''
mas and Malcolm Kelly have been slow in developing.
Payton and Brees made a point of remembering December 2006, when a struggling Redskins team stunned the playoff-bound Saints 16-10 in Campbell's fifth NFL start. Washington doesn't enter this game in crisis mode, as it did that year, but they are the only team that isn't 1-0 in the tough NFC East.
``Any time that you're the only 0-1 team in your division, you definitely need to get rolling awfully quick,'' Washington center Casey Rabach said. ``Because it's hard to make the playoffs as a wild-card team. We're definitely sitting in a poor position, to say the least, and we've got some tough games ahead of us coming up.''
 

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