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As quarterback Jason Campbell's season went south, so did the Redskins' playoff chances last year.
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BY RICH CAMPBELL
ASHBURN--For the past seven days, Jason Campbell got to play football again.
No more Jay Cutler questions, Mark Sanchez speculation or inquiries about his relationship with the front office. Only the good stuff: helmets, cleats, footballs and playbooks. While most people get away from work to escape stress, Campbell did the opposite.
The Washington Redskins' starting quarterback returned to his sanctuary during the team's first week of offseason practices and moved forward with his career after a tumultuous month during which the team twice explored replacing him.
"I thought it went great," Campbell said of the last week, which included a mandatory three-day minicamp and four voluntary organized team activities. "As a team, we've still got a long way to go to get to where we want to go, but you can see the signs and the positives that are there."
Campbell's play garnered rave reviews from teammates and coaches.
Most notably, he appears to have assumed a leadership role with an unprecedented level of comfort and confidence.
"He has understood that he's the leader in the huddle," tight end Chris Cooley said. "He has worked really hard to be that role and be the guy that everyone looks up to. I was proud of the way he treated that. He looks great on the field right now."
Indeed, Campbell was generally sharp during these practices. He connected a pair of beautiful deep passes in succession yesterday during one-on-one receiver drills.
He first fired a perfectly timed, high-arcing pass to tight end Fred Davis on a 30-yard corner route. The strength and accuracy of the throw were of such quality that the ball buzzed into Davis' outstretched hands, easily beyond the defender's reach.