Jason Campbell is not Jay Cutler. That much is pretty obvious.
Jason's black and Jay's white, veteran sociologist Brandon Marshall pointed out on Friday. Then he urged looking past stereotypes when thinking of the Bears starting quarterback next Monday Campbell vs. the one who is down for at least the next game with a concussion.
You know what, it's the opposite, said Marshall, who moonlights as a Pro Bowl wide receiver. You would think Campbell would be like Michael Vick.
But J-Cut is like Vick, and Jason is more of a pocket guy, I would say. Cut likes to run around a little bit, so that's a little opposite. But because of the picture we paint on black quarterbacks, it's supposed to be a guy who runs around a lot, but Jason does a good job in the pocket, really reading coverage, really taking control of the offense.
Campbell in fact might like to think he has a little Vick in him, however.
We both have big arms, we both move around a little bit, he said, comparing himself to Cutler. We have differences in certain things we do and how we see things but were both pretty athletic.
But it is in the control of the offense that Campbells key lies.
Check-downs = avoiding sacks
Campbell had the nickname Captain Check-down with the Raiders, not totally framed as criticism. The moniker derived from his quick decisions to check down to secondary, safety valve receivers rather than take sacks, not an altogether negative tendency.
He has been sacked once every 15.5 pass plays for his career, compared with Cutlers once every 16.6. The latters numbers increased dramatically since coming to the Bears, whether for reasons of poor protection, poor decision-making, holding the ball too long, poor receivers or whatever.
Against a Houston defense that Campbell told CSNChicago.com was clearly stacking to take away deep balls in a one-score game, Campbell presented two different personas, mixing Captain Check-down with Air Cutler.
Cutler went to five different receivers in the first half vs. Houston. Campbell distributed the ball to seven in the second, his first action regular-season action since breaking his collarbone Oct. 16, 2011.
The Marshall Ratio
Ironically, Cutler has been questioned on his excessive targeting of Marshall. That occurred four times of 14 first-half attempts.
Campbell went to Marshall nearly twice as often, nine of 19 throws in the second half (47 percent), including once for 45 yards.
But where Cutler has made less use of backs and tight ends this season, and just five of 14 targets last Sunday, Campbell went to tight ends and backs nine times.
Cutler was intercepted twice inside the Houston 40; Campbell was not picked off and finished with a 70.9 passer rating, respectable for coming in rep-less in practice, in the rain, against the best defense in the AFC.
Campbell already is installing control as a guide.
I cant put so much pressure on myself to feel like, Ive got to make every play or Ive got to do this or do that, because you cant play the game that way, Campbell said. I cant be putting pressure on myself to feel like, This is your one game to dictate what youve got to do.