The League

Les Carpenter
Staff Writer

Les Carpenter

Yahoo! Sports reporter and former NFL writer for The Washington Post.

Pity Jason Campbell


Pity Mark Sanchez. The Jets newest quarterback smiled his way through the draft believing a few sunny weeks leading the USC Trojans will prepare him for what looms ahead in the Meadowlands. The Los Angeles media was plenty tough on him, he said, how much worse can it be in New York?

He will soon learn the absurdity of that statement, which will come right around the time he understands that he has inherited what might be the worst job in all of professional football: quarterback of the Jets. His every move will be the subject of an intense daily debate burning on radio, in the newspapers and online. Oh no, Mark Sanchez has no idea what is coming.

But all of that is for another year.

This fall, should he win the job as the Jets starter, he will be booed, he will be mocked, fans will scream that the team wasted its pick. But mostly the season will be a holiday, a get-acquainted year. Expectations won't be as outrageous as they will be in the seasons to follow. For 2009, Mark Sanchez might find life as easy as it's ever going to be in New York

The real pressure will be further south. In Philadelphia, quarterback Donovan McNabb tickled hope with some of his best games in a stretch through December and January that nearly ended in the Super Bowl. Now Eagles fans, who have never warmed to the best quarterback they've ever had, are going to expect nothing less than the Super Bowl, especially with the addition of rookie receiver Jeremy Maclin who gives the Eagles their best deep threat in some time. If Philadelphia's offense struggles early, the pressure on Coach Andy Reid to pull McNabb as a starter is going to be great.

But the burden on McNabb is nothing like what Jason Campbell will have this season. Already it is clear that Redskins owner Daniel Snyder does not believe Campbell is the team's quarterback of the future. That was obvious when Snyder tried to trade him to Denver for Jay Cutler. Then it appears Washington attempted to move him in a deal for a high draft pick to select Sanchez. Campbell has shown glimpses of being the man who can lead the Redskins for a decade, despite barely having enough serviceable receivers to throw to and an offensive line that offered nothing in the way of protection.

Snyder apparently doesn't care about such things. He wants a star and he expects Campbell to develop into one overnight. The longer he doesn't, the greater the possibility looms that Snyder will want not only a new quarterback but a new head coach. And since a new coach probably means new assistant coaches, Campbell could well have the futures of as many as 10 men, along with their wives and children, riding on every pass.

By Les Carpenter  |  May 7, 2009; 12:54 PM ET  | Category:  New England Patriots , New York Jets , Philadelphia Eagles , Washington Redskins Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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