The revolving door has spun around once again in Cleveland, revealing yet another quarterback change for the Browns.
The 31-year-old replaces demoted starter Brandon Weeden, who was uninspiring in his chance to reclaim his grip on the job following Bryan Hoyer's season-ending knee injury.
Now, it’s Campbell’s turn to try to make an impression on a new Browns’ regime led by CEO Joe Banner and general manager Mike Lombardi.
Although Campbell is probably best suited for backup duty at this stage of his career following average starting stints with the Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders, this does represent an audition of sorts for the former Mississippi State standout. In nine NFL seasons, Campbell has passed for 14,688 yards, 76 touchdowns and 52 interceptions for an 82.4 quarterback rating.
“It’s tough switching over like that,” Campbell told Cleveland reporters. “At the same time, being in the league for a while, I think that’s helped me a lot from having to adapt through different changes.
"It’s still all about rhythm and consistency. So hopefully having a full week to prep and to run plays with these guys and grow, hopefully that can give me the opportunity to get back to where I once was.”
The Browns’ quarterback issues have made it difficult for their offense to gain much traction.
It’s been a lot of hard luck between Weeden spraining his right thumb and Hoyer tearing his anterior cruciate ligament after leading the Browns to consecutive wins.
Browns coach Rob Chudzinski likes what he’s seen from Campbell, but it’s going to be a tough test for him against a fifth-ranked Chiefs defense that leads the NFL with 35 sacks. Linebacker Justin Houston has done most of the damage with 10 sacks and a forced fumble.
“They’ve rallied behind him like they have every time that somebody else has been in,” Chudzinski said.
Campbell said he’ll resist the urge to try to be a hero and will rely on his teammates.
“It’s not about one person,” Campbell said. “I know everyone wanted to say it’s about Brandon, but it really wasn’t about one person. We all, as a collective group, have to do a better job play in and play out of doing our own job. I think the only thing I should do is just try to be a leader.”
As for Weeden, there are plenty of rumors that he could be a candidate for relocation with the NFL trade deadline approaching Oct. 29.
However, Weeden emphasized that he doesn’t want to be traded.
“Absolutely. I love it here,'' Weeden told reporters. "I think this team is on the rise. We’re doing some good things and I’m excited about the group we have. I love this town.”
Weeden was once traded by the New York Yankees as a minor league baseball player, but isn’t looking for a repeat despite being passed over for Campbell.
"I've been traded before, and those things are way out of my control,'' Weeden said. "I don't have a crystal ball. I can't see the future. Whatever happens, this league is just like baseball. I got traded in baseball and you just never know. Our focus is Sunday, and whatever happens on that is out of our control.
"I'm a competitor. With that being said, I'm going to support Jason just like he supported me. He's been outstanding. He's helped me a lot along the way and that's my role now and that's the way I'm going to approach it this week."