He's a Flop: Campbell Just Can't Slide

QB blames height for sliding deficiency

ASHBURN, Va. -- See Jason run. See Jason take on a defender. See Jason carry a would-be tackler on his back.
See Jason slide? Please, no!
With Washington Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell calling his own number more often in recent games, one thing is becoming painfully evident: The dude can't get down.
"I just don't know how to slide. Too tall," said Campbell, who is 6-foot-5. "I'm not used to it. I played baseball. I was good at sliding back then, but I was about 7 inches shorter."
Opponents and teammates alike are getting a good laugh at Campbell's awkward attempts to end his own runs. The word "elegant" did not spring to mind during his clock-killing, fourth-quarter meander in Sunday's 20-17 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
"It was ugly," Campbell said. "I didn't know if wanted to slide or if I just wanted to lower my shoulder and get what I could. I didn't want to get out of bounds because the clock would have stopped. My options were either to try to run through three defenders just about to blow me up or just fall back on my back ugly.
"The Seattle Seahawks players were laughing at me. 'That was the worst slide.' 'What are you doing?'"
For Redskins coach Jim Zorn, this development is particularly mortifying. The gadget guy who taught quarterbacks using a Slip 'N Slide as an assistant coach in Seattle tried the same tactic in Washington this year, only to have Campbell catch his cleat because he couldn't lift his feet up.
Campbell is hardly most agile of runners, but good things have happened recently with the ball tucked under his arm.
He audibled into a quarterback draw on third-and-8 against Dallas two weeks ago and ran for 22 yards, dragging tacklers in his wake. He converted a third-and-1 against Seattle with a mini-bootleg, hurdling over a defender at the line of scrimmage. He also had a 17-yard scramble in the first quarter against the Seahawks, showing no fear of contact.
But he knows he can't go on like that forever.
"I'll learn how to slide real soon if I want to prolong my career," Campbell said. "Sometimes you don't know when to go down because you feel like you may break a tackle and pick up extra yardage."
Zorn certainly isn't giving up, although he said he next round of serious sliding lessons might have to wait until the offseason.
"We'll work on that," Zorn said. "I'm going to have renewed energy. I'm going to put some new feeling into the way I coach him sliding. He just hasn't done it much, and he's so big it's hard to get the whole body on the ground smoothly. ... If he can't learn to fall better, he's going to hurt himself. I had Charlie Batch in Detroit; he was exactly the same type of slider. They went to the same school of sliding."
Copyright AP - Associated Press
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