Campbell said he talked to his father, Larry, Monday night, and even his dad noticed the anguish in the quarterback’s voice.
“He said, ‘Hey you need to sound a little more enthused,’” Campbell said. “I told him it kind of hurts when you look at the opportunities that have been there.”
He also admitted: “I take things a little bit too hard at times.”
While this may sound like yet one more quarterback chewed up and spit out by the machinery that is the Cleveland Browns, for Campbell it’s a little more personal. He had a taste of starting two years ago in Oakland, but lost his job and his spot when he broke his collarbone. He backed up in Chicago for a year, then handpicked Cleveland where he thought he’d have a chance to revive his career because he may have a chance to play.
His decision was very calculated.
He got his chance thanks to injury and patience, but the Browns went 1-6 in the games he started and Campbell’s passer rating is 77.6.
In the past few weeks, Campbell has said he was emotionally let down after the loss in New England, struggling with the cold against Chicago and pressing against the Jets.
Though coach Rob Chudzinski said pressing can be a good sign because it shows a player cares, Campbell lamented the way things have gone.
“Because of everything that I’ve been through,” he said. “That probably plays a lot into it. The fact you still want to prove that you belong.”
Campbell is under contract this season for $1.5 million and is due to be paid $2.25 million in 2014. Campbell seems to have cemented his status, in Cleveland at least, as a backup and veteran mentor.
He’s an excellent guy, excellent teammate. But two things the Browns know from this season are that Campbell and Brandon Weeden are not the long-term answers. While Weeden likely will be released, Campbell could stay as a backup.
The irony, of course, is that Campbell lost his job in Oakland to injury, but most seem to feel that Brian Hoyer will be the Browns’ starter in 2014, even though he missed most of the season to injury.
“What’s going to happen,” Campbell said, “is going to happen.”