A bad bad bad idea
So we have Coach Joe's solution to the backup QB position for a team with its sights on the Super Bowl: they'll just share. Howard Bryant:
Should Brunell suffer an injury during the course of a game, Collins would be the first to replace him. But Gibbs's decision of making Collins his primary backup came with one important condition: Should the Redskins be without Brunell for at least a full week of practice, Campbell would be the game-day starter, with Collins assuming the backup responsibilities.This is a horrible idea and I have to think there is some of the Wuerffel Effect here. Gibbs is trying to please Saunders, who is as politely insistent as he can be that Collins knows the material. He's also trying not to invalidate his own personal selection of Jason Campbell as the QB of the future.
Joe has a spotty record when he's influencing selections at the top of the draft. Desmond Howard was an abject failure for the Redskins, and even though Charley Casserly was the GM At the time, it was openly known that Gibbs coveted Howard. Sure the Clark-Monk-Sanders trio was a year older, but they still accounted for 2200 yards receiving, and each had a 13.9 yards per catch average or better in 1992. WR was not the Redskins' urgent need in that draft, and they could have had Jimmy Smith or Carl Pickens in the 2nd round or Torrance Small in the 5th.
They could have spent that pick on a lineman, or better yet, a linebacker, to bolster the aging corps of Monte Coleman (going into his 14th season), Wilber Marshall (going into his 9th season and banged up) and Kurt Gouveia (going into his 6th season). Quentin Coryatt would gloriously have already been off the board, but Robert Jones and Levon Kirkland were available. Of course, I could go on...
Flash forward two seasons ago, and we have Gibbs selecting Campbell as the guy of the future, with a $5 million signing bonus, signing Brunell to a 6 year contract for starter money, both totally undermining Patrick Ramsey, himself a 1st round draft pick. It's pretty well understood at this point that Ramsey never had a chance to shine in Gibbs' eye, and Gibbs should have done the right thing and shipped him off then and there, either releasing him or trading him.
So now we have this great scenario where Brunell gets dinged up, Campbell watches Collins go in, thinking Coach doesn't believe he can win the game, then Collins has to sit down and watch Campbell go into practice with the first team, wondering why he was good enough to finish the game, but not good enough to earn the next start. I know there are personalities involved here, but that's why Gibbs is in charge. Someone has to be the star and someone has to be the fluffer.
Todd Collins sack-fumble: Julian H. Gonzalez / Buffalo Free Press
Jason Campbell: John Mcdonnell / Washington Post