Campbell unlikely to miss any time for Browns
Browns fans can take a collective deep breath.
The X-rays on Jason Campbell’s ribs proved to be negative, most likely keeping the veteran quarterback from missing any time.
“Jason looks to be fine,” head coach Rob Chudzinski said in a conference call on Monday following the Browns’ 24-18 win over the Ravens.
Chudzinski said the ribs are bruised and that he expects Campbell to practice Tuesday and Wednesday before the Browns get four days off for the bye week.
Campbell was sidelined for four plays after a sack by Haloti Ngata, but he finished the game 23-of-35 (65.7 pct.) for 262 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions and a rating of 116.6. For the season, Campbell is 46-of-75 (61.3 pct.) for 561 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions. His rating is 106.6. Campbell joins Derek Anderson as the only two quarterbacks to post back-to-back 100-plus ratings since 1999 for the Browns.
In addition, Campbell has not thrown an interception for 90 passing attempts dating back to Nov. 19, 2012 when he was playing for the Bears against the 49ers.
Chudzinski said he knew Campbell would return.
“I knew he was tough,” he said. “I knew he wasn’t going to come out of the game.
“The calmness and the ability to make plays in critical parts of the game. What he’s doing is really giving us a lift.”
Chudzinski was asked if he knew how much Campbell was hurting.
“Based on (seeing) him grimacing and knowing that it was bothering him, but (he still) pushed through it.”
Chudzinski said he was glad that the Browns won’t have to make another change at quarterback due to injury — at least for now.
“I’m very happy that he is OK,” he said. “He played really well. You look at what he was able to do in extending plays and creating plays, those fourth downs were critical plays that he made.”
Campbell has started 73 NFL games, including the past two for the Browns, and Chudzinski said his experience and leadership has been a calming factor to the team.
“Jason has played a lot more than any of the other guys that are here,” he said. “You can see it when he’s out on the field that he’s been there before. The sense of calmness, the guys see that and that’s really helped us.”
Chudzinski was asked if Campbell is playing the best of his nine-year career. He has started for the Redskins, Raiders, Bears and now the Browns. Against the Ravens, Campbell surpassed the 15,000-yard mark in career passing and now has 15,243. He also tied a career best with three touchdowns in a game, which he had done twice before (Nov. 11, 2007, against Philadelphia and Dec. 6, 2009, against New Orleans).
“I can’t honestly say that because I haven’t studied him all the years that he played.,” Chudzinski said. “I watched him before we signed him. He’s improved (since coming here) and he’s speeding up his decision making. A lot of credit goes to (offensive coordinator) Norv (Turner), when he wasn’t getting a lot of reps. I can’t say enough about Jason as a professional.”
Chudzinski said he thinks Campbell is relishing the opportunity to start once again in the NFL.
“As time goes on, you come to appreciate the opportunity you get more and more,” he said. “Whether it’s as a player or a coach like me, you always want to do better.”
— Chudzinski said WR Greg Little sprained his shoulder, but he thinks he will be able to practice during the bye week, maybe even Tuesday. Little has the best game of his career with seven receptions for 122 yards.
Chudzinski was asked what was different for Little in the Ravens’ game.
“When the ball is in the air, he attacked the ball,” Chudzinski said. “He had some critical runs after the catch. You see him working at it and he’s getting better and was able to transfer what he’s done in practice on to the field.”
Little did have two 15-yard penalties in the game for unnecessary roughness and taunting.
“We have to keep our composure,” Chudzinski said.
— Besides Campbell and Little, Chudzinski said that LB Eric Martin (knee) and LB Darius Eubanks (head) should be ready to practice during the bye week. He also said that TE MarQueis Gray (hamstring) and LB Quentin Groves (ankle) would not practice.
— The Browns went for the first down on two fourth down plays against the Ravens, both of which were pivotal in the win. One was fourth-and-goal from the one yard line and the other was fourth-and-one late in the game to try to convert and run out the clock. If one or both would’ve failed, the Browns would’ve not scored or given the ball up in great field position for the Ravens. Chudzinski was asked where he got his mentality to be as aggressive in going for it on fourth down.
“I have a lot of faith, a lot of trust in our guys,” he said. “You get four downs, might as well use them all, right?”
Chudzinski said that he has been influenced by former Miami (Fla.) coach Jimmy Johnson.
“You go back, Jimmy Johnson was that way,” he said. “It’s really about the situation that comes up.”
— Chudzinski started the conference call by thanking the fans for their support in the win over the Ravens.
“I want to thank our fans,” he said. “Our players feed off their energy and really helped us in the win.”
— The Browns will practice Tuesday and Wednesday before getting Thursday through Sunday off for the bye week. Chudzinski mentioned a couple of areas the team will be looking to improve upon during the off week.
“We’re going to dissect our third down situations and our need to be more consistent,” he said. “We’ll also take a hard look at our run game.”
— Chudzinski said that he sent text messages wishing Texans’ coach Gary Kubiak and Broncos’ coach John Fox to get better. Both had incidents in the last couple days that required stays in the hospital.
“I sent them both a text and I hope they’re doing better,” he said. “(Being a head coach in the NFL) is an exciting job. It can be a very demanding on you.”
However, Chudzinski added, “I wouldn’t trade for anything.”