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Campbell impresses in Browns debut

Posted Oct 27, 2013

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- In his first start with the Cleveland Browns, quarterback Jason Campbell engineered multiple scoring drives and had the team in position to tie or take a late lead.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Cleveland Browns quarterback Jason Campbell approached his first start with the team with a very simple philosophy.

It worked well for the Browns, especially after they found themselves down by 13 points to the Kansas City Chiefs after giving up two field goals and a touchdown on the first three possessions of the game.

Down by two scores midway through the second quarter, Campbell strung together three consecutive scoring drives and made it a three-point game before the Browns eventually fell, 23-17, to the unbeaten Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.

“My main focus today was to come out and play the best that I could play and do everything I can to help the team, but not overdue  too much because we have a lot of good players on this team that can make plays,” Campbell said. “I’ll approach each week with a sense of urgency, just trying to learn everything as quickly as possible, get myself up to speed with these guys and give ourselves a chance.

“Coming in, they were ranked No. 1 in a lot of categories, so we knew we had a big challenge. Once we got rolling as an offense, I thought things seemed to settle in for us. We’ve just got to come out a little bit faster than we did.”

Campbell finished the game 22 of 36 for 293 yards and two touchdowns, carried a quarterback rating of 105.4 and had a hand in nine of the Browns’ 10 longest plays against the Chiefs.

“I felt good from the time the game started till it ended for us,” Campbell said. “What we were trying to do offensively, none of that was a problem. As we continue to grow, we’ve got to start off a little faster than we did. I’m proud of the guys, proud of the way they fought. It stings because we felt like we had a chance to win. It hurts, but we’ll just get back to work.”

Campbell engineered a two-play, 58-yard drive that he finished with a 39-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Josh Gordon with 2:44 to play. Then, after the Chiefs answered with a 28-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Alex Smith to wide receiver Dexter McCluster, Campbell again led a scoring drive.

With 10 seconds remaining in the first half, Billy Cundiff cut the deficit to 10 points with a 44-yard field goal.

The Browns came out of the halftime break ready to go to work, and Campbell punctuated the opening possession with a 17-yard touchdown pass to running back Fozzy Whittaker. Campbell took a snap in the Shotgun formation and looked to Whittaker, who was unguarded in the right flat. Whittaker caught the ball in stride and outraced Kansas City linebacker Akeem Jordan to the pylon for the score.

“I wish we could’ve gotten another touchdown before half, but to get three, get 10 points back-to-back like that, and getting the ball back in the third quarter, it means a lot because you’re able to put three scoring drives together, and now, you’re in a rhythm,” Campbell said. “That’s big for our offense, and defense because our defense was kind of tired.”

It was during that three-drive stretch that Campbell made an impression on Browns coach Rob Chudzinski.

“Jason Campbell, in bringing us back, leading us back, especially in the second quarter there, made a lot of plays for us,” Chudzinski said.

“At first glance, he made some big plays for us. I think his leadership was key to hang in there and keep fighting through the early deficit. We’ll have to go back and look at the tape to see how he played from an X’s and O’s standpoint, but at first glance, he did some really good things out there.”

Campbell also earned the trust of his teammates on both sides of the football.

“He did a great job,” Gordon said. “He did the job we expected him to do, stepped into the role without too much preparation, but came in there and showed us he was a leader. We got behind him, rallied behind him. He did a great job.”

Cornerback Joe Haden added, “He was driving, and we had a chance to win the game against the Chiefs in the fourth quarter when he had his last drive. He did a really good job stepping in.”

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