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Jason Campbell plans to 'cut it loose'

Posted Dec 24, 2013

Cleveland Browns quarterback Jason Campbell plans to “cut it loose,” and “have fun” against the Steelers after pressing to make plays in each of the last two weeks.

Three weeks ago, Cleveland Browns quarterback Jason Campbell was rolling and playing at his best when he completed 29 of 44 attempts for 391 yards, which tied for the sixth-most passing yards by a Browns quarterback in a single game, with three touchdowns and no interceptions in a losing effort at the New England Patriots.

However, in the two games since the 27-26 loss at the Patriots, Campbell has thrown one touchdown and four interceptions in back-to-back losses to the Chicago Bears at home, and then, the New York Jets on the road. One of his two interceptions against the Bears was returned for a touchdown.

Heading into this week’s season finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field, Campbell plans to take a different approach to the game.

“Really, we haven’t been happy in the last two months,” Campbell said. “We had an opportunity to get a win, and I feel the team, and myself, were pressing to make plays, be too perfect instead of just relaxing and playing football. Going into the last week of the season, there’s still a lot to play for as far as your mindset and trying to go out on the right note.

“We need to come out competing and do everything we can in the preparation, just try to get back to the basics. We just want to get back to our fundamentals, not try to press, not to force the game and just try to let the game come to you.”

Campbell said the hardest part about losing is being on a team is full of competitors that work hard throughout the week and not have it result in victories on Sunday.

“Yesterday, I was pretty down just because I’m used to winning,” Campbell said. “We’ve got guys on this team that want to win so bad, and sometimes, you can let things get to you, emotionally and physically. I feel like we’re always so close. At the same time, I was talking to my family and talking to the coach, (and they said) ‘Relax. Don’t try to put too much into it like that. Just go out there, play the game and have fun. Don’t beat yourself up and control the things that you can.’

“A lot of it’s just trying to be so successful and reach the expectations that you have for yourself. I set high expectations when I got my chance to play. Some games, you’ve lived up to it, and some games, you didn’t. In the games you didn’t, it could’ve been a play here and there.”

Campbell and his father, Larry, talked on the phone on Monday night about how rare an opportunity it is to play quarterback in the NFL. The nine-year veteran signal-caller also said he received some advice from his father.

“He said I needed to sound a little bit more enthused,” Campbell said. “I said, ‘You know, it kind of hurts when you look at the opportunities that have been there, to have opportunities in some of these games, some of these tough games to help the franchise get turned around, and still not win.’ It’s been tough because you want to take advantage of the opportunities.

“My goal wasn’t just to get to the National Football League and play for nine years. It was to make the most out of it and do the best that I can so when it’s time for me to retire or time to move on, you know you did your best regardless of the situation. You just didn’t give up.”

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