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Turner appreciates Campbell's instincts

Posted Nov 14, 2013

Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner appreciates the football acumen and instincts quarterback Jason Campbell has displayed in two starts with the team.

Since being named the starting quarterback of the Cleveland Browns prior to the Oct. 27 game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Jason Campbell has completed 45 of 74 attempts for 555 yards and five touchdowns without throwing an interception.

He has also used his mobility to rush for 37 yards on six attempts, an average of 6.2 yards per carry, and been sacked only four times for 28 lost yards against two of the league’s top defenses in the Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens.

During Campbell’s two starts, the Browns have lost only two fumbles, as compared to the 10 turnovers they had in the previous seven games, but protecting the ball is nothing new for Campbell. He has had a positive touchdown-to-interception ratio in each of the years he has made multiple starts.

“I think one of the things that helps a guy protect the ball is the ability to run, the ability to move in the pocket, so you don’t get stuck back there with guys coming for you and think you have to throw the ball just to throw it,” offensive coordinator Norv Turner said Thursday. “He is a good decision-maker; I think that’s in his past.

“I’ve obviously coached against Jason and, speaking of running, I think he ran for five first downs in a game in San Diego against us, so I’m very familiar with him. I don’t like to compare players, but he’s a pro and he was brought up the right way early in his career with good coaches in Washington.”

In addition to his football instincts and acumen to know when to step up in the pocket and scramble to avoid taking a sack, Campbell has been able to involve many players in the offense.

In the 23-17 loss at Kansas City, Campbell connected with second-year wide receiver Josh Gordon five times for a game-high 132 yards and one touchdown, a 39-yard score on a flea-flicker with 2:44 to play in the first half. Tight end Jordan Cameron was also active against the Chiefs, as he turned four receptions into 81 yards.

During the Browns’ 24-18 win over the Ravens two weeks ago, Gordon and Cameron combined for four catches and 48 yards, but while the team’s top two pass-catchers were limited, two others stepped up.

Wide receiver Greg Little caught seven passes for 122 yards, and fellow wide out Davone Bess turned three passes into a pair of touchdowns, as well as a critical fourth-down conversion in the fourth quarter.

Campbell also involved the running backs against the Chiefs and Ravens. Fozzy Whittaker caught two passes for 22 yards with a touchdown in Kansas City, and Chris Ogbonnaya gained 39 yards on five receptions in the win over Baltimore.

“Jason obviously played very well in both football games he’s played in,” Turner said. “He brings a dimension that’s tough on defenses because he’s able to run. One of the biggest plays in the game against Baltimore was a third-and-three or four, where he runs for about 15 yards late in the fourth quarter. Those plays make it tough on defenses and make it tougher on defenses in terms of how they’re going to match up with everybody because they have to count for his ability to run.

“He knows how to prepare and he knows how to compete. He knows how hard it is to win in this league and he knows every week that you can’t take anything for granted. I think that’s a good quality to have in your quarterback, but it’s a great quality to have for the rest of your players to see. It’s a great example for the rest of our team.”