Chicago Sun-Times

Campbell gives Bears much-needed upgrade at No. 2 QB

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You have to keep everything you see at training camp in -- except injuries -- in perspective. It's still just training camp. But some observations have more validity than others. Like this one: Jason Campbell gives the Bears an upgrade as their No. 2 quarterback.

Coming off a broken collarbone he suffered in Week 6 as the starter with the Oakland Raiders last year, Campbell looked more like a guy competing for the starting job in practice Thursday than a backup locked into the No. 2 spot with Jay Cutler around. At this time last year, Caleb Hanie was struggling enough that the Bears benched him for a practice in favor of rookie Nathan Enderle -- foreshadowing what would be a difficult season for Hanie that helped crush the Bears' once-solid playoff hopes.

Campbell was 4-2 as a starter with the Raiders when he was hurt (3-2 in complete games, though he was up 14-7 against the Browns when he was injured in the second quarter). In fact, he was 12-7 as a starter in two years with Oakland. The Raiders were 4-9 in games Campbell did not start in that span.

It didn't take long to see that he's a significant upgrade as a backup. It's a tough deal for Campbell, who has started 71 of 72 games in his six-year NFL career. But good for the Bears. Their backup quarterback in the Cutler era -- Hanie, Todd Collins and Josh McCown -- has a combined 42.5 passer rating, with six touchdowns and 20 interceptions.

''Of course, every guy wants to be a starter -- especially [when] you feel like you're not a starter in the league anymore because you broke your collarbone,'' Campbell said. ''It's tough. It was challenging. But at the same time, I'm fortunate that a team like the Bears gave me an opportunity to come here and help contribute to their team and just be part of a winning program.

''You never know which road is going to lead you in your career. It's tough to not be a starter. And I feel like I was in the prime of my career and I was going in the right direction ... that I felt good about. And now I have to put a pause on that. It's a little bit of a challenge, but at the same time it is what it is and I adapt to it and accept it and I keep moving forward.''

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Let's be thankful that Campbell was willing to come here,We pray that Jay stays healthy ,but it's football anything can happen lest we forget last season.

We thought Hanie was the answer too, but look how that turned out. I believe Campbell is a much better bet than Hanie was, but I'll still wait and see. I'll go along with the prayers for Cutler's health even though I'm not much of a believer in that regard.Probably the offensive line, the protection the backs can offer, and Tice's game plans are likely to do more than prayer to insure Cutler's safety. As my brother used to say about prayer: "Can't hurt, might help."

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Potash published on July 27, 2012 10:32 AM.

Bears WR Dane Sanzenbacher: It's on me to make roster was the previous entry in this blog.

Michael Bush doesn't love "battering ram" reputation is the next entry in this blog.

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