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.''