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The quintessential free agency question: Who do we keep, Jason Campbell or Michael Bush?

In this article, I wanted to present a thought-evoking dilemma. For some of you the answer will be easy, but for others I think it will be pretty tough. Let's carefully look at the question of the upcoming post season and free agency. Jason Campbell and Mike Bush will be FAs at the end of this season. Given the salary cap and the notion that we now have Palmer to pay, it seems that we will probably give up at least one if not both JC and MB. The Ideal scenario is that we keep both of them, which is my preferred scenario, but let's keep it real. In this debate, I hope people don't just rant out hatred for any player, although you are entitled to do so because that is what blogging is about, but unbiased opinions carry more weight because debaters are looked upon as not being overcontrolled by emotions. Please try to keep rants at bay in this important debate. I will try to present the pluses and minuses of the argument to help weigh in the odds, and I am hoping to see other unique perspectives that I may not have noticed or overlooked - I am looking to be informed by you!

Pros/cons Bush. What we know of DMC's inconsistency is that he is consistently injured, an experience we have had in 4 years of playing establishes that he is injury prone. Taiwan has shown flashes of brilliance but may also be injury prone and is yet unproven due to little playing time. Bush seems to provide stability at this position but he does not have DMC's talent. We saw how he busted open at San Diego yet was caught from behind, something that would not have happened to DMC. He bulls up the middle, but has difficulty getting success when the box is stacked and teams plan for him. He is a bullish runner that often tires opponents in games where he is successful. No doubt though, he adds much stability to our running game and with DMC available, this creates nightmares for opponents. It is obvious that hanging on to Bush is a necessity that we might lose out on if someone else picks him up.

Pros/cons JC. When you look at what happens to teams that lose their starting qb, I think this is the worst nightmare that can happen to any team, e.g., Manning, Schaub, Cassel, Cutler, Campbell, etc. Nothing can be so devastating as losing an effective starting qb, bearing witness to what Boller did to us. Jason started out playing flat-footed, immobile, checking down too much, inaccurate deep ball, not always making the best decisions, hesitant, and (fill in the blank). On the other hand, he showed that if he has consistency such as with us and not the Redskins, he can adapt, become proficient, and has shown a stable sense of improvement albeit slowly. He has shown some pretty good leadership characteristics, even during the offseason, and what is clear to me is that the rest of the team really believed and resonated with him. The whole team was actually developing pretty well around him. JC can play at the level of starter and is beyond backup. In terms of his development, I have seen him lose a lot of his flatfootedness and he began to scramble, and the added mobility has created problems for other teams. He slowly developed chemistry with his wrs, a chemistry that was continuing to get better as the season went. Even though some of his long passes look little more than a Hail Mary at times, he nevertheless seemed to be developing a better deep ball, e.g., how he split the Bills defenders with that Moore TD. He is a competent short and midrange passer. As Campbell himself said after he was hurt that he was still developing and improving and still had a way to go and I believe him. I think he was more than an excellent game manager, one who made few mistakes on the field, such as not giving up the ball or throwing few interceptions. With his continuing improvement he no doubtedly can take us to the playoffs and I cannot discount the possibility of a future SB. Statistically, JC has put up decent, if not, very good numbers.

I think that it is important food for thought to look at the whole qb situation in order to make more intelligent decisions with JC. Pryor is still a work in progress, which is not to say he won't be another Newton, but this is still risky business to consider him for the helm as of yet. Pryor adds insurance but we need to make a JC/Bush decision now. As regards stability with Palmer, he is definitely a more accurate passer and can thread the needle. Palmer I am sure will develop much more chemistry given the fairness of practicing in the offseason. I think most people feel he will carry the team with the potential of a SB. However, his accuracy can also be in question because the number of interceptions he throws is downright scary! He is far too statuesque in the pocket, clearly lacking mobility - he is a very sackable qb if the o-line does not give needed protection. I, like so many people automatically assumed we had a remarkable upgrade in Palmer from JC, but to me, after watching him perform poorly with his interceptions in numerous games, I sense a serious closing of the gap. Rivers has thrown 19 interceptions to lead the league, while Palmer has thrown 15 in 8.5 games. In addition, this interception pattern is a carryover from the Bengal days. It is true that many of our offensive weapons have been hurt while not for JC, and this justifiably needs to be taken into consideration. He has not shown as much in leadership and I don't think he commands the same respect or following from the players as JC did. I'm not trying to be down on Palmer as I just got a Palmer jersey for Xmas, so I ask you to please balance any possible bias.

My final thoughts on this (I actually have more but the post is long enough - you elaborate!) is that the qb position is much more difficult to replace than the rb, e.g., look what we gave up in order to replace JC, something we would never do if Bush was hurt. Even without DMC we have struggled but managed to perform to the final game of the season without elimination. There has been some talk that the Raiders are going to try to offer JC a deal to keep him on the team, and to me, we would be solid at qb for many years if that could be done. Could some of you be so kind as to rec this post as I think this is a worthwhile and serious debate. I am only giving 2 choices in the poll because a third choice where we keep both would be too obvious of a choice. If we could only choose one, who would it be?

Signed, LitigatingPsycho

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