Jason Campbell's first act as a Bengal Thursday was to lunch with Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. After no doubt swapping some war stories from their two seasons in Oakland and elsewhere during a decade in the NFL, Jackson is looking for Campbell to pass them on to his No. 1.
"He's smart and courageous," Jackson said in his post-lunch remarks. "He's the kind of guy that makes your team better, your quarterback room better. The quarterback room is a special place."
As he joined his fifth team in ten seasons, Campbell spoke about how those experiences can help Dalton. Along with his big arm, that's a big reason Jackson wanted him. The one thing Dalton has lacked in a No. 2 during his three seasons is a grizzled former starter who has taken a lot of snaps and the Bengals were looking to back him up with a guy that can share some insights. Bruce Gradkowski had been a spot starter and Josh Johnson has just five NFL starts, the last one a few years ago.
"In no way is he supplanting Andy Dalton. I like our quarterback," Jackson said for the infinite time this offseason. "But Jason is a veteran guy who has played in a lot of offenses and has won a lot of games. I think he can help Andy with some of the knowledge that he's picked up. He's that kind of guy. You've got a guy in Jason where things haven't gone all that well for him lately and you've got a guy in Andy that has done well but is still trying to find a way to win in the playoffs. Between the two of them there can be some things gained there."
Since Campbell went 11-7 as the starter with Jackson calling the shots in Oakland, Jackson also thinks that can be a boost.
"Jason can help me with things I can't see. Sometimes it doesn't take coaches to see things, but other players can be a big help," Jackson said. "He knows how I call a game. He knows what I want. He's got a feel for what I want to get done and he can help Andy with all of that."