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Will Gibbs Let Ramsey Open Up?

Nov 26, 2004, 3:26 PM EDT

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Rich Tandler is the author of Gut Check, The Complete History of Coach Joe Gibbs’ Washington Redskins. Get details and order at <a href="

http://gutcheckbook.com”>http://GutCheckBook.com

Will Gibbs Let Ramsey Open Up?

I’ve been struggling all week to come up with an apt description for the passing game the Redskins displayed last Sunday in Philadelphia. Something like “stone age” was on the list, but Patrick Ramsey threw 34 times, so it wasn’t quite from the leather helmet era. “Conservative” was a little better, but most of those throws were even less risky than that.

What I came up with was something in between “first game of preseason” and “first practice at training camp.” These were drills, not passing plays designed to win a football game.

Certainly, Gibbs had his reasons for doing this. He didn’t want Ramsey to get sacked and he wanted to build his confidence, the crawl before you can walk before you can run theory. That’s all well and good, but last Sunday wasn’t even crawling when it came to the passing game; it was barely rolling over unassisted.

So, it’s into Pittsburgh this Sunday for another game where the Redskins are a double-digit underdog against a one-loss team. The only difference is that the Steelers have the top-ranked defense in the NFL as opposed to the Eagles middle-of-the-pack unit. That would seem to indicate another day of hitches, wide receiver screens, and the other dinks and dunks that made watching last week’s game such a thrill.

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