Dec 21, 2004, 6:18 PM EST
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Rich Tandler is the author of Gut Check, The Complete History of Coach Joe Gibbs’ Washington Redskins.
Please allow one more “you heard it here first” boast. On November 18, I made the following statement in this blog:
You had better get used to the sight of Patrick Ramsey as the Redskins quarterback. Good, bad, or indifferent, the team just might well be stuck with him.
This isn’t a seven-game audition, folks, it’s the beginning of an era. For the foreseeable future, the Redskins’ fortunes at the quarterback position rest with number 11.
Coach Joe Gibbs yesterday named Patrick Ramsey his starting quarterback for the 2005 season over Mark Brunell. Ramsey had been the incumbent before losing his job to Brunell during a quarterback competition in training camp, but with Brunell statistically the NFL’s worst starter through nine games, Ramsey replaced him and has performed well in Gibbs’s ball-control offense.
‘We’re starting Patrick. That’s who we’re going with,’ Gibbs said at his weekly news conference when asked about Ramsey’s status next season. ‘He’s our guy. We’re hoping he continues to progress.’
Certainly, Ramsey has played well enough to warrant #1 status going into next season. Even if he was struggling somewhat, however, it would have been difficult to bring in anyone to challenge him in 2004 due to salary cap restraints (read: blowing an $8 million signing bonus on Mark Brunell) and the fact that the Redskins have their 2002 first-round draft pick invested in Ramsey.
Now, had Ramsey come out of the chute and been Brunell-like (that’s officially now the new catch phrase for awful quarterback play, banishing “Shuler-like” from the lexicon) it may have been necessary to consider other options, none of which would have come without a painful compromise in terms of building the team’s other needs.