Redskins Blog: Ramsey's The One

Yesterday's announcement by Gibbs that Patrick Ramsey would start the 2005 season as the #1 quarterback was not surprising, especially not here. Plus, a look at today's papers reporting yesterday's news and Antonio Pierce's comments.

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You can reach me by email at rtandler@comcast.net

Rich Tandler is the author of Gut Check, The Complete History of Coach Joe Gibbs' Washington Redskins.

December 21, 2004

Ramsey to Remain Starter in ‘05

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.
From today's Washington Post:
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.

You Heard it Here First

If you read Tuesday's papers, you will be told something that you already know. In the Post you'll "discover" that In Weak NFC, 5-9 Redskins Still Have Shot at Playoffs
Despite their 5-9 record the Washington Redskins remain alive for a playoff berth, although they will need help from the rest of the NFC to get in. Any postseason chance hinges on Washington winning its final two games -- at Dallas and at home against Minnesota.
Hmmm, where have we heard this before, as long ago as Sunday morning? Let me think. . .oh, yeah, it was right here! Joseph White of the AP has written a similar article to the one in the Post and others will follow. While not in any detail, the scenario was mentioned on PTI on Tuesday evening. None of this happened until I forwarded the playoff-related blog entries from here to a few of the beat writers. Maybe they would have come up with it on their own eventually, but when?

So, I hope you discussed your new-found knowledge from here at the water cooler at the office on Monday because by Tuesday those playoff scenarios will be known by the masses. This blog is becoming a must-read for many Redskins fans and this is one of the reasons why.

Pierce Will be a Hot Commidity

In his Morning After Week 15 piece on ESPN.com, Len Pasquarelli quotes an NFL scout as saying:
'There are a lot of mid-level players who have helped themselves in the free agent market for next spring and one of them is (Washington) linebacker Antonio Pierce. Yeah, I know, teams aren't going to pay big money for a middle 'backer, and a guy who was just a special teams player before this year. But, you watch, Pierce will get a decent deal from somebody who wants a guy who is pretty active and who has demonstrated he's more than just a run-stuffer.'
It's hard to disagree. The Skins need to lock him up before the end of the season and perhaps jettison Michael Barrow. Reports are that a deal between the club and Pierce is getting close. This would be a good sign of stability from a team that has simply undergone too much change in recent seasons to be successful.

Division Tiebreaker Clarification

I got the following comment from a reader and I thought it warranted some clarification:

I dont think division tie breaker matters for the Wild Card, it's just for who wins the division. There are 3 tiebreakers, and Redskins would beat the Giants on conference record.
The Giants do matter in the scenario since only one team from each division can "represent" that division in a WC tiebreaker. Here it is from NFL.com
Three or More Clubs (for Wild Card) 1. Apply division tie breaker to eliminate all but the highest ranked club in each division prior to proceeding to step 2.
So, if the Giants and Redskins are both 7-9, New York has the better division record and therefore goes into the tiebreaker pool, where it goes back to head to head, conference record and on down the line.

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