Team Whispers

Whether or not the Redskins reach the playoffs, they've already got some teams worried in 2005. Namely the Philadelphia Eagles.

''They're closer than what the perception is,'' said one Eagles personnel executive, who has seen the Redskins play in person three times. ''I can see them making strides quickly. Their defense has overachieved so they might take a step back. But if I had to pick a team that we're worried about next year . . . they're way ahead of where Dallas or the Giants will be.''

The executive is a fan of quarterback Patrick Ramsey.

''If he had been the quarterback all along, they would have progressed more to where people were more excited,'' he said. ''He's a good fit in this offense and he has the tools. . . . They probably need to take more shots and give them more chances to throw deep.''

But, he said, that stems from experience. The more Ramsey gets it, the more chances they'll take downfield. And Ramsey, he said, must improve in other facets like his accuracy. Though Ramsey's completion percentage has been high lately, it's a result of many safe throws. When he's had to go downfield on deep or even intermediate throws, he's not as accurate.

This executive also said he likes Washington's receivers.

''Coles has played hurt and Gardner doesn't have great speed, but he's athletic and can catch downfield,'' he said. ''With McCants and Jacobs, they have a talented group.''

His wish list for the Redskins' offense: a new center and a better tight end to complement H-back Chris Cooley. He also said Jon Jansen's return will be a big bonus.

''Ray Brown should not be starting in the NFL,'' he said. ''I love him, but he should not be starting. . . . There's no other tight end on the roster that can help them. In that offense you need to have another one similar to Cooley. Sellers is talented but you can't trust him and Royal is a below-average starter.''

Tomorrow: The personnel executive's thoughts on Washington's defense.


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