Backing Ramsey

Patrick Ramsey is still the starter. And Joe Gibbs hopes that's the case for a long, long time.

But there's also this reality: Ramsey has not led Washington to the playoffs. Nor has he established himself among the elite.

So enter Jason Campbell as an insurance policy. The job might belong to Ramsey now, but who it belongs to in a year or two or three is very much up for grabs.

However, Gibbs was adamant after drafting Campbell that he's still a fan of Ramsey.

''This doesn't affect Patrick Ramsey in any way,'' Gibbs said. ''He's our starter and he's the guy we're counting on to take us to the playoffs. What we'd like to do is pay Patrick $40 million and have him be the guy to take us to the promised land. I think Dan [Snyder] feels the same way. I told Patrick that he's a very talented young guy.''

Perhaps Ramsey will be this year's Drew Brees, who was in danger of losing his job in San Diego when the Chargers drafted Phillip Rivers in 2004.

Instead, Brees flourished and now Rivers is chained to the bench. Not drafting a player of need certainly didn't hurt the Chargers, who dramatically improved and made the playoffs. The Redskins hope a similar scenario plays out with Ramsey.

This hurts Tim Hasselbeck's immediate future more than Ramsey. He re-signed a week ago, but now is in danger of being unemployed. The Redskins will meet with him soon to discuss his future and see what Hasselbeck would like to happen.

And this doesn't impact Mark Brunell, who will be the backup regardless. As with most young quarterbacks, Campbell wouldn't be ready to play immediately. It's up to Ramsey how long he sits. Gibbs said he expects Ramsey to ignore Campbell's presence and focus on just playing. Every quarterback faces obstacles; the best ones don't worry about them.

''My impression has always been that if that bothers them, then they weren't the person mentally to handle that,'' Gibbs said. ''There's a lot of tough things thrown their way. You have to have a lot of mental toughness and capable to overcome those things.''

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