Redskins QB's off to a Shotgun Start

Redskins Park, July 17, 2005--Patrick Ramsey and the team's other quarterbacks—Mark Brunell, Jason Campbell, and Bryson Spinner—went through some very simple drills during the first half hour of the practice session. One highlight was the debut of the shotgun snap.

Granted, it was quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave, doing the snapping, not Casey Rabach with a nose tackle ready to club him, but Ramsey and the others spent several minutes practicing fielding the snaps and then tossing a quick out pass, from zero to five yards past the line of scrimmage. The quarterbacks took turns throwing and catching the easy tosses, just taking baby steps into the world of the shotgun.

Ramsey seemed to be very much at ease, playfully snagging a volleyball that was being used in a special teams tip drill and bouncing it around a bit before tossing it back to the coach.

Campbell lined up at wide receiver a few times when the quarterbacks were tossing it around. Usually, when a quarterback does that he looks like a quarterback lined up at receiver. Not Campbell, he seems to be one of those fluid, natural athletes.

One thing that Ramey has learned how to do that Campbell has yet to master is to alter the angle of the ball while it's in flight depending on what kind of pass it is. On the shorter, sideline passes, the ball stays parallel to the ground, a straight throw where the nose of the ball is aimed straight between the two numbers on the receiver's chest. On Ramsey's deeper passes, the nose of the ball is up at nearly a 45-degree angle and it stays that way throughout the trajectory of the ball's travel path. This allows the ball to drop right into the receiver's hands, giving him the best possible target to get his hands around.

The forgotten quarterback, Mark Brunell, was zipping his shorter passes, the ones 5-15 yards downfield, in with authority. His deeper passes weren't as accurate but they reached the receiver. If his problems last year were related to arm strength, it appears that whatever issues there were in that regard have been cleared up.

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