Until draft day, the 2005 season was shaping up to be one free of quarterback controversy, but it just wouldn't be the Redskins without that element added to the story line.
Overview: It was
the classic good news/bad news for Patrick Ramsey this offseason. The good news
was that he was named the undisputed starter over Mark Brunell by Joe Gibbs. On
the other hand, Gibbs spent a first-round draft pick to get Auburn
quarterback Jason Campbell. Regardless of what may happen when Campbell is
ready to play—which probably won't be in 2005—Gibbs will rely on Ramsey to pull
the trigger on a deep passing game, an element sorely missing from the
Washington offense in 2004
Changes: Drafted Campbell
in the first round, 25th overall, signed Bryson Spinner as a
first-year free agent, released Tim Hasselbeck.
Depth Chart: It's
Ramsey, backed up by Brunell with Campbell
holding the clipboard as the third QB.
Man to Man:
(6-1, 217, Washington, 12 NFL
seasons): The quarterback always takes too much of the blame when a team plays
poorly and one could argue that his poor play in 2004 was more a symptom of an
ineffective Redskins offense rather than a cause of it. The argument would have
not much of a chance of convincing many however, as it seemed his arm strength
had totally left him. Anything that had to travel move than 10 yards in the air
was an adventure. At last month's minicamp it seemed that his arm had a bit
more zip to it than it did last year, so perhaps if he did need to fill in for
an extended period of time it wouldn't be the disaster that many fear. Perhaps.
(6-4, 228, Auburn, rookie): There are those who will say that Campbell had it easy
at Auburn since two of his running backs, Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown,
went in the top five picks of the draft. It was Campbell, though, who was the
SEC offensive player of the year. He has the size, poise, and arm to be
successful in the NFL and, at some point, he will get that chance.
(6-2, 217, Tulane, 3 NFL seasons): Ramsey also has the tools and his chance is
now. He's shown flashes of brilliance like his 19-of-22 for 174 and three TD
effort against the Giants in week 13. He showed both good and bad the following
week when he had the Redskins on the brink of an upset over the Eagles, but he
threw a first-down interception in the end zone to kill the chance of the win.
It's the up again, down again nature of his performance that he must shed to
establish himself as a quality NFL starter. Ramsey must get his QB rating out
of the mid-70's, a mark of thorough mediocrity, and into at least the middle of
the NFL pack and do so by being consistent from series to series and game to
game, not by going from brilliant to horrible as he has so often in his three
years in DC.
(6-2, 236, Richmond, 1 NFL season):
He's back to give it another go after being cut twice as a rookie undrafted
free agent last year. Spinner started three games for Virginia
in 2000 before deciding that he didn't have much of a chance for playing time
with Matt Schuab on the roster as well and he transferred to Richmond.
It's a cruel thing to say, but his chances of landing a roster spot rely
entirely on someone else getting hurt and even then he may not stick.
Man to Man: