Spotlight on Spurrier - Week 7

"He's our guy" No, not that guy, the other guy's our guy now.

Steve Spurrier anointed Patrick Ramsey "The Guy" just three weeks ago. At the time, the Ballcoach was asked how long the rookie would start. "Hopefully. . .he can go the distance,"

Apparently Spurrier prefers sprints to marathons. "The distance" turned out to be two weeks, two games marred by Ramsey interceptions and fumbles. The two losses weren't blowouts, but the Redskins were never even close to having the upper hand in either.

Spurrier told the team today, and announced to the press this evening, that Shane Matthews would be the starting quarterback this Sunday night against the Colts at FedEx field.

"Overall, we believe Shane Matthews gives our team the best chance to win games, simple as that," Spurrier said.

And for how long will Matthews get the keys to the bus?

"He's the guy that takes us however far we go this year. Barring injury, he's got the opportunity to be our quarterback. We're going to try to settle it."

"If Shane goes out and throws the ball to the right place we have to play him."

And if he throws the ball to the wrong place?

''You give me an All-Pro quarterback and I won't fiddle around," the Ballcoach said, implying that as long as Matthews performs at a Pro Bowl level his job is safe. Otherwise, some more fiddling may be in order.

Clearly, the play of the quarterbacks has been a source of irritation for Spurrier, who is the quarterback coach. With even competent quarterbacking, let alone star quality play, three of the team's four losses could have been wins or at least more competitive games.

In the one full game that Matthews started this year, the season opener against Arizona, he was quite competent, earning Player of the Week honors for his performance. It was a quick tumble downhill from there, though, as he was pulled from the next two games due to a combination of injury and poor performance. He has not taken a snap in the past three games, not even with Ramsey struggling mightily in the last two. Spurrier said after each game that he did not consider giving Ramsey the hook during either game.

Rich Tandler is the author of The Redskins From A to Z, Volume 1: The Games. For a look at this unique book that chronicles all 925 Redskins games from 1937 through 2001, visit

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