NFL GM: Redskins Are Playoff Quality

According to one NFL general manager, the Redskins would be in the playoffs if they had approached their QB situation differently. That QB will be in play against Minnesota, but the whole personnel mess will be evaluated in Washington next week, after the Redskins are done trying to build momentum for next year with a season-ending game against the Vikings.

The Redskins' minuscule playoff hopes finally evaporated Sunday, but at least one NFL general manager believes Washington would be headed for the postseason if coach Joe Gibbs had switched from QB Mark Brunell to Patrick Ramsey earlier.

"They're not asking Ramsey to do a whole lot, but he's just so much better than the other guy," the general manager said. "Based on what I've seen, there's no question in my mind that they'd be in the playoffs right now."

Gibbs defended the decision to give Brunell nine starts, saying that for weeks the problems on offense could be traced to other positions. In addition, there also was a strong feeling coming out of preseason that Ramsey wasn't ready to return to a starting role.

"What we did, I think, was the right thing to do," Gibbs said. "We put it out in preseason. They all competed for it. I think it worked out how it was supposed to work out. Then as I went forward during the season, to me, it was the right timing. Everybody else, I'm afraid you'll have to suffer with my thoughts and my timing. Everybody else may have a different opinion."


Coach Joe Gibbs will open his offseason with a lengthy review of every element of Washington's season. All personnel will be re-evaluated, and Gibbs also will take a look at his offensive schemes, which drew quite a bit of criticism, particularly during the second half of the season.

Gibbs' offense was a major disappointment this year. The Redskins rank just two points ahead of No. 32 Chicago in scoring; the run game never produced consistently; and the pass game has been reduced to a variety of screen passes and 5-yard completions. Next week, Gibbs will determine where fault lies in the personnel and where in the schemes.

The most glaring deficiency has been deep passes. Even though ostensible deep threat Laveranues Coles continues to be plagued by a toe problem, it seems likely that Gibbs will take a long look at revamping the receiver corps. WR Rod Gardner hasn't produced in four years as a Redskin, and Taylor Jacobs and Darnerien McCants each failed to seize the No. 3 role.

Last weekend Jacobs had two catches for 37 yards, but even he warned not to expect consistent production.

"James (Thrash) has the three-wide package right now, and I have the one-wide," Jacobs explained. "Different game plans call for different things. ... Next week it could be the three-wide receiver package that gets the balls. And who knows? D-Mac might be up, and he might get the one-receiver and I get special teams."

Meanwhile, the club signed defensive end Melvin Williams and tight end Kori Dickerson off the street as well as running back Dahrran Diedrick and cornerback Rufus Brown off the practice squad. Cornerback James Bethea and linebacker Maurice Jones were signed to the practice squad.

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