The Franchise
By: Les Barnhart 
Posted: 2003-11-19
Category: Washington Redskins News
You can’t keep a good man down. That is how the old saying goes and it has never been more appropriate than when you look at the Redskins young signal caller, Patrick Ramsey. This kid has been beaten up more this season than Jerry Cooney was during his time as a heavyweight fighter. Opposing defenses have hit him with just about everything except the team bus and yet Ramsey continues to pick himself up for the next go-round. His list of injuries this season is longer than most quarterbacks have over their careers. Despite the injuries, Ramsey still answers the bell and leads the offense with the same enthusiasm that has made him a leader early in his NFL career. He is the future of the Redskins offense and he is being counted on to bring this storied franchise back to the top of the NFL ranks.

The rap on Patrick Ramsey last season was that he hurt himself by holding out due to a contract squabble. He missed valuable time with the team but more importantly he missed the opportunity to become familiar with Steve Spurrier’s widely publicized “Fun and Gun” offense. As the year moved on Ramsey slowly started to win over his teammates and ultimately, he started to win over the perfectionist, Coach Spurrier. Ramsey took his fair share of lumps last season (still taking them) but was clear to those who watched him; he showed the one thing that even The Ballcoach can’t coach…heart. Ramsey also showed great determination, a powerful and accurate arm and even as a rookie he showed the leadership qualities that he is displaying this season.

The Redskins took some heart for taking Patrick Ramsey in the draft. After all, he came out of Tulane, which has never been recognized as a hotbed for NFL talent. Ramsey was different though and the Redskins front office saw something in this kid that made them believe he could be the franchise quarterback. What they saw is what we are seeing now and that is a young player that brings more talent to the quarterback position than the Redskins have seen for many years. He is a born leader that will do whatever it takes to win. His key attributes (great arm, intelligence, leadership, poise, determination and a will to win) are those of a great NFL quarterback and he only in his first year as starter.

In the off-season, the Redskins front office went out and acquired the weapons that were needed to implement Spurrier’s high-octane offense. They also upgraded the offensive line so as to protect their young gunslinger. On paper, the offensive line looked impenetrable and had not only the fans but also Patrick Ramsey dreaming of the possibilities that existed with this offense. While the offense has shown flashes of the dominance that is expected, they have been unable to sustain it for four quarters week in and week out. Ramsey believed that with the offensive line he had in front of him that he would be protected and have plenty of time to pick apart opposing defenses. While the first half of the season saw Ramsey getting sacked at an alarming rate, not to mention the number of shots that he endured. Needless to say, the offensive line simply wasn’t getting it done. In the last few weeks, it looks like the line is starting to give Ramsey some protection but more work is needed if the Redskins want to keep their talented quarterback. Should Ramsey go down with an injury, the offense may be better suited with direct snaps to the running backs at this point.

The Redskins have been looking for a quarterback of the caliber of Patrick Ramsey for a long time. Now that they have found him, they need to take care of him. They have given him the weapons that he needs to show the league that this offense is legitimate. They have upgraded the offensive line but this is a work in progress. If they can’t perform better than they have shown and protect their signal caller, it won’t matter how many weapons are at his disposal because you can’t throw from your back.

Patrick Ramsey is being counted on to win games and to help return this franchise to the glory it once knew. He is the Redskins future and considering what this kid has shown us so far…. the future's so bright, we're gonna need shades.


-Wingman
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