Training Camp Preview: QBs
The Washington Redskins will be heading into training camp with more talent at the quarterback position than it has in recent memory. Sure, the Redskins have had talent at the position in the past. Names like Kilmer, Jurgensen and Theismann come to mind when you think of talented Redskin signal callers, but it is hard to remember a season with two legitimate starters on the roster like the 2004 season seems certain to hold. No matter who ultimately earns the starting job for the Redskins they certainly form a talented stable from which Coach Gibbs will be able to draw.
Patrick Ramsey, the incumbent starter, will be entering his third NFL season after being drafted in the first round of the 2002 draft out of Tulane. Last season, the strong armed youngster showed his teammates as well as the entire league that he is a legitimate NFL quarterback. He also showed that he was one of the most durable quarterbacks. Then again, he had to be, considering the onslaught of pass rushers he was facing after every snap. He was sacked 30 times in 11 games in 2003 and in 9 games in 2002, he was sacked 18 times. The youngster was pummeled in his own backfield all season before ending the season prematurely with a broken bone in his foot, an injury that he had played with since training camp. The injury, which required surgery, has shown no ill-effects on his play during the team's early mini-camps. Along with his rocket for a right arm, Ramsey also has a great knowledge of the game and has the ability to think on the fly. His intelligence has been commented on by both his teammates as well the coaches that have worked with him. Patrick Ramsey also has what many would call the most important intangible, he is a competitor. He will fight for the starting job and will force Brunell to take the position from him. His
resume, while only having two seasons under his belt (20 total games of which he started 16), is impressive considering tthe system in which he was playing and the protection (or lack of) he was given.
Career totals: 296-564 (52.5%) for 3,705 yards.
23 TD/17 INT. 74.2 Passer rating
Mark Brunell, the veteran left hander who was brought in by Coach Gibbs after playing his last nine seasons in the sun in Jacksonville. Originally, Brunell was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 1993 and played two seasons in Lambeau before being traded to the Jaguars. While in Jacksonville, Brunell turned the expansion team into a playoff contender and brought legitimacy to the franchise. He also earned three trips to the NFL Pro Bowl. He brings a great deal of experience to the Redskins and having been a part of bringing together a team like he did with Jacksonville certainly makes him that much more valuable. Brunell played in only 3 games in 2003, his 11th NFL season, after being moved from the starter role for the future of the Jaguars franchise, Byron Leftwich. The veteran signal caller is an intelligent quarterback with good pocket presence, a good arm and he can scramble. The ability to move in and out of the pocket is something that the Redskins have not been accustomed to seeing. Brunell also can throw on the run and has established himself as a true leader on and off the field. The resume that Mark Brunell offers is a bit more substantial considering the length of his NFL career (started 117 of 122 NFL games).
Career stats: 2,196-3,643 (60.3%) for 25,793 yards.
144 TD/86 INT. Passer rating: 85.2.
Tim Hasselbeck enters his third NFL season looking to tie down the third quarterback spot for the Redskins, for whom he played for last season. Hasselbeck was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2002 draft out of Boston College but only lasted one season with them and signed with the Redskins in 2003, starting the final five games after Ramsey went down with the foot injury. Hasselbeck, the brother of the Seattle Seahawk's, Matt, has yet to find his niche in the league but is hoping that he can be a serviceable backup under Coach Gibbs, whose system should be more user friendly than that of the previous regime. The young quarterback really has only his stint as Redskins quarterback (5 starts in 9 NFL games) on his resume at this point of his career.
Career stats: 95-177 (53.7%) for 1,012 yards.
5TD/7 INT. Passer rating: 63.6
Weight: 240 lbs
Gibran Hamdan is the biggest of all the quarterbacks on the Redskins roster. Hamdan, who is serving as the backup to Clint Stoener for the Amsterdam Admirals in NFL Europe, will be entering his 2nd NFL season. He was drafted out of Indiana in the 7th round of the 2003 NFL Draft. He was signed to the Redskins practice squad after posting an impressive training camp where he displayed a very strong arm combined with his impressive size. Hamdan saw action in only one game, in mop up duty, against the Eagles in the 2003
season finale. The verdict is still out on Hamdan and the whether he will make it as a NFL quarterback. He was looked at as a project QB under Spurrier when he was drafted and it is unknown how or if he will fit into Coach Gibbs plans. He has raw talent but he is looking up at three quality quarterbacks. His resume is based on one game, so it has little value.
Career stats: 1-2 (50%) for 7 yards.
0 TD/ 0 INT. Passer rating: 58.3.
The battle lines are clearly in place. Patrick Ramsey will be heading to camp holding the tentative title of starting quarterback. Ramsey did nothing to lose his starting position and was understandably concerned when Coach Gibbs immediately went after a veteran quarterback when he announced his return to Redskins Park. While the addition of Mark Brunell makes the Redskins much stronger at the QB spot, it remains to be seen what comes of the competition between the young gunslinger and the hired gun. Coach Gibbs has insisted from the time it was announced that the team was seeking a veteran quarterback and after they signed Brunell to the lucrative 7 year, $43 million contract that there would be an open competition for the starting position. The contract that Brunell signed would tell you that is "starter's money", in that if they planned on bringing him on to serve as Ramsey's backup/mentor, they again overpaid for another player. It was reported early on that Ramsey had become so disgruntled by the signing of Brunell that he was demanding a trade. Since then, Ramsey has come forward to dispel that rumor and has embraced, while not eagerly, the idea of an open competition. If that happens, Ramsey doesn't lack confidence in his ability but it may be a situation that is predetermined, despite what is reported to the media. If Brunell is named the starter, Ramsey could use his demotion in one of two ways in that he can demand the trade that he denied earlier or he could learn the Gibbs system as well as the quarterback position from the established veteran. In working with Brunell and the current coaching staff, Ramsey will be surrounded with the most talent he has ever seen and if he is as receptive as he has shown himself to be in his first two seasons, he could parlay his time off the field into his being one of the best quarterbacks ever.
As far as the other two quarterbacks on the roster, Hasselbeck will still need to show to the coaches that he has the skills and intelligence to run the offense. If he can do that, he should be able to wrap up the third spot and perhaps force the Redskins to make a decision on Gilbran Hamdan's future with the team.
Stay tuned to TheHogs.net as we will be bringing you the battle for the starting QB job as well as the other Redskins news as we bring you unprecedented coverage of the 2004 Redskins training camp.
This article was released on 2004-06-09.
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