You can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Well, there goes one myth out the window.
You know, the “rule” that says that you’re not supposed to
lose your starting job because of an injury. It’s one of those time-honored
traditions of the game. If you’re injured, not matter how well your replacement
plays, you start when you’re healthy enough to do so. Usually when we talk
about this, we’re talking about a player who missed at least an entire game,
usually a few weeks or more.
Patrick Ramsey lost his job because of an injury that
prevented him from playing for about 15 minutes of real time, not game time. He
took a dirty hit that should have drawn a flag and almost certainly will draw a
stiff fine. After that he stood up, started to wobble a bit and then had to be
helped to the sidelines. Soon after it happened he was warming up behind the bench
apparently none the worse for wear.
Mark Brunell, however, remained in the game and led the
Redskins to a win, albeit one that came without the benefit of a touchdown
being scored by the winners. And Joe Gibbs announced today that Brunell would
remain in the lineup and that Ramsey, although physically able to play, would
sit. From Redskins.com:
"I made the decision to start
Mark," Gibbs said in his opening remarks of his Monday press conference at
Redskins Park. "I know a lot of people will disagree with this and I
understand that. For me, I felt like it was a decision that I had to
Added Gibbs: "I'm looking for
someone to establish himself as our quarterback."
Asked about what he has seen in
Brunell during the offseason and the preseason, Gibbs said: "He's been
confident and sure."
Ramsey started the last seven games of 2004 and Gibbs
announced just after the season that Ramsey would be the #1 quarterback in
2005. All through OTA’s, minicamp, training camp and the preseason games Ramsey
worked with the first unit. That unit included a pair of speedy new receivers
in Santana Moss and David Patten, receivers that were supposed to help take
advantage of Ramsey’s strong arm and open up the deep passing game. There
seemed to be a commitment to Ramsey, but it lasted about as long as Brittney
Spears’ first marriage.
What should be painfully obvious now is that Gibbs doesn’t
like Ramsey as a player. If the trade for Brunell, Gibbs hesitance to make a
move to Ramsey when Brunell was struggling mightily and the king’s ransom of picks
that Gibbs gave up to draft Jason Campbell didn’t already make it obvious
enough, this, an 18 minute, 52 second run by Ramsey as the unquestioned starting
quarterback makes it perfectly clear.
The turnovers have to be the reason why. In his 18:52 Ramsey
threw one interception—a wretched throw right to the defender--and put the ball
on the ground twice. Gibbs couldn’t write off Ramsey’s early problems on Sunday
as a rocky start; rather, they were the continuation of a pattern. During the preseason
Ramsey would make some great passes and throw some killer interceptions
Something else is obvious. Joe Gibbs has looked at this team
and has decided that he can sacrifice big plays for safer plays. Brunell threw
the ball about as far as he could on Sunday on that play that ended up with the
interception being nullified by a pass interference call and it went less than
50 yards in the air. In Gibbs’ view, the Redskins can win with defense, a
one-two rushing punch with Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts behind an improved offensive line, and by playing it
close to the vest with a veteran quarterback who makes a minimum of mistakes. Time
will tell if this is a formula for success.