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Brunell Named Regular Season Starter

The decision is in: Mark Brunell will start the Redskins' regular-season opener on Sept. 12, head coach Joe Gibbs said on Monday.

"We're going to go with Mark," Gibbs said. "With Patrick [Ramsey], I talked to him for a long time about how much he means to us and what we think of him. And nothing's changed. He's smart and tough and we're looking forward to a long future with him."

Gibbs said he made the announcement now so that Brunell and the wide receivers corps can get their timing down prior to the first regular-season game.

"We'll spend more time getting timed up on our passing game because I think we need that," Gibbs said. "We haven't been able to get that down because the quarterbacks have been in and out, in and out."

Said Brunell: "Hopefully this is something that can launch this offense into the regular season. I feel good about where we're at. Obviously we have a lot of work to do, but we're moving forward.

"My approach stays the same. Obviously there'll be more opportunities to throw in practice, but when you're out there, you compete, work hard and do what you can do to put the team in the best position to win."

Brunell and last year's starter Patrick Ramsey had been locked in a quarterback competition throughout the offseason and in training camp.

During preseason, each quarterback had two starts, with Brunell starting the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 9, a 20-17 win for the Redskins, and the Aug. 21 game at Miami, a 17-0 shutout. Ramsey started the preseason home opener against Carolina on Aug. 14, a 23-20 overtime loss, and last Friday's 28-3 loss to the St. Louis Rams in the Edward Jones Dome.

Overall, Brunell was 22-of-40 for 244 yards with one touchdown and one interception, while Ramsey was 15-of-37 for 196 yards and one interception.

Asked what the determining factor was in choosing Brunell over Ramsey, Gibbs said: "It wasn't any one thing. We think the world of Patrick. I looked at all of the films from last year and I told him, 'I doubt I'd be coaching here if I didn't think he could play quarterback.'

"I think Patrick's tough and smart. I just felt like a decision had to be made and Mark is the person who should start for us."

Brunell will also start next Friday' preseason finale against Atlanta at FedExField. Game time is 7 p.m. ET.

The Redskins open the regular season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at FedExField on Sept. 12. Game time is 1 p.m. ET.

With Ramsey and Tim Hasselbeck, who started five games last year for the Redskins, Gibbs said he is pleased with the caliber of quarterbacks on the roster.

"The thing I want to say is how pleased we are with our quarterback situation, period. Obviously, Patrick is going to have a huge role in what we're going to be doing. You're always one play away. I think Tim Hasselbeck had a real good camp for us and we're real comfortable at quarterback. I think we'll win games because of our quarterback position."

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