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Giving Patrick Ramsey His Due




No stretch of days better illustrated Patrick Ramsey's career with the Redskins than did the period between Oct. 6 and Oct. 13 back in the 2002 season. On Week 5 of that year, at Tennessee, Ramsey was brilliant. The rookie out of Tulane showed versus the Titans why the Redskins chose him in the first round at No. 32 overall.

Steve Spurrier started Danny Wuerffel at Tennessee but Wuerffel went down with a shoulder injury very early in the game. Ramsey stepped in and went 20-for-32 with two TDs in a 31-14 Redskins win.

It appeared to all (or at least most) that the Redskins had found their man in the 6-3, 225-pound Ruston, La., native who was once the top prep javelin thrower in the country. For sure, Ramsey seemed ready for NFL stardom that day in Tennessee.

Just seven days later, though, the same could not be said. Ramsey was intercepted four times versus New Orleans at FedExField and the momentum from the win at Tennessee dissipated. The Saints won, going away, 43-27.

Ever since those two weeks, NFL coaches and player personnel experts have been trying to figure out which version is the true Patrick Ramsey. He was brilliant in stretches over the course of his four seasons in Washington--such as in 2004 versus the Giants when he completed 19-of-22 passes in a 31-7 win--but he never was fully able to put together a stretch of solid games in his 24 NFL starts.

As we now know, the Redskins sent Patrick to the Jets on St. Patrick's Day for a 2006 draft pick. He'll be reunited with Laveranues Coles, a player Ramsey helped make the Pro Bowl in 2003, and looking for a fresh start to his career.

New Jets head coach Eric Mangini told reporters: "Patrick is a fifth-year veteran who has valuable experience in this league. He's a smart, team-oriented player who will mesh well with his teammates and add depth at the quarterback position."

Around Redskins Park a year ago, Ramsey's professionalism was viewed as a key to the Redskins' chemistry as the team returned to the playoffs for the first time since 1999.

Last December, head coach Joe Gibbs said that his decision to bench Ramsey in favor of Mark Brunell in Week 2 could have created a divided locker room.

Gibbs pulled Ramsey aside in the locker room prior to the Week 2 game at Dallas and told him how much he appreciated his professionalism.

"I just said I appreciated it because it was a tough situation," Gibbs said. "It says a lot about his character and the type of person he is. He's been so supportive of Mark. They get along great.

"Those are two guys there that you can kind of say are unusual people. If Patrick wasn't the kind of person he is, that could have been a tough situation. I sure appreciate it."

Oftentimes last season, after Brunell threw a touchdown pass, it was Ramsey who ran onto the field and congratulated him first.

"The kind of guy that Mark is, it's easy to be supportive," Ramsey said last year at Redskins Park. "We have a great relationship inside and outside of this building. Obviously, I wanted to go out there and play for this team, but at the same time I'm not going to go against a teammate."

In New York, Ramsey said he has a lot of respect for Jets quarterbacks Brooks Bollinger and Chad Pennington.

"I understand Coach Mangini is going to play the best players, and that is all I can ask for," Ramsey said.

The same could be said for Patrick Ramsey and his career as a Redskin. No matter the situation, Ramsey always carried himself as a professional athlete should.

That's something that must be said about the new quarterback with the New York Jets, who, in addition to his outstanding game at Tennessee in 2002, also carried the Redskins past the Jets in the 2003 opener, a memorable Thursday night affair at FedExField.

For the former javelin thrower and Tulane star, it's just a matter of finding consistency in his game.

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