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Ramsey's Confidence Remains High

Patrick Ramsey worried? When the Redskins selected quarterback Jason Campbell with the 25th overall pick in last weekend's NFL Draft, Ramsey was out playing golf. After a workout on Tuesday morning at Redskins Park, he was headed back to the golf course for another 18 holes.

Ramsey spoke to reporters Tuesday for the first time since the team drafted Campbell. The fourth-year quarterback remains confident that he will lead the Redskins to a successful season in 2005.

"I don't think I have anything to be real apprehensive about," Ramsey said. "I feel confident in my ability to lead this team and I feel confident about this team. It's a situation where I know I have every opportunity to be successful and so I'm going to make the most of it."

Ramsey said he wasn't surprised that the team selected Campbell. He had conversations with head coach Joe Gibbs--one discussion last week before the draft and another on Tuesday--about Campbell, among other topics.

"I just asked coach his opinion on the matter, and he told me, 'You're in there, you're our starter and you're going to play.' But obviously I still have to earn it. I'm being given an opportunity to lead this football team to the playoffs and to win."

"The way I look at this season is this: I'm going to go out there to play well and lead this team. Hopefully it leads to me staying here. That's what I want to do. That's what I plan on doing. We'll see where it takes me."

After the Redskins selected Campbell last Saturday, questions swirled about how it would impact Ramsey. Gibbs dispelled any suggestion that Ramsey's status was uncertain.

"Really this has very little to do with Patrick," Gibbs said on Tuesday afternoon. "He is our starter and he is the guy we are counting on to be the quarterback who takes us to the playoffs.

"We had real good talks about it and he understands that this is his opportunity and his team. I think he is anxious about it. He has had great work in the off-season. I think this is the best he has ever felt."

Last season at this time, Ramsey was recovering from foot surgery and was set back in competing for the starting job. Veteran quarterback Mark Brunell won the 2004 starting job in training camp and played nine games.

Ramsey assumed the starting job in Week 10. In seven starts, he completed 65 percent of his passes--142-of-217 for 1,313 yards and eight touchdowns. He was particularly effective in the 31-7 win over the New York Giants. In that Week 12 game, he completed 19-of-22 passes for 174 yards and three touchdowns.

This offseason, offensive coaches may be hoping that Ramsey produces a performance similar to that of San Diego quarterback Drew Brees, a fifth-year player drafted in 2001 by the Chargers.

After San Diego drafted highly touted rookie quarterback Phillip Rivers in the 2004 NFL Draft, Brees' status was suddenly uncertain. But Brees went on to earn the starting job last season, ahead of Rivers, and led the Chargers to the playoffs. He completed 65 percent of his passes and threw for 3,159 yards and 27 touchdowns.

"My situation is similar to [Brees]," Ramsey said. "But it's also a little different for me because I've been told I have an opportunity to lead this team. I'm the starter here until I prove otherwise. I expect us to go to the playoffs and hopefully we'll go a little bit farther than Drew did."

As the designated starter, Ramsey, the Redskins' first-round pick (32nd overall) out of Tulane in 2002, said he is approaching this offseason differently than in years past.

"It's a lot different the way you approach things and the way you relate to your teammates," he said. "It's just as important to earn it. When you go out onto the field, you have to show you're deserving of it."

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