Redskins quarterback Patrick Ramsey spoke with reporters on Friday afternoon. The fourth-year player says he is ready to assume the mantle of starting quarterback and that this offseason, he is becoming increasingly comfortable in Joe Gibbs' offense.
Q: Patrick, how comfortable at quarterback have you been through the course of the offseason?
A: "I feel very comfortable. You're never going to be pleased. You always have more and more to learn. You can small things. But we're putting things in that are new to me as well. I'm going through them and trying to get as accustomed to those things as I am to the things we did last year. So I feel very comfortable, but at the same time, I know we can always improve."
Q: How much of a difference is it for you to work on the practice field in this offense, as opposed to last year where you worked behind Mark Brunell?
A: "Thus far, it hasn't been a lot different because Mark and I were splitting reps at mini-camps last year. Being out there every time and working with the receivers and running with the same guys every time, it's very helpful."
Q: What are your impressions of the wide receivers so far?
A: "Those guys create separation. They can dig in. They can really run. They've allowed us a little bit more of a window of opportunity as far as throwing the ball because they can create separation and get open."
Q: How are you adjusting to the shotgun in this offense?
A: "It's a change. We're picking and choosing our times to use it. We're not going crazy with it-we're not going to use it every play. There are times when we're going to use it. I think we're probably going to be pretty smart about when we use it and when it can be most effective."
Q: Coach Gibbs said you seemed more relaxed this offseason. Can you comment on that?
A: "I certainly feel more relaxed. I think it was important that I play last year and learn from that experience, run it in a game time situation. Then you can go back and watch tapes of that and just continue to learn what you messed up and what you did well. You make mental notes of all of those things. But I do feel very relaxed. When you go up against the caliber of defense we have in practice every day, you can only get better. When you can start picking up little things that they do, it makes it easier for you to go out there and play against some of the defenses that we face."
Q: How does Jason Campbell look to you?
A: "He's doing well. Jason's a talented guy. He's picking things up."
Q: How much pressure do you feel that you need to step up as the leader of this team?
A: "I think we just need to go out there and win football games and be productive. Regardless of how we do it, we need to make that happen. This is my fourth year, but I think the thing we're excited about-and what maybe some people are skeptical about--is that it has been a quiet offseason. We all feel like we have the pieces in place. It's just time for us to go out there to work and get it done."
Q: What specifically have you been working on this offseason?
A: "We've worked a lot with Coach [Bill] Musgrave on our footwork and detailed progressions of our plays. Last year, it was all new stuff and we had so much put in, we've been able to look at our offense in a detailed way. We can see what we did well. Just knowing our offense better is what I'm most excited about because when you go out there, you're able to react rather than think the whole time. You can react late."
Q: Do you think the offense has changed a lot this offseason?
A: "Somewhere in between. I think there are a lot of things we've changed in certain areas. But a lot of things we were successful at, we've stayed with."
Q: What would you say is the difference in your responsibilities in this offense as opposed to Steve Spurrier's offense?
A: "The thing I like about this offense is the protection aspect of it. When you are trying to get the ball down the field, you are protected and you can make an accurate throw. As far as responsibilities are concerned, it's pretty similar. We're more focused on hot reads with blitz protections. It's a pretty different offense [from Coach Spurrier's offense], but I'm growing to love it right now."
Q: Some people thought there was too much protection last year. Do you think the protection might be scaled back this season?
A: "The thing is, it's going to look like that if a defense is playing Cover 2 and dropping everybody back. And then the next third down, they bring everybody because you're sending everybody. It's just timing of calls, sometimes. We know when to use our stuff. Sometimes it worked great, especially in that last game against Minnesota. I felt like we had some things that really worked well. So I think there are times to use [maximum protection] and times not to use it."