- The Washington Times - Friday, October 4, 2002

Sonny Jurgensen and Billy Kilmer couldn't stand newcomer Joe Theismann. Doug Williams and Jay Schroeder hated each other. Even Heath Shuler and Gus Frerotte were eventually polarized.

Job sharing has rarely been friendly among Washington Redskins quarterbacks, but Danny Wuerffel, Patrick Ramsey and Shane Matthews returned from lunch together to their nearly adjoining lockers yesterday. The trio remain inseparable despite ongoing lineup changes.

There's still no pecking order while the Redskins get ready for the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. Coach Steve Spurrier won't name the starter until tomorrow, but Wuerffel is the expected choice, and Ramsey also may play if the team stumbles early. Matthews was demoted to No.3 after a 1-2 start despite the backing of many teammates.

Wuerffel and Matthews have been friends through their Florida college ties under Spurrier. They were backups together at Chicago last year. And both veterans have embraced rookie Ramsey, who's quietly pressing to become the starter after losing any chance for the opening day job when he arrived at training camp 16 days late after a contract dispute.

"I wouldn't label it as 'fierce,'" Ramsey said. "Danny and I are good friends. It's a competition. We both know that. After we get off the field, it's the same relationship."

Said Wuerffel: "Every time I throw a good pass, I turn around and Patrick's the first person to give me five. I try to be there for him."

Teammates have followed the passers' model to avoid a divided locker room. They realize the Redskins might struggle looking for the right combination for some time. After all, Wuerffel or Ramsey will become Washington's 12th starter since coach Joe Gibbs' 1993 departure, most in the NFL. The Redskins have used 10 starting quarterbacks in the past 71 games alone.

"[Spurrier] has never been afraid of putting another guy in there to try to bring a spark to the game," receiver Chris Doering said. "Guys have a lot of confidence in Danny because of the way he led the huddle in preseason. If Patrick's in there, he'll be so fired up he'll bring a lot of energy."

Spurrier hopes Wuerffel reverts to the solid form he showed during offseason camps and his standout preseason relief play, though he did little in two August starts.

"Danny has practiced pretty well most of the time all through the year, but in the games nothing good has happened for him lately," Spurrier said. "Hopefully, it will return real soon."

Ramsey's quick improvement makes him at least No.2 against the Titans.

"I feel a lot better than I have in the past; feeling good about reacting to things on the field. I understand it fairly well now," he said. "My focus has been different than Danny and Shane. I'm trying to learn [the offense] and progress as much as I can do. I have to play well in there. I have to let things flow."

Health watch

Cornerback Fred Smoot (strained back) is probable despite not practicing. The normally jocular Smoot declined comment other than to say his back "is not a factor." If Smoot can't play, rookie Rashad Bauman will start.

Offensive tackle Chris Samuels will start despite suffering a bruised thigh at San Francisco on Sept. 22. He missed most of the preseason with a sprained knee and has since been bothered by nagging injuries. Alex Sulfsted will replace Samuels if needed.

"I just have to tough it out a little bit," Samuels said. "I don't believe [it will be detrimental]."

Tight end Walter Rasby appears ready for a limited role after missing three games with a sprained knee. He had a lineman fall on his leg during practice without any harm.

"I was more scared than hurt," he said. "It was a good test. I think I can play."

Linebacker Antonio Pierce may play after missing three games with a sprained ankle.

Practice squad receiver Justin Skaggs was limited in practice after aggravating his sprained knee on Wednesday. However, Skaggs said he won't miss several weeks after all.

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