- The Washington Times - Monday, April 22, 2002

Quarterback by committee? Washington Redskins coach Steve Spurrier yesterday said he won't hesitate to change passers to avoid a losing season.
"If they go bad, the next guy gets his chance," said Spurrier, who was known for pulling passers at Florida. "If they're really struggling, my experience coaching quarterbacks is that it has helped a guy to hit the bench for half a game. After he watches, he's a lot better quarterback."
Quarterback Patrick Ramsey, the team's first-round draft pick, will compete against veterans Danny Wuerffel, Sage Rosenfels and Dameyune Craig in training camp. Unlike last season, when quarterback Tony Banks signed in late August, Spurrier doesn't foresee another passer coming.
"I don't anticipate that happening," he said. "If it did happen we'll deal with it then, but that's like asking, 'How am I going to like losing half the time?' I don't plan on it. If that happens I'll be a basket case."
As the Redskins completed the NFL Draft with myriad reserves, Spurrier said Washington won't seek Chicago quarterback Shane Matthews following weeks of trade talks. Both the Bears and Redskins considered swapping a late-round pick for the former Florida passer, and Spurrier conjectured Washington might not have chosen Ramsey had it already traded for Matthews.
"If Shane had worked out, maybe we would have gone in a different direction," Spurrier said. "Maybe this was meant to be. It didn't work out. We jumped off and went in different directions."
Meanwhile, the Redskins talked with Baltimore Ravens free agent safety Rod Woodson. Washington wants to upgrade at free safety, and Woodson previously played for Redskins defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis. Ravens defensive tackle Sam Adams may also be considered.
The Redskins still need a starting left guard, though Spurrier wants to review former New York Jets guard David Loverne, who was acquired in an April 6 trade, in the three-day minicamp beginning Friday. Alex Sulfsted, David Brandt and Ross Tucker also may start. Washington will look for a defensive tackle, but defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis will consider converting to a 3-4.
Vice president of football operations Joe Mendes expects to sign perhaps 15 rookie free agents. The Redskins have seven roster openings before reaching the 80-player limit, plus four NFL Europe exemptions.
Despite several remaining needs, Spurrier is beginning to envision the regular-season roster.
"Our team is starting to shape up, the team that we're going to have all the way through the season," he said. "We're not going to have a quarterback out here all summer and cut him in the third game. We're going to train our team and hopefully be ready to start when the season starts. I believe we know pretty much who all of our guys are going to be. There may be a linemen here and there we have to fill in."
Washington went for the classic "best player on the board" on the draft's second day rather than its pressing needs.
Tennessee safety Andre Lott and Louisiana State tight end Robert Royal were taken with consecutive fifth-round selections. Lott spent two years at cornerback before moving to safety last year as defensive captain. Royal is expected to be a blocking tight end but caught 59 passes in 42 games.
"They're from big football programs, big crowds, big games," Spurrier said. "I think they've got good backgrounds."
In the sixth round, Tennessee offensive tackle Reggie Coleman was the Redskins' first choice at one of their original spots after trades scrambled their previous picks. Coleman started 22 games at left tackle but can also play guard.
Washington selected UCLA tight end Jeff Grau, Hampton defensive end Greg Scott and Kansas State fullback Rock Cartwright in the seventh round. Grau could replace veteran Ethan Albright as the deep snapper. Scott is a "project" after three seasons at defensive end. Cartwright caught Spurrier's eye for his receiving and blocking.

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