- The Washington Times - Monday, April 29, 2002

Sage Rosenfels and Danny Wuerffel emerged as the top quarterbacks as the Washington Redskins ended a three-day minicamp yesterday.
After rain forced the cancellation of the final practice, coach Steve Spurrier said that the pair were ahead of first-round draft pick Patrick Ramsey and veteran Dameyune Craig. The Redskins aren't expected to pick a starter until late in the preseason, and Spurrier has said he would change passers this season without hesitation.
"Sage Rosenfels is probably listed as No.1 right now," Spurrier said. "He and Danny are at the top because they are much more knowledgeable."
Meanwhile, the Redskins aren't expected to pursue free agents heavily in coming weeks, especially when June1 veteran free agency begins. The Redskins still need a left guard and a defensive tackle, but Spurrier said he doesn't foresee signing any marquee players. The Redskins need to clear more than $4million under the salary cap to sign their rookies and create an injury reserve.
"We're encouraged by the personnel, but again if we can improve our teams with the addition of a player or two we have to do that," Spurrier said. "But not major. This is going to be our team."
The Redskins will have a 14-practice quarterback school that begins in mid-May and another minicamp from June10 to 12 before opening training camp July23. However, Wuerffel and Rosenfels appeared to be the top quarterbacks after their extensive work with the starting offense over four weekend practices.
Wuerffel's familiarity with the University of Florida system allowed him to send passes into intended areas areas that receivers, uncertain of what patterns to run, didn't always reach.
"There's so many levels of this it will take everyone a little while," Wuerffel said.
Rosenfels, the only quarterback back from last season's team, has had three months to learn the system and narrow the edge Wuerffel holds from playing for Spurrier at Florida. While Wuerffel was most effective working medium-range passes, Rosenfels gambled downfield more often, going to second and third choices.
"I've improved tremendously. If you're smart and accurate you can do a lot of good things," Rosenfels said. "I'm not going to be perfect every day. [Bad passes] happen to all quarterbacks, but I can't take a day off."
Wuerffel is considering wearing gloves this season. He first tried them with the Bears last season and donned them during both minicamps this year. Receivers and returners commonly wear gloves, but the Chargers' Doug Flutie is the only quarterback who wears them. Wuerffel said gloves help to compensate for his smaller hands and improve his grip.
"It takes out that [uncertainty] in your mind if you'll get a good grip," he said.
Ramsey, who watched Friday, got only two sets during team drills Saturday. Spurrier, who is also the quarterbacks coach, wants Ramsey to work on footwork and holding the ball higher in coming weeks.
"Patrick's potential is unlimited, [but] he has some things to work on," Spurrier said. "He was about what we expected. I've never had a quarterback yet that can just step in and go. They all needed training. We'll try to get Patrick ready this year. If not, as soon as he's ready he'll have a chance to play."
Ramsey said the increased speed of the NFL game is the biggest difference from the college game. He showed good arm strength during individual drills, but he hesitated during team work when looking for receivers. That extra moment sometimes tipped defenders to Ramsey's intended receivers.
"I expect more of myself, but I don't know if I can because it's so early," Ramsey said.
Former Florida receivers Jacquez Green, Reidel Anthony and Chris Doering stood out during minicamp, partly because of their familiarity with Spurrier's "Fun 'N' Gun" system. However, Green only saw it as a short-term advantage.
"It clicked, but it won't be long before everybody is the same way," he said.
Rod Gardner is considered the No.1 receiver, but the new system often floods defenses with four to six intended targets. Spurrier rated the pecking order among receivers as tight.
"I see about all those guys pretty close right now," he said. "I don't know what that tells you. We got a bunch of good ones or a bunch of average ones, but they're pretty close."

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