It has been eight weeks since quarterback Patrick Ramsey last started for the Washington Redskins, plenty of time for him to analyze what went wrong in his last two games.
The rookie quarterback’s explanation: good, old-fashioned inexperience.
“It’s not anybody’s fault, but I don’t think I understood all that surrounds starting a game the last time,” said Ramsey, who regains the starting role Sunday in Philadelphia. “This time around, I think I’m paying better attention to all the little details.”
Ramsey spent three weeks holding a clipboard before he was first handed the reins to coach Steve Spurrier’s offense. Although the first-round draft choice passed for 268 yards and led the Redskins to a 31-14 victory over Tennessee on Oct.6, he struggled the following two games.
Ramsey threw for 320 yards but was intercepted four times in a 43-27 loss to New Orleans on Oct.13. The next week, he completed just 10 of 24 for 135 yards and was sacked six times in a 30-9 defeat by Green Bay.
Now, after six weeks on the sidelines before relieving injured Danny Wuerffel last Sunday against the New York Giants, Ramsey says he has a better understanding of what it takes to be a successful NFL quarterback.
“I think I would say I’m more prepared this time,” he said. “I feel more confident in my knowledge of the offense and in my ability to run it.”
Ramsey isn’t being eased back into the starting role. After throwing for 204 yards in less than two quarters against the Giants, he’s now faced with the challenge of the Eagles’ fifth-ranked defense.
Ramsey didn’t appear in the Redskins’ 37-7 loss to Philadelphia on Sept.16, but he watched from the sideline as the Eagles abandoned their traditional blitzing defense for a more conservative scheme.
Philadelphia might switch gears and come right after Ramsey this time, but the rookie isn’t thinking in those terms.
“We weren’t very successful [last time],” he said. “Obviously, they could show up with anything. But I don’t expect anything a lot different, because we didn’t show that we could beat it.”
WR Jackson cut
Receiver Willie Jackson was released yesterday as part of the Redskins’ late youth movement. Jackson caught seven passes for 58 yards and one touchdown over five games, but five of them were against the Giants on Nov.17. He then caught only one pass in three games and was inactive in the rematch against the Giants on Sunday.
Receiver Justin Skaggs will play his first game since being promoted from the practice squad on Nov.12. Skaggs will play on special teams coverage units.
The Redskins have two roster openings. Spurrier is considering whether to promote practice squad players.
Samuels gets ready
Right tackle Jon Jansen often measures his season by two meetings against Giants defensive end Michael Strahan. Left tackle Chris Samuels’ benchmark games are against Philadelphia defensive end Hugh Douglas. Samuels held Douglas without a sack in the first meeting, and the two Pro Bowl players have traded big games over the last two years.
“He’ll go to power on me,” Samuels said. “He’ll go to finesse. He’ll try to beat me inside. He can do it all. It’s an outstanding matchup for me. I love to play against Hugh. I prepare just a tad bit harder. I’ll just go back and look at my old film against him and evaluate myself.”
Who needs tickets?
The Redskins’ offer of free tickets for the Dec.29 finale against Dallas to those buying premium seats marks the latest and perhaps most startling promotion of the Redskins’ efforts to fill the 15,735 premium seat section.
Since FedEx Field opened in 1997, selling out the section has proven a mammoth challenge for former team president John Kent Cooke and current owner Dan Snyder. Other promotions for buying club seats have included free tickets to see the Rolling Stones and Darrell Green jerseys. Meanwhile, tickets for the Dallas game have fallen as low as $15 on secondary markets like EBay.
Linebacker LaVar Arrington missed part of practice after dislocating his right ring finger during the morning walkthrough session. X-rays were negative, and the finger was reset without a problem. Guard Brendan Stai will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery in the offseason after missing eight games.
Staff writers Eric Fisher and Jody Foldesy contributed to this report.