- The Washington Times - Monday, December 9, 2002

There was a revolt in the stands at FedEx Field yesterday. Seems only fair: The play on the field was revolting, as well.
The Bag Heads were back. Fans called for quarterback Patrick Ramsey (and got him). Even the Funky Foursome was out of step. The crowd alternated between cheers and jeers.
The Fun 'n' Gun became the Stop, Drop 'n' Roll until Ramsey relieved Danny Wuerffel in the third quarter. Makes you wonder why he hasn't been playing in recent weeks.


Q: Were the fans really upset? Are the 85,000 faithful at FedEx finally giving up?
A: The Giants fans had a good time, and there were a lot of them scattered among the plentiful empty seats. But as the late Jack Kent Cooke used to say of the locals, "These are the best fans in the NFL." They have been tremendous throughout the past six seasons, despite having to root for teams that mostly have been crummy. The Redskins should give season-ticket holders free passes to preseason games or free parking next year in appreciation. These fans have been more than generous this season.

Q: Does Ramsey start for the rest of the season? Wuerffel sprained a shoulder; can he even play again?
A: Ramsey should have started this game. Coach Steve Spurrier wanted to wait until the Texans and Cowboys games at the end of the season so that Ramsey would not have to face the Eagles' tough defense on Sunday. Wuerffel's probably out for the year.

Q: Can we talk about the playoffs?
A: Sure, the Redskins have a good chance in 2005. Oh, you mean this year's playoffs? That's done.

Q: What is all this noise coming from Spurrier about coaching his own way next year? Was someone forcing him to do play MartyBall this season?
A: Talk about weak excuses. He sounded like Norv Turner blaming his players. Spurrier is trying to distance himself from this train wreck by saying that he was influenced by others. So, the implication is, this is their fault, not his. Oh, maybe it's his only because he listened to them, but now he's going to turn it around on his own.
Please. This is beneath Spurrier, and the fans aren't biting. Spurrier is responsible for the play calling play calling that at times has been poor. Spurrier's talk of being more of an overall head coach instead of just the offensive coach next season also is nonsense. Let's be honest: Spurrier was not as prepared for his first NFL season as he thought he was, and he overestimated what his players and system could accomplish.

Q: Is Spurrier going to re-invent himself next season? Is the Fun 'n' Gun going to reload?
A: The Redskins are going back to the Air Coryell days next year, which will be more interesting than the current Snore 'n' Bore. But will it be better? If Rams quarterback Kurt Warner becomes available in the offseason, look for the Redskins to make a big move to get him. The accurate-throwing Warner would work well in this system, but signing him would suck up all the salary cap room.
The Redskins would have to go cheap again at guard, something that really burned them this season. Maybe guard Tre Johnson can be retained on the cheap, but the Redskins will have to use their first-round pick on a receiver who can help make Spurrier's offense work. Otherwise, Washington won't have the money to do much else unless owner Dan Snyder tries another big-money, one-season shot at the Super Bowl. That, of course, would backload salary cap problems for three years. That approach didn't work the first time, but the Redskins boss doesn't seem to learn from history too often.

Q: What happens if they don't get Warner? What's Plan B in free agency?
A: The Redskins should get a receiver in the draft with what likely will be a top 10 pick. So, they probably will look in free agency for a right offensive tackle to replace Jon Jansen, who won't be back no matter the politically correct stance he has taken recently. They'll also get a guard and a defensive tackle, which would mean re-signing Daryl Gardener if they're smart. Washington probably will keep Ladell Betts and Kenny Watson after Stephen Davis is released for salary cap reasons. An interesting signing would be Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith, who is expected to be a free agent. At least he no longer would be able to beat the Redskins twice each year.

Q: Why are the Redskins abandoning Davis? It seems crazy to get rid of a three-time 1,300-yard runner, a player still in his prime.
A: It's all about money. Davis' salary cap hit is $11.4 million next year, and only Pro Bowl quarterbacks are allowed to stick around to collect a mountain of dough that big. Spurrier doesn't use a prime back like Davis, so it's a waste of money anyway. That's why Davis will be released, a move that will save the team $5.2 million against the cap enough to pay for a couple of free agents.

Q: What was that wacky pose Davis made in the end zone after scoring?
A: Davis was saying, "Hey, look at me now." Sort of his way of yelling back at Spurrier for playing others when everyone knows that Davis is the best offensive player on the Redskins.

Q: What were offensive tackles Chris Samuels and Jansen doing split wide on a third-and-1?
A: That was ol' Ball Coach being crafty. Redskins went up the middle behind three interior linemen for the first down. The better play was the reverse that came before and picked up 9 yards.

Q: Did the Redskins find a new kicker in Jose Cortez? He actually made two field goals.
A: Cortez is worth bringing to training camp next summer if he finishes well. The Redskins have gone through 10 kickers in the past five years; Cortez is no worse than the others.


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