- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 6, 2002

Washington Redskins quarterback Danny Wuerffel will start against the Tennessee Titans today after a long-expected decision that coach Steve Spurrier refused to defend yesterday.
"Cause I'm the head coach I make decisions on who plays," Spurrier said in announcing officially that Wuerffel will start. "I think he's ready to play. I'm not going to go into all the details about why you do anything. The coach makes the decision on what he thinks is best for the team, and I think this is the best move for our team, and I think Danny is ready to play. It's as simple as that.
"My memory is better than all you guys. I still have a lot of memories up there of him playing extremely well [at Florida]. He hasn't proved to me he can't play. We're going to find out."
Wuerffel was chosen over rookie Patrick Ramsey, with Shane Matthews now No.3 after three starts. Wuerffel hasn't started since 1998 with New Orleans, but Spurrier believes the 1996 Heisman Trophy winner can revive his career. Wuerffel played well against reserves during the preseason but struggled in two starts, handing Matthews the opening day job. Wuerffel was seven of 11 for 71 yards with two interceptions in relief against Philadelphia and San Francisco.
"I'm fired up. I love to play football, love to compete and use my mind and body," Wuerffel said. "I feel real good about what we're going to do this week. It's no different than other times I've played."
Spurrier refused to place blame for the 1-2 start on Matthews, who has completed 55 of 90 for 558 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions for an 84.4 rating.
"You're not going to get me into all that,'' Spurrier said. "I'm not happy the way Shane has played. I'm not going to criticize players. Nobody's blaming Shane for anything. Again, we're going to find out if Danny Wuerffel can play the position better than Shane has."
Spurrier said Ramsey could make his regular-season debut soon should Wuerffel struggle.
"[Ramseys] getting very close,'' Spurrier said. "We're early in the season. We're still trying to find out who our best players are. [Receiver] Kevin Lockett might be our best player. He didn't get a ball thrown at him last week. We don't pretend we know who all of our best players are right now. We're like a lot of teams. I'm a coach that doesn't sit pat. If guys aren't playing the way we think they're capable [of], then we'll give another guy a chance."
Ramsey conceded disappointment over not starting, but as figured his chance will eventually come.
"Any competitor wants to play, but I trust Coach's decision and will continue to get ready for my time,'' Ramsey said. "I feel much more prepared than two or three weeks ago."


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