- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Washington Redskins quarterback Patrick Ramsey appears unlikely to play Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, and at several points yesterday he appeared to concede a more lengthy timetable to return.

Coach Steve Spurrier said Monday he hoped Ramsey could return to the lineup and maximize his learning as Washington plays out the string this season. But Ramsey was listed as doubtful yesterday and indicated his goal is much more modest.

“I’m seeing some people and just trying to come back before the end of the year,” Ramsey said.

After watching Tim Hasselbeck take the bulk of reps for a fourth straight practice, Spurrier didn’t dispute that there’s a good chance Ramsey won’t play this weekend.

“He’s doubtful,” Spurrier said. “He’s going through the same procedure. We’ll see how he looks Friday, see if he can do anything. If not, Tim will play.”

In some ways, Ramsey’s absence might do some good for a club with virtually no hope for the playoffs and much more fundamental goals — like winning a game after losing six of the past seven, capturing one of three remaining NFC East contests (Spurrier is 1-8 against division competition) and proving the current foundation can be successful in 2004.

If Ramsey sits, Hasselbeck could gain much-needed experience and audition for the backup slot in 2004. Also, the old fracture in Ramsey’s foot, which will require offseason surgery, would have an opportunity to heal further.

Ramsey said the concussion that knocked him out of Sunday’s loss at Miami is no longer an issue, but he conceded his foot was “a little more sore” yesterday than it was a week earlier. He won’t practice today either, and he said he could see ending his season prematurely “if I went a couple weeks in this cast and it just doesn’t get any better.

“We’ll see how it feels at the end of this week, make our decision and go on to next week,” he said. “It’s going to be on a week-to-week basis, rather than a day-to-day basis, now.”

How strong on Hue?

There is some question about how strongly Duke is considering Redskins offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, who interviewed Tuesday for the head coaching job.

The thinking, based in part on information from two sources with knowledge of the search, is that Jackson would had to have blown away university officials in Tuesday’s meeting to move ahead of interim coach Ted Roof, who like Jackson is inexperienced as a head coach.

Also, Jackson has no coaching background in the southeastern United States, having been a college assistant 14 years on the West Coast before joining the Redskins in 2001.

Spurrier, who coached Duke from 1987 to ‘89, said he recommended Jackson for the post to his “good friend,” Duke athletic director Joe Alleva.

“He just wanted some names and so forth,” Spurrier said.

A possible front-runner for the post is former NFL and Maryland coach Bobby Ross, who is looking to get back in the profession after retiring from the Detroit Lions in midseason 2000. Ross has a history of rebuilding programs, a background in the ACC (at Maryland and Georgia Tech) and a prominent name.

Southern California offensive coordinator Norm Chow, who replaced Jackson with the Trojans and was credited with developing 2002 Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer, is among others being mentioned for the Duke job.

Extra points

Left tackle Chris Samuels is expected to miss one to two weeks after an MRI on Tuesday revealed no serious damage to his knee. Brandon Winey, who did a solid job in relief last weekend, is scheduled to get his first start Sunday. …

Newly signed tackle Kenyatta Jones didn’t get a ton of work in his first practice with the Redskins, “just watching and some scout team [reps],” he said. Jones, who hadn’t practiced this season while on reserve/PUP with New England, believes he is in “good” condition and could contribute as soon as next week.

Offensive line coach Kim Helton didn’t comment specifically on Jones’ conditioning but conceded it can’t improve much with just 41/2 weeks left in the season. Said Helton: “Whatever he is, he is. We can’t do anything about his condition other than put him in a game and hope he doesn’t fatigue.” …

Running back Ladell Betts reported no setbacks in his forearm after undergoing his first full practice since mid-October. Betts said he had “a little bit of soreness, but that’s natural.” … Fullback Rock Cartwright did a few drills in practice, then left early to get an MRI on his ankle. He said the examination had been scheduled and was not due to an aggravation of the sprain that kept him out of the Dolphins game.

Staff writer Rick Snider contributed to this report.


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