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Gibbs Would Like to See QBs Get Their Share Against Steelers

By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 21, 2005

Coach Joe Gibbs said he intends to split the snaps evenly among his top three quarterbacks during Friday's preseason game against Pittsburgh, but there are no assurances it will turn out that way. Gibbs said he planned to use that formula Friday against Cincinnati, but when the first-team offense struggled he opted to use starter Patrick Ramsey for the entire first half and backup Mark Brunell for the duration of the 24-17 defeat.

As a result, first-round pick Jason Campbell did not take the field after playing the fourth quarter of the exhibition opener. Should the offense fail to move the ball against Pittsburgh -- one of the NFL's elite defensive teams -- Gibbs said he might stick with the starters longer again.

"I would like for the offense to look good, but that's not going to be easy against one of the best defenses in the league that I've gone against," Gibbs said. "It will kind of depend on how the game goes for us, but our game plan would be roughly a third, a third and a third."

After reviewing the game film of the Bengals game, Gibbs said the overall yardage (392 net yards), rushing average (5.1 per carry) and abundance of big plays (seven of 20 yards or more) pleased the staff, but the propensity of turnovers and penalties did not. Ramsey threw two interceptions inside the red zone, and Gibbs reiterated the importance of not making such critical mistakes.

"I think Patrick will tell you, hey, it was bad decisions," Gibbs said. "Hopefully, what you do is learn from some bad experiences."

Ramsey (9 for 18 for 190 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions) agreed that the blame for those interceptions rested solely with him.

"We place an importance of taking care of the football, and that's something I didn't do a good job of [Friday] night," he said. "I got some looks [Friday] that I can certainly learn from."

Injury Report

Running back Clinton Portis is doing much better after taking the weekend off, Director of Sports Medicine Bubba Tyer said, and he should return to practice early this week. Portis has been experiencing inflammation in his elbow and has aggravated the problem during practices, but after refraining from contact since Tuesday, Tyer said the elbow has healed significantly. "He's fine now," Tyer said. . . .

Safety Matt Bowen, who gave the team a scare when he was carted off from Wednesday's practice with a knee injury, said he is feeling fine and expects to play Friday night against the Steelers. Bowen underwent season-ending knee surgery in 2004, and suffered a strain in that same right knee during 11-on-11 drills Wednesday night. . . .

Punter Tom Tupa, who missed Friday's game after suffering a back sprain in warmups, is day-to-day, Gibbs said.

Packing Up Camp

Gibbs originally planned to end the formal part of training camp several days from now, but brought it to an end yesterday instead.

"With the weekend, I figured I'd let the guys go home," Gibbs said.

Veterans checked out of the National Conference Center and those remaining there because they are without homes in the area will no longer have bed checks, Gibbs said. This camp has included only three two-a-day sessions through three weeks with at least one day off each week. . . .

Cornerback Carlos Rogers, the ninth overall pick in April's draft, impressed Gibbs in his debut Friday, picking up an interception but being burned for a touchdown. "The first part of that game he looked very comfortable," Gibbs said. "He looked like he belonged." . . .

Special teams coach Danny Smith posed for pictures with a sporty Mustang at Redskins Park last night. Smith won the car in a raffle at the annual golf tournament held by Gregg Williams, assistant head coach-defense.

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