No Offense, but Is Brunell Really an Upgrade?

Patrick Ramsey was cleared to return after suffering a neck strain, but it was Mark Brunell who finished the game.
Patrick Ramsey was cleared to return after suffering a neck strain, but it was Mark Brunell who finished the game. (By Toni L. Sandys -- The Washington Post)

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By Tony Kornheiser
Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Wave goodbye to The Patrick Ramsey Era.

Didn't last long, did it?

After Ramsey nearly got decapitated in the second quarter Sunday -- nearly found himself starring as Ichabod Crane in "The Headless Quarterback" -- Coach "Joe" sought comfort in Mark Brunell. Or as Dick Stockton repeatedly and inexplicably called him, " Scott Brunell."

Though we later learned that Ramsey was medically cleared to play, Gibbs pressed on with Brunell, whose best offensive play was a pass interference call that negated a 55-yard Chicago interception return. Gaining confidence with every pass he threw that wasn't intercepted and run back for a touchdown, Brunell's signature move was to turn and hand off to whoever was behind him. It could have been Tom Hanks; it wouldn't have mattered to Brunell.

The result was three field goals and an insurmountable 9-7 lead over the worst offensive team in the league. The Bears treat offense as if it's bubonic plague. I had to laugh when Moose Johnston waxed on about "Ron Turner's offensive philosophy" as if it were borrowed from Albert Einstein. Where exactly did Turner glean this dynamic offensive philosophy -- from the back of a ketchup bottle?

So now there is no need to start anyone but Brunell. He got the 'W,' didn't he? How can you argue with that? Okay, maybe he couldn't get the ball into the end zone -- but at least his spinal cord is intact. So what if the Redskins just lost all their scoring because John Hall re-injured his quad? (What's the deal with this guy? How did he become so fragile that he needs to be stored in a Tiffany box?) So what if Jon "Fast Eddie Felson" Jansen has no workable thumbs? No thumbs! I mean, come on, how is the guy supposed to get down into a three-point stance? For all intents and purposes, Jansen is now a penguin!

Don't worry. Mark Brunell threw for 70 yards.

That's right, 70 yards. Sound familiar?

Welcome to last year.


© 2005 The Washington Post Company

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