For Ramsey, Another Sort of Bench Mark

By Tony Kornheiser
Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Sturm und Drang around Joe Gibbs flipping quarterbacks continues to be the biggest story in town. Reaction to Patrick Ramsey being benched after the kid played approximately the same amount of time that it takes to reheat a meat loaf has reached hysterical proportion, with windbags bellowing how Gibbs has lost the moral high ground. (Well, one windbag anyway. Me.) But let's see a show of hands here: How many people truly think that Ramsey is a good quarterback? The answer is: Not many. So let's not turn this into the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby, okay?

Gibbs is doing what coaches do everywhere -- putting a guy out there who he thinks gives his team the best chance to win. Clearly, Gibbs sees something in Mark Brunell not visible to any of us who saw Brunell last year and thought he could have been replaced by a llama with no particular drop-off in the overall quarterback rating. But Gibbs looks at this guy and hears music. Go figure.

What's perplexing is the volume of angst over what Gibbs will do if Brunell is godawful against Dallas. Or if Brunell gets knocked sideways and has to be carted off. People are wringing their hands, fretting about what Gibbs can possibly do then.

Here's what Gibbs will do: He will go over to Ramsey and say, "Son, put your hat on and go play quarterback." And Ramsey will do exactly that, grateful for another chance to win the starting job, however briefly.

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