It was difficult to distinguish between quarterbacks Mark Brunell and Patrick Ramsey -- the men vying to start for the Washington Redskins -- in Monday night's preseason opener against the Denver Broncos in the Hall of Fame game at Fawcett Stadium, because even taken as a whole their output left much to be desired. A bit of rustiness was to be expected, but neither quarterback accomplished much noteworthy in a 20-17 victory.
Brunell, an 11-year veteran and former Pro Bowl player, started the game and played into the second quarter, completing 4 of 8 passes for 18 yards. Often he rolled out of the pocket -- mobility is one of his strong suits -- but was unable to connect with receivers and threw one ill-advised pass while falling in Washington's end zone that could have easily been intercepted.
Ramsey, the incumbent starter entering his third NFL season, struggled as well before departing in the third quarter. He completed just 3 of 8 passes for 12 yards, making one nice pass to wide receiver Gari Scott (who later caught a touchdown pass from third-string quarterback Tim Hasselbeck), but also fumbling a snap and failing to establish any momentum.
"We were just putting what we've been doing into action and seeing what we need to improve on," Ramsey said. "I was a little rusty, but I did a few good things out there, too."
Coach Joe Gibbs, back from an 11-year absence, has called the performance of his offense "rough" since training camp opened nine days ago as the players learn to adapt to his system. The game plan was very basic Monday night, with standard formations and simple plays for the most part, as Gibbs does not want to reveal too much in the preseason.
Bailey Speaks Up
Former Redskins cornerback Champ Bailey, who was traded to Denver in the offseason for running back Clinton Portis and a second-round pick, made negative comments about Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to the Denver Post in Monday's edition.
"He's nonexistent to me right now," Bailey said. "He's not a significant figure in my life right now, so I don't feel any reason to have to communicate with him, unless he started a conversation with me."
Bailey also commented on Washington's front office chain of command. "Put it like this," said Bailey, a four-time Pro Bowl selection. "The people that know football here run the team. The people that know football in Washington don't run the team. That pretty much says it all."
Snyder declined to comment on Bailey's remarks through team spokesman Karl Swanson.
Injuries Keep 11 Home
Eleven Redskins did not make the trip to Canton for the game because of injury. Cornerback Walt Harris (knee) is out indefinitely and not cleared for active duty. Linebacker Mike Barrow (tendinitis in left knee), nose tackle Brandon Noble (broken hand), wide receivers Cliff Russell (hamstring) and Taylor Jacobs (abdominal strain), defensive end Phillip Daniels (abdominal pull), running back Ladell Betts (strained hamstring), tackle Brandon Winey (ankle sprain), linebacker Chris Clemons (ankle sprain), guard Randy Thomas (swelling around knee) and cornerback Rashad Bauman (hamstring) are listed as day-to-day.
Barrow is a starter and was replaced by veteran Kevin Mitchell. Noble was also pushing for a starting job after recovering from knee surgery and his spot was filled by Joe Salave'a. Daniels, who signed in the offseason to bolster the defensive line, was replaced by Regan Upshaw.
A collection of photographs from the Redskins-Broncos game can be found at www.washingtonpost.com/sports.