Washington Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs did not heed the chants at FedEx Field calling for Patrick Ramsey during Sunday's 28-14 loss to the Green Bay Bakers. Gibbs once again offered his support yesterday for starting quarterback Mark Brunell despite his shaky performance through seven games.
Brunell is completing a career-low 52.4 percent of his passes, the worst figure in the NFL among starters, and has the NFC's second-worst quarterback rating at 69.1.
Fans on Sunday intermittently chanted Ramsey's name and booed Brunell when he overthrew open receivers. But Brunell once again did perhaps just enough for Gibbs to justify his decision to start him. Brunell was 25 for 44 for two touchdowns and two interceptions, and finished with a better quarterback rating for the game (66.3) than the Packers' Brett Favre, who threw three interceptions.
"I felt very comfortable with what was going on as far as Mark's play and I also feel like had I made that change [switching to Ramsey] in the first half the thing I would have said to everybody is then we would have missed those plays in the second half that really should have given us the win, because he made some great plays down the stretch there," Gibbs said.
"Should you do it, shouldn't you do it? I think that's always part of the NFL and I understand that. I'm just thrilled our fans are so passionate and they care about it and I think right now everybody is frustrated."
Hearing Is Postponed
The arbitration hearing over LaVar Arrington's $6.5 million contract dispute with the Redskins, originally scheduled for today, has been postponed. No new date has been set, and a possibility exists for a hearing to be rescheduled before Washington's regular season ends Jan. 2.
"That's the farthest thing from my mind right now," said Arrington, alluding to a knee injury that is expected to keep him out four more weeks. "My health is my biggest deal right now. Everything else is all detail."
According to the NFL and NFL Players Association, the hearing was postponed by the NFL's management council because of a conflict in the schedule of one of its lawyers.
The hearing was expected to last no more than two days before a ruling by arbitrator Richard Bloch. The case originally was scheduled for Sept. 21, then tentatively moved to late July so the matter would be addressed before the regular season. But a scheduling conflict between the parties led to the November date. According to sources familiar with the case, the Redskins at one point asked that the Nov. 2 date be delayed until after the regular season.
Arrington believes that the Redskins omitted a $6.5 million roster bonus that was agreed upon in an eight-year, $68 million contract extension signed in December. Arrington has contended that deadline pressure prevented his agent from properly examining the contract.
Taylor Back at Redskins Park
Rookie safety Sean Taylor made his first appearance yesterday at Redskins Park since meeting with the team on Thursday after he was arrested on a DWI charge. Taylor, who was ruled inactive for Sunday's game against Green Bay, declined to talk to reporters when he departed the training facility. . . .
Place kicker John Hall is expected to miss his third game because of a groin injury.