With Patrick Ramsey slated to start this Friday night's game at St. Louis, the Redskins' quarterback competition is--as expected--coming down to its final weeks.
Mark Brunell has started two games and overall is 17-of-32 for 216 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Ramsey has started one game and is 10-of-27 for 115 yards and one interception in the Redskins' three preseason games.
Some have speculated that Ramsey needs a solid performance in Friday's game to win the starting job, but Joe Gibbs said earlier this week that's not necessarily the case.
"I think both Mark and Patrick know what's at stake," Gibbs said. "They're alternating starting and they're focusing on being proficient. There are a lot of times where they may do good things for us than what the fans see. So we continue to evaluate the whole thing."
That said, Gibbs said he has expectations for his quarterbacks.
"Every time a quarterback goes back with one of those passes, it's either the receiver is open, covered, check-down or you miss a blitz," Gibbs said. "There's so much in every one of those plays, so I think it's mostly game management for Patrick. He needs to do all the right things, showing he's comfortable with what we're doing."
In last Saturday's 17-0 win over the Miami Dolphins, Brunell and Ramsey handed off 52 times. When they did drop back to pass, they were effective because Miami's defense had adjusted to playing the run.
Brunell was 7-of-9 for 79 yards and Ramsey was 3-of-8 for 41 yards.
Even Gibbs said that the number of rushes in the Miami game was "unusual." He expects to open up the offense a little more against the Rams.
As the starter, Ramsey said he wants to play a heady game.
"I'm just going to try to run our offense efficiently and if it takes handing the ball off [52 times] so that we win the game, that's what we're going to do," he said. "I just want to go out and be smart and efficient."
When asked if he would be disappointed if he didn't win the starting job, Ramsey said: "That's kind of a crazy question because any competitor is going to be disappointed. Any competitor wants to start. I'm not going to think about that right now, but at the same time, I can learn from it regardless if I start or not. Either way, I can become a better player."
Gibbs emphasized that it would be a mistake for anybody--media, fans, even other players on the team--to jump to a conclusion as to who will be the starting quarterback on Sept. 12.
"Right now we're just alternating starters, so if somebody jumps to a conclusion, that's their problem," Gibbs said. "We're just going to continue to work through the process and when we're ready, we'll announce it. It's premature right now--I think someone would have a tough time guessing if they do [jump to a conclusion]."