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Quarterbacks Will Benefit From Burns

Jack Burns first coached under Joe Gibbs from 1989-91, serving at various times as an offensive assistant, quarterbacks or wide receivers coach.

But it is as a quarterbacks coach that Burns has mostly made his mark in the NFL--and that's the capacity he'll serve during his second stint with the Redskins.

Burns comes to the Redskins with impressive credentials in developing quarterbacks. He played a key role in the emergence of Mark Rypien into a Pro Bowl and Super Bowl quarterback.

He also coached Stan Humphries when both were with the Redskins; Humphries later would lead the San Diego Chargers to Super Bowl XXIX.

As quarterbacks coach for Atlanta from 1997-98, Burns helped quarterback Chris Chandler lead the Falcons to Super Bowl XXXIII.

After later serving as wide receivers coach and passing game coach with Atlanta, Burns was again named quarterbacks coach in 2001-02 and helped develop the skills of top draft pick Michael Vick.

Burns took a respite from football in the 2003 season but agreed to rejoin Gibbs in Washington. In his first month back, he has been busy evaluating the quarterbacks on the Redskins roster.

From the game film Burns has seen early on, he has expressed enthusiasm about the future of Patrick Ramsey.

"Patrick has a great deal of ability," Burns said in January. "He can move around with his feet. He has the arm strength. He's entering his third season with a lot of positive qualities.

"Hopefully we can help nurture him and his career will move forward. We're excited about working with him. Everything we can see from a distance and everything we can tell, we like."

Burns's focus will be to develop in Ramsey the feeling that his protection is about to change--and for the better.

Becoming comfortable in the pocket is something that all NFL quarterbacks need to learn, he said.

"Every quarterback gets itchy feet when they get hit a lot," Burns said.

With the Redskins coming off of a 5-11 season, Gibbs has said he expects to have an "open competition" at many positions on the team, including quarterback.

Said Burns: "For us to be an outstanding football team, we're going to have to have another quarterback who's competitive, who can perform. Competition is part of any quarterback's development in moving his career forward.

"Naturally, if Patrick is the best quarterback and the No. 1 quarterback, competition won't bother him. It will only help him and only elevate his play. We're going to have two or three good quarterbacks. You don't want to be short of pitchers.

"It'll be up to us to have capable guys who can step in and play if the No. 1 guy is not able to be on the field."

Behind Ramsey, mid-season pickup Tim Hasselbeck played well in stretches last year. Former seventh-round draft pick Gibran Hamdan will hone his skills with a stint in NFL Europe this spring.

Meantime, Gibbs has indicated the team may pursue a veteran quarterback via free agency or a trade.

In Burns's first stint with the Redskins, he also guided the Redskins' famed "Posse" of Art Monk, Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders.

During 1989-91, those three averaged 210 catches and 3,043 yards per season as a group.

In 1992-93, Burns was the offensive coordinator with the Minnesota Vikings. In 1992, the Vikings led the NFL in scoring, sparked by the likes of Cris Carter, Anthony Carter and Roger Craig.

Prior to his NFL coaching career, Burns played defensive back at the University of Florida from 1967-70. He began coaching at Florida in 1971, followed by stops at Louisville, Texas, Vanderbilt and Auburn.

In 1981, he joined Steve Spurrier's coaching staff with the USFL's Tampa Bay Bandits.

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