Patrick Ramsey will start at quarterback for this Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles--and for the foreseeable future, head coach Joe Gibbs said.
"We'll let Patrick go this weekend," Gibbs said. "I felt we needed to give Patrick a shot. Hopefully he'll play great for us and we're all going to support him. We're going to give him all the work in practice. He's got a tough assignment this weekend in trying to lead us against Philly."
Asked if Ramsey would approach the quarterback position on a game-by-game basis, Gibbs replied: "No. I'm saying we're going to make Patrick the starter."
Gibbs and the coaching staff chose Ramsey over Mark Brunell, who started the first nine games of the regular season, after reviewing the film of Sunday's 17-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Brunell will serve as Ramsey's backup while Tim Hasselbeck will remain as the third quarterback.
Gibbs informed Brunell of the decision on Monday afternoon.
"If you want to talk about a class person, Mark is about as stand-up of a guy that I have ever met in my life," Gibbs said. "I will say that about both of those guys. The whole time that Mark was starting, Patrick was so supportive. Mark said today in a meeting, 'I am going to try and help Patrick every way I can.' These are two real, first-class people."
After losing the preseason quarterback battle to Brunell, Ramsey spent the first nine weeks of the season getting limited reps in practice. However, he would run the opposing team's offensive plays against the Redskins' defense in practice and he would spend considerable time after practice working on his throws, Gibbs said.
"I think sometimes the best way to adjust to an offense is to be in at all the meetings," Gibbs said. "Reviewing the films, reviewing the reads, he gets a chance to see Mark and what he does well and what he does poorly. Lots of times, it's that studying that can actually help a quarterback.
"Hopefully that's what happens here. But you never really know until he gets under fire. It'll be a tough assignment for Patrick, but we have to all pull together."
Said Ramsey: "I think the most significant difference for me is that I will able to run our plays against the defense in practice throughout the week. And hopefully that will allow me to play better."
In Sunday's game against Cincinnati at FedExField, Ramsey came in for Brunell early in the second quarter. He struggled to get into a groove early on, but was able to lead the offense on two scoring drives late in the game. It wasn't enough, as the Redskins lost 17-10.
For the game, Ramsey was 18-of-37 for 210 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions. He was sacked four times and pressured repeatedly in the pocket.
It will be Ramsey's first start in nearly a year. He last started a game on Nov. 23, 2003, but he left the game with a mild concussion. Ramsey was then placed on injured reserve due to a bone bruise in his right foot that required surgery.
Ramsey has played twice in his career against Philadelphia and Eagles' defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, known for his aggressive blitzing schemes. In both games, the Eagles were able to build a double-digit lead only to have Ramsey direct a come-from-behind effort.
In December 2002, at Veteran's Stadium, Ramsey impressed by completing 23-of-35 for 213 yards and three touchdowns in a game the Eagles would win 34-21.
In October 2003, at Lincoln Financial Field, Ramsey was 25-of-50 for 271 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He also logged a 1-yard dive for a touchdown. The Eagles won the game 27-25 as Ramsey's two-point conversion pass attempt in the final minute was just out of the reach of Laveranues Coles.