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Redskins' Ramsey faces fourth and long page 2
STEVE DeSHAZO:

Date published: 8/15/2005

continued

Brunell seems sharper and healthier this year, and Campbell looks like he has the tools to become a fine NFL quarterback in time. That means Ramsey is on the clock. It's deliver now--even in the suddenly meaningful preseason--or face being benched or traded.

Neither option seems desirable (although the Chicago Bears, who nearly traded for Ramsey before he even signed with Washington, are in need of a starter now that Rex Grossman's ankle is broken).

Even with a retooled running game and a bulked-up Clinton Portis, the Redskins need production from Ramsey to improve their pathetic offense of a year ago.

They jettisoned starting receivers Laveranues Coles and Rod Gardner (who caught a touchdown pass against them Saturday) in favor of David Patten and Santana Moss--small, quick guys who theoretically can stretch the field and prevent defenses from stacking the line against the run.

The only catch is that someone has to get them the ball. Brunell's arm isn't what it used to be. Campbell's arm strength is above-average, but asking him to be the next Ben Roethlisberger is a bit much.

So it falls on Ramsey--if he's up to it.

Remember, Gibbs didn't draft Ramsey, as he did Campbell. He didn't trade for him, as he did Brunell. Ramsey seemed to give the Redskins their best chance to win now. And that's what the NFL is all about.

It's still four weeks until the games start counting. But for Ramsey, the clock is already ticking.

To reach STEVE D eSHAZO: 540/374-5443 sdeshazo@freelancestar.com


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