October 12, 2002
Bruce Willis, <i>Hullabaloo</i> Sports Editor
Redskin Quarterback Patrick Ramsey entered his rookie season with his eyes focused on two things: Head Coach Steve Spurriers fun and gun offense and an unstable crew of former Gator quarterbacks slated to start over him. Ramsey showed incredible ability through his tenure for Tulane, but Spurrier believed that Ramsey was not going to be ready this season.
He assumed that any new quarterback that enters his offensive system will have a hard time learning it. This, coupled with Ramsey holding out for a contract during Redskin training camp, made it impossible for Ramsey to consider starting this season. After last week, however, things have most definitely changed.
Former Tulane quarterback Patrick Ramsey is one of the best, if not the best quarterback to ever play for the Green Wave. Many thought that the 98 Green Waves 12-0 season quarterback Shaun King was the best, but after Ramsey left Tulane in 2001, everyone knew he had something special. After four years at Tulane, Ramsey holds 30 Tulane passing records.
He had four 400-yard and sixteen 300-yard games in his career. He also held the nations longest passing touchdown streak with 31 straight games. However, all of the stats and records fail to show the type of a student Ramsey was academically, becoming the first Tulane player to ever win the National College Scholar Athlete Award from both the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.
"The perception of him is that he is clean cut and wholesome, and the reality of him is just that. He is everything you want in a young man. He has worked his way there. Four years ago, I came here many a Tuesday and we were trying to get him to cut back on interceptions, and now look where he is. I really think Patrick is a self-made person; he is complete. He is a Christian, he's got tremendous values; he studies the game of football, and he wants to be good," Tulane Head Coach Chris Scelfo said.
After several weeks of miscues and injuries, former Florida quarterback Danny Wuerrfel was given the nod to start last week against the Tennessee Titans. Wuerrfel looked like his usual NFL self : horrible. A sack in the first quarter hurt his shoulder, sending him to the sideline with a 14-0 deficit. Now the pressure was on back-up Patrick Ramsey. Ramsey came out of the gate firing, just as he did in his three years starting at Tulane. He was poised in the pocket. Just when it looked as if he was going to be sacked, another perfect pass would be thrown by the rookie.
His numbers on Sunday proved that he could go toe-to-toe with the best quarterbacks in the league, passing for 20-of-34 for 268 yards and two touchdowns. Ramsey did not throw an interception in the affair.
"I think Patrick can adjust to any offense. He's got a good cast around him. I saw a quote from Spurrier where they were not sure if he could run around and take a hit and still deliver the ball. He did that for three years here. He took a lot of hits here and still threw the ball, so that wasn't new to me," Scelfo said.
In an interview with Redskins.com after the game, Spurrier said, "He showed a lot of courage back there in the face of guys coming at him. He was able to throw the ball, take the hit and keep drives going. He's a player who's fun to coach. I think the receivers and offensive line enjoy playing with him."
The performance by Ramsey and the past play of Shaun King will surely put Tulane on the map as a place for future NFL quarterbacks to play. J.P. Losman is another prime candidate for an NFL job in the future. The former high school PARADE All-American is maturing over this season. Next year look for Losman to be yet another great Green Wave quarterback for people to talk about for years to come.
"I think it brings a lot of publicity to us. We had Shaun [King], currently a quarterback with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers], then Pat, and I think we've got an outstanding quarterback now, so obviously the recognition always helps," Scelfo said.
This week, Ramsey and the Washington Redskins will host the New Orleans Saints. The game should be a great experience for Ramsey. Not only will Ramsey start in front of friends and family, but he also will be playing at his old college field. Scelfo had his heart already in place for the game, as many other Louisiana-Tulane fans.
"I'm pulling for Pat, but I want the Saints to win. They're our hometown team and I know they're pulling for us.
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 firstname.lastname@example.org