Aug. 30, 2004
SportsLine.com wire reports

ASHBURN, Va. -- As expected, Joe Gibbs went with the veteran quarterback.

Gibbs named Mark Brunell the opening-day starter Monday for the Washington Redskins, ending the quarterback battle with last season's starter, Patrick Ramsey.

"The thing I want to say about that is how pleased we are with our quarterback situation," Gibbs said. "I just think right now it's time to make a decision. I think we need to spend more time with the quarterback and receivers on timing that we haven't been able to get because we're in-and-out, in-and-out."

Brunell was already scheduled to start the final preseason game Friday against Atlanta. Washington opens the regular season at home against Tampa Bay on Sept. 12.

Washington traded a third-round draft pick to Jacksonville in the off-season to acquire the 11-year veteran. Gibbs won all three of his Super Bowls in Washington with experienced quarterbacks Joe Theismann, Doug Williams and Mark Rypien. Brunell certainly fits that mold better than Ramsey, who has 16 games in his career compared to 117 by Brunell.

Even still, Gibbs promised Ramsey, who initially demanded to be traded after the team brought in Brunell, a fair competition for the job and seemed to honor his word. Each player was given two starts in the preseason.

"It's nice to be at this point," Brunell said. "Hopefully this is something that can launch this offense into the regular season.




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