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Catching up with Patrick Ramsey

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Catching up with ... Patrick Ramsey

 

By Dave Richard

NFL.com

(May 22, 2003) -- There sure are a lot of new faces in Washington after a busy offseason, something Redskins fans know all too well. Last season, three different quarterbacks divvied up 16 starts for the 7-9 Redskins. The constant change under center may have been part of the problem.

Patrick Ramsey finished his rookie year in 2002 as the starter, winning the team's last two games, and it appears he will be handed the reins entering 2003. Assuming he avoids a slew of injuries and interceptions, Ramsey could be the only quarterback in Steve Spurrier's stable of gunslingers.

With a huge season coming up for the 23-year-old passer out of Tulane, Ramsey gave NFL.com a good chunk of time to talk about the upcoming season, the Redskins' busy offseason, coach Spurrier and what makes a good war movie.

Where are you right now?

Ramsey: I'm at my house in Northern Virginia. I'll go back to Louisiana for a little while in July, but otherwise I'll be here.

The moves made by the team this offseason must have you on cloud nine. Let's start with Trung Canidate -- how did you hear about that trade, and what was your reaction?

Ramsey: You know, I heard about it on the radio when I was on my way up here to my friend's wedding -- he got married in Gatlinburg and I just went straight from there to our offseason workouts. I called my agent and he told me about it and that we were about to sign (guard) Randy Thomas, so I found all that out in about an hour's span. I was pretty excited about those acquisitions.

Then the Redskins signed receiver Laveranues Coles away from the Jets. At this point, your mouth must have been watering.

Ramsey: Well, sure. He's a guy who has obviously proven himself and played extremely well. He's a speed player -- anytime you can get a guy who has played well at this level, you just made yourself much, much better.

I understand that you're a war movie fan. What are some of your favorites?

Ramsey: Well, I read Band of Brothers prior to the series coming out, and I love that series. I love Braveheart, The Patriot and We Were Soldiers -- I know those are all Mel Gibson movies, but I love them. I liked Platoon, I read Black Hawk Down before seeing that movie. Those stand out in my mind; I've seen so many.

In your opinion, what are the most important things that a war movie absolutely has to have in order for it to be good?

Ramsey: Good question. Hmm. History -- a war movie has to be based on true history, and it needs to be accurate. To me, it's not so much the entertainment aspect but that it's based on fact.

Do I have this right -- you once took part in a track competition in Havana, Cuba?

Ramsey: I did. The Junior Pan-American Games in Havana the summer right before I started college. I won the state meet throwing the javelin, then I went to the Golden West Invitational in Sacramento, and I won that meet. Then I was invited to compete to be on the Junior Pan-Am team. I qualified for the team and won the bronze medal.

What was Cuba like?

Ramsey: You know, you could see the potential for it to be a great place. But it was one of those deals where it was a great experience, you loved what you did, but probably would never want to go back. It was unbelieveably hot -- we were rationed water. It was really tough but a lot of fun at the same time.

 

Patrick Ramsey sees a good future for the Redskins.   Two Tulane questions: Can you name any famous alumni besides yourself, and what exactly is a Green Wave?

Ramsey: Famous alumni (laughs)... I could offend some people here, but I know Jerry Springer went to Tulane. The guy who started Yahoo.com went to Tulane. Athletically, we've got Shaun King, Dub Jones (former Cleveland Browns great and father of former Baltimore Colts QB Bert Jones) and kicker Eddie Murray, who mainly played for the Lions but was on the Redskins and some other teams too.

As for the Green Wave, I cannot answer that, sadly enough. I would imagine it has something to do with the water down there. I've been asked that question numerous times. My wife might know (Ramsey asks his wife, Ginny). Nope, we can't answer that one. (laughs)

What are the pros and cons of having a birthday on Valentine's Day?

Ramsey: The main pro is that it's not necessarily around another gift-giving holiday. And it's not necessarily a con, but if you have a girlfriend or wife, you spend more time worrying about their presents than you do your own birthday. My wife does a great job. She gets a Valentine's card and then gets a birthday card, and then usually we just do one present. I have to say that I'm guilty of picking out the present though. I'm not real crazy about surprise presents. And my wife always makes a heart-shaped red velvet cake every year.

What did she get you this year?

Ramsey: A Benelli 12-gauge shotgun.

Ahh, yes. I heard you were an avid outdoorsman. What are some of the best harvests you've had?

Ramsey: Well, this year we played Dallas on Thanksgiving Day. We had Friday and Saturday off following the game, so I went to Ruston, La., and I killed an 11-point that weighed 225 pounds and scored 150 points or so. I can't remember, but it was the biggest deer by far I've ever seen or killed. And then ducks... I mean, you don't measure their size, it's numbers, and there's limits, but I've killed the limit so many times. And then bass fishing, the biggest bass I've ever caught is 11 pounds. That's a good fish.

Have you ever encountered people who are against hunting?

Ramsey: I am an outspoken guy about my hunting, but no one's ever really challenged me about it. I'm a conservationist -- I seldom shoot deer. It has to be a pretty good deer, or I'll help the population if there are too many. I usually watch 10 times as many as I shoot.

If you had to hunt one NFL mascot, which would it be and why?

Ramsey: Oooh. Let me think here. Is there a team with a snake? I really dislike snakes. I wouldn't want to hunt anything endangered... I've never hunted bear or had a strong desire, but I guess that's the only huntable mascot. Or a ram -- that wouldn't be a bad thing to do, go up into the mountains and such. I guess I would say a ram for the experience of being in the mountains. I've never done any mountain hunting.

I thought you might have said a giant, an eagle or a cowboy...

Ramsey: Nah, I'm from the South, I like cowboys. (laughs)

Have you gotten a grasp on the Cowboys-Redskins rivalry?

Ramsey: I don't think I've gotten intensely involved in the rivalry itself just because I've been there such a short time. Having grown up about four hours away from Dallas, I was always aware of what was going on. I'll say this -- the rivalry is the most pertinent thing that I hear about from a lot of Cowboys fans, including those who live in the South and the surprising amount of Cowboys fans in D.C.

Did you root for the Cowboys growing up?

Ramsey: I was never a Dallas fan or a fan of one specific team, but I liked the Redskins when Doug Williams was there because he was from Northwest Louisiana. I was more of a quarterback fan. I loved Dan Marino, John Elway, Troy Aikman and Joe Montana -- those were the guys that I watched to see what it was that made them so successful because all my life, my goal was to get to where I am.

I also understand that golfing has become one of your newest hobbies and that you're about to participate in a Pro-Am in Memphis. What advice can you give to folks who are just starting to take up golf?

Ramsey: Don't play. (laughs) Don't even start. Just stick to whatever hobbies you have.

I've been fortunate enough to get a lot better in the past year. If you do decide to play, get lessons before you play or else you will reinforce bad habits. Once you do learn to swing, just hit as many balls as you can to produce muscle memory and be consistent. And remember it's a game and to have fun. Sometimes it's hard to have fun when you're not playing well.

 

Steve Spurrier's golf game is too good for Ramsey ... for now.   Can you even come close to taking Spurrier in a game of golf?

Ramsey: Nooo. I'm not on his level in any way. He's a good golfer; he would have to give me 10 strokes to make it competitive.

Which was a bigger adjustment during your rookie season -- being married or dealing with Spurrier?

Ramsey: Wow. Both of them bring their own adjustments. My wife and I had been dating for five years and had been dating long distance, so being able to live together was a positive adjustment. If I didn't have her around, I would have gone crazy last year. Working under coach Spurrier wasn't much of an adjustment, but playing in the NFL was. The length of the season was one of the biggest things, for example. It's a long season, and the schedule that comes with it is equally difficult.

What's the best Spurrier story you've been telling friends this offseason?

Ramsey: There's so many, but it's hard to draw just one. He calls me "Jay-Patrick," which is kind of funny because my name is "Patrick Allen." I don't know where the Jay comes from or why he calls me that. One of my teammates doesn't have an easy name -- Darnerien McCants. Coach Spurrier has called him "Darkerien," "Darquerien," never quite getting it right. So now he's called "Dar" because coach can't say "Darnerien." And Darnerien doesn't mind as long as he gets to play.

Lastly, your goals for 2003?

Ramsey: To win a championship. First, we want to win the NFC East championship, then the NFC championship and then the Super Bowl. I want to win games, play well and lead my team. I think that's something I can continue to get better at, even past this year because you can always improve at something. This year, I'll be able to lead our team and I think we've got a talented team. Barring any injury, I think we'll be able to win at least one of those championships I mentioned.

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