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Redskins' Quarterbacks of the Future

Like many Redskins fans, I will occasionally find myself frustrated with the development of Jason Campbell, especially given Joe Gibbs' backup QB system, which seems to imply that Campbell is capable of winning games, given the chance.  But let's take a look at some of Washington's other "quarterbacks of the future."

Following a very successful college career at Tennessee in which he nearly won the Heisman Trophy, the Redskins drafted Heath Shuler 3rd overall in the 1994 NFL Draft, and he soon took over as the team's starting quarterback.  After two dismal seasons, he was demoted to a backup role, and was eventually traded to the Saints for a third round pick.  Shuler was even worse in New Orleans, throwing for 14 interceptions and only 2 touchdowns in 10 games.  History now remembers him as one of the biggest flops in the history of the draft, often drawing comparisons to the miserable Ryan Leaf.  Since leaving the NFL, Shuler invested all of the money the Skins gave him into a successful real estate business, and is now widely expected to win a seat in the House of Representatives, despite a movement by some to "keep Shuler out of Washington."

With the 32nd pick in the 2002 NFL draft, the Washington Redskins selected... Patrick Ramsey.  This kid was destined to be great, starting his athletic career as the nation's top-ranked high school javelin thrower.  In College, he shattered just about every Tulane passing record, all while distinguishing himself as a student athlete.  Ramsey finished three seasons with a 10-14 record and roughly four thousand sacks.  Last season, he was given the starting role for one half of one game, and has not seen much action since.  In March of this year, he was finally traded for a sixth round pick to New York, and is now third on the Jets' depth chart.

What these quarterbacks have in common is they were both rushed into a starting role way too soon.  While some have claimed that Joe Gibbs is too obsessed with winning now (is that even possible?), I think a strong case can be made that he is making decisions that are good for the long-term success of the team.  Jason Campbell has all of the potential to be great, just as long as he is given a chance to fully develop.