Almost all of Patrick Ramsey's 2006 regular season was spent on the sideline. Ramsey, acquired by the Jets in a March trade with the Washington Redskins, threw a pass in the Green & White's week 12 match-up against the Houston Texans. But the long ball fell incomplete and that was Ramsey's only statistic during his fifth NFL season.
Obtained from the Redskins in exchange for a sixth round draft selection, the 6'3", 225-pound Tulane alum was brought in to add to the competition at the quarterback position. By the time an open training camp battle commenced, Ramsey and three others - veterans Chad Pennington and Brooks Bollinger, and rookie Kellen Clemens - had an equal opportunity to earn the job.
"It is important to me to do what I can to compete and run this offense efficiently," Ramsey said in August. "That is what I do. If I am the best at doing that, then I will have a chance to play."
During the preseason, Ramsey started against Washington after participating in one fourth quarter series in the summer opener. In close to two quarters of action against his former teammates, Ramsey completed six of nine passes for 33 yards and was sacked twice. He was on the field when rookie Brad Smith scored on a 61-yard reverse, but the first-team offense wasn't sharp.
"I do feel like we took a step," Ramsey said. "But there are plenty of things that we can clean up."
Ramsey didn't play the following week, and head coach Eric Mangini named Pennington his starter prior to the club's fourth and final preseason game. Pennington, who was recovering from a second shoulder surgery, clearly distinguished himself throughout camp.
"My thinking was that I was going to compete for a starting job - just as I was told - and nothing different from that," Ramsey said. "I was going to come in here and compete, and we competed all offseason and throughout training camp."
When the Jets closed their exhibition season on September 1, Ramsey led two third quarter scoring drives against the Eagles. He competed two of his three attempts, including a 14-yard scoring pass to Dante Ridgeway. Then Ramsey would return to the bench and stay there for most of the entire '06 campaign.
Pennington, who missed a play against Houston because he had the wind knocked out of him, was named AP Comeback Player of the Year after throwing for a career-high 3,352 yards. He also started all 16 games for the first time in his career, so Ramsey remained inactive on the bench. Pennington came out for a play during the Jets' wild card meeting with the Patriots and Ramsey completed a short ball to B.J. Askew for a loss.
But that was all for Patrick Ramsey. He was asked during the year if he thought he would ever start again.
"I'm not thinking about that right now. What I'm thinking about right now is coming out here and doing what I can for this team," Ramsey said. "Obviously, I want the opportunity to go out there and play again, but right now my role is to support Chad Pennington and be ready to go when my number is called. "