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Dave Ragone, the Redskins’ new offensive quality control coach, has a lot of experience in the National Football League.
He was drafted by the Texans in 2003 and played a few games behind starter David Carr. After being claimed by the Bengals and Rams a few years later, he started his coaching career, eventually landing with the Titans as a wide receivers, and then quarterbacks, coach.
But, in between battling for roster spots, Ragone found an opportunity to play consistently in 2005 in Europe, specifically, starting behind center for the Berlin Thunder in 2005.
It ended up being his most successful season as a player.
Ragone threw for 1,746 yards and 13 touchdowns with just two interceptions, winning NFL Europe’s Offensive MVP Award. He led the Thunder to a 7-3 record and faced Amsterdam in the World Bowl (the equivalent to the Super Bowl), played in Dusseldorf.
He led the league in passer rating (97.5) and set a league record by throwing 174 consecutive passes without an interception.
“NFL Europe is a great opportunity to improve your game by actually playing in games,” said then Texans head coach Dom Capers. “Dave Ragone took full advantage of the experience and I’m sure he’s going to do everything possible to help his team win a championship.”
Berlin fell just short of winning, falling 27-21.
“I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and the first thing I thought about was “The Drive,’ which was a 97-yard one to win the game for Denver (over Cleveland in the 1986 AFC Championship),” Ragone told the St. Petersburg Times. “You grow up as a little kid dreaming of this situation and of making the winning play. We just fell short. We had a couple of chances here and there, but it was not enough.”
Ragone also had an impressive college career at Louisville, where he went 27-11 as a starter, including an 11-1 season in 2001. He left his time there as the school’s second all-time leading passer and was a three-time Conference USA Player of the Year.
Here’s a clip of him returning to Louisville last year and getting honored before the game.
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