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Where's the last World Bowl MVP? Playing 5th string in Washington

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) -Casey Bramlet's MVP trophy is sitting in a box in his apartment in Denver.

"I haven't been able to take it out," Bramlet said. "I got it the day before I left to come back here. I'll find some place to put it."

What's that? Casey who? MVP of what? Even Bramlet admits it's a stumper.

"It's a Trivial Pursuit question," he said with a smile.

For those who missed it, Bramlet will go down as the last MVP of the World Bowl, the championship game of the now-defunct NFL Europa. He threw for 347 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Hamburg Sea Devils to a 37-28 victory over the Frankfurt Galaxy last month in the final game of the NFL's attempt to establish a Europe-based league.

"It was great to be out there and be the leader of a team again, and make it your team and have some success," Bramlet said. "It's too bad the league folded."

The league was disbanded because the NFL is shifting its overseas focus to feature its own regular-season games, starting with the New York Giants vs. the Miami Dolphins in London in October. The price is the end of an experiment that proved to be a springboard for many NFL careers, including Brad Johnson and Kurt Warner.

Bramlet hopes to follow in those quarterbacks' footsteps, but he's learning that a bunch of wins with the Sea Devils doesn't necessarily translate into a bunch of snaps at training camp with the Washington Redskins.

Bramlet is one of five quarterbacks in camp, a long shot to make the roster. Starter Jason Campbell and backup Mark Brunell head the list, leaving veteran Todd Collins, sixth-round draft pick Jordan Palmer and Bramlet vying for the No. 3 spot.

During Wednesday night's practice, Bramlet got to run a single play during 11-on-11 drills. On Thursday, he ran four plays - and two were runs.

"That's the hard part of it," Bramlet said. "You have to know that coming in. I know they're trying to get Jason ready for the season. It's four more reps than I got last year when I was in camp, so I try to use it to my advantage every time I can show them what I can do."

Bramlet was a record-setter at Wyoming and was drafted in the seventh round by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2004. He made the team as a rookie but never played, then was cut the following year at the end of training camp and has been looking for NFL work since. This year's stint in Hamburg was his second - he also played for the Sea Devils in 2005.

Bramlet was in Redskins camp last year, when it was a foregone conclusion that Campbell, Brunell and Collins would make the team. This year, Collins appeared expendable, and Palmer has been erratic. Bramlet, meanwhile, was coming off a championship season - even if it was some 4,000 miles away.

"Coming back now this year I feel more confident," Bramlet said. "When I take my drop I can see the field a lot better. I see the linebackers, I see the drops of the safeties, I know what coverage they're in right before it happens. And I know how the system works."

Assistant coach Al Saunders echoed Bramlet's words, saying the quarterback has more confidence and a quicker delivery. Saunders also called it "a travesty" that the NFL decided to shut down the European venture.

But that doesn't mean there's room for Bramlet on the team. Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said he has "some tough decisions to make" in the coming days about the backup quarterbacks - and it's not hard to spot who is on the bubble.

"Every time you get cut, it's tough," Bramlet said. "But at the same time you have to be strong mentally and know that you can play, and maybe it just wasn't the right situation. Getting a chance to play in Europe built that confidence back up for me that I can play in this league. Hopefully I can just get in the right spot."

Notes: With a towel draped far over his forehead, RB Clinton Portis spoke for the first time about his latest setback. He's missed three days of practice due to swelling and soreness derived from tendinitis in his right knee. "When I cut or stop on a dime, it'll flare up a little bit and get tender, but it's nothing major," Portis said. "If I had to play in the preseason, I could play. We're just trying to avoid having to stay in therapy and rehab all year."

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