Redskins' Mann defends subpar play

September 20, 1990|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Sun Staff Correspondent

HERNDON, Va. -- When the Washington Redskins were flying back from San Francisco on Sunday, defensive lineman Charles Mann talked to his wife on the phone and found out he had been singled out during the telecast of the game with the San Francisco 49ers.

"She was a little upset with [CBS announcer] John Madden. She said Madden kind of went after me a little bit. I said, 'Don't worry about it,' " Mann said.

When Mann got home, he found a few calls on his answering machine with the same message.

"I said, 'Wait a minute, here,' so I was kind of anxious to see the films the next day," he said.

Mann insists he played better against Steve Wallace on the Redskins' videotape than he did on the CBS telecast.

"When I looked at the game, I ran the guy [Wallace] over a couple of times. For a three-step drop quarterback [Joe Montana] who gets rid of the ball, we put adequate pressure on him. It was nothing to write home about, but they weren't able to run the ball on us until the last couple of minutes of the game," Mann said.

"I looked at it and said, 'Well, shoot, it wasn't that bad for me to be getting ripped like that.' "

In the game summary, Mann was shut out with no tackles, no assists and no sacks. But after the Redskins viewed the videotape, they gave him credit for two tackles and a hurry, and coach Joe Gibbs said he thought Mann played well.

Mann also said Wallace, who had problems the previous week against the New Orleans Saints, when he was bothered by the noise in the Louisiana Superdome and was called four times for moving before the snap, also tried a few illegal tactics.

He said the Redskins gave videotapes to the National Football League office of four or five plays in which Wallace put his hands in Mann's face, including one in which he grabbed him by the back of the helmet.

"I kept talking to him. I don't ever yell at anybody or call anybody any names. I pride myself on being a straight-up player who just plays hard," Mann said.

Mann said the first time that Wallace snapped his head back, he said, "Hey, guy, you can't put your hands in my face mask."

He said Wallace replied, "Oh, I'm sorry. I'm sorry."

But it happened again, and then when Mann beat him with an inside rush, Wallace pulled his head. "It looked awful on the films. He just pulls my head. I went up to the ref and I said, 'Didn't you see that?' " Mann said.

The official replied, "Get your hand off me."

Mann said, "I'm sorry, excuse me."

Mann finally took matters into his own hands and grabbed Wallace's face mask. "If the ref's not going to do anything about it, I've got to do something," he said.

Mann isn't concerned that he may have gotten a bad rap.

"It's football, and we didn't win the game, so you need goats out there, and if I'm going to be a goat, that's fine. I'm going to be on top when we're winning, too. I'm not going to say I played well and we lost. I grade myself and I'm very, very hard on myself. I think I need to be that way," he said.

This week, Mann is looking forward to the game against the Dallas Cowboys when he'll line up against a former teammate and roommate, Nate Newton.

"He's a hard-nosed player, and I look for a real battle. I don't believe there'll be any cheap shots or any fighting or anything like that," he said.

Despite the loss to the 49ers, Mann is upbeat about the season.

"I think we have a bright future," he said. "I hate to say this, but it [the loss] may not have been that bad. It may have been the kind of thing that wakes up a club. We're 1-1, and we're still in the hunt."

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