Redskins find a weekend they can be off their game

October 04, 1990|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Sun Staff Correspondent

HERNDON,VIRGINA — HERNDON, Va. -- Punter Ralf Mojsiejenko is going to have deer in his sights this weekend.

Taking advantage of the Washington Redskins' open week in the schedule, Mojsiejenko plans to go deer hunting with a bow-and-arrow in his native Michigan.

"I think it's great to have some time off," he said. "Those [deer hunting] are some of the things you can't do because you're a football player. The last time I did it was during the [1987] strike."

Although the Redskins went through a light drill yesterday and will practice in pads today and tomorrow, Mojsiejenko's attitude was typical of that of most of the players.

They like the idea of having a break in the schedule, although several said they wish it had come a little later in the season.

"I love it," center Jeff Bostic said with a smile. "Can we get another one next week? Can we get one until November?"

One of the few who disliked the idea was defensive line coach LaVern Torgeson, who said he prefers playing every week.

"You get in sort of a groove of playing every week, and this sort of throws you off. I guess we'd better get used to it," he said with a smile.

The open dates were included in the new four-year television contract. By stretching out the season to 17 weeks this year and next year and 18 weeks in 1992 and 1993 (when each team will have two byes), the league was able to negotiate a $3.65 billion TV contract, the richest in sports history.

The break this year will come right before the Redskins play the first-place New York Giants twice in three weeks, but the coaches will work on basic alignments this week and wait until next week to put in the game plan for the Giants.

"It gets to be old stuff after so long. They're used to working on it two or three days and just playing," Torgeson said.

When the coaches were off Monday and Tuesday, coach Joe Gibbs went to William and Mary to watch his son, J.D., practice with the team. He'll watch the William and Mary-Delaware game Saturday, then go back to work Sunday.

Although the Redskins don't have any major injuries, several players, such as defensive lineman Charles Mann, said the week off will enablethem to get over minor hurts.

Several players will watch football games on television Sunday.

Mann, who said he may go on a picnic, said: "I'm not going to sit around the house all day watching football games. I want to do something with the family."

Then there's Eric Williams, a defensive lineman recently obtained from the Detroit Lions.

Williams, a bachelor, said: "I haven't met a lot of the women around here. Maybe I can get a chance to meet some ladies."

NOTES: Gibbs said he intends to use Jeff Rutledge over Gary Hogeboom as his backup quarterback a week from Sunday against the Giants. . . . The Redskins plan to sign two practice-squad players, defensive back Rico Labbe and running back George Searcy, today.

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