HERNDON, Va. -- In baseball they call it a Salary Drive, and nobody ever explained it better than the mature Carl Furillo, in the last September in Brooklyn:
"Why am I hitting like there's no tomorrow? Because maybe there ain't."
The Salary Drive force will be with the Patriots in Foxboro, Mass., on Saturday and some of the Washington Redskins are trying to worry about that. It isn't easy to worry when you're favored by 12 over the 1-12 Patriots.
The theory is that the Pats, the NFL's ragamuffins, have to worry -- about having jobs next year. So they may play mean, like cornered rats.
"We have to be smart and know better than to walk in there not ready," veteran Darryl Grant said. That was "possibly" how the Redskins managed to give the underdeveloped Cowboys their only victory last year, Grant said.
Quarterback Mark Rypien did a responsible job of worry-leading, saying the fact that New England's defensive coordinator gave up and resigned Tuesday might make the Pats more dangerous, not less.
"They have cornerbacks that take gambles," Rypien said. "So if you throw a little late, or something, you're in trouble." Being leaderless, Rypien reasoned, might make them even more reckless.
"They may just let it all hang out," Rypien warned.
The Patriots have let the other teams hang out 366 points in 13 games, a total exceeded only by the 396 against the 2-11 Cleveland Browns.
Defensive tackle Eric Williams, who felt the agony of defeat 61 times in his six seasons in Detroit, took a more parochial view of the losing experience.
"They [the Patriots] could be 0-35," he said, "and I still have to face my man, mano a mano. We could walk all over them, but he could kick my ass. It wouldn't show [in the score], but I'd know it here, in my heart."
Once in 1985 -- carried away by the advent of upbeat coach Wayne Fontes as defensive coordinator, Williams thinks -- he predicted a victory. "I didn't know what I was doing," he said. "I didn't understand the media then. Yeah, we won the game (28-27). But I'm not predicting anymore.
"You don't load the other guy's gun."