Hogeboom on quarterback alert, but Rypien goes the distance

January 06, 1991|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Sun Staff Correspondent

PHILADELPHIA -- The Washington Redskins made sure they had enough quarterbacks yesterday.

Because the Philadelphia Eagles knocked out two quarterbacks (Jeff Rutledge and Stan Humphries) on Nov. 12, the Redskins dressed third-stringer Gary Hogeboom so they wouldn't have to play running back Brian Mitchell at quarterback if they lost two this time.

Neither Rutledge nor Hogeboom was needed, however, as Mark Rypien went all the way in a 20-6 Washington victory.

Rypien, who hadn't played in the past three Redskins-Eagles games, managed to play hurt after suffering an injury to his left ankle with 48 seconds left in the first half on the play when Ben Smith made a 94-yard return of an Earnest Byner fumble.

Rypien said he was relaxing after throwing the ball to Byner "when some guy comes right down on it. It was the same type of thing that Kelly's was."

He was referring to quarterback Jim Kelly of the Buffalo Bills, who suffered a knee injury when a blocker fell on his legs during a game against the New York Giants. Kelly missed the last two games of the regular season.

Rypien played the entire game, although it was difficult for him to run the bootleg-right play that worked well and went for a 3-yard touchdown pass to Gary Clark in the third period.

Rypien said: "The tough part was that I had to pivot on the darn thing [on the bootleg]. They kept calling it that way. I wanted to switch it over, but we worked on it all week [to that side]. Reggie [White] likes to come down hard on the backside, and, when we fake it, we've got a chance to make the play."

Rypien said throwing the ball from the pocket wasn't a problem because he plants his right foot.

The target of criticism after being intercepted nine times in the past four games, Rypien was picked off for the 10th time in five games by Eric Allen in the second quarter, but wasn't intercepted again.

On the next drive, he led the Redskins on their first touchdown drive. He called it a "big lift" for him and the team.

Rypien wasn't sacked once, and credited the offensive line for neutralizing the Eagles.

Coach Joe Gibbs, who has said a quarterback is judged on how far he goes into the playoffs, said: "He was really gutsy. He hung in there against one of the best pass rushes in the league."

Gibbs added jokingly about calling the bootlegs on Rypien's bad ankle: "I didn't care about his ankle. We don't care if he can't walk in 10 years. We just want to win this ballgame."

* Trainer Bubba Tyer appeared a bit startled before the game.

"They scared me a bit to start off with," he said. "They were doing something new and they had this emergency medical team, so a guy comes in with a blue jacket and orange cross and said: 'I'm with the emergency medical team. I'm the emergency medical physician.' He gives me this little folder with their address. I guess if they kept people, we'd know where they were. It scared me. I said, 'Gosh, it's starting already.' "

Tyer spent a lot of time on the field on Nov. 12 when Philadelphia beat Washington, and heard the Eagles taunting injured Redskins and asking if they had enough body bags to bring the players home.

Yesterday, Tyer didn't have to go on the field once to treat an injured player, although Rypien and Byner suffered ankle injuries.

"Not one time, that was great," Tyer said. "It wasn't so great that I could relax. I was still tense."

* When the Redskins ran off the field after the game, tight end John Brandes yelled: "No body bags today, baby."

But the Redskins, who decided not to gloat if they won, downplayed the body-bag stuff.

Cornerback Darrell Green said: "A receiver can't knock me out and put me in a body bag. I have nothing to do with that. There's a saying, 'Don't believe the hype.' It was all hype. That's part of sports. But I've never seen hype win a game."

* Veteran offensive tackle Joe Jacoby, with help from tight end Don Warren, kept White from getting a sack although he was credited with eight tackles.

Jacoby, who became a regular again when Ed Simmons suffered a knee injury against the Chicago Bears, said: "Our offensive line is so deep and talented that you can rotate people in and out."

* Defensive end Charles Mann, who had 1 1/2 sacks, said after the game: "We're back. We turn it up a notch in the playoffs."

* By the numbers: Tim Johnson led the team with two sacks, and rookie Andre Collins tied Mann with 1 1/2 . Collins led the team with eight tackles. . . . The Redskins are 12-3 in the playoffs under Gibbs. . . . They've won nine of their past 12 against the Eagles. . . . In the four previous seasons in which they won their first playoff game under Gibbs, the Redskins also won their second one.

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