CARLISLE, Pa. -- The last time Stan Humphries passed this way, he passed himself out of a starting job.
That was last season. When Mark Rypien suffered a knee injury, Humphries became the Washington Redskins' starting quarterback. The honeymoon lasted five games and 10 interceptions before Rypien returned to save the season.
Now Rypien is a holdout and, at least temporarily, Humphries has another chance to show he deserves to start in the NFL.
"I came into camp trying to fight for the No. 1 job," Humphries said yesterday.
"I can't do anything about what's going on off the field. On the field, I try to get better every day and let the coaches do what they think is right."
A year ago, Humphries forced passes into strong coverage and paid the price. Nine of his interceptions came in a four-game stretch. He was benched and when he came back later in the year, he suffered a season-ending knee injury himself. Humphries' performance provided Rypien with his only real leverage in contract negotiations.
This year coach Joe Gibbs imposed a weight limit of 225 pounds for Humphries. The quarterback hired his own personal fitness instructor in the offseason and dropped 5 pounds to report to camp at 228. Humphries looks at the weight loss as preventative medicine.
"It's a matter of staying in shape," he said. "I've always been a big guy. The last time I weighed 224 was my senior year in high school. I just want to keep from being injured. If you're hit and you're not in shape, bruises turn into injuries."
The Redskins waived six rookie free agents yesterday to reduce their roster to 79 players, one under the limit. Released were offensive tackles Shane Elliott and Matt McCartin, centers Dan Beatty and Jeff Pearson, linebacker Brian Johnson and defensive end Gary Willingham. Holdout cornerback Martin Mayhew signed a two-year deal and was expected to rejoin the team today . . . Coy Gibbs, the son of Redskins coach Joe Gibbs and former DeMatha High linebacker, will play for the Maryland all-stars in Saturday's Big 33 game against Pennsylvania on Saturday in nearby Hershey. Father said he will attend.