Not all the Redskins are happy campers Sanders takes a hike, and Humphries wants to

July 21, 1992|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Staff Writer

CARLISLE, PA — CARLISLE, Pa. -- Before roll was even called for the first practice yesterday, wide receiver Ricky Sanders walked out of training camp without telling anyone.

After that practice, quarterback Stan Humphries said he still wants to be traded and wide receiver Gary Clark got into a squabble with a TV cameraman and shoved his camera.

Welcome to the start of the Washington Redskins training camp.

The Redskins didn't take long to show why it's often such a rocky road for defending champions in the NFL.

Only the Clark incident was easy to brush off. He later apologized, saying he had become annoyed at practice and had taken it out on the cameraman who was blocking his path when he was running laps after practice.

That's Clark. He's so intense that he can get himself worked up even during the first practice.

The Sanders and Humphries situations, though, show why it's going to be tough for coach Joe Gibbs to keep his team focused on football this year as the team comes off a Super Bowl season.

Gibbs said the secret to last year's success was "more enthusiasm and attitude than it was players and athletic talent."

"We've got to get that back," he said.

It may not be easy.

Sanders became the team's third holdout, joining quarterback Mark Rypien and top draft choice Desmond Howard.

What's puzzling about Sanders' holdout is that he and his agent, Craig Lemaster, had agreed orally to a new deal.

It was supposed to be a formality for Sanders to sign it before practice yesterday.

Instead, Sanders left without telling the Redskins he was doing so.

"He really didn't want to talk about it," Clark said. "I asked him if he was signed and he said, 'Almost.' I thought he was coming to practice."

General manager Charley Casserly said he didn't want to comment until he had a chance to talk with Sanders, who didn't return calls to the team or reporters.

Casserly can't fine Sanders for leaving because as an unsigned player, he was never technically in camp.

"We're up to our eyeballs [in contract problems]," said Gibbs with a smile. "If you want contract problems, we've got them. We'll just try to work our way through them."

Humphries, meanwhile, is in camp, but doesn't want to be there.

Humphries fell out of favor with Gibbs in 1990 when he didn't stay in good shape and wasn't at peak form when an injury to Rypien gave him a chance to start five games.

He appears in danger of losing the backup job to Cary Conklin and when asked whether he had changed his mind about wanting to be traded, he said: "I don't think so. After the Super Bowl was over, I asked to be [traded]. Nothing's happened."

Gibbs said the team tried to trade Humphries in the off-season but didn't get any good offers.

The team is hoping his value will go up if another team loses a quarterback in camp, and he's an insurance policy as long as Rypien is out.

"We know this isn't the situation he probably would have picked, but we've got to deal with it," Gibbs said.

Humphries said he won't cause any problems.

"My attitude's pretty good," he said. "I'm not going to come in here and pout and gripe and everything.

"I've kept it clean and haven't said anything [derogatory]. I'm XTC glad to be in Washington, if they want me here. If not, I'd like to be traded."

NOTES: When Gibbs was asked how he felt about the first day, he said: "I'm a little sluggish right now. I think I'm a little overweight. I don't think it matters about how I feel." . . . Gibbs likes camp, though, because there's no pressure to win. "I'd vote for real long off-seasons and real long preseasons, [and] never play regular-season [games]. That's what the coaches would like to do. They'd like to do it for about three months and call it quits. But they don't pay us for that."

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