Barker makes most of second opportunity Linebacker fills in for injured Collins

November 09, 1992|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Staff Writer

SEATTLE -- When linebacker Tony Barker was released by the Washington Redskins at the start of the season and nobody offered him a job, he thought he wouldn't be playing football this year.

"I was going to get on with my life and wait for something from the World League, but they're not having that this year, so I was just ready to get a job and come back to football next year.

"It was a blessing that they called me back and everything has gone so well," he said.

Two weeks after getting cut he was called back for a place on Redskins' practice squad.

Huey Richardson, a 1991 first-round draft pick who was obtained in a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers at the start of the season, failed to play well on the special teams and was cut Oct. 21. Barker was handed a place on the regular squad.

Barker, a 10th-round pick from Rice, found himself thrust into the starting lineup yesterday against the Seahawks when Andre Collins was sidelined by back spasms.

Collins missed the game against the Minnesota Vikings two weeks ago, but played last week against the New York Giants.

Monte Coleman replaced Collins two weeks ago, but he was out with a neck injury, so Barker got the nod.

"I didn't have much time to think about it because we were out on the field getting ready for kickoff returns when Bone [assistant coach Richie Petitbon] walked up to me and said, 'you're starting.' "

Although he had only one tackle assist, he helped a defense that held the Seahawks to a field goal.

"I think I made a few good plays. I didn't have very many mistakes. It was fun," he said.

Barker was one of the two linebackers making their first starts for the Redskins.

John Brantley, a former World League player who was signed during camp and then was cut at the start of the season, was signed again Oct. 9 after Ravin Caldwell was placed on injured reserve.

Brantley played the second half against the Giants last week when Kurt Gouveia suffered a neck injury and practiced all week as the starter. Gouveia only played on passing downs.

Although he missed a tackle on a 36-yard run by Chris Warren, Brantley made eight tackles.

Gelbaugh halfway there

Former Maryland quarterback Stan Gelbaugh, the former World League MVP who has yet to win a game as a starting quarterback in the NFL, completed nine of 24 passes for 75 yards.

For the second straight year, though, he played the Redskins tough for a half.

In Phoenix last year, he drove the Cardinals to a 14-0 halftime lead before the Redskins rallied to a 20-14 victory.

This time, the score was tied 3-3 at halftime before the Redskins won it in the second half. Gelbaugh completed a pass on the first play of the second quarter and didn't complete another one until the last play of the third period.

"Things were a lot better for the first 30 minutes. We had good chemistry early in the game, but we found it tough to finish," he said.

Elewonibi sidelined

The Redskins will likely be searching for a lineman because Mo Elewonibi, who will have an MRI exam on his sprained knee today, will probably miss a few weeks.

The Redskins also will have to check the status of Coleman, who was inactive for the game, safety Danny Copeland, who didn't play, Gouveia, who played only on passing downs, and lineman Joe Jacoby, who played with a numb shoulder.

Miscellaneous

The Redskins are 12-2 in domes since Joe Gibbs became coach and 3-0 in the Kingdome. . . . Both the Seahawks and the Redskins may set scoring records -- but not their kind they'd like. The Seahawks, who came in averaging 6.6 points a game, got just three. They're threatening the 7.4 points a game scored by Tampa Bay in 1976, the lowest in the post-World War II era. The Redskins, meanwhile, are threatening to have the biggest one-year scoring drop-off ever. Last year, they scored 484. This year, after nine games, they've scored 159, an average of about 17.7 that translates into a drop-off of about 204 points. The record drop-off is 207, set by the 1964 New York Giants and 1974 Atlanta Falcons. . . . Art Monk caught one pass, extending his streak to 141 straight games in which he has caught a pass.

Keep that scorecard

The injury-riddled Washington Redskins had to make five starting lineup changes before and during their 16-3 victory over the Seattle Seahawks yesterday:

Offense

P... Out... ... ... ... In

..Mo Elewonibi... ...Ed Simmons

RT ..Ed Simmons .... ...Joe Jacoby

Defense

MLB .Kurt Gouveia... ...John Brantley

OLB. Andre Collins... ..Tony Barker

SS ..Danny Copeland... .Todd Bowles

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