Mann, Buck see big play beforehand Redskins linemen share fumble vision

December 14, 1992|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- Defensive lineman Charles Mann didn't want to tell his Washington Redskins teammates what he was thinking when the Dallas Cowboys were on their 5-yard line late in the game.

"I wasn't going to say anything to anybody else. It was like a wish. You make a wish and you tell somebody and it doesn't come true. So you don't tell anybody," Mann said.

But Jason Buck was thinking the same thing.

Mann said, "I was over there keeping it to myself and all of a sudden Jason looks over at me and says, 'Hey, I'm going to get a fumble and you're going to run it in for a touchdown.' I was like, 'That joker is reading my mind.' And the very next play, he pushes the guard right into the quarterback and Jason just knocked the ball out of his hand."

After Emmitt Smith tried to toss the ball out of the end zone, Danny Copeland recovered to give the Redskins a 20-17 victory.

Mann almost couldn't believe it.

"I was sitting there being a bystander watching the thing. I was so mesmerized that it was actually happening because we had just talked about it the play before.

"I'm going to get a no-hustle on the play because I was just standing there, watching the whole thing unfold like, 'Wow, it's actually happening, just the way Jason and I talked about it.' I thought, 'Wait a minute now, I'm supposed to get the fumble.'

"It was incredible. It couldn't happen to a nicer guy [Buck]. He's trying to send a message to the Redskins that he can play."

Mann said the Redskins deserved a break.

"All season long we've been playing with the same intensity and you're bound to get some good things to happen to you," he said.

Buck said he made the comment in the huddle because he felt the defense had to make a big play.

"Everything was focused in my mind that the defense had to score. You're firing yourself up into a frenzy for the play," he said.

Buck said he was speechless after the play.

"I was so emotional I couldn't say anything. It was just more screaming than anything. You're jumping around. You realize what you just did. There's so much emotion running through your body at that time. It's one of the most tremendous feelings you could have," he said.

Buck said he got a good rush on Cowboys guard Mark Stepnoski.

"I came in off the edge of his shoulder, driving him and we hit into [Troy] Aikman and I see the ball come up and I'm reaching for the sack because we were all in contact and I was reaching over to pull him down and Troy brought his arm right into mine and I was able to hit the ball," he said.

Buck said he was reaching to grab Aikman's shoulder pad when he knocked the ball out.

Buck, who was cut by the Cincinnati Bengals last year, was filling in for ailing Eric Williams.

Buck said: "When bad things happen, you don't lose confidence in yourself. I never did."

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