Redskins prepared to take root route to playoffs

Redskins notebook

December 27, 1992|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Staff Writer Staff writer Ken Murray contributed to this article.

WASHINGTON -- For Mark Rypien, the memories will be of the old days of the Minnesota Vikings-Green Bay Packers rivalry, when Fran Tarkenton faced Bart Starr.

"It's probably been since I was 7-8 years old since I was really into the Packers-Vikings," Rypien said. "That's when it was big, back in the late '60s, when everyone watched Packers and Vikings and thought that's what football was, which at the time it was."

Rypien will be back into the Packers-Vikings game today because the Washington Redskins' playoff hopes rest on the Vikings' beating the Packers today.

"Now, I'll be wearing my purple and gold and shaking the pompons and hoping and praying we get a chance to get in," the quarterback said.

Rypien said the team could rebound from losing its last two if the Redskins get in the playoffs.

"I think it'll give us a sense of relief in a way and maybe some energy to get us started," he said.

Defensive back Danny Copeland said it'll be draining to watch.

"It'll probably like playing two games back to back, just watching. I'll be [yelling], 'Get him, kill him, hit them, knock them down,' all that stuff coming right out of church and yelling at somebody to kill somebody," he said.

"After you go through so much to make it to this point, you feel like you deserve something out of it. Whether we deserve something or not I don't know, but it just feels like we deserve more out of this season."

Offensive lineman Jim Lachey said: "I've never been in this situation before. I'm sure around noon tomorrow, I'm going to get anxious and start pulling for the Vikings and see if they can win at home. It's going to be a good game to sit down and watch. Hopefully, it'll wind up in our favor.

"Until we're officially out of it, we're still defending champions. Once you get in there, who knows what's going to happen? I still have faith and I believe. Maybe I'm crazy. Maybe I'm out of it. But, hey, give us a shot. That's all I want is a shot."

Monk comes through

Art Monk, who had caught one pass in each of the past three games, rebounded to catch three passes for 97 yards, including a 49-yard touchdown pass and a 43-yarder to set up the team's other touchdown.

The second long reception was an audible when safety Ronnie Lott came up to support the run and Monk went down the middle with single coverage.

Not deep enough

The Redskins were guarding for a deep pass when the Raiders' Willie Gault beat Darrell Green, who was playing on a heel injury, and Copeland for the 50-yard play that set up the winning touchdown.

Copeland said: "We were in a kind of a four-deep zone. I was coming from the slot from the opposite side, so I picked that up at mid-route. It seemed like it would have been a ball that would have been overthrown with most guys, but it was Willie Gault. You expect Willie Gault to be able to do that kind of stuff. I didn't expect it to happen against us."

Byner falls short

Earnest Byner bruised his back in the first half and finished with 35 yards rushing for the game and 998 for the season, two yards shy of becoming the first Redskin to gain 1,000 yards three years in a row.

Rypien said that if the Redskins had gotten the ball back after they took a 20-14 lead in the fourth quarter, Byner was going back in for one carry to get him 1,000.

By the time the Redskins got it back, they were behind 21-20 with 13 seconds left.

Schroeder low key on return

Raiders quarterback Jay Schroeder made his first appearance in RFK Stadium since he was traded by the Redskins four years ago, but played down his return.

"I had nothing to prove to anybody," he said. "The situation here when I left was, I felt I had to go somewhere else and play."

Schroeder wanted out of Washington after he was supplanted by Doug Williams.

Yesterday, he left the game in the second quarter after re-injuring his right shoulder.

"In my mind, it didn't make any sense to push it and rip everything apart in there," he said.

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