Alternating cornerbacks may be together again Redskins notebook

January 03, 1993|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Staff Writer

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Washington Redskins haven't had their starting cornerbacks, Darrell Green and Martin Mayhew, in uniform together since the second game of the season.

But they keep surviving in the secondary because they've managed to start one or the other in every game but one since Game 2, when Green broke a forearm.

Mayhew lasted until the 10th game of the season, when he suffered the same injury against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Green returned the following week as a part-timer against the New Orleans Saints and moved back into the starting lineup a game later.

Green lasted until last week, when he aggravated a bruised heel.

Mayhew stepped back in against the Minnesota Vikings yesterday.

After giving up two passes to Cris Carter on the first drive, including a 42-yarder that set up a touchdown, Mayhew held him to one catch the rest of the game. He also intercepted a pass when Anthony Carter stumbled to start the Redskins on their way to a 24-7 victory over the Vikings.

"That was a wake-up call, an eye-opener," Mayhew said of Cris Carter's long reception. "Once that happened, I just got really serious. I was just so happy before the game I was walking around cracking jokes. I was just so happy to have the opportunity to play that I hadn't thought enough about the fact I had to play well."

Mayhew said he appreciates the game more now that he has suffered his first serious injury.

"I have gained new respect for the game and the opportunity to play. You really can't take anything for granted," he said.

The San Francisco 49ers, who feature wide receivers Jerry Rice and John Taylor, are the next opponent, so the Redskins hope to get Green back next week.

Rypien's day

Mark Rypien got off to a shaky start when he was intercepted, but he settled down and completed 16 of 24 passes for 172 yards.

"There's no doubt we have a lot of good memories here. We finished here last year [winning the Super Bowl], so we thought we'd start it here this year," he said.

Coach Joe Gibbs sized up Rypien's performance: "He played in a playoff game and we won. He's been pretty good at that."

He's 5-1 in six playoff starts. The only loss was in January 1991 to San Francisco, when he threw three interceptions.

Frustrating finish

For Dennis Green, who had a successful first season as Vikings coach, it was a frustrating finish.

"Washington played better than we did. We thought we could handle their running game but did not," Green said. "You have to hand it to them. They regrouped after two straight losses and played loose. We never developed our rhythm offensively. We could not get it going."

Of the Redskins, he said, "Obviously, if they had played that way all season, they would not be 9-7."

Sweet revenge

Safety Brad Edwards, who had an interception, enjoyed the victory because the Vikings left him unprotected on Plan B before he signed with the Redskins in 1990.

"That's human nature," he said. "You want to come back and play well."

Big sack day

Fred Stokes and the Redskins thought he had four sacks of Sean Salisbury, but he was credited with only three. Jumpy Geathers was credited with the fourth, although it seemed that Stokes deserved at least a half of it.

Stokes suffered a knee injury earlier in the season and lost the starting job to Shane Collins.

Indian protest

About 100 American Indians and their supporters rallied in freezing drizzle to protest the name Redskins.

Some bystanders Saturday shouted their support and others yelled insults, but police Sgt. Dan Lawler said there were no confrontations and no arrests.

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