It's not day to remember for Young

Redskins notebook

January 10, 1993|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Staff Writer

SAN FRANCISCO -- Steve Young didn't exactly emerge out of Joe Montana's shadow yesterday.

The San Francisco 49ers quarterback started and won his first playoff game, but did nothing to make the fans forget Montana in the 20-13 victory over the Washington Redskins.

0$ He fumbled the ball three times,

had a pass intercepted and almost had a fifth turnover when he threw a pass into A. J. Johnson's hands in the end zone at the end of the team's first drive. He was lucky that it caromed off Johnson into the arms of John Taylor for a touchdown.

If the Redskins hadn't had four turnovers of their own, Young could have been loser although the muddy conditions probably contributed to the sloppy play.

"It was weird," Young said. "The first [fumble] came from behind and on the third turnover, I was trying to get up and give the ball to an official. I didn't really hear a whistle, but I thought the play was dead."

That third-quarter fumble came two plays after Mark Rypien had been intercepted by David Whitmore and the 49ers took over on the Washington 20. The 49ers were ahead 17-3 and had a chance to put the game away. On the next possession, the wet ball simply slipped out of his hands.

"Overcoming four turnovers in a playoff game, especially against a team like the Redskins and winning, must mean you're playing pretty good ball," Young said.

Coach George Seifert said, "I didn't say anything about the turnovers [to Young]. The key to Steve Young or anyone for that matter, is to have to forget about the play and go on to the next play."

Seifert apparently never considered lifting Young for Montana even though the fans were yelling for him.

Seifert did tell Montana to warm up in the fourth quarter only because he was worried about a hit Young had taken. "It turned out Steve was fine so he stayed in the game," he said.

Line play

Jim Lachey ended the season on the sidelines with a torn rib cartilage that forced him out in the second half, but Joe Jacoby did well in his place.

Jacoby said, "Going in at half time, we were down but not TC discouraged. We hurt ourselves, but you've got to give them credit."

Turf doctor

The turf at Candlestick Park was in such bad shape after the game that the NFL is calling in George Toma, the noted Kansas City groundskeeper to come in this week and see if anything can be done to improve it.

The field was kept covered the week before the game and it didn't start raining until the second half. But the field is below sea level so it was still soggy.


The Redskins rushed the ball for only 36 yards in the first half on 12 carries and wound up with only 73 yards rushing. Rypien said they couldn't get in their game plan because the 49ers held the ball so much and they they had to throw in the second half because they were behind.

49ers not impressed

The 49ers weren't impressed with their own play in the game.

Offensive tackle Roy Foster said, "We were our own worst enemy. We need to lessen our mistakes. Our next opponent is going to be tough. One has Reggie White and one has Charles Haley. We need to clean up our act before the next game."

New look to come?

The Redskins roster is likely to have a different look next year with the advent of free agency, but coach Joe Gibbs said he hasn't given it any thought yet.

By losing, the Redskins won't have as many restrictions on signing free agents as they would have had if they'd won the game and finished as one of the top four teams.

Bay blues

Gibbs is 16-5 as a playoff coach and 16-4 in January. He has never won a game in San Francisco and has never won two road playoff games in a row. Gibbs has lost four in a row to the 49ers and six of the past seven.

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