Stock's stock rises sharply after Redskins scrimmage

July 26, 1993|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Staff Writer

CARLISLE, Pa. -- Wide receiver Mark Stock knows he's running out of time and teams.

He's been on four teams in two leagues in five years -- plus a couple of months on Uncle Sam's team during Operations Desert Storm.

Stock hopes he's found a home in Washington.

"I'll be able to sleep better now," Stock said after he caught three passes, including one for a touchdown, in the Redskins' 34-14 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in a scrimmage Saturday.

"I don't know what's worried me the most. This is the most stressful camp I've been in. It's self-induced stress. I got married three weeks ago. Now it's kind of for keeps. I'm expecting big things this year. I'm thinking this is the year," he said.

Stock, 27, has waited a long time.

After winning Division I-AA All-America honors -- he caught 165 passes for 3,091 yards at VMI -- Stock was drafted by the Steelers in 1989 in the sixth round. He was activated off the developmental squad for the final eight games of that season as a third receiver. He caught four passes in the regular season and two more in the playoffs.

When the Steelers protected him on Plan B in the spring of 1990, he thought he had a future. But when former assistant coach Joe Walton installed a new offense, he was cut.

"I got lost in the shuffle," he said.

A lieutenant in the Army Reserves where he is an MP, he was activated in January of 1991 during Desert Storm and lost a chance to play in the World League that spring.

He was released from military service on April 30 without leaving the United States ("They had told us to keep our bags packed."), and he was signed by Green Bay. The Packers had protected five receivers and kept them all. He was cut again.

He signed with Sacramento in the World League in the spring of 1992 and played on the team that won the second and last World Bowl before the league disbanded.

"That was probably my greatest football experience," he said.

But he suffered a quadriceps injury during that season, so he wasn't 100 percent when the Redskins took a flyer on him last year after the World League season ended. He was put on the injured reserve list, blew out a hamstring practicing, and that was the end of that.

Now he's back, healthy and trying to beat the odds one more time.

The good scrimmage he had against the Steelers helped his chances.

"He's a smart player, he's got quickness, he's got some speed and good hands. He's got a chance. He certainly can play in the league," said general manager Charley Casserly.

The Redskins are stacked at wide receiver with Ricky Sanders, Desmond Howard, Tim McGee and Stephen Hobbs. They're also expected to make room for veteran Art Monk.

But Stock has one thing going for him -- the new 53-man roster. Even if he doesn't make the 47-man roster, he has a shot the day after the final cuts are made when each team can add six players to the roster.

"There's going to be a couple more slots [for receivers]," he said.

Now it's up to Stock to fill one of them.

NOTES: Ricky Ervins' agent, Ray Newman, called Casserly for the first time in a week yesterday and asked for a trade, but Casserly told him the Redskins have no intention of dealing Ervins. Newman said he'd be willing to drop his demands to under $1 million, but the Redskins are standing firm at $450,000. "We'll wait for a trade," Newman said. . . . After looking at the videotape of the loss to the Steelers, coach Richie Petitbon said yesterday, "I think we'll be a better team because of this. It's something you have to go through to progress.". . .Petitbon said the biggest problem was pass protection . . .Both Petitbon and Casserly lauded former Maryland TE Frank Wycheck, who caught one pass. Casserly said, "Wycheck did a nice job. He's done a nice job all week."

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