Rypien revisited: QB directs Redskins past Browns, 41-12

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

WASHINGTON -- Mark Rypien picked up where he left off two years ago.

Rypien, who never got in sync last year after holding out at the start of training camp, displayed his 1991 Super Bowl MVP form last night at RFK Stadium in the Washington Redskins' first preseason game.

Rypien played only the first two series and directed touchdown drives on both, and the Redskins beat the Cleveland Browns, 41-12, before only 36,455 fans.

Although the game was televised nationally by ABC, it was blacked out in the Washington and Baltimore areas because it wasn't sold out.

Rypien said he was shocked to see empty seats at RFK Stadium for the first time since he was drafted in 1986, but neither the quarterback nor new coach Richie Petitbon was surprised by the team's sharp showing.

Rypien has been in training camp from day one this year, and he played as well as he practiced.

"We geared training camp to getting off to a quick start and hitting on all cycles," Rypien said.

"We wanted to make Rod [Dowhower, offensive coordinator] look good," Rypien said.

Petitbon said: "Obviously, I was very pleased with our effort. I thought we were coming off three good weeks of practice, and if we hadn't played well, I would have been disappointed. To be perfectly honest, it wasn't a surprise."

When Petitbon was asked how he felt in his debut, he said: "I always feel good at RFK. We've won a lot of football games here."

Rypien engineered a 10-play, 78 yard drive in 5 minutes, 42 seconds on the Redskins' first possession and threw an 8-yard pass to Ricky Sanders for the touchdown. He also had a 25-yard strike to Tim McGee during the drive.

On the Redskins' next possession, Rypien moved the team 66 yards in 10 plays in 4:36. Brian Mitchell scored on a 1-yard run. Mitchell also had the key play of the drive, a 36-yard run with a screen pass.

"I thought Ryp looked great," Petitbon said.

Petitbon said his priority was for the regulars to play well, but not long. That's why he pulled Rypien after two series. Rypien was 8-for-12 for 123 yards.

Petitbon then brought in Cary Conklin. His first pass was intercepted, but he led the Redskins to 24 points in two quarters while completing nine of 17 for 111 yards. Chris Hakel finished at quarterback in the final quarter, completing two of three for 38 yards.

"I thought Conklin did a lot of things well. Conklin is right where we thought he'd be. He needs a lot of reps," Petitbon said.

The defense held Bernie Kosar to one touchdown in the first half, but Petitbon wasn't pleased that Vinny Testaverde was able to put together an 80-yard drive opening the second half that featured three successful third-down plays and a 15-yard penalty against Al Noga.

"We allowed a drive when we should have taken charge of the football game. You can't win football games doing that," Petitbon said.

Mark Stock, a free agent who has been a training camp sensation, helped his chances to make the team with punt returns of 51 and 32 yards to set up the Redskins' two second-quarter scores.

He also got the second-quarter touchdown on a 7-yard pass from Conklin with four seconds left in the half to boost the margin to 24-6.

Petitbon said: "The kid continues to make plays every time he gets a chance. There's got to be more to it than just luck."

Although Petitbon said he'll be on the team if he keeps making plays, Stock is still wary.

He said he had a similar camp in Green Bay in 1991, but he was cut and no other team picked him up.

"I'll believe it [that he'll make it] when I see it," he said.

If there was one concern for the Redskins, it was the running game. They gained 50 yards on the ground in the first half, but rookie Reggie Brooks rushed for 57 in the second, including a 26-yard burst.

"It's a dream come true," Brooks said of his first NFL game. "It didn't hit me until I hit the field. Then I realized it was the dream I'd been waiting for my whole life."

For Cleveland, it was a typically sloppy first preseason game.

"We played like it was our first preseason game, and the Redskins like a second or third preseason game," said Browns coach Bill Belichick. "Defensively, we missed practice, and they got a lot of plays off us. Offensively, we had a lot of turnovers and kicking problems."

The Redskins looked so good that Petitbon issued a message of caution. "Let's not get carried away," he said. "We've still got a long ways to go."

NOTES: Rookie P Ed Bunn had a disappointing debut. His first two punts went for 35 and 28 yards, although he added a 43-yarder late in the game. . . . Two defensive starters, LB Carl Banks (hamstring) and LB Shane Collins (shoulder), were held out. . . . Two starters, DT Tim Johnson (bruised ribs) and G Jim Lachey (hyper-extended knee), suffered minor injuries.

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