In this numbers game, Stock hopes his comes up Redskins receiver confident of a job

August 30, 1993|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Sun Staff Writer

A story in yesterday's editions incorrectly identified the alma mater of Washington Redskins wide receiver Mark Stock. He went to the Virginia Military Institute.

The Sun regrets the error.

Mark Stock knows what it's like to make it all the way to the final NFL roster cut before getting the pink slip.

It happened to him with two teams in 1990 and 1991, and he was stunned both times.

"I thought I was the third receiver," Stock said of the Steelers' decision to cut him in 1990 after he played eight games as a rookie in 1989.

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

"I thought I had it made easy," Stock said of his time in Green Bay the following year.

"I played even better than I did in this camp," the Washington Redskins wide receiver said. "I made fewer mistakes. Sterling [Sharpe] and everybody was congratulating me on making the team and everything."

After he was released, no team picked him up.

"That was really surprising because Green Bay at the time had four receivers with over 30 receptions and was known for having one of the best receiving corps," Stock said. "A lot of people thought the last couple of receivers released there would be picked up somewhere else."

Instead, Stock, a sixth-round draft choice out of The Citadel in 1989 and a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve as a military policeman, went home. He was called to active duty in early 1992, during the Persian Gulf war.

The war ended before he was sent to the battlefield, and he was returned to civilian life in time to play with the Sacramento Surge, which won the second -- and final -- World League title.

He signed with the Redskins at the end of the World League season and spent last year on injured reserve.

"I recognized the Redskins had the best receiving corps in the whole NFL," he said. "I thought I'd give it a shot. Everybody said I was crazy because there were a lot more desperate teams out there."

He said he figured the Redskins had seen him from the scrimmages and the exhibition games they played against the Steelers, so he thought he'd get a long look.

Not only did he get a look -- he has been the surprise of camp.

He is expected to make the team, but he knows there are no guarantees.

"I feel confident, but at the same time, I know it's a crazy business." He is penciled in as the team's fifth receiver behind Ricky Sanders, Tim McGee, Art Monk and Desmond Howard, but he still is one of the players who may have to sweat out a roster maneuver.

He doesn't think his chances were hurt when he dropped a pass in the Redskins' 17-3 victory over the New York Jets in the final exhibition game.

"I don't know what happened," he said. "I thought I caught it and I started to run and the next thing I knew, I didn't have it. That one play basically typified my performance."

It wasn't one of his better games, but he thinks he'd already shown the Redskins he deserves to make it.

"I think the decision was made going into the game. Hopefully, that won't have too much of a bearing on it," he said.

The Redskins have to cut 13 players to go from 60 to 47 and then can bring 11 back -- six on the 53-man regular-season roster and five rookies on the practice squad.

The trade-off for the expanded rosters is that teams can no longer stash players on injured reserve. If a player goes on IR, he's out for the year.

If Stock is cut and is one of the six players who will be added to the expanded 53-man roster, he would be exposed to waivers before he could rejoin the team because he doesn't have four years in the league.

All the four-year players who are cut become free agents and can be signed again without being put on waivers, so the Redskins have a lot of factors to consider in making their final decisions.

Since only two players actually have to depart -- tight end Jim Riggs and linebacker John Brantley are the two likely candidates -- several young players could be exposed to waivers before rejoining the team.

Among the players in that category are running back Robert Green, offensive linemen Darryl Moore, Paul Siever and Greg Huntington, wide receiver Gregory Clifton and linebacker Lamont Hollinquest.

NTC Regardless of how it works out, Stock, 27, hopes his days of wandering around the league are over.

"I hope to have a career here," he said.

NOTES: The Redskins will have a light workout today as they start their preparations for the Monday night opener against the Dallas Cowboys. . . . LB Andre Collins had a magnetic resonance imaging exam that revealed a sprained knee. He probably will miss the Dallas game. . . . Rookie TE Frank Wycheck was released from the hospital after two days of treatment, including an MRI, for a concussion. He is out of the Dallas game. . . . The Redskins hope that the rest of their ailing players, including OT Joe Jacoby, will be able to play against the Cowboys, but they won't know about Jacoby until later in the week.

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