Petitbon on hold after painful year

January 04, 1994|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Staff Writer

ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins coach Richie Petitbon, whose first season ended Friday with a 14-9 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, has yet to meet with owner Jack Kent Cooke to find out whether Cooke will give him a second year.

"Not really," was Petitbon's only answer when he was asked yesterday if it was difficult waiting to find out if he'll be back next year.

Cooke was in Annapolis yesterday meeting with Gov. William Donald Schaefer about the stadium Cooke wants to build in Laurel. He was asked if he had made a decision about Petitbon. "No, not for public consumption," Cooke said.

Petitbon said he doesn't have a meeting scheduled with Cooke, but it could happen as early as today.

In Dallas, there is speculation that Norv Turner, the offensive coordinator of the Cowboys, is the top candidate to replace Petitbon. A source said that general manager Charley Casserly already has done research on Turner in case Cooke wants to make a change.

In his season-ending meeting with the players and during his news conference summing up the season yesterday, Petitbon outlined a set of statistics that he can be expected to present to Cooke to explain the 4-12 season.

Petitbon said the number of games missed by offensive and defensive linemen went from 28 in the Super Bowl year of 1991 to 99 this year. For example, in 1991, all the offensive linemen missed a total of 12 games. This year, Jim Lachey missed all 16 games and the rest of the offensive linemen missed 41 more.

"You can't win if you can't protect the passer and run the ball on offense, and you can't rush the passer on defense," Petitbon said.

Petitbon gave the players the impression he thinks he'll return in his short talk as he discussed the off-season.

"He talked like a man who's going to be back," said running back Earnest Byner.

The players appear supportive of Petitbon because of all the injuries this season.

"I think he's done everything he can as a coach," center Jeff Bostic said. "This is like having a pie smashed in your face. There's enough of it for everybody to wear.

"I think there were some errors that were made in the front office. Obviously, there's different things you could have done as a coach and there's certainly different things you could have done as a player. There's no one singular solution. It's going to be part player, part coaching and part management."

NOTES: Four players, Bostic (knee), LB Kurt Gouveia (shoulder), DL Charles Mann (knee) and OL Raleigh McKenzie have been scheduled for off-season surgery. QB Mark Rypien also may have surgery on both knees after he returns from a vacation.

THE INJURY FACTOR

Games missed by offensive and defensive linemen for the Redskins the past three seasons:

Year ... ... OL ... ... DL ... ... Tot.

1991 ... ... 12 ... ... 16 ... ... 28

1992 ... ... 30 ... ... 25 ... ... 55

1993 ... ... 57 ... ... 42 ... ... 99

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