Friesz's 4 TDs delay inevitable


September 12, 1994|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Sun Staff Writer

NEW ORLEANS -- John Friesz knows where he stands in the Washington Redskins' quarterback picture. He knows it's only a matter of time before rookie Heath Shuler becomes the starter.

"I understand it's probably inevitable," Friesz said yesterday. "There'll be a time when I don't play like I want to play and Heath will go in and play well and it'll be his. I'm content with that. I understood that going in. I'm just thankful for the time I'm getting right now."

Friesz delayed the inevitable yesterday when he completed 15 of 22 passes for 195 yards and four touchdowns in the Redskins' 38-24 victory over the New Orleans Saints.

Coach Norv Turner had planned to play Shuler for a quarter yesterday and start him next week against the New York Giants. That plan was scrubbed yesterday when Friesz got off to a good start. Friesz went all the way and will start next week.

Friesz said it's easier for him to deal with this experience because of last year in San Diego when he lost out to Stan Humphries.

"I just look at it as learning from past experiences," he said. "I think that's the key for most good quarterbacks. Going through last year made me a lot stronger in a lot of ways."

Although Humphries had the edge when he got a big contract last year after Friesz was injured in the first exhibition game in 1992, Friesz said there was a difference in the situations.

"They said we would still compete and they told me when I was out there starting it was my job, but it was really wasn't," he said.

Friesz said the key play of yesterday's game wasn't one of his touchdown passes, but a 17-yard pass to Ethan Horton on the first play of the 79-yard drive that gave the Redskins a 28-9 lead.

"It got us going and it really seemed like it took the life out of the defense. The crowd was starting to get into it a little bit and it wasn't out of reach yet. It kind of took the wind out of their sails," he said.

Mitchell doesn't change tune

Despite a tough game last week, Brian Mitchell patiently answered all the questions about his mistakes. He said many of the same things after a terrific game yesterday.

"I don't run from anything. I've always been taught to stand up when you do something wrong," he said. "It was my fault last week and this week I did something good, but it was the people who blocked for me that made things happen."

He also credited assistant general manager Bobby Mitchell for helping him cope with last week's problems.


The loss left the Saints with an 0-2 record and coach Jim Mora said, "The special teams really hurt us and we didn't do a good job defensively. We have to do a better job." . . . The only serious injury suffered by the Redskins was a knee injury that felled cornerback Alvoid Mays. He'll get a magnetic resonance imaging exam to determine the extent of the injury.

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