Game 'fun again,' Dishman gives Redskins D a boost Ex-Oilers cornerback happy to be paired with Pro Bowl player Green

Nfl Week 6

October 05, 1997|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Darrell Green is still the cornerstone of the Washington Redskins. The cornerback for all ages says he'll be playing in the Pro Bowl in the year 2000, and few are willing to bet against him even though Green will be 40 by then.

However, Washington's other starting cornerback, Cris Dishman, is stirring up defensive excitement after playing just four regular-season games.

Dishman is a hot item around Washington (3-1) as the team prepares to meet the Philadelphia Eagles (1-3) 1 p.m. today at Veterans Stadium.

Washington coach Norv Turner said, "I told you all last summer how good Cris Dishman was and what he would mean to our team. I've said all along we have two great cornerbacks."

Dishman was impressive last Sunday against quarterback Mark Brunell and the Jacksonville Jaguars, putting on a show that won him NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

Dishman, 32, had nine tackles, batted a pass to set up an interception by teammate Marc Boutte in the fourth quarter and helped limit Brunell to 134 net yards passing and 204 net yards in total offense.

Dishman said he is "having a ball" with the Redskins since signing as an unrestricted free agent from the Tennessee Oilers last April.

"I've known since that morning I met Norv for breakfast at the airport hotel that I wanted to play here," said Dishman. "Why wouldn't I be happy to be playing here instead of being in Memphis or Nashville? Football is fun again for me here."

Dishman played all nine of his NFL seasons in Houston before coming to the Redskins and rarely ever stops talking about the six-time Pro Bowl pick Green.

"Darrell's work ethics are incredible. He pushes me so much. I mean, it's hard to go in the huddle and look at Darrell if he's shutting his man down and I'm not," said Dishman.

The fifth-round draft choice out of Purdue said it only makes sense that opposing teams are "going to come after me."

"Darrell's been around 15 years and they know all about him," said Dishman. "I'm the new kid on this team, so why not try me out?"

The previously unbeaten Jaguars did that and came away with (( their first loss of the season.

"The Jacksonville game was probably as well as I've played in a long time," said Dishman. "I was well-prepared by our coaches, the defensive line played well and it all came together for us. I'm lucky God blessed me with the talent to do the things I do on the field."

Although he is far removed from the Oilers these days, Dishman said he still offers support on many days to his downtrodden ex- teammates.

"Part of my heart is still over there with those guys," he said. "With only 17,000 people in the stands, it's tough to play a game. But I tell those guys to keep their heads up and feet on the ground."

Even though Dishman is helping take the Redskins defense to a higher level than last season, there is still a fear among those close to the team of getting too excited too soon, like last year when the team faded after a 7-1 start.

"I'm not even going to try and talk about where our team fits in the NFC East championship picture," said Turner. "And I'm certainly not going to compare this year's team right now with where we were last year at this time."

WASHINGTON (3-1) AT PHILADELPHIA (1-3)

Time: 1 p.m., Ch. 5

Line: Eagles by 3 1/2

Vs. spread: Redskins 3-1; Eagles 2-2.

Last week: Redskins beat Jaguars, 24-12. Eagles lost to Vikings, 28-19.

Worth watching: QB Gus Frerotte may be beginning to prove the Redskins made the right choice in giving him a big contract. His three TD passes last week paved the way for victory against the previously undefeated Jaguars.

Outlook: The Eagles are shaping up as one of the season's big disappointments; the Redskins, as a big success story. Washington is allowing only 12.3 points per game, and Frerotte is running an efficient offense.

Notable: Eagles have won eight of the past nine meetings.

Injuries:

REDSKINS: Out: G Bob Dahl (knee); DE Kenard Lang (ear infection). Questionable: RB Stephen Davis (thumb); DB Scott Turner (ankle); S Jamel Williams (knee). Probable: DT Chris Mims (abdomen); G Joe Patton (ankle); WR Leslie Shepherd (shoulder); P Matt Turk (thigh).

EAGLES: Questionable: C Steve Everitt (hamstring); LB Jeff Herrod (hamstring). Probable: G Ian Beckles (foot); WR Chris T. Jones (knee); DT Jimmie Jones (ankle); TE Chad Lewis (neck); LB Darrin Smith (ankle); WR Freddie Solomon (hamstring); CB Troy Vincent (shoulder).

Pub Date: 10/05/97

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