Redskins report

October 21, 1997|By Bill Free

Record: 4-3

Last game: Lost to Tennessee Oilers, 28-14, Sunday in the Liberty Bowl.

Highlights: Punter Matt Turk continued on the road to a second straight Pro Bowl appearance by averaging 51.3 yards on three punts Sunday, raising his season average to an NFC-leading 46.8 yards per punt.

Also, 36-year-old wide receiver Henry Ellard took over for the injured Michael Westbrook and caught two touchdown passes among six receptions for 84 yards. Washington also converted five of nine third-down opportunities, raising its NFL-leading third-down conversion percentage to 47.9 (45 of 94).

Lowlights: Quarterback Gus Frerotte threw three interceptions, with one bouncing off Ellard's hands in the third quarter to set up Tennessee's third touchdown.

But there were a lot more problems than just Frerotte's passing. The offensive line didn't provide Frerotte much time to pass on several occasions, the defensive line didn't pressure quarterback Steve McNair much and the entire team looked a little lethargic following Monday night's impressive 21-16 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

News: Norv Turner bristled yesterday at the mention that his team wasn't mentally ready to play Tennessee.

"I didn't see that many mental errors out there, did you?" said Turner. When told that a few of his players said they were guilty of a letdown, Turner responded, "Anyone who says that wasn't listening to me last week. If someone is having a letdown, I wish they would tell me on Saturday and I'll put someone else in to play."

Turner also said he was sticking with Frerotte as his starting quarterback over Jeff Hostetler.

"If our problems were exclusively the quarterback, I would do it [pull Frerotte]," said Turner. "When did you want me to make the change? After the second touchdown pass to Henry [Ellard], if I was considering a change, I'd say, 'Gosh, I'm glad I didn't do it.' "

Next game: The Redskins meet the Ravens at 1 p.m. Sunday at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium, renewing the Baltimore-Washington NFL rivalry for the first time since 1981, when Washington trounced the Baltimore Colts, 38-14, at RFK Stadium.

Norv Turner says: "Gus [Frerotte] has played well but he's been inconsistent. He's played in spurts, much like our team. We play well at home, so this should be our good week."

Injuries: DE Kenard Lang (surgery for ear infection) is nearly certain to return to action after missing four games. RB Terry Allen (sprained left knee ) is expected to resume running this week and possibly return to action next week against the Chicago Bears. S Jesse Campbell (broken left thumb) had to leave Sunday's game in the first quarter because there was too much pain for him to make tackles. Frerotte has a bruised left arm but X-rays yesterday showed no injury.

Quotable: "He [Turner, at halftime Sunday when Redskins were trailing Oilers, 14-0] said we were better than that. A lot of guys were mad. It is a knockdown, drag-out war out there. You have 30 minutes left to play. We had our opportunities to come back and tie the game but we just didn't do it." -- Frerotte

Pub Date: 10/21/97

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