Frerotte hopes he'll be haunting old team

One-time Washington QB could start for Lions

Redskins notebook

November 30, 1999|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,SUN STAFF

Coach Norv Turner fired Gus Frerotte last year. Now Frerotte could play a role in getting Turner fired.

That could be the situation Sunday when Turner brings his Washington Redskins to the Silverdome to play the Detroit Lions.

The Redskins have won 18 straight from the Lions, including two playoff games, in a streak dating to 1968, and Turner needs a victory in this duel between 7-4 teams.

With his job hanging by a thread, Turner needs to beat the Lions to stay a game ahead of the Dallas Cowboys, who play the New England Patriots on Sunday, and two games ahead of the Arizona Cardinals, who play host to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday and come to Washington next week, in the NFC East.

If Charlie Batch's thumb isn't healed, Frerotte, who beat the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving, will start against the Redskins.

Coach Bobby Ross said yesterday that Batch's status is day-to-day and that he won't know until tomorrow whether he can even throw in practice.

Ross said he would have no problems with starting Frerotte against his old team, even though he might be a bit hyper during the game. Frerotte once gave himself a concussion banging his helmet against a stadium wall after a score.

Frerotte made it obvious yesterday he's eager to play the Redskins.

"This is a game I probably want to play more than any other. Everybody knows where I came from and that I'd like to play against the Redskins and show them, `Look, this is what you passed up.' If we can win this game, it'd be a pretty emotional time and a good feeling," he said.

Turner was much more low-key when he discussed Frerotte at his news conference yesterday.

"He looks like he's playing with a lot of confidence. His comfort level looks to be very, very high. He looks like he's playing a lot like he did in '96 here," Turner said.

Frerotte passed for 3,453 yards in 1996 but tailed off to 2,682 yards in 1997, and when he hurt his shoulder in last year's opener, Turner switched to Trent Green.

Frerotte started only one game the rest of the way, losing to the Minnesota Vikings, 41-7, while passing for 117 yards, and was released at the end of the season. He signed with the Lions as a backup to Batch.

Frerotte was drafted by the Redskins on the seventh round in 1994 and eventually beat out their top pick (Heath Shuler) that year before falling out of favor.

On Conway, no comment

Brett Conway acknowledged Sunday that he was worried about his job security when he went out to try an overtime field goal after missing a 28-yard attempt at the end of the regulation.

Turner, though, ducked the question when asked if Conway's job would have been in jeopardy if he had missed the 27-yarder in overtime that gave the Redskins a 20-17 victory over the Eagles.

Turner paused and said: "He made the kick, so we don't have to answer that question. He's a good kicker, a very talented kicker. He's lucky. Some guys miss a kick and it costs their team a game. This didn't cost us a game. Hopefully, he learns from it."

More Davis ahead

When Stephen Davis' thigh hurts, Turner doesn't feel any pain.

Even though Davis seemed to be limping at times Sunday, Turner said he will increase his workload, not decrease it.

"I don't think he's been bothered by the bruised thigh. I thought he ran hard in the game. When he had a lane in this game, he did a good job and was playing very physical. He just didn't have as many lanes. I think, if anything, we're going to crank Stephen up and get him going. We're in the stretch run, and he's going to get the ball," Turner said.

The Eagles held Davis to 61 yards in 24 carries after he ran for 122 against them two weeks ago.

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