The Redskins lost five players today even before the start of their first training-camp practice of the year. And when this bizarre opening day had ended, they very easily could have lost a head coach.
Despite a torrential dowpour and severe accompanying lightning and thunder, George Allen managed to run a lap around the Biddle Field track in stride with linebacker Pete Wysocki as electricity crackled all around.
"You can run in lightning when you've got one of the spostles out there with you," deadpanned Wysocki. "Hey, if the president asks you to play gold with him, you play golf with him."
Before the severe storm hit. Allen had run 68 players through two hours of drills in 95-degree heat. One player, 280-pound rookie defensive and Phil Clabo, lasted about an hour before heading for the locker room because of heat exhaustion.
There were no other major casualties, though defensive end Duncan McColl, the team's top draft choice (in the fourth round), was unable to participate in most drills because of a sprained ankle. He hurt himself playing basketball two weeks ago, and Allen said "we don't want to rush him."
The roster was trimmed when five players were unable to pass the team physical. Included in that group was free-agent quarterback Jerry Trooien, who had little chance of making the team after the Redskins signed veteran Jesse Freitas on Saturday.
The other four were middle linebacker Bert Cooper, a veteran of the Canadian League, and free agents Kelvin Brooks, a guard from Boston University, Richard Trower, a defensive end from Miami and Back Wright, a guard from Princeton.
Allen said he was pleased with the season first workout and praised several players, including guard Bob Kuziel, receiver Larry Jones and rookie running back James Sykes.
on 11-on11 rushing drill even turned into a small scrimmage. "The defense was too aggressive." Allen said. "That wasn't supposed to happen. But these guys are liked caged-up lions.I wasn't surprised."