Terry Hermeling, the man most affected by the holdout of offensive tackle Tim Stokes, had a message today for his friend and fellow linemate. "I wish he'd come in," Hermeling said, "because he's a vital part of this football team.
"We're good friends, and I've talked to him. I gave him some of my own thoughts on it. But it's something he has to decide. If he doesn't come in, it's going to hurt our depth, and it's going to hurt our team. But he's the one who has to make the decision. It's up to him."
Coach George Allen had some additional advice for Stokes, who apparently is standing firm on a reported demand of $75,000 a year to play with the Redskins in 1977.
After saying he thought there was a slight possibility Stokes may be in camp this weekend, Allen added that, "If he wants to play and he's had a good offer and a fair offer, he has to tell his agent. The agent shouldn't own the player.
"We'll keep trying, that's all. But the player has to decide what he wants to do, not just listen to his agent.
"If I have a chance, I'll try and give him a call. Pittsburgh has a few of the same kind of players and they're in camp with the team. I'd like him to be here studying film, going to the meetings things like that. It's better than sitting home.
The implication, of course, is that Allen would like for Stokes to dismiss his attorney, Howard Slusher of Los Angeles, and accept the Redskins offer of $50,000 a year, with an additional $10,000 in incentives, and come to camp. Until he signs a contract, though, he is not allowed to practice.
Stokes has been saying all along he has no intention of dropping Slusher, and that he has prepared himself for the possibility of not playing this season. He was not available to comment today because he was on a two-day fishing trip on the Mckenzie River near his Eugene, Ore., residence.
The Redskins will give Stokes until the weekend before making the move Allen has said he would prefer not to make - moving Hermeling from right guard back to left tackle, and putting Dan Nugent, a third-year man with little experience, at right guard.
Allen said he probably will make that switch Monday in preparation for the preseason opener in Cleveland the following week and Hermeling said he is prepared for it.
"Yeah, I'm ready to go back if I have to," he said. "At this point, I'd rather play guard. I'm getting the feel for it and I really enjoy it. But I'll play anywhere if they think it will help us win.
"It would be easier for me to go back to left tackle than it was for me to make the switch from tackle to guard. I played tackle all my life. I just haven't practised there. It would only take me about a week or so to get back into it."
Hermeling has recovered from a severe knee operation that forced him to miss the 1974 season, and he probably could play any position on the offensive line.
Second year man Pete Solverson, trying to recover from knee surgery a year ago, is working at left tackle with the first unit and is backed up by rookie Mike Hughes, the club's fifth round draft pick in 1976.
"Solverson's doing a fine job," Allen said - but we just can't go into a game without an experienced guy (Hermeling) in there."
Allen also indicated the Redskins had made their final offer to another of Slusher's Clients, rookie tight end Reggie Haynes. "If he doesn't want to play that's up to him.," Allen said.
"He's the looser, not the Redskins. I talked to him last night, and that's the end of it."
Today did mark the return of John Riggins. The big fullback, who complained of tightness in his groin Thursday took part in both practises.
Billy Kilmer, however, took another day off from throwing the football and said his right arm was still sore.
"I've talked to all the experts, and the only thing they all say is to rest it," Kilmer said. "I've never had anything quite like this, so I didn't even throw today. I'm just going to take it easy and give it time. They say that's all you can do."
Allen said he would give Kilmer all the time he needed. "In my experience, it usually takes a week," the coach said.
Kilmer participated in all the other work, alternating with Joe Theismann during 11-on-11 rushing drills. All the quaterbacks had to do was call plays and hand off the ball.
Running back Mike Thomas, still nursing a strained hamstring, did not practise again. He and Kilmer probably will not begin using their sore limbs until next week.
The Redskins cut three players defensive tackie John (Tree) Adams, the son of a former Redskin lineman, and running backs James Early and Raefield Raefield Williams . . . Ed Keating. Theismann's agent, was in town and met briefly with Tim Teraerario, the Redskins' chief negotiator. "We just had a nice chat," said Temerario. "We have no problems." Theismann is the option year of his contract . . . Allen praised safety Mark Murphy, defensive and Karl Lorch and linebacker Joe Harris for their play in the Eagle Scrimmage Thursday . . . Allen will use a number of his veterans in Saturday's scrimmage against Baltimore at Carlisle High at 1:30 p.m. . . . middle linebacker Greg Hartle's knee has swollen and he could not practise. He should play in the scrimmage . . . Allen said he and tight end Jean Fuggett will run a mile race. If Allen wins, the Redskins will have three practises in one day. If Fugett wins, there will be no practice. "If he wins he'll be a hero," Allen said. "If he loses, they'll drown him in the whirlpool."