The Washington Redskins won a scrimmage today and lost a quarterback.
Jesse Freitas - dubbed "the wild one" by one Redskin official - was placed on waivers early this morning, even before the Redskins took the field this afternoon and knocked off the Colts, 12-6, in a controlled. 48-play scrimmage.
Freitas, a two-year NFL veteran signed right before training camp opened and a candidate for a third string quarterback spot, did not go easily. "He was very disappointed and he didn't want to leave," said Tim Temerario, the Redskin director of player personnel. "It took quite a little convincing to get him to go."
The Redskins quickly soured on Freitas for a lot of reasons. While no one would say so publicly, it was learned that Freitas had been fined $500 at least twice for breaking the 11 P.m. curfew in the last two weeks.
Redskin coach George Allen, who never raps a player in public, said only, "He has the ability to play in this league and I think he can help someone. Right now Brian Dowling is a little ahead of him, and we want to give him as much work as we can."
But Freitas was a problem child right from the start. He missed several mandatory meals, occasionally was late for meetings, and spent more time in local pubs than he apparently did studying his playbook.
That became fairly obvious in last Thursday's scrimmage against the Eagles in Hershey. He completed only one of six passes for six yards and was sacked twice.
"I woke him up myself to tell him." Temerario said. "He said he hadn't even eaten breakfast yet.And then he says, 'of course I don't ever eat breakfast.' Then I asked him, 'what do you want me to do, wait until you get up at 10.'"
By that hour, Freitas had already been driven to the Harrisburg Airport. Reached there by telephone, he said simply, "I have no comment, I think you understand why, I just have nothing to say."
Freitas reportedly was on his way to Cleveland where the Browns expressed some interest in giving him a tryout. Allen, meanwhile, said he might bring in another quarterback "for organizational purposes" during practice.
With Billy Kilmer still resting a sore right throwing arm, the Redskins have only two healthy pitchers in camp, and both Joe Theismann and Brian Dowling were on target in today's scrimmage against the Colts.
It was billed as a rookie affair - perhaps that was the reason only 1,000 fans showed up - but both teams used veteran offenses and defenses for a total of 12 plays. And both first-team offenses scored touchdowns.
Colt quarterback Bert Jones completed only one of his seven passes, but that one loss was good for 70 yards and a touchdown to Raymond Chester on the third play of the scrimmage.
Chester was being covered by safety Ken Houston when he caught the perfectly thrown ball near the sideline at the Colt 35, walked a tightope to stay in bounds and scored.
But Theismann, working with Calvin Hill and John Riggins in the back field. got the touchdown back on the sort of ball-control drive Allen loves.
After the Colts jumped offside and gave the Redskins a gift first down at the Baltimore 17 on fourth and one. Theismann passed 17 yards to wide receiver Frank Grant, who easily beat safety Bruce Laird. The 12-play drive covered 70 yards.
Theismann finished the day with six of 11 completions for 75 yards, though one of his passes was intercepted. "Now I know I don't ever want to throw that kind of pass (a sideline pattern) against that defense again," he said.
"All I'm trying to do at this point is not to make mistakes and descipline myself to stick with the program. I'm happy to take four and five-yards gains instead of 16-and 17-yard gains. If you take the little stuff, the big stiff will be there when you need it. It was just good to work under fire."
Dowling also continued to impress completing eight eight of his 10 passes for 128 yards and one touchdown. He also ran a nifty bootleg play for a score, but it was called back because quarterback were not supposed to run the ball under condition of the scrimmage.
So on the next play, he simply passed four yards to free agent back James Richards for the touchdown that provided the Redskins' final margin of victory. The score was set up on a 52-yard pass - the Redskins' largest gain of the day - from Dowling to rookie free agent Clarence Harmon.
Riggins ran up the middle on a draw for 16 yards the second time he carried the ball, the Redskins' longest run from scrimmage. He carried only twice while Hill managed 11 yards in three carries.
Rookie James Sykes, the Redskins 10th-round draft choice from Rice, led all runners with 34 yards in eight carries, and caught two passes for 21 yards.
Rookie safely Mark Murphy, the heavy hitter from Colgate, continued to please the coaching staff, particularly after he intercepted a Bill Troup pass.
Cornerback Joe Lavender swiped one of Jones' tosses and Gerard Williams had one later on against Troup, who had two completions in 13 attempts for eight yards.