All summer, George Allen has insisted he has tried to be less intense about his football team. Thursday night, he actually was seen quaffing a beer at a team cookout.
But starting with Saturday night's exhibition game against the Green Bay Packers here (WMAL-TV 7 at 9 (a.m.), life is going to get considerably more hectic for Allen, his staff and his players.
By 4 p.m. Tuesday, Allen must cut his current 60-man roster to 52 players. In addition to setting the usual goals of eliminating mistakes, scoring more touchdowns, improving the pass rush and taking another long look at cornerback Gerard Williams, Allen also will use the Packer game for one last look at the marginal men still on the roster.
"It looks like this will be the most difficult group to cut," Allen said today, moments after formally announcing the end of "one of our better training camps.
"We have so many players who are about the same. Nobody has really shown he can hit and be really outstanding on the special teams. Nobody has been front and center, and, for a lot of these guys, the decision on whether they'll make the Redskin depends on the job they do on those teams.
"I've got a pretty good idea of how the squad will shape up, but I haven't made many decisions.Each week, someone can change my thinking. Some of these guys can still do that."
Nevertheless, it has become rather obvious that there are not going to be any significant changes in personnel on the Redskins this season. Allen began camp saying he hoped to have a halfdozen newcomers make the team. But at this point, he probably will settle for four.
An so, this is how the Redskins probably will look - barring serious injuries and major trades - when the regular season begins in three weeks.
Quarterbacks: Billy Kilmer and Joe Theismann, with Brian Dowling on the two-man cab squad.
Running backs: Mike Thomas, John Riggins, Calvin Hill, Bub Brunet and Eddie Moss. IF Allen keeps six backs, Clarence Harmon, the free agent from Mississippi State and the team's leading rusher so far, has the edge over newly acquired Harold Hart.
Wide receivers: Charley Taylor, Frank Grant, Larry Jones and Danny Buggs. If Allen keeps five, Kevin Farrell, a free agent from Fresno State who may develop into a field-goal blocker, has a slight edge over Doug Winslow. Farrell has made some big plays in the preseason, and the Redskins would like to keep him.
Tight ends: Jean Fugett and Jerry Smith. If Allen keeps three, he may stick with hard-working free-agent Bill Larson, Reggie Haynes, the seventh-round draft choice, probably will come up with a muscle pull or sore ankle and be saved for the future on injured reserve.
Offensive line: Allen will keep three centers, starter Len Hauss, versatile Bob Kuziel (he can play evey position on the line) and Ted Fritsch, the finest long snapper in the league and an execellent special-teamer. The tackles will be Tim Stokes and George Starke, the guards Terry Hermeling, Ron Saul, Paul Laaveg and Dan Nugent. Likely cuts are tackles Pete Solverson and Mike Hughes, last year's top draft pick.
Defensive line: The tackles will be Diron Talbert, Dave Butz and Bill Brundige. The ends are Ron McDole, Dennis Johnson, Dallas Hickman and Karl Lorch, Tackle Perry Brooks most likely will be placed on injured reserve, the same fate probably awaiting defensive end Duncan McColl, the team's first pick in the 1977 draft.
Linebackers: Chris Hanburger, Harold McLinton, Brad Dusek, Rusty Tillman and Pete Wysocki. The sixth spot is still up for grabs, with Stu O'Dell favored over Joe Harris because of experience and spectacular special-teams play.Harris is a likely candidate for the cab squad. Cliff Laboy probably will be cut Tueday and headed back or duty as a bouncer in a Honolulu nightclub.
Cornerbacks: Joe Lavender, Gerard Williams and Pat Fischer, if Fischer can come back from a pinched nerve in his back. If not, Allen probably will make a trade to obtain a veteran performer. If Fischer can't play and Allen decides to go with William as a starter. David Thomas has the edge over Skip Sharp as the third corner. If Fischer plays, Thomas and Sharp will be gone.
Safeties: Jake Scott, Ken Houston, Brig Owens and Eddie Brown. Th Redskins have been impressed with rookie free-agent Mark Murphy, but he may be a step or two too slow for their liking. He should survive this cut because Scott has had hamstring problems and Brown is still in the hospital with an abscess in his throat.
Punter: Mike Bragg.
Placekicker: Mark Moseley.
Allen said today Brunet would start at tailback Saturday and Brunet mostly said ho hum. "It's nice," he said, "but I've accepted my role here on the special teams. He pays me well for it, and this will just be fun. Anyway, I'm the only one who's healthy enough to play . . ." Allen said Mike Thomas (sore hamstring) won't make the trip, and Hill still is bothered by a sore knee and probably won't play . . . Scott (sore left leg) took part in drills for the first time this week, and Allen said he may use him briefly agianst the Packers . . .Green Bay made a major switch earlier in the week, moving veteran defensive tackle Mike McCoy to offensive guard . . . Lynn Dickey is scheduled to start at quarterback and play a half . . . The running backs will be Barty Smith and Eric Torkelson and the receivers Ollie Smith and Ken Payne . . . The Packers beat Cincinnati in the preseason opener but have lost to New England and Tampa Bay the last two weeks.