Calvin Hill said yesterday that 1977 probably will be his last year in professional football and that, "I have no idea what their plans are for me this season."
"Right now, it's like I'm on a treadmill," Hill said. "I feel like I'm in a vacuum, in a period of just waiting to see what goes on. It must be what Ford felt waiting for Carter to take over as President.
"But Ford knew he would be out in January. he could make plans. Right now, I don't know what's happening."
Hill knows only that he will keep playing in football games as long as Mike Thomas continues to be plagued by a hamstring pull that has kept him sidelined for all except five practice sessions since training camp began seven weeks ago.
Hill knows all about muscle pulls. he suffered in training camp last year with a hamstring problemz, and yesterday he offered Thomas a few words of wisdom, and advice.
"I'd like to see Mike get healthy because this team needs him," Hill said. "I've been hurt myself, and I always felt that one of the biggest problems you face is from people who look at yuou as if to say, "You don't look hurt, why can't you play?"
"Just because he's not wearing a cast or he has no broken bones doesn't mean he doesn't have a problem. i just hope Mike doesn't start to try and please other people and that he just gets it right.
"If you start denying you're hurt when you really are, that's when you get in a lot of trouble."
As long a she was at tit, Hill also had a message for the people who are supposed to be blocking for him. He has read recently where several offensive linemen have said there is a major difference in their blocking schemes depending on who has th e ball, Hill or Thomas.
"I don't really understand that," Hill said. "I don't think it should make a difference who's carrying the ball. If you block a guy, you should just block him and not worry about who's got the football."
That is as close as Hill would come to criticizing his teammates publicy. "We just have to start working together better," he said, when asked to explain the Redskins' offensive problems this preseason.
Hill also confirmed for the first time yesterday that he signed a two-year contract with an option when he joined the Redskins in 1976.
"Yes, I think it will be my last year," he said yesterday. "i'd really like to do well this year and go out in style. The preseason has been kind of disappointing. I haven't done as well as I thought I would do.
"it's a function of a lot of other things that aren't going well. I feel like I'm running pretty well.When I go over the films and try to figure out what I could have done differently, well, there's not much I would change."
Other players say that Hill is running as hard as ever, but that the holes are just not opening up for him or for fullback John Riggins. Both will take three-yard rushing averages into the final preseasom game against the Jets Friday night. Hill has gained 133 yards rushing, Riggins 132.
"I don't think I've lost any speed, and I feel quick. i still enjoy carrying the football, but you can't play this game forever, I take care of myself. I don't run the streets or abuse my body, and in that sense I'm ahead I'm ahead of the game."
Hill does admit there are major differences in style between him and Thomas. he says he would prefer to run what he described as "the rolling plays, where you pick your own daylight.
"I don't enjoy a lot of those quick hitters. Mike does and he runs them very well. I'd rather get the ball and move to the openings as I see them. With the quick hitter, if it's not here, it's all over. I feel like I'm running a lot of those now, and it's not really my forte. If that's what they want, that's what I'll do.
"But I don't know what's going to happen, how they'll use me or if they'll use me at all if Mike is healthy. The only thing I can do is stay ready and keep myself in shape. When they need me, I'll be there."
At least for one more year.
"I've thought about other things to do, and I'm really undecided at theis point. I know I don't want to play anywhere else. I'd like to stay here this year, and then probably call it quits.
"I've been fortunate. I've been in the playoffs. I've been on a Super Bowl champion. I've played for two good teams in this league and in Hawaii in the WFL. I really think this team has a chance to go a long way, and I'd like to be part of it. It would be a nice way to go out."