George Allen yesterday made his first public acknowledgement that he is thinking of replacing Billy Kilmer with Joe Theismann at quarterback for the Redskins in Sunday's game against philadelphia at RFK Stadium.
He can't bench the four or five other offensive starters who are not producing.
"If I make a change at quarterback it will be because other people have not been doing their job on offense," Allen said.
"And this isn't just the offensive line," he added. "I'd like to change four or five players on offense, but we don't have that many (players) to change.
"So if I make a change at quarterback, it's because others haven't been doing their job. But quarterback, being a position of great importance, sometimes you have to do that."
At yesterday's closed practice, Theismann worked most of the 11-on-11 drills, a good indication the 28-year-old Notre Dame graduate would get his first start of the season.
Theismann's only appearance of the season so far was against Dallas when he was sent in in the second period after Kilmer has injured his left shoulder.
Theismann completed three of 10 passes for 19 yards and was intercepted once.
Kilmer, who returned to play the second half against the Cowboys, has completed 48 per cent of his passes this year (73 of 151) for 923 yards and five touchdowns.
After practice yesterday Allen and Kilmer talkef for about 20 minutes and were still on the field when the special teams concluded their work in the rain.Monday, Allen gave Kilmer a vote of confidence.
There are several reasons floating around Redskins Park as to why Allen now has decided to bench Kilmer.
Obviously, one reason is that the Redskins, 3-3 with a two-game losing streak, need a psychological lift. Any lift.
Another factor to consider is Philadelphia's strong pass rush. Theismann, 10 years younger than Kilmer, is by far the more mobile of the two.
One club official said the main problem offensively was the line.
"I don't know what's wrong with them. But they aren't blocking like they did last season," the official said. "So we need a quarterback who can escape and not be a sitting target."
"That may be a factor," Allen acknowledged. "We may have to do something to get going. We can't stay like we are."
Since John Riggins was hurt, the Redskins have emphasized the pass more, and their quarterbacks have been sacked 14 times in the last seven quarters.
And a rash of injuries that started in the Dallas game two weeks ago with the loss of fullback Riggins has hurt. Riggins is out five to seven weeks and cornerback Pat Fischer and reserve fullback Bob Brunet are gone for the season.
Five players who started Sunday against the Giants did not participate in yesterday's workout.
Charley Taylor (hamstring), Bill Brundige (bruised right thigh) and Mike Thomas (strained left knee) all remained in the training room for treatment. Jake Scott (groin) and Diron Talbert (hip pointer) dressed but only watched the drills.