If The New York Giants would like a little help preparing for their game against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, George Allen said yesterday he would be delighted to cooperate.
Forget those two Redskin losses to the Giants, a pair of defeats that will haunt the Redskin coach and his players all winter if they do not make the NFL playoffs. "Anything we had (on Chicago) we'd let the Giants use," Allen said yesterday.
"You know (Don) Shula called me before Miami played the Cardinals and we gave him information, sent him some training films. That's a common practice, and I don't think you ought to make a big deal about it. Sure the Giants might ask me, and if they do, we'll cooperate."
Because the Bears prevailed over the Packers 21-10, yesterday, the Redskins (8-5) are now in a position where they must defeat the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday and hope the Giants can upset Chicago next Sunday at the Meadowlands.
All Redskin eyes will also be watching Howard Cosell and Co. Saturday night to see if Detroit can upset Minnesota at Pontiac, Mich.
If the Vikings defeat the Lions, Minnesota would win the NFC Central Division title. Then, if the Redskins and Bears both finish with 9-5 records, Chicago would almost certainly win the wild-card berth on the basis of its point differential in conference games.
Going into the 14th and final weekend of regular-season action, Chicago has a whopping 44-point advantage over Washington. And despite Billy Kilmer's presence at quarterback, the Redskins do not seem very likely to smash the Rams by the overwhelming margin they would need to overtake Chicago.
If Minnesota loses to Detroit next week, the Bears would win the Central Division title. And if the Redskins and Vikings were both 8-6 point differential again would break the tie. The Redskins now have a 16-point lead over Minnesota in that category.
The best thing that could possibly happen to Washington would be for the Vikings to lose to Detroit, or have the Bears fall in New York. But Allen insisted yesterday, "First, we've got to beat the Rams, and they're a heck of a football team. All we can do is take care of our own job and wait.
"Yes, I think the Giants have a good chance to win that game because they have a pretty good defense. But none of that means anything. If we're more concerned about that than we are about our own game, we'll be in trouble."
And yet, the television set in Allen's Redskin Park office was tuned in yesterday to the Chicago-Green Bay game. Downstairs in the team training room, and all around the city, most of the Redskins were watching, too.
Defensive tackle Bill Brundige no doubt was catching the action as he lay in Sibley Hospital, resting his worn out left leg. Brundige, who went into the Cardinal game with torn ligaments on the top of his left foot, aggravated that injury and also suffered a severe contusion of his left knee.
In order to play, Brundige took several pain-killing shots and was fitted with a special foot support for his shoe. That support was taped tightly around his foot also gave Brundige a foot circulation problems. The team's medical men were concerned after the game about possible frostbite, but that never developed.
Allen said yesterday that Brundige would not be able to play against the Rams, and that he will probably have to add another defensive lineman to the roster. Brundige will stay on the active list, however. For the play offs, Allen confirmed the Redskins had spoken with former Eagle lineman Will Wynn and former Cardinal and Redskin defensive and Jimmie Jones about playing. A decision probably will be made on Monday. Allen would have to drop a man to make room for his choice.
Allen dwelled yesterday on perhaps his most important decision of the season last week - benching Joe Theismann in place of Billy Kilmer at quarterback for a game the Redskins had to win to stay alive.
"I didn't ever consider it a gamble because of Billy Kilmer, and the character of the man," Allen said, "I made the decision early in the week. And I was surprised we were able to keep it secret as long as we did.
"We weren't scoring, and we knew we couldn't win against the Cardinals with one touchdown or 10 points. Joe had been playing well, it wasn't all his fault that we weren't getting on the board. It wasn't all Billy's fault when I made the move the first time.
"But Kilmer in a big game and against the Cardinals was the logical choice. I explained it to Joe, and he understood. And Billy realished the opportunity and came through like a pro."
Kilmer came through with 14 completions in 28 attempts for 120 yards and a touchdown, scrambled 12 more yards to keep the drive alive for the game-clinching touchdown and kept the Cardinals off balance all day with his play selection and dump-off passes to tailback Calivin Hill.
Allen was asked yesterday what effect the benching could have on Thesmann's confidence.
"Sure I'm concerned about that," he said. Mike Curtis is doing a heck of a job too, but Chris (Hanburger) is our general, and we needed him in there, just like we needed Billy.
"Anyone who can't see that has a ulterior motive. I'm sure when I benched Kilmer it hurt his confidence. But these are decisions you have to make.
"I don't think it will hurt Joe. He did a good job for us. He was 4-2. He got good experience and he's ready to play. He accepted it well . . . If you pout and second guess, it's hard to come back and be a leader of your team. "It should make him a better person and a better leader for the ball club. Heck, all the good ones, Gabriel, Unitas, Bradshaw, they all went through it. It's part of the position."
With the exception of Brundige, the Redskins came through the game in relatively decent shape, though a number of players had red welts on their bodies a reaction to the chemicals used to get the ice off the Busch Stadium field . . . Jake Scott. Tim Stokes and Brad Dusek had the worst burn cases. Team trainers will be checkiing daily to prevent infection.