"It's a big advantage to have a guy of Jack's talent," said Ron McDole, who played right in front of new Redskin coach Jack Pardee when they were teammates here. "I have never met anybody in the world who didn't like him."
Yesterday, after being named coach of the Redskins, Pardee received acclaim from all factions of Redskin players - old, young and retired.
"Jack is very qualified. He knows how to handle older players," said defensive tackle Diron Talbert. "I've played 11 years in this league and never for a losing team. I pride myself on that.
"I'm sorry George got fired, but he (team president Edward Bennett Williams) went out and got excellent replacement, not some damn guy from Canada or some college guy, but someone who'll do a good job."
Quarterback Billy Kilmer could not be reached last night. But a few days ago, when Pardee was being interviewed for the job, Kilmer said:
"There's no better guy Jack. He's a winner. There's no better coach - outside of George - that I think they could get."
For Joe Theismann, the young quarterback who split starting duties with Kilmer last season, Pardee's appointment "excites," him.
Offensive tackle George Starke, 29, played his first NFL season in 1972 when Pardee called defensive signals as the Redskins went to the Super Bowl.
"Jack's a good coach" said Starke. "He knows all the older guys. He'll allay their fears of a college coach coming in here and having a housecleaning. And the younger guys know they will get a good shot. So they're happy, too."ST"Now that we've got a coach, we can start working toward next year's Super Bowl," said defensive end Dallas Hickman. "I've never met Jack, but I understand he's an outstanding individual and a great coach."
Pardee's knowledge of the Redskin organization and system should be beneficial, Hickman added. "If a new coach came in here and didn't know the situation, he might clear the team out."
"With (few) high draft picks, we have to work with what we're got. I think Jack knows how to work with that."
When pardee was an active player with the Redskins, his roommate on the road was cornerback Pat Fischer, who missed most of the 1977 season after undergoing back surgery.
Fischer could not be reached yesterday, but his wife Carol, who considers the Pardee family their best friends, said:
"He'll be awfully pleased it was Jack. Whether Pat comes back really depends on his back (healing). But if it weren't Allen or Jack, I'm sure he wouldn't even try."
"If he's as good a coach as he was a football player," said punter Mike Bragg, "we won't have anything to worry about.
"He was a great ballplayer. He called the defensive signals before Chris (Hanburger) did. He had a mind for where the ball was going, just an uncanny instinct.
"I think he'll do a real good job with us. It's hard to say exactly what he's going to bring in a lot of new coaches."
Talbert said he would like to see LaVern Torgeson retained as defensive coordinator.
"I believe Jack and Torgy could work together if Torgy decides to stay," said Talbert, 33, "I think we still have a helluva team, no question about it. All we reed is a few little changes. Jack knows what we can do.
"I know Chris (Hanburger) has to come back, and Mike Curtis, too. Mike said he wants to play until he's 40. I want to play until I'm 35 or 36, while I can still play."
Players like McDole, who said after Allen's firing there were a number of veterans who would retire, had changed their tune yesterday.
"I feel good," said McDole, "If Jack feels I can help him, I'll consider playing."
McDole, 38, said that had been his arrangement here with Allen.
Curt Knight, the placekicker who had his differences with Allen, and retired following the 1973 season, the same season after which Pardee went to the World Football League, said:
"Jack will make a good coach. He's got a lot of respect. I don't know what it would be like coaching people you've played with, but he should be able to do all right.
"He was a guy the other guys looked up to. A lot of players are like children. They are big on cutting up, not to say Jack didn't cut up. But he was more adult and business-like. He was what is known as a "student of the game."