Redskin president Edward Bennett Williams said yesterday he has interviews scheduled for the next 10 days to two weeks with candidates for the general manager position but, "It's too early to say who's a leading candidate."
Williams confirmed that he met with Oakland Raider executives assistant Al LoCasale on Monday, and added, "I want to talk to each of the people who have asked to be considered or who have been recommended to me."
Williams declined to name any other candidates he will speak with this week, but it was learned that Upton Bell, former director of player personnel for the Baltimore Colts, also is scheduled to be interviewed.
Bell, who's last job in football was as managing partner and majority stockholder of the Charlotte Hornets of the World Football League, has formally applied for the Redskin position.
Bell said last night, "I definitely am interested in the job, but I've spoken to no one in the organization about it, and they haven't called me. I'm sure some people have recommended me. I've been in professional football a long time. Yes, certainly, I think I could qualify for a general manager's job."
Williams said yesterday he was impressed with LoCasale, the first man he has interviewed face-to-face for the Redskin general manager job, and added, "He's got tremendous credentials. He works for a terrific organization, and there's no smarter, wilier, more able organization in the game.
"Al Davis (the Raiders managing general partner) gives him extraordinarily high marks. He's a very experienced fellow, and I do think highly of him."
LoCasale said he preferred not to discuss his conversation with Williams. "It could hurt my opportunity. I have been given permission by Al Davis to pursue an opportunity with another team for an unpward move.
"The (Redskin) job is certainly an interesting opportunity and situation. In the past I've turned down a couple of moves in the NFL and one that involved ownership in the WFL because they didn't consistute what I felt was an upward move. It would have to be a challenge and a clear step up for me to leave the Raiders."
Did he consider the Redskin position such a move?
"Yes, the Redskin job would be. Yes, I'm definitely interested."
LoCasale indicated he expected to meet again with Williams. "We talked about some mutaul travel schedules. We might be in the same place at the same time," he said, but I don't know that they are going to do."