The scars are clearly visible, one halfway up his back and two inches to the right of his spine where the .32-caliber bullet entered his body, the other a few inches above his waistline on the right side of his stomach, where the bullet came out.
At first, Reggie Haynes, the Redskins's young, talented and usually talkative tight end, was reluctant to speak about that day, Jan. 17, 1973, when a young tough from the streets of Los Angeles shot him in the back.
It is a long and complicated story, about a young man working for spending money as a security guard at his old school while he finished up junior college, apparently headed for a brilliant college football career until that bullet very nearly ended it all.
Haynes, the part-time cop, was shot that day by a teen-ager who apparently took offense when Haynes told a group of youngsters to move a little faster across the street. He later did some damage to Haynes' car, and when Haynes and a friend went looking for him, both were shot at close range. The youth with the gun has since been convicted of killing another man during a $15 robbery.
Haynes was lucky that day. The bullet missed his spine, barely, and he was allowed to leave the hospital in less than a week. One doctor told the 6-foot-2 229-pound athlete a smaller man probably would have died. Haynes needed more than two years to come to grips with the realization, two years to recover from the trauma of being shot.
"I just remember laying on the ground that day, saying to myself, 'Oh wow, how could this happen to me? "Q" Haynes recalled yesterday. "I felt totally lost. And when I got out of the hospital, the more I thought about how close I came to being hurt, even killed, well, it just kind of messed me up."
So Haynes passed up all the college scholarship offers he had received after playing two years at Los Angeles City College, drifting instead to a variety of unsatisfactory jobs. Mostly, he drifted into the streets.
His older brother, Mike, now a starting cornerback with the New England Patriots and then an All-America at Arizona State, came home one summer and 'laid it out for me.' He said every time he came back he looked around the neighborhood and saw people who didn't want to do anything, people who didn't want to achieve anything. He didn't want me to be like that. Neither did I."
Mike Haynes arranged for his brother to get a scholarship at Arizona State, even though he had only one year of college eligibility left. There was some paperwork problem, Haynes said, and he was not able to start school in time to play football. At the last minute, Haynes switched to Nevada-Las Vegas. "It was the best thing that ever happened to me."
Haynes blossomed in the desert, even if he was asked to play four positions.
Most of the professional scouts came to town to watch a teammate, quarterback Glen Carano, selected a year ago by the Dallas Cowboys in the second round of the draft.
"But who was he passing to?" Reggie Haynes asked. "It was me."
Mike Allman, the Redskins' Personnel director, took a liking to Haynes while wathcing game film and thought he saw him lined up as a punt returner.
"The film was kind of grainy and I couldn't tell if that was his number," Allman recalled. "Anyway, how many teams do you know that have a 220-pound punt returner?"
Allman called a friend on the Vegas coaching staff and was told that, yes, Haynes did return punts too. From then on, Allman began building a case for drafting Haynes, even if he had played only one year of major college football. He was able to convince Coach George Allen, and Haynes was selected on the seventh round a year ago.
Haynes immediately incurred Allen's wrath, however, when he held out for a better contract and did not report to the team until midway through camp. At one point, Allen moved him to fullback, then ended his season by stashing him on the injured reserve list with what was called a back injury.
Haynes said yesterday he would have had no difficulty playing last year and that a season on injured reserve "was absolutely terrible. You'd go out there and work during the week, go home on Saturday and watch the game on TV Sunday. I hated it.
"But Joe Lavender said to me one day, 'You got to get some stay here, brother.' It just means when you get out on the field you don't mess around. You go hard at everything. So that's what I tried to do."
Haynes moved to Reston last February and began an intensive off season conditioning program that left him bigger, stronger and confident that he can make a major contribution to the Redskins in 1978. He may have to.
With starting tight and Jean Fugett coming off knee surgery, the Redskins are concerned about that position. They traded to acquire veteran Jim Mandich from the Dolphins, but Haynes believes he will be given every opportunity to convince the coaches he too can perform.
Fugett yesterday passed his first major test in coming back from the offseason and said he hope to play in the third exhibition game.
He participated in a number of non contact drills as the Redskins suited up in full pads during an afernoon workout and managed to catch one long touchdown pass and get himself wide open on another with some splendid moves past defenders.
"They've got me suited up, and when they do that you might as well try some different things out there," he said. "I was able to do a few things that pleased me.At this point, I'm satisfied, I'm making progress.
"Nothing I've done so far has scared me. But, basically, the knee isn't strong. If I get tripped, or I get hit, that's what I'm afraid of now. I'm just not in condition because, I've only been able to work out for the last month.
'But at least after today I know I'm within the range of getting it back. Now it's just a matter of getting the work in. This one day of practice is more than I've done since the operation. "The Colt game is what I'm shooting for."
Meanwhile, Haynes too, has some goals.
"With Jean being hurt," said, "I feel like I've got a great shot. I'm going to play in the exhibition games, and I have a change to shine and show the people and the coaches what I can do, that I can still shake and bake.
"Jean's an all-pro. Sure they say every position is open, but I know he's not going to give it up. I've got to make a good impression and get myself up on that totem pole.
"I'm a hungry football player, hungry as a dog. I wasted a whole year. That's not gonna happen again."
In the first day of double workouts, Billy Kilmer started off at quarterback with the first unit, but it is far too early in camp to attach much significance to that pecking order.
Coach Jack Pardee said he was pleased that Kilmer and Joe Theismann were both throwing the ball well, and added that neither man would see any action, except perhaps as placekick holders, in Saturday's scrimmage against the Colt rookies at Annapolis.
Rod Overholt, a safety from Catawba, failed his physical and left camp . . . Running back Rich Galbos of Ohio State and linebacker Adrian Hickmon of Harding have decided not to report and were waived . . . Defensive tackle Perry Brooks managed to make it through most of the two practices until an intestinal virus got the training room . . . Dallas Hickman is spending all his time at linebacker, and will remain there throughout camp . . . There was no evidence of the 3-4 defense in either of yesterday's workouts.