Billy Kilmer said yesterday he is "not out ot prove anything" when he makes his preseason debut against the Baltimore Colts Friday night. At the moment, he is far more concerned about getting that new $500,000 contract signed, once and for all.
Kilmer has not put his autograph on the two-year pact he and team President Edward Bennett Williams agreed on two weeks ago. He said he received the written version of the contract Saturday, had an attorney look at it over the weekend and that "there are one or two things in there that have to be clarified.
"I can't tell you if's a major problem of not, it's just something that bothers me and I have to get it cleared up. I really don't think it's problem, and that's all I really want to say."
Kilmer insisted he will not anything to say about his competition with Joe Theismann for the Redskins' starting quarterback position.
Speculation that Theismann will be the man " doesn't bother me one bit," Kilmer said. "I don't care if they make me a water boy. I could careless, as long as I get that contract signed.
"Who starts is the coach's decision and I'm not going to get involved in that. I see my role this year as a member of this team trying to win, that's all.
Coach Jack Pardee says he would like his veteran quarterback to handle about 30plays.
"Sure you look forward to playing," Kilmer said, "All I'll try to do is move the football and score. I'm healthy enough to play, and I need to play to get my timing down. You've got to get in and get hit a few times. That's how I feel about it. I'm not out to prove anything.
How would he assess Theismann's performance so far?
"Joe's playing pretty well," he said. "The obvious thing is there haven't been any interceptions and he's been going to the right guy.
"I think the whole offensive unit has been doing a good job. Joe Walton (the team's offensive co-ordinator) has done a heck of a job. They've put an awful lot of new offense in, and it's amazing that these guys have picked it up so fast."
Theismann alos declined to be drawn into the issue of who's No. 1."I'm just glad I'm getting the opportunity to show what I can do, I've never asked for for anything more," he said.
"There's still such a long way to go. And I wasn't happy overall with the Green Bay game. We won, we controlled the ball in the fourth quarter when we had to, but I had a total mental lapes in the third quarter, and that just can't happen.
"It's correctable, though, with a little more discipline , a little more concentration on my part. But as far as who's going to start. I wouldn't begin to comment either way. I just want to progress, continue to improve and help this team win. Those are my objectives. I don't make the decisions, so I don't worry about it.
Theismann's major concern is to avoid a flurry of interceptions or throwing badly conceived passes into heavy coverage, his major problems of the past.
"Not throwing any interceptions, I think, just comes from understanding pass routes and reading the defenses," he said. "The other night, we had second and goal at the Packer three. We came out with a play-action pass, and everybody was covered, so I just made the decision to throw it away. We scored on third down.
"In my younger years, I might have scrambled around, thrown it into the end zone and had it tipped and intercepted. That's what I'm most pleased about - that I have the understanding and a much better presence of mind not to just throw it up for grabs.
"As a quarterback, there's no sense in making foolish decisions."
Theismann said yesterday he plans if necessary, and that no one on the coaching staff has cautioned him about taking off downfield when his receivers are covered.
"Don't get hit, that's my philosophy," he said. "The less shots I take, the longer I'll play. Nobody's ever told me to stop. George Allen and Jack Pardee have both said they thought it was a good dimension to have, that it was creates havoc out there and it does.
"I picked up three first downs running against the Packers, and if you can do that, it makes a big difference. I'd love to stand back there for five seconds and throw it, but you don't always have that opportunity.
"This is the way I've always played the game, and you have no idea how much I'm enjoying it. I'm also using my head more than my body. I think that's made the biggest difference of all."