Mark Moseley was explaining about the little knot and the touch of tightness in The Leg when one of his teammates sauntered by yesterday and overhead the conversation.
"Hey, Moseley," (very) offensive tackle Terry Hermeling bellowed, "don't you know kickers ain't supposed to get hurt. How could you get hurt, anyway? You never do anything."
Moseley smiled. Needles and pins from large men who sweat and strain in the summer sun while he kicks footballs are nothing new for Moseley, a man who has also endured far more serious and insulting slurs over the course of his NFL career.
A year ago, it was Dallas kicker Efren Herrera who said Moseley should be ashamed of himself for loading up his kicking shoe with whatever it was that made his kicks go so far.
Moseley laughed at the accusation then, and couldn't contain a chuckle when the Cowbosy shipped Herrera to Seattle this week. "That little turkey," Moseley said, "Just had a real big mouth."
Moseley would prefer to talk through his foot, and over the last few years the conversation has gotten scintilluting.
In 1976, Moseley led the National Football Conference in scoring and kicked a career-high 22 field goals, a mark that led the NFL.
His 21 field goals also led the league last season, when he missed only one of nine kicks inside the 40. He made all 19 of his extra-point attempts and convented four kicks over [WORD ILLEGIBLE]yards. He also set team records with kicks of 53 and 54 yards, and led the Redskins in scoring for the fourth straight year.
But, because of folks like Herrera, Cowboy General Manager Tex Schramm and several other people around the league who still refer to him as "leadfoot," Moseley believes he has been unfairly maligned.
"Sure it bothers me," he said. "I guess I'm going to catch grief for as long as I kick. They've got to make excuses, they have to have something to holler about, so I guess I'm their favorite target. It bothers me because people read that stuff, and sometimes they believe it.
"But when the day comes that I have to get a gimmick and cheat, that's also the day I'll get out of football."
This season, Moseley will be wearing a new kicking shoe, purchased from Riddell Co. and available to any other kicker who wants to buy it off the shelf.
Moseley has other concerns these days. That slight muscle ache in his right thing has forced him to curtail his usual rigorous training-camp routine this week, just as a precautionary measure, "to make sure it doesn't get any worse."
Moseley is 30 and, he says, is getting stronger every year. His offseason conditioning program is build around the weight room at Redskin Park, and many teammates say he has the strongest legs on the team.
Moseley has done a deep knee bend with 485 pounds perched on his shoulders, and regularly works in camp with weights ranging from 300 to 375 pounds. Until he hurt his leg, he had been kicking 40 to 50 field goals a day, and will taper off to 20 per practice when the team goes into the regular season.
There had been some speculation in camp that the Redskin special teams would not be emphasized as much as they had been under George Allen. Moseley said, "In the beginning when we first started, people might have felt that way.
"But I think we're putting quite a bit of time into it. Maybe not as much as when George was here, but we're getting the same amount of work done in a shorter time. Jack (Pardee) knows how important the kicking game is, and I think it's going to work. I still think we'll be the best."
Moseley said he would be satisfied to make 70 percent of his field-goal attempts in 1978, and believes the new offense will give him more chances to exhibit his special skills. He also tries to hang his kickoffs in the air 4.2 seconds, time enough for the defense to trap a return man inside the 20, another special-teams goal.
If he can accomplish all of that, Moseley believes he will also be rewarded with a spot in the Pro Bowl next January. Last year "that little turkey" from Dallas made the NFC team, and Moseley was not pleased.