The Redskins had access to a mimeographed sheet of New England Patriot offensive plays the morning of their NFL opening game a week ago in Foxboro, Mass. it was reported yesterday.
A Redskin team source, who asked not to be identified, said the list of Patriot plays was discovered in the visitor's locker room at Schaefer Stadium, apparently let behind by mistake earlier in the week.
Most teams give their players a list of plays like that and we do too, but we also make sure nothing like that is ever left behind," the source said. "It may have helped us on maybe two plays. But it had absolutely no bearing on the final outcome."
The Redskins won, 16-14. The Patriots were favored by nine points.
After the game, New England quarterback Steve Grogan said, "They (the Redskins) just did a heck of a job stopping us. They just seemed to know what we were going to do before we did it. I don't know how, but they did."
Twenty minutes before the start of yesterday's Redskin Eagle game, CBS commentator Paul Hornung reported on the air that the Redskins had "worked out the day before the game and found New England's game plan in the locker room."
"They made a few adjustments offensively and defensively," Hornung said. "If you've got your opponent's game plan a day ahead of time, you're in business."
Actually, the Redskins did not practice in the stadium the day before the game. Off camera later, Hornung told the Washington Post, "I don't know about that. I was just told they found it in the stadium, and somebody with the Redskins found it.
"I was told it was something called a 'short list.' Each team has a list of plays for their players - things they might run in short-yard-age situations, that kind of thing. It can help a defense, and sometimes it can't."
Redskin Coach Jack Pardee was asked about the game plan affair twice during his press conference after yesterday's victory over the Eagles.
"That's absurd," he said the first time. "How do you stop New England's running game? It doesn't matter if you have the plays or not."
Was he categorically denying that the Redskins had the information?
"I'm just saying no comment," Pardee replied. "If you got the playbook, what the hell are you going to do with it?" It's not even worthy of comment. I don't know where he (Hornung) got his information."
A number of Redskin players were asked about the report, and each said he had neither heard about nor seen a Patriot game plan.
"It's the first I've heard about it," said tight end Jean Fugett. "Even if it was true, though, how do you know the Patriots didn't slip a fake one in there? Itsn't that possible, too?"