"The guy doesn't practice or anything and he goes right into the game and catches two touchdown passes like there was nothing to it," said Redskin quarterback Joe Theismann as he slapped tight end Jean Fugett on his backside.
Fugett has practiced little since bruising his knee in an exhibition game against the Baltimore Colts a month ago and he hadn't played since.
Nevertheless, Fugett hauled in a 49-yard touchdown pass from Theismann in the second quarter and made a 10-yard scoring catch later that period to help the Redskins beat the Philadelphia Eagles at RFK Stadium yesterday.
"It really feels good to be back out there," Fugett said, a large ice pack strapped to his swollen left knee. "I didn't play at all last week in a big game and I didn't know how much coach would use me today."
Fugett got his answer early. Reggie Haynes started, but played only the first series before Fugett replaced him.
On both touchdown receptions, Fugett beat Eagle strong safety Randy Logan and right cornerback Herman Edwards.
Before the first, Fugett ran a trial pattern and saw how the Eagles were defensing him. He relayed the information to offensive coordinator Joe Walton. A few plays later, Walton, who sends in all the offensive plays, called Fugett's number.
Fugett said he "ran a corner-type pattern on the cornerback and Joe looked the safety off. Then I just turned up field. Joe stayed in the pocket and gave me time to complete the pattern."
Fugett made an over-the-shoulder catch at about the 15, then carried Logan into the end zone.
"The second score was a post pattern," Fugett said. "Joe looked the safety off again and then hit me in the seam."
Fugett said his patterns were effective "because I was the only receiver on that side both times." Both wide receivers, Frank Grant and Danny Buggs, were split to the other side in a slot formation.
"I think the Eagles were more concerned with covering Danny and Frank on the other side than they were covering me with a bad knee."
Fugett had a cartilage operation on the knee March 29, then came down hard on it in the exhibition game with the Colts and it swelled.
"I'm still not 100 percent and it hurts me more when I'm blocking," Fugett said. "I don't have much drive off it. That's why I had to come out a lot on third down."
Haynes played the entire game last week, but has yet to catch a pass. Theismann wasted little time yesterday in going to Fugett.
"Jean has much more size and experience than Reggie," Theismann said.
In addition to his two touchdown passes to Fugett, and another to Danny Buggs, Theismann scored on a four-yard run in the first quarter.
On first and goal from the four, Theismann rolled to his right with the option to throw or run.
"I was looking to Mike (Thomas) to throw the ball to, Theismann said. "But they fell back and covered him and gave me a crack. The only decision was to go in head first or to slide." He slid.
While the Redskin offense was frolicking, the defense was having trouble.
"There was a lot of pressure on us in the last seven minutes," said defensive tackle Diron Talbert. "We missed a lot of tackles and that sort of stuff. One of the only good things you can say good is that we won.
"It's kind of demoralizing to give up 30 points: We don't give up that many in four games sometimes.
"If we would have lost this game it would have been the defense's fault. The offense did their work when they gave us 35 points."
Defensive end Coy Bacon, who had two sacks against New England and two more and a tipped pass on the Eagles' Ron Jaworski yesterday, said the Eagles were holding him all afternoon.
"I missed another sack because they were holding onto me," Bacon said. "But we still have to get better. They just picked us apart defensively. Thirty points is too much."
The Eagles, who lost to the Los Angeles Rams, 16-14, in their opener, had expected their defense to keep them in the game against Washington.
"Our defense had been carrying us, but it broke down today." Coach Dick Vermeil said, "especially when it came to controlling Theismann."