The New England Patriots aren't the only ones to have had trouble hanging onto their plays.

Former cornerback Johnny Sample lost a playbook once on the day before the Redskins' last game of the season, and he was fined by then Coach Bill McPeak.

Earl Sweetan, quarterback for several National Football League clubs, once was accused of making available a team's playbook.

Among those the Redskins have been considering as a fifth running back are Ike Forte, waived by the Patriots, and Reggie Harrison, once with the Pittsburgh Steelers and formerly of Washington-Lee High School.

The Denver Broncos' quarterback problem became further acerbated Monday night when Norris Weese, the fans' favorite, ignited the team after replacing Craig Morton.

Tom Landry said about the naming the same game captains as last season, "They led us to the Super Bowl, but if they don't do it again they will be fired."

Pro football teams are finding that charter planes are becoming scarce. The New Orleans Saints have been trying to lease a jet owned by a rock group because the Saints have been able to book charters for only 75 percent of their trips. They have had to take commercial flights the rest of the time.

Joe Campbell, the Saints' defensive end from the University of Maryland, reportedly has been fined for being ejected from his third game in two season, most recently against Green Bay.

Coach Dick Nolan, onetime Maryland halfback, chewed out Campbell for losing his temper, even though it appeared that Campbell was caught merely retaliating.

Jim Brown, the Hall of Fame fullback turned weekend network sportscaster, sounded as though he was trying to give George Allen several opportunities to second-guess the Los Angeles Rams in their 10-0 squeaker past Atlanta, but Allen mostly avoided pointed critism of the latest club to fire him.

Hank Stram similarly leaned over backward as he worked the telecast of his former Saints losing to Green Bay, except to note that New Orleans rookie wide receiver and kick returner Wes Chandler from Florida did not seem to be running with the abandon he had during an impressive exhibition season.

In explaining why he drafted punter-place kicker Steve Little of Arkansas on the first round, new Coach Bud Wilkinson noted that the average kickoff return against the St. Louis Cardinals last year was to the opposition's 34-yard line. Little put 63 of 72 kickoffs in the end zone as a senior. The Cardinals expect to add 10 to 12 yards to their average punt with Little. He averaged 44.4 yards a punt in his college.

The net-punting yards (returns subtracted from distance) of the Cardinals last year was 32.4," Wilkinson said, "which is about eight to 10 yards short of what it should be. If you punt eight to 10 time a game, that's 100 yards. If you punt eight to 10 items a game, that's 100 yards. If the average start for our opponents was from the 32- or 33-yard line last year, occasionally the opposing team took over in midfield, virtually assure of at least a field goal if it made only token progress from scrimmage."

There has been a suggestion in the Cincinnati media that Paul Brown return as coach of the Bengals, bu tthe, speculation is that Mike McCormack, Forrest Gregg or Ara Parseghia would be more likely to replace Bill Johnson if he were fired.

Ted Marchibroada vowed that the Baltimore Colts never again will play an exhibition game on artificial turf after Bert Jones separated his shoulder on the throwing side.

Earl Campbell, the Heisman Trophy winner, topped 100 yards rushing in his first two games as a rookie. Who were the last two to do that? Alan Ameche with the Colts in 1957 and Zollie Toth with the New York Yanks, in 1950. Buddy Young of the NFL office played with Toth on that team and Young named a son Zollie.