Tony Green, sat alone in a room adjacent to the Redskins' dressing room. He held his head in his hands and tears trickled down his cheeks.
The exciting Redskin rookie who seeming could do no wrong this season, had done wrong. He fumbled three times yesterday, losing two of them late in the game in critical situations. Green felt he lost the game for his team. His teammates and coaches did their best to convince him he hadn't.
One of the first to put his arm around Green was defensive end Coy Bacon.
"He has to settle down," Bacon said. "A lot of people messed up in this game. We just didn't play very well. It wasn't Tony's fault. He has to know it wasn't. He's playing under a lot of pressure and he can't get down on himself. We're still 6-1 and in a good position.
"There will be a lot of people pointing the finger at Tony and blaming him because he's a young guy, and it's up to us veterans to pick him up and not let him get down.We need Tony Green and I'm behind him 100 percent."
With starting halfback Mike Thomas nursing an injured ankle, Green was used more yesterday than in the past. In addition to running back both punts and kickoffs, he rushed three times from scrimmage for 13 yards, caught a screen pass and galloped 34 yards with it.
He fumbled one punt in the first period, but recovered it.
His troubles came late in the fourth period. With the Redskins down 17-10, they had a third and two at the Eagle's 11-yard line with 5:20 to play.
Green took a handoff from quarterback Joe Theismann and hit the middle of the line. He was stacked up at the line of scrimmage but kept squirming and slid to his right. He picked up five yards and what would have been a first down at the six. In his fight to get extra yards, the ball popped loose and the Eagles' Reggi Wilkes recovered it.
"This is pro football and you win some and you lose some," Green said. "I was fighting, trying to get that extra yard for the first down. I didn't even know I fumbled it. I just lost it on my second effort. Sometimes second effort pays off and other times it costs you."
The Eagles held the ball until the two-minutes warning when they had to punt. Mike Michel sent a short, wobbly kick at Green. He fumbled as Vince papale hit him and Billy Campfield recovered it for the Eagles at the Redskin 43. Washington never got the ball back.
"We had a block on," Green said of the play, "and I should have caught the ball, I didn't. It look like the ball was dying early and I tried to run in on it and signal for a fair catch at the same time and didn't handle it. I guess those are what you call rookie mistakes."
Fullback John Riggins, who ran 97 yards in 21 carries said that what happened to Green Yesterday happens to everybody. "I can't count how many times I've hd days like that," he said.
"He (Green) was doing a heckuva job blocking for me. A couple of times I even looked around he threw a block because I thought somebody was helping him."
Coach Jack Pardee said Thomas' injury forced the Redskins to scramble in search of the right backfield combination. Clarence Harmon started; he and Ike Forte and Green alternated.
Green had worked all week as wide receiver, and was then at game time was needed to play running back.
"Those things happen when you have to scramble." Pardee said.
"We just sat there and let Philly run all over us," said Bacon. "We aren't going anywhere if we keep playing like this. We've really got to improve against the run. We were letting their backs float around behind the line and pick their holes! We just didn't do anything."
The offense was not much sharper.
"We didn't do it in the first half when we had the opportunities," said center Bob Kuziel.
Washington was held to three first-half points and got as close as the Eagles' 19, 32, 21 and 20 without getting any points. An interception, fumble, missed field goal, penalty or mental breakdown stopped the Redskins each time.
"They frustrated us," Kuziel said. "We have to get more intense. We can't sit back and expect a lot of scoring opportunities to always come by, like they did in the first half. You have to learn from week to week and evidently we didn't learn much from last week's game.
"You have to credit the Eagles' defense, though. They denied us in the first half and their defense won the ball game."
"About all we can do now," added Green, "is start a new streak."