Joe Theismann appears to be the Redskins' starting quarterback but Billy Kilmer is getting ready.
The Redskins had their usual light Tuesday workout in preparation for Sunday's game against San Francisco, and Theismann did all of the quarterbacking. Kilmer stayed nearly 30 minutes after practice, throwing passes. Theismann does that often, but teammates said yesterday it was the longest and hardest Kilmer has thrown on a Tuesday this season. Kilmer looked sharp.
Coach Jack Pardee would not say he was contemplating a switch from Theismann to Kilmer for Sunday's game at RFK Stadium, but he also would not say he was staying with Theismann.
"There won't be an announcement on it one way or another," Pardee said. "We have to have both ready. Today was a correction and new-play day," Pardee added. "We haven't had a workout on our game plan for the 49ers yet."
The feeling on the team seems to be that Theismann will start the game, but that Pardee would go to Kilmer early if Theismann does not do well.
Theismann has started every game for the Redskins this season, but has stumped lately.
Four weeks ago, the Redskins were 4-0 and Theismann was the NFC's leading passer with a 94.9 rating. He threw eight touchdown passess and only two interceptions in those first four games and Washington outscored its opponents, 102-57.
The Redskins are 2-2 in their last four games, however, and Theismann has dropped to ninth among NFC passers and his rating has fallen to 65.9. In those four games, he has thrown only two touchdown passess and been intercepted eight times. The Washington defense has yielded only 58 points in the last four games, one more than it did in the first four games, but the offense has produced only 46.
Kilmer has played only in the St.Louis game, six weeks ago, completing one of two passes for two yards.
He declined to talk about the Redskin quarterback situation yesterday.
Theismann said he "was not worried" about losing his job. "I don't think about it. I have a job and I earned it. I come out here everyday to hold onto it and what happens happens.
"I wouldn't be there if they (the coaches) didn't believe in me. Coach Pardee wants one thing, to win football games and he'll do the best he can to help us do that. I trust his judgment because I believe in him."
In the last two games, both Washington losses, Theismann has completed 23 of 59 passes for 332 yards with five interceptions and no touchdowns.
"What I used to do in the past was psychoanalyze myself and my throwing if I had a bad game," Theismann said." I don't do that anymore.
"It's like a golfer or a baseball hitter who gets in a slump. The worse thing you can do is start thinking too much. You just have to let your natural talent take over. Just like you can talk too much, sometimes, you can think too much, too.
"You have to realize that you are going to have some bad days. Idealistically, you don't want to think that, especially when things are going well, but realistically, it's going to happen. I expect to get a lot of heat when we lose because it comes with the position. It's an occupational bazard."
Theismann added that he felt bad after the Giants game. "I made some mistakes, but I did some things right, too," he said. "We've made some big plays in our first few games, but just haven't made them lately.
"You have to take each week as it comes along, though. You have to take your own performance and make sure you are doing the best you can and doing everything you can to contribute.
"There are just so many feelings and emotions and thoughts that are involved when a team is losing that there just can't be one solution. It boils down to every player trying to do his best everytime."
Tackle Terry Hermeling and running back Mike Thomas did not take part in yesterday's workout. Hermeling has a bad knee, but expects to be ready for Sunday's game.
Thomas, who has missed the last two games because of an injured foot, is improved Pardee said. "His foot is feeling better, but he still isn't able to cut and do the things it takes to play. It is showing improvement, though."