Edward Bennett Williams, president of the Redskins, said yesterday he does not believe there is dissension on his slumping football team. "I still think we can turn it around" and make the NFL playoffs, he said.
"I've thought all along that we would have a tough time making the playoffs, and I am not surprised by what's happened," Williams said. "We are not a deep football team. When injuries pile up, and other teams are deeper and you are not, you will have some problems.
"We've lost George Starke. We've lost Lemar Farrish.Even (Jim) Harlan, who was supposed to take over for Starke, got hurt. We had (Mike) Thomas down for a while. These nagging things hurt you. I would hope that with the layoff (after the Thanksgiving Day loss to Dallas) that our physical condition would improve.
"I don't believe there is dissension. There are people who are disappointed they are not playing. It's hard for some of the veterans not to be starting. They are not used to it. When that happens you have the normal problems."
Williams was asked if he thought players had lost respect for Coach Jack Pardee, as defensive end Coy Bacon suggested after the Cowboy loss. "I don't believe that, and you'll never get me to believe that," Williams said.
Was he satisfied with the way Pardee has coached the team?
"I've said all along I've been extremely pleased," he said, "and nothing has happened to change my view on what Jack has done."
Williams also denied a story in Tuesday's Washington Star that he held an emergency meeting with Pardee and General Manager Bobby Beathard on Saturday to advocate a get-tough approach for Pardee.
"I talk to Jack Pardee twice a day every day of the season and I talk to Beathard every day, too," he said. "I did not meet with Pardee and Beathard on Saturday." (Beathard was scouting the Notre Dame-Southern California game in Los Angeles on Saturday.)
"I have had person-to-person talks with both of them. We've talked about the team, the problems of depth, the problem of injuries and the problem of losses. But we talk all the time. There was no emergency meeting. That's pure hokum.
"I've concerned, deeply concerned, that we haven't been winning. I know what the problems are and we are trying to correct them. I still think we can make the playoffs and that's what we're trying to accomplish."