"Dick is my last coach - I've said that," said Leonard Tose, saying it again yesterday to the tune of a five-year contract extension from 1982 through 1986 for Dick Vermeil, who has been leading Tose's Philadelphia Eagles out of the wilderness since Feb. 8, 1976.
There had been rumors that the Los Angeles Rams - on whose staff Vermeil was a George Allen assistant in 1969 - may have approached the 1974 - 75 UCLA headmaster about coming home.
Vermeil, 42, at a news conference with owner Tose, declared, "I have never been approached. I think this will help prove that I never did have any intention (of leaving). I hope to be here 12 to 17 years."
"Dicks is my last coach," says Tose? Hey, don't knock it. Didn't E. B. Williams say that in hiring George Allen in 1971 - and didn't it hold true all the way to 1978?
Anyway, it behooves the redskins to get cracking to reclaim their No. 2 Eastern Division spot from the Eagles - hello up there, Dallas! - and minicamp time:
Phyiscal Wednesday preface workouts Thursday-Friday-Saturday for the Redskins, with 21 offensive and 16 defensive players invited. Those include most of the younger veterans but only one of the five draft choices: Don Warren, the San Diego State tight end. Warren has rookie company in Phil DuBois, another tight end from the same school, and is that yet another coded message to Jean Fugett - a minicamp invitee while old Hands Kilmer, Scott, Butz, Houston, Lavender, etc., 18 generally healthy vets in all, get to rest up and keep selling cars or whatever?
Also uninvited: Mike Thomas . . .
Jerry Hoffberger keeps stating impatience with fellow Baltimorean's failure to come up with the bread to relieve him of his Orioles, and one more time, Bill Simon says don't look his way: "It's a dead deal (the bid by former Secretary of Treasury Simon, now a New York Consultant, that Hoffberger rebuffed early in the year) and cannot be resurrected. It's awfully difficult to reheat old mashed potatoes."
This, after the Baltimore Sun quoted unidentified sources as saying Hoffberger recently tried to revive the sale to Simon. . . .
USAC announces a "major change" for the Indy 500! What, giving in to CART and removing "boost" restriction? No, but they are eliminating use of pacer lights that have aroused criticism in recent years. Chief Steward Tom Binford announced a format putting the pace car in front of the leading car when a yellow caution light is used; other cars then would bunch up behind without any change in position allowed and the pits would be closed to all cars until a race official deems the field properly bunched. There had been frequent claims that drivers cheated by moving up on rivals slowed by the caution light .. .
Mackin High sends another basketballer to the college ranks, to Southern Illinois by Indirect route: 6-10 Rod Camp (17 points, 11 rebounds a game for New Mexico Junior College). And, says SIU, Camp narrowed it to them or Georgetown before committing. . .
And after you watch the Bullets win (?) Wednesday in San Antonio, TV basketball fans, CBS sports lets you back in the act with Phoenix-Seattle Game 7, live at 11:30 p.m. Thursday night (WDVM-9). . . .
District of Columbia's representatives in "Seventeen" magazine's fourth annual Tennis Tournament of Champions at Mission Viejo, Calif., today through Saturday: Katherine Mills, 18; Raku Robinson, 15; Mary Guevara, 13, and Tonya Wigfall, 16.