With the start of training camp 48 hours away, Redskin Coach Jack Pardee stamped his mark on his remodeled club even more yesterday by revealing:
The coaching staff again probably will call plays for the quarterbacks this season, a trend begun last year. He had been considering allowing the quarterback to determine the plays.
The coaches also now will call defensive signals. Linebacker Chris Hanburger, released after last season, had filled this role since 1973 but Pardee said formations "will come from the sidelines and then such players as Brad Dusek, Kenny Houston and Mark Murphy will have the freedom to alter them as necessary."
On a day when Dusek, the club's premier linebacker, signed a series of three one-year contracts, Pardee also indicated that tailback Benny Malone would have first crack at winning the spot left vacant by Mike Thomas' departure.
"Benny can do a lot of things," Pardee said. "He runs hard, he has enthusiasm, he hustles. But of course he won't be there alone. Tony Green has some exceptional abilities and Louis Carter has shown he can catch a pass out of the backfield.
"We will have competition there, All will play because as long as you don't have any dropoff in ability, you can get more out of everyone by giving each guy a breather. That's a tough spot. You get banged on every play."
Pardee spent his final hours before departing for the Carlisle, Pa., camp playing the part of a gentleman farmer on his Loudoun County spread. But perhaps only General Manager Bobby Beathard is as anxious as the quiet-spoken coach to get the athletes into pads.
This will be a younger, stronger, quicker but less-experienced group of Redskins that will begin reporting to camp Saturday. And it will be very much a team fashioned by the Beathard-Pardee regime, a far cry from last year when they were trying to figure out how to handle George Allen's creation.
The Allen veterans who were deemed detrimental to the team's future have been discarded. Although neither man is content with the roster as it now stands, at least they are convinced they should field a more competitve, more talented squad than last season.
"I'm anxious to get going," Pardee said. "We had an outstanding offseason conditioning program. A lot of players participated and they are coming to camp in great shape. Of course, lifting a weight doesn't mean you can block better, but it is a start.
"I can't be a better coach if the players aren't better. It's that simple. They are doing what we have asked. It's a good start
"I know what people are saying about us. I hope they are wrong. I think physically we match up better against the teams in our division like Philadelphia and New York. That's where you have to start. You have to be competitive with those teams."
If nothing else, this could be the most competitive Redskin training camp in almost a decade. The club has signed a bunch of young draft choices and free agents who will try to overcome inexperience with strength and enthusiasm.
"It's hard to say how many youngsters will earn a spot on the roster," Beathard, "but I'm sure a few will. This was a weak, slow, old club last year. a team like Pittsburgh has a whole bunch of people who can bench press 400 pounds. Before, we had a lot who were in the 200-pound area. That's changed.
"They didn't weightlift out here that much before. the facilities were here but they weren't used. Now the players who discouraged lifting are gone. The younger guys all lifted in college so this is just a continuation of what they are used to."
Beathard hopes those players also add a dash of spirit to the Redskins, a lethargic bunch at times last season.
It is also better, he said, "to have veterans coming to camp who no longer know that no matter how they play, they will still start. that's not the case any more. There are people pushing people now. Hardly any job is a sure bet."
Competition will be the keenest at the following positions:
Outside linebacker, vacated by Hansburger. Veteran special-teamer Pete Wysocki will have to hold off another veteran, Ken Geddes, and converted defensive lineman Dallas Hickman.
Defensive end, where Coy Bacon and newcomer Joe (Turkey) Jones will divide time. Jones impressed Pardee with his offseason work and could wind up as a starter. The Redskins also need improvement from end Kari Lorch.
Wide receiver, where Danny Buggs is unsigned. John McDaniel is a holdover at one spot and Ricky Thompson is well liked. Newcomers Kris Haines and Tony Hall also will get long looks, along with the Spiderman, Terry Anderson, a fancier of tarantulas.
Quarterback, where Joe Theismann no longer has to worry about Billy Kilmer. But if he falters, Kim McQuilken could step in. McQuilken will be given an in-depth look during the early part of camp.
Tight end, where incumbent Jean Fugett, coming off a knee operation, has to contend with rookies Don Warren, the team's first draft choice (fourth round), and Phil DuBois, a free agent. Both rookies have a good chance to make the team.
Other questions include the rehabilitation of Diron Talbert and George Starke, both coming off knee injuries. The development of young offensive lineman Jeff Williams, and the status of cornerback Joe Lavender, facing trial as a result of an offseason altercation. Pardee will be making many critical decisions over the next seven weeks.
"When we opened camp last year," Pardee said, "we didn't know what people like Bob Kuziel (center) and Dan Nugent (guard) could do.
"Now we do. They came through for us and we should benefit from their experience. We need a few more to equal what they did throughout the whole team. That's what makes this camp so interesting. You never know where the surprises will come."
With Dusek signed, the Redskins now have four players entering the option year of their contracts: Terry Hermeling, Perry Brooks, Gerard Williams and Fugett. The Redskins could sign Buggs, a free agent, today . . . Rookies, free agents and about 20 veterans will begin reporting to camp today; workouts start Saturday with the rest of the vets due in July 22 . . . First man in camp was Ricky Dunaway, a rookie free-agent safety from Tulane. CAPTION: Picture, Teofilo Stevenson lands knockout punch to the ear of U.S. Marine Cpl. Rufus (Bubba) Hadley in Pan Am Games heavyweight bout. UPI