Dallas Hickman is a four-year Redskin veteran, a former defensive end trying to master the complex duties of a linebacker.
Tony Hall is a rookie wide receiver, an 11th-round draft choice from an underpublicized school who is trying to convince the coaches he belongs on their football team this season.
One is 6 feet and 235 pounds, stronger than he has ever been in his life and aware that 1979 could be the pivotal season of his career, when he tries to shake off the label of "just being a special-teams player."
The other 5-9 and 168 pounds, but blessed with Tony Dorsett quickness and the dream that if he can make it through one season he can eventually "become one of the best wide receivers in football."
For these two players, so different in backgrounds, experience and expectation, Saturday's 2 p.m. scrimmagr in Annapolis between Colt and Redskin rookies and young veterans has special importance. Before the rest of the Washington veterans report Sunday, they would like to make an impression that will last far beyond one day.
For other Redskin fans, it will be an opportunity to see some of the camp's most promising young players, athletes like Hall and fellow receiver Kris Haines; offensive guard Gregory Dubinetz, a 260-pound strongman from Yale; center Jimmy Wells; tight ends Don Warren and Phil DuBois; runners Mike Jones, Buddy Hardman, and John Smith, and those promising linebackers: Rich Milot, Monte Coleman, Dan Petersen, Neal Olkewicz and Willie Banks.
This has been a fine week, filled with hard hitting, good competition and the kind of enthusiasm and concentration Coach Jack Pardee hopes will characterize this team.
"They've got some fine young players in here, like at linebacker," said Hickma, who has been through four previous camps. "I've been impressed this week. There has been some hitting and everyone has really worked hard."
Including Hickman. Last season, his first as a linebacker, so vastly different from defensive end. Now he can go after the intracies of the spot, perfecting his keys, improving his quickness, working on smoothness and reaction.
Hickman was asked to show up this week but, as a veteran, he could have refused. He knew, however, that a full dose of early two-a-days might give him the head start he needs to seriously challenge for Chris Hanburger's vacant linebacker job.
"I'm her and he isn't", Hickman said at mid-day, pointing to the next locker, where Pete Wysocki dresses. (Wysocki arrived in camp today and worked in the afternoon practice.)
"I'm sure this has to help me. We know there is a job open and the one who plays the best (including veteran Ken Geddes) will win it.
"This is an especially important camp for me. This is my fifth year. I have to show If I can make it as a player or not. Not just as a special-teams player, but as a legitimate position player. I want them to think of me as a linebacker.
"I have to keep in mind that it is only my second year at this spot. I'm still learning, but things are coming a lot easier for me. Weights have made me stronger and I feel more comfortable."
Pardee would like to see Hickman improve his tackling and there is still concern over his reaction to plays. But he has a good week, a confidence-building week. Yet he knows if he falters, one of those young linebackers will be waiting to grab away his spot on the roster.
"I just don't think they are going to keep anyone around here who can't step in and do a good job at a position," Hickman said. "Just being a special teams player won't be enough.
"I look at something like this scrimmage tomorrow as a way to better myself and get in the work I need. It's a good opportunity for me."
That's how Hall looks at it, too. Gaining recognition is important for him, since he didn't come into camp with the benefit of attending a big-name school. At Knoxville, you just hope the pro scouts can find you in time.
They found Hall, one of those small, speedy receivers who also can double as a kick returner. Hall, who has been accepted at several law schools, is well-versed in how to gain the eye of coaches.
"I walked onto my college team because a couple of my friends went to Knoxville, too," he said. "I was 5-6 and 135 and the coach wouldn't even give me equipment for three weeks. But I pestered him enough until he finally gave me some to get rid of me."
By the fifth game of the season, Hall was a starter. He turned his first two receptions into touchdown and took off from there. In his senior year, he had 49 catches for more than 1,000 yards, averaging 29 yards per catch.
"I only weighed 155 then," he said, "but since working on weights here, I'm up to 168 or 170.
"I can be 180 next year, I know it. So my goal is to get through this year, make this team, take my knocks as a rookie and then really established myself next year.
"I know that sounds cocky. But you got to be confident in yourself. That's why I'm not going to put much pressure on myself in things like this scrimmage. I don't think what I do in it will make or break me.
"I just will be out to do what I do in practice, try to catch the football. And I may dive at a few balls that I wouldn't dive after normally.
"If I have a bad day, and I'm not here Monday, that's how the good Lord intended it."
For a lot of young Redskin players, that's the only way they can accept cutdown day.
The only Redskins in camp who will not make the trip to Annapolis are Joe Theismann, Dan Nugent, Jear Fugett, George Starke and Diron Talbert. But Pardee said he probably would not play all the vetarans, "people like receives Ricky Thompson and Jonn McDaniel and runners like Louis Carter, Tony Green and so forth. We'll just have to see". . . It will be controlled scrimmage, probably run in sections of 12 plays each . . . The Colts are holding a picture taking session for fans, starting at noon at the stadium . . . Another Redskin roster addition: Safety Joe Branson, a 6-2 190-pounder from Livingstone College. He was a seventh-round pick last year of the Cincinnati Bengals, who cut him. He was released recently by the Dallas Cowboys. . . Promising defensive end Tom Milanovich of wisconsin-Superior, who was hurt the first day of practice, underwent knee surgery yesterday to repair ligament damage. He will be in a cast six to eight weeks. He had run the fastest 1 1/2 miles of any lineman in camp . . . The Colts and Redskins will scrimmage here next week, the veterans.