Tony Green did not break a long run for the New York Giant's today, but he insisted he will make the Redskins regret dropping him from their roster last week.
"There are a lot of things I feel I can do to help New York and I could have helped the Redskins the same way," Green said. "The people I really feel sorry for are the fans of Washington, though.
"They deserve a winner and I don't know if Coach (Jack) Pardee or General Manager (Bobby) Beathard can deliver it for them."
Green looked like any ordinary kick returner as he ran back one punt three yards, fair-caught two and returned three kickoffs for a total of 62 yards.
He was not a factor in his team's 23-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. But the Giants are counting on Green to be a big factor in games to come.
"We showed today that we don't have enough big playmakers," said first-year Coach Ray Perkins, who watched his wide receivers drop pass after pass. "Tony Green is a big playmaker. That's why we got him."
Green did not run like a man who had lost his courage, as the Redskins suggested when they released him last week, nor did he run with the abandon and explosiveness that put him in the Pro Bowl as a rookie last year.
Green said he had no idea how the Redskins could have questioned his courage.
"Everything was so funny to me that I laughed all the way back home to Florida," Green said. "It's just unbelievable what they did to me and what they said.
"Never before in my career has anyone ever called me gutless. You're going to get hit, one way or another, and if you can't take it, that's just too bad because there's no place to hide on that field. I know that I gave it everything I had and that's the reason this whole thing hasn't gotten me down.
"I honestly don't know why they cut me, but of all the reasons they could possibly come up with, I can't understand why they have to say it's because I was chicken. But I guess they have to cover up. I can't rebut what they say. They are going to make themselves right even if they are wrong. I'm just a player.
"I remember when they called me in and told me they were going to cut me," Green added. "It didn't faze me a bit, not at all. I just said, 'Okay, goodbye.' I didn't have the time and I'm too much of a man to sit up and argue with them, and I think it upset them that I didn't crumble and beg. But as Gloria Gaynor sings, "Oh no, not me, I'll survive.'"
Green said the Giants contacted him the morning after he was cut and that as soon as he got to New York, Perkins told him he was going to activate him for today's game and that he would be the kick returner.
"Nothing was ever said about the Redskins except, 'Let's show them what a mistake they made,'" Green said.
"It's hard for anyone who wasn't there to imagine the welcome they (the Giants) gave me," Green added. "I didn't know most of these guys and they didn't know me, but they sure acted glad to see me.
"But I hold no grudges against them (the Redskins). I just think it's bad for a team when you start cutting guys for no reason.
"I wish all of the players well, too, and I hope the fans take to the new return man the way they took to me.
"I guess it was just time for Tony Green to get out of Washington and on to the Big Apple. Hey, there's no place like New York."
The Giants were downright awful for much of today's game, but were able to salvage a respectable showing thanks to quarterback Joe Pisarcik.
He completed 20 of 40 passes for 274 yards and two touchdowns, although intercepted twice and sacked seven times for 52 yards to losses.
No blocking, no runners, no receivers and some questionable play-calling from the bench proved too much for the Giants to overcome.
Their fate probably was sealed in the first quarter when Gary Jeter blocked Eagle Max Runager's punt and Frank Marion recovered for the Giants at the Eagle one-yard line.
Perkins, who calls all of the plays, sent in a surprising first down pass. Reggie Wilkes tipped the ball into linebacker Bill Bergey's arms for a Philadelphia interception.
"The man was open," Perkins said, in a vain attempt to defend the call. "If it isn't tipped it's a TD."
The only explanation Perkins would give for his calling a pass on first and one from the one was "I wanted a TD."
Mainly because Philadelphia was struggling itself, the Giants led 3-0, on a 27-yard Joe Danelo field goal after one period.
The Eagles erupted for 23 points in the second period, however, as Ron Jaworski hit Harold Carmichael on touchdown passes of seven and 41 yards. The other scores came on a one-yard run by Billy Campfield and a 46-yard field goal by Tony Franklin.
The Giants scored their touchdowns on two Pisarcik to Johnny Perkins passes. They had an excellent shot at gaining the lead with 6:50 to play when George Martin recovered a fumble at the Philadelphia 31. But N.Y. could not get a first down and lost possession.
Carmichael caught four passes for 98 yards, making this the 97th straight game in which he has caught a pass.
The game was played before a crowd of 67,366, largest ever for a football game at Veterans Stadium.See EAGLES, C6, Col. 1