-The Redskin quarterback on the sideline offered his usual splendid perception about the pressure on the Redskin quarterback on the field late today.
Joe Theismann had a two-minute drive to behold and now the Redskins were on the Cleveland 14-yard line with 33 seconds, left, with Joe Walton the offensive coordinator suddenly shouting: "13; 13; 13; Joe; 13."
It was about as safe a pass today as could be called under the circumstances. Except that Theismann discovered earlier in the game, on first-and-goal from the nine, that there are no fail-safe passes. And to waste time for Mark Moseley to kick the field goal for a tie and overtime would foolish.
Place kicks also were risky.
"It was like being on roller skates out there," said Moseley of the bog between the hash marks, from where the usually reliable Don Cockroft had missed a 32-yarder at the opposite end of the field before Theismann began what scores of us thought only Sonny and Billy could do.
The No. 13 also was on Theismann's mind and before Walton reminded him. He also had seen the Browns using their regular linebackers instead of an extra defensive back and realized the play he had in mind would not work.
Or unless Thom Darden or somebody else got his hands in the way. As McQuilken realized all too well, having been in the position himself all too often, Theismann was putting his professional neck on the block again.
"It's a pass with three options," Theismann said later. "The first is Buddy (hardemann). But the middle linebacker jumped out on him. So I looked back toward the tight end (Don Warren). And then I saw Clarence (harmon) breaking back (in the end zone)."
Usually, a quarterback has time for just two options under the circumstances. But a combination of a less-than-awsome Cleveland pass rush and inspired Redskin blocking gave Theismann time to think and throw.
Browns were bouncing off Ron Saul and the other blockers -- and one of them was about to pounce to Theismann as he spied the unappreciated but, always productive Harmon.
"It sorta ended as a scramble drill," Harmon recalled. "I went inside (to the end zone) and cut right when I saw Joe moving to his right. And then I saw my guy couldn't see the ball."
That was the one piece of luck during the play. The linebacker on Harmon, Charlie Hall, had his back to Theismann. But Theismann still was not certain the play would work.
"I saw Clarence break free," he said, "but I was looking into the shawdows all of a sudden. I was in the sun -- and when you look into the shadows all of a sudden things happen. Clarence cut outside and I threw it to a spot where I figured only he could touch it.
"I threw it into the shadow. Only the shadow knows."
Every Redskin fan knows Harmon does not drop passes, especially ones thrown chest high. But hardly anyone beyond Washington knows this stumpy fellow with the unfashionable No.38, except that he frequently spells the more glamorous John Riggins and usually manages to squirm for important yardage on important downs.
"But the team knows," Harmon said. "They notice me. And they call me 'Big-Play Man."
So there were the two big-play men hugging and dancing as the defense made the final few seconds black for the Browns, Harmon yelling through the ear hole in Theismann's helmet: "I saw you were in trouble. . ."
And Theismann saying, "I thought I was going to have to throw it away."
Reporters had gone to the sidelines expecting a far different scence. One of them even ventured into the end zone to see if it were mined, or if there was some sort of plastic shield that kept everyone out of it all game.
Both offenses had played reasonably well between the 15-yard lines and played like klutzes in what the football world calls "tough territory."
And when Cockroft kicked a 37-yard field goal with 28 seconds left in the third quarter and the Browns dominated nearly the entire fourth quarter, gloom had settled on the Redskin bench. But not doom.
"It's the best two-minute drill Joe's ever put on," Coach Jack Pardee said. "80 yards and one timeout. And he probably didn't have to use that."
Theismann took it "just to make sure everybody was on the same page" five seconds before he threw the winning pass. Everybody was. After an incompletion, Theismann already was thinking about the audible Walton was shouting, the lucky 13.
"Ah, we kicked 'em, no sweat," said laughing center Bob Kuziel, who at that moment was sweating a great deal.