Jack Kent Cooke, in his new role as the chief Redskin executive, made his first-ever appearance today at training camp and promptly reiterated his prediction that Washington will win the Super Bowl.
He said his prediction, first made in the club's new press guide, was based on what the Redskins accomplished last year, the talent they've added and "assuming no rash of injuries, especially in one of those key spots."
Cooke said of his new public role, which comes after he took over from Edward Bennett Williams, who now owns the Orioles, "I must participate more than I have in the past to satisfy these new duties." He is team's majority stockholder and now chairman of the board, cheif excutive officer and chief operating officer.
"But second, I welcome the chance this is the greatest hobby a man could have ... I've had a banquet of hobbies and I have yet to get indigestion."
Cooke is still grumbling about the Redskins' final game loss last season to the Cowboys. He said the game was "just bleak and frustrating." He compared it to the feeling "when a loved one dies."
Cooke stayed for the entire afternoon practive, sitting in a glaring sun that left onlookers drenched with sweat. But he said he loved every minute of the afternoon and was returning on Friday before traveling to Gettysburg, where he would begin refreshing his knowledge of American history.
He had eaten lunch earlier at the Redskin training table and then taken a tour of Carlisle. He called the town "what a college town should look like in the movies" if directors were trying to do an accurate job. "But they usually don't," he said with a laugh.
Cook lives in Upperville, Va., after spending much of his adult life in California, where he built both business and sport emprires.
Although he talked affectionately about many Redskin players, his favorite athlete appears to be linebacker Neal Olkewicz, who talked briefly with the team owner after practice.
After two workouts, Coach Jack Pardee listed the following players as impressive prospects: running back Sam Thomas, who roller skates to practive and never attended college, receiver Kenny Harrison, who was picked up on waivers from San Francisco, and linebacker Kevin Turner, a late free agent rookie roster addition. Tighter end Lloyd Henry made the best catch of the day, a leaping, diving grab that had Cooke clapping with joy ... The team begins two-a-day workouts in pads Monday morning. If the heat keeps up, look for a few early player departures.