Near the end of one hot and humid training camp practice this summer, Mark Moseley turned his back on the goal posts and started walking. He stopped 63 yards away.
He turned and tried three field goals. The first was short. The second was a floater, clearing the cross bar by two or three yards. The third was a rocket, soaring over the crossbar by a good four yards.
If either of the successful kicks hadbeen attempted during a regular-season game, Moseley would have tied Tom Dempsey's NFL record. But just as impressive was the ease with which he kicked the ball.
If he was straining to reach such long distances, it didn't show. He has now refined his technique to the point that now he appears to expend no more energy kicking 63-yard field goals than he would on 25-yard chip shots.
Entering his tenth pro season -- and his seventh with the Redskins -- Moseley is primed to make a run at football immortality. He says he feels stronger and more confident than ever before, reasons enough to eventuall make him the dominant kicker in the league over the next five years.
Already, he ranks among the top three or four field-goal men in the NFL. But last year was his first in the Pro Bowl despite at least three previous outstanding seasons with Washington. And, although he considers his Pro Bowl appearance a breakthrough, he knows his selection hardly will be automatic from now on.
"There are a bunch of us grouped together," he said. "But I want to be the best, I want to be known as the best. And to do that, I have to be consistent. I have to kick a field goal every time I walk onto the field.
"A couple of years ago, Don Cockroft hit something like 88 percent of his attempts, I have to get to that category, so it's automatic.
"Once that happens, then I've accomplished another goal. I want this team to have complete faith in me, so they never think I'm going to miss no matter how far I have to kick the ball."
Moseley's record already has earned him a special place among the Redskins.
His peers appreciate his talents and his ability to respond in pressure situations. They also realize how vital his leg is to their fortunes this season. Much of what the club does offensively is geared to making sure Moseley has a chance to try field goals, even if it means not gambling for touchdowns.
He is coming off his best-ever season. In 1979, he scored an NFC hig 114 points and a league best 25 field goals. He made 15 of 16 tries from within 39 yards and 24 of 30 from within 49 yards. He didn't miss any of 39 conversion attempts (he has hit 69 straight) and his kickoffs were so consistently high, the Redskins were able to lead the league in kickoff coverage.
"I can get better," he said. "I am stronger and more flexible than I was five years ago. I can kick the ball further. I have more faith in my ability and I can concentrate better.
"There is no reason why I can't keep improving. I don't feel I'm anywhere near my peak. I'm getting to the point where I feel I am doing things the same way every time I step out onto the field. That's the key. You have to be like a machine and not deviate from your techniques, the things you know are working for you."
Moseley was 32 in March, but the best kickers in NFL history had lengthy careers, some well into their ealy 40s.Moseley also says he has heredity on his side.
"My grandfather is 97, and my other grandfather is 79," he said. "My father is 54 and he works every day as hard as guys younger than he is. I see no reason why I can't kick for a lot more years."
But he also takes no chances. Probably no other kicker in the league works harder at keeping himself in prime physical condition. While some shy away from weight lifting and heavy running, he is deeply committed to both. As a result, his range and acccuracy improve each year.
"Many kickers think if they lift weights, they'll get all tight and not be flexible," Moseley said. "But I avoid that by doing a lot of stretching. It's worked too. I'm looser than I was when I was 25, but there is absolutely no comparison in strength.
"In fact, I am as strong as I probably want to be. Now I can concentrate on becoming more and more accurate. That's where long distance comes in. I can honestly say that the record (63 yards) isn't a goal for me. If it comes, it comes.
"But by being able to kick accurately and long, it makes the shorter field goals easier. I don't have to strain as much. My whole philosophy of kicking is to be strong enough to kick frm anywhere.
"I feel my range is now up to 63, 64, 65 yards. Things would have to be perfect from that distance -- the snap, the hold and my kick. But it can be done. Who knows if you would ever get the chance?You don't play to set up 63-yard field goals."
Last year, Moseley had attempts of 74 and 70 yards and didn't come close in either. His career best is 54 yards, in 1977 against Philadelphia.
"The range and strength are there," Moseley said. "Remember, those two last year were fluke tries. It will take luck to make it, but this club gives me a chance to try long field goals probably more than any other kicker in the league. So the percentages are on my side."
There is a lot riding on keeping those percentages high. Aside from the fact that Moseley's talents could determine the Redskins' success this season, he has a number of business ventures that depend heavily on his achievements.
Moseley, a calm, quiet person by nature, has built his business operation in the same low-key manner. Little fanfare accompanies either his frequent charity appearances or his business dealings. But few other Redskins are as deeply involved in either area.
In the last year, Moseley has become an entrepreneur.
He has started III-Point Construction Co., which handles anything from new home construction to additions and remodeling. Along with former Redskin Eddie Brown and another partner, he owns Triple R Western Wear in Falls Church.
Last June, three months after beginning III-Point Construction, he unveiled Mark Moseley's Travel World, a travel agency specializing in commercial and sports travel.
The businesses seem totally unrelated, but Moseley says he is comfortable in all three, mainly because they are operated by "friends and people I have known for a long time and trust 100 percent."
"I'm not an absentee owner," he said. "I'm deeply involved in everything. I'm a working partner. But, of course, I can't always spend as much time with these businesses as I would like.
"But I've got people I think a lot of involved with me. Like the construction business. This young guy I know wanted to get into it and I was interested. He does most of the work and I would trust him without question.
"Some other people I knew had a travel agency and they wanted to open one closer to town. So we started this one in Fairfax. It's gone so well we are opening another one in Rosslyn. I can't believe how fast it has taken off. There is a heck of a demand in the commercial world for the kind of service we try to give out."
Moseley's business enterprises, however, extend even further. He is rivaling Joe Theismann in terms of his work on radio and television.
He will be co-host of Mark Moseley's Redskin Review on Channel 5 during this upcoming season. The program will have special guests and will review game highlights from the previous weekend.
He also does daily sports reports on two radio stations: WMZQ-98 and WPRW in Manassas. Those bits, ranging from two to four minutes, are on four times every day. "I did a Roy Rogers hamburger commercial with Joe (Theismann), Pete (Wycoski) and Buddy (Hardeman)," Moseley said. "It's my first national type commercial like that."
He's also involved heavily with the Ronald McDonald House at Children's Hospital and his public appearances are rivaled only by Theismann.
But there also has been sorrow for Moseley in the last 12 months. His sister was murdered in Texas last year, and his wife recently underwent major surgery. Moseley is convinced he has survived emotionall "because I am ready mentally, physically and spiritually.
"I've learned self-control," he said. "You've got to have that to be a successful kicker. And it carries over into life. I don't panic. I react good under pressure.
"Lots of things I've been through haven't been easy. But I've also worked very hard to get where I am today. And I don't see any reason why I can't keep producing at my current level."
There are 44 other Redskins who are hoping he is right.