Coach Jack Pardee and the Redskins received some welcome news yesterday when they learned that left tackle Terry Mermeling will be able to start Sunday against Seattle and that Buddy Hardeman can see spot duty in the less-than-awesome Washington backfield. After a short practice, Pardee had brief individual conferences with each player, and undertaking the coach leter said should help iron out some minor difficulties and get each player to concentrate harder on his own position.
"I would like to hold these types of individual meetings more often but I just haven't had the time until today," Pardee said. "Basically, what I've been saying to them is to 'take care of your own job.' That's the theme of the week, to get everybody's roll well defined.
"I don't want guards worrying about who's playing tackle and tackles worrying about who's playing guard or either worring about the running backs," Pardee added. "We can get over the mistakes we made on the field last week, but not if guys are worring about other guys' positions."."
Much of that proplem might have been alleviated anyway with the return of Hermeling and Hardeman. Hermeling participated in a very light workout with the rest of the offensive line, pronouncing his injured right knee ready for game action.
Pardee said Hardeman is "much better" and will see considerable playing time Sunday. "It's too early to talk about who'll be starting in the backfield against Seattle, but we'll use Buddy whenever we want to," Pardee said. Hardeman, a second-year back from Iowa State, injured his ankle against Dallas two weeks ago and has not been at full speed until this week.
Tight end Don Warren's leg "is still bothering him," Pardee said, "and we don't know when he is going to be able to work."
Beside injuries, Pardee must worry about stopping Seattle quarterback Jim Zorn.
"Zorn is one of the most scary passeres in the league," Pardee said. You talk about throwing a catchable ball, he soft touches everything. You don't have to have any hands at all to catch Zorn passes."
Zorn may have to rely on his passing even more than he'd like to because the Seahawks' top rusher, Sherm Smith, injured a knee Sunday and probably will miss the rest of the season.