Redskin Coach Jack Pardee, after watching his team commit a number of penalties in painfully crucial situations for the second week in a row, refused to critize game officials, but admitted he could not explain the rash of infractions. Team sources, meanwhile, said that the Redskins have complained to the league office.
"I can't see any difference in how we are playing from last year, when we didn't have many penalties," Pardee said.
"Sure, the penalties are a distraction. But we are going to continue to play aggressively and if it means picking up a few penalties, we will have to live with it. But I honestly can't see any difference in our brand of playing from last year to this. That makes it hard to correct, because we were the least penalized team in the NFC last year."
This season, the Redskins are one of the most penalized clubs, averaging eight flags and 68 yards per game in penalties.
Pardee would not even admit any phone calls had been made. "They told me last year I couldn't even talk about that."
Pardee also reiterated his feeling that the team is headed in the right direction, although he admitted time to turn things around was running short. He also confirmed his commitment to establishing a running game in order to allow his offense to function properly. Along those lines, Pardee took a swipe at some television color commentators who he feels are second-guessing his play-calling.
"Let the television color guys say we should be running reserves and passing all the time on first down," he said. "I guess that's what the fan wants to hear. But I know what it takes to win, I know what it means to build a sound team and that's what we are going to do."
"To win, you have to be tough and to be tough, you have to be able to run. I'm not talking about needing a lot of success running. But you have to be able to make the other team respect your running enough so you can pass with efficiency.
"Most of those color guys are fired coaches anyway (former Oklahoma coach John Madden, who resigned two years ago for health reasons, was the color man for CBS in the Redskin loss at Philadelphia Sunday). The coaches who are still in the game know what it takes to win, and so do I. Just study history and teams that are successful and that will tell you the same thing. If I tell my players we are going to run and then If we get stuffed the first time we try to and I pull back, then they will never believe me again.
"You can't do this with mirrors. We aren't going to be a grab bag outfit. We are going to do things right and we are going to continue working."
Pardee also said that tight end Don Warren (fractured leg) and fullback Clarence Harmon (sprained ankle) should be able to play Monday night at Denver. He also felt that fullback Rickey Claitt's sprained ankle will not keep him on the sidelines. Although safety Ken Houston was replaced by Tony Peters against the Eagles, Pardee said he would decide from week to week how to use Peters. "He's valuable to us and we have to get him in there. He's stronger and more durable than Kenny, but we will use them both."