"I probably would like to coach if the right person asks me," says Billy Kilmer. "I've had a couple of offers, college and pro, but college would be more likely," the slick play-caller said in response to a question about the possibility.
If an offer came from the Redskins, apparently their former quarterback would be ready with ideas about what went wrong this season.
"They needed (John) Riggins to win and win big. Apparently, nobody made a concerted effort to get him," Kilmer said. "They were 10-6 with him last year. Now with the same team, what are they, 3-8? The schedule is not that different from last year.
"John Riggins would be the difference. I thought he was coming back. He's a leader. The Redskins have deteriorated and are going down the drain without him. Ken Houston and Diron Talbert are not playing. George Allen always wanted leadership like theirs. We had tough times in Washington. We'd lose two or three games in a row, but we came back and won and got in the playoffs.
"If they are interested in winning, why isn't John with the team? He gained 1,000 yards last year; the offense opened up. It kept the ball away from opposing offenses."
But the Redskin problems are not Kilmer's. He is out of football and into horse racing. He got into horse racing "because I wanted to get out of football after 18 years. . . The regimen," he says, "I had to get away from it for a while and try something else. But if the right situation came along. . ."
Now a resident of Miami, he has five horses racing, has three mares in foal, one in Maryland, one in Virginia, and one in California; has two yearlings in Virginia, and weanlings in Virginia and California.
He says he is not much of a fan of pro football. He was in Dallas to see the Redskins-Cowboys game because he was invited by friends there, and that was only the third game he has seen this season.
"I don't miss playing now," he says. "I would have a few years ago if I had been forced out while the older Redskins were still playing. I would have felt bad. I have no regrets now. I keep in touch with some of them. I couldn't get up to Washington for Harold McLinton's funeral but I went to the memorial service for him in Atlanta with Len Hauss."
How close did Kilmer come to playing again in 1979?
"Bum Phillips (Houston Olier coach) and a couple of others called me. Dan Pastorini hadn't been working out; his arm went bad. I was not serious about it; I knew it was over for me. George Allen was out of the league."
The presence of Allen and former Baltimore head coach Ted Marchibroda, once on Allen's Redskin staff, at the services in Washington for McLinton touched off some speculation that Allen might be considered if the Redskins were to make a coaching and/or general manager change.
Jack Kent Cooke, boss of the Redskins, was credited by sources in California with hiring Allen for the Redskins after Cooke had two coaches of the year in the same season -- Bill Sharman when the Los Angeles Lakers won the National Basketball Association title and Allen took the Redskins to the Super Bowl.
"I haven't talked to George Allen in quite a while," Kilmer commented "I don't believe that (about the possibility of Cooke considering Allen if a vacancy occurs on the Redskins). I don't think that will happen, because if Cooke wanted Allen he could have kept George before the Redskins let him go to the Rams.
"But it is not a bad idea. George is a winner. I can't understand why he doesn't have a job in the league. A lot of teams need him if they are interested in winning -- if winning is the priority. George isn't interested in making money; he cares about winning, and his players."