Jack Pardee said yesterday that he wants to return next season as Redskin coach, and he indicated that he thought owner Jack Cooke would be making a mistake if he was released.
Cooke, however, once again declined to say any more than the has in the past about the future of Pardee or General Manager Bobby Beathard. And Cooke, asked if he would consider George Allen as a replacement for Pardee, said only that Allen is not being considered at the moment.
Said Cooke: "At this time, I have no intention of getting rid of Beathard and Pardee. But that doesn't rule out a change of judgement."
Pardee said he is convinced "the Redskins couldn't get a better coach than myself to take my place, whether they think so or not. But I'm also enough of a realist to know that your record is pretty much the determining factor in these matters. I don't necessarily agree with it, but that's how it is."
Asked if he thought that a 6-10 record, which the Redskins could obtain by winning their last two games, would be good enough to keep his job, he replied:
That's not for me to determine. I know what has happened this year, I know about the injuries and the games Joe Thiesmann has missed, for example. But I guess no one puts asterisks by a record.
"Stability and time are the main ingredients for success of a franchise. You look at the so-called dynasties in this league: Pittsburgh, Dallas, Miami, teams like that. They've been built on patience and stability.
"I have no idea if I will be back. I am planning on being here. I have a contract (with two years remaining) and I think it will be fulfilled. I came here because I like Washington and I like the Redskins and I thought we could win here and build something. I'd like to be able to finish the job I've started. Everything has been geared to putting together a long-term, successful program."
Cooke vigorously denied reports -- "I call them rumors" -- that the Redskins already have begun sending out feelers to potential coaching candidates. Mentioned most prominently as receiving feelers are Allen, John Madden and Southern California's John Robinson.
"There is absolutely no truth to any rumor that we have contacted anyone," Cooke said. "And it is highly unlikely that anyone in my organization has made any contact without my knowledge."
Cooke said he did not know either Robinson or Madden. He said he had talked to Allen "four or five times on the phone during the season when he called me, but we talked about matters totally unrelated to football."
Some reports had Madden, the former Oakland coach, already turning down an offer to become Washington's coach. Madden, contacted in New York, strongly denied that anyone had talked to him about the position. And he added he was not interested in returning to the profession.
"These things start every time there is a vacancy," Madden said. "I've been in Washington to do a couple of games (as CBS commentator) and Bobby (Beathard) and I are old college friends. People see us together and they think something is happening.
"All we talked is old college times. I haven't talked to them about the job; it's never been brought up. I was in coaching 20 years and when I got out, I intended to stay out and that hasn't changed."
It seems apparent that Cooke has not yet made a final decision whether or not to keep Pardee. If the Redskins win their final two games in the same impressive fashion as they beat San Diego, 40-17, Sunday, it would make it extremely difficult for him to make a coaching change, especially considering Washington's injury problems this season.
Cooke considers his ownership of sports franchises a hobby. "He doesn't want to be unhappy at his hobby." said one team source. "No man wants an unhappy hobby. And wins make him happy."
Cooke was extremely discouraged earlier this season when the Redskins were losing and Sunday he was extremely satisfied after Washington's decisive triumph.
He noted yesterday that ever since his midseason statement in which he said he thought the team was lacking "the will to win," Washington has been playing steadily better football.
"I'm not taking credit for their imporvement, although I guess I would like to believe it helped," he said. "Since then, we have had three superior defensive efforts and one wonderful offensive showing.
"The players are performing with the enthusiasm and spirit I thought was apprently lacking before. I couldn't be more delighted with the way they played against San Diego."
It was left yesterday to Pardee to decide whether his team's steady improvement will have sufficient influence on Cooke. Pardee said he could only hope that any final decision about his future would be based on "everything that has happened this year."
"Yes, I think the win over San Diego was a vindication of the things I've been trying to do with this team when things were going badly. The way we played in that game, we could have beaten them on their best day.
"I'm no miracle worker. I've had my share of trouble-shooting assignments and I don't care to make that a vocation. I feel I can make the Redskins into a consistent winner. You just have to hope everyone around you has the patience to see it through.
"Coach (Bear) Bryant had the right philosophy on having a successful coaching job: a long-term contract and an understanding wife."
Pardee said even if the Redskins don't win another game this year, "I'm still a good coach even if my record doesn't say it. As a coach, I have to make coaching decisions. I can't ask my players to do things they can't do. I won't put out a grab-bag team. When we were losing, we continuted to do what we thought was right, and I think it is paying off now."
The Redskins have signed a new two-year contract to continue holding their training camp at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa. . . Dave Butz got a new cast on his injured right thumb but Pardee said he thought the defensive tackle could play Saturday against the Giants. . . Pardee indicated that center Dan Peiffer would continue to start in place of Bob Kuziel, who had been slowed by a concussion.