An angry Jack Pardee, citing current conditions within the Redskin organization that he feels make it impossible "for a coach or a team to win here," said yesterday he would not want to continue as coach unless changes are made after the season to rectify the situation.
"I'm not going to be in a situation that you can't win in," Pardee said. "I'm not going to work in these conditions. I've got to be able to control things pertaining to the players if I'm going to be here.
"There is no way a coach or a team has a chance here right now. No way at all. Things have got to be squared away, whether I'm here or not. And (Jack Kent) Cooke will straighten them out, I'm sure. He doesn't want to lose."
Asked if he would quit if changes were not made, he said: "I'm not saying that. I know the changes will be made. They have to be. I wouldn't need to quit."
The Washington Post reported a month ago that there were growing philosophical differnces between Pardee and General Manager Bobby Beathard over the future direction of the Redskins. But Pardee did not cite these differences yesterday.
Instead, he admitted for the first time that the constant speculation over his job, which is in jeopardy because of the Redskins' 5-10 record, had made it increasingly difficult for him to motivate his players, who were obviously flat for their game Saturday against the Giants. The Redskins rallied to win, 16-13.
"What kind of commitment are you going to get out of them, day to day or long term, when they don't know if you are going to be here next year?" he asked. "Are they going to answer to me for four more days or two more weeks or two more years? They can say, 'He's not going to be here, so why worry any more?'"
Pardee also found himself in the middle of another controversy yesterday, this one of his own making. His failure to play Ken Houston Saturday, on the day when the veteran strong safety was honored in a pregame ceremony before his final home game, outraged many fans. Pardee said he felt badly that Houston didn't get in, but blamed a change in offensive strategy by the Giants.
"We had planned to use him quite a bit, maybe 20 to 25 plays," Pardee said.
"He had practiced quite a bit in our dime (six backs) formation. But the Giants gave us a new formation we hadn't seen before. Instead of using Alvin Garrett in the backfield on passing situations, they moved him out to a wide receiver. We had to go with three cornerbacks instead of an extra safety, which would have been Kenny.
"I thought he had been in there for a few plays in the first half but I was wrong. I did think about starting him, but early in the game they started doing things that made us use a lot of man-to-man coverage instead of zone, like we had planned. We had to stay with Tony Peters. Then our backs were to the wall the whole game. We never had the chance to do any experimenting with people. We were just trying to win.
Pardee was incensed over stories in Saturday morning's newspapers that had team sources naming players who probably would not be with the club next season. Pardee blamed the articles for contributing heavily to the Redskins' lethargic first half against the Giants.
"There can't be 'inside' sources," he said. "That inside source better be the coach and no one else. The coach has to handle the players, he's the only one who should make the decisions about who should be playing and who should be let go, no one else.
"I know how to run a football club. But I'm going to do it the right way. This is all part of losing. It brings out the worst traits of everyone. It's the reason people pet the pretty horse and not the ugly one. You have to have the stability and patience to work your way out of losing. But you find out a lot of things about people under these circumstances."
Pardee said he did not know who the team sources were for the stories, "but I'll find out. Not today, not tomorrow, but I'll find out." Asked to specify what changes he thought were necessary to satisfy him, he said: "It's obvious what needs to be done. People say things, people do things. Do people need to be replaced? If that's what it takes, yes."
He said he had not talked about his complaints with Beathard, who is Pardee's equal in the organization. Sources say that they differ regarding the future direction of the club. Pardee doesn't believe there is a need for a major roster overhaul before next season, for example, while Beathard is in favor of a large turnover.
"Bobby and I haven't sat down and talked yet," he said. "We still haven't finished the season (Washington closes at St. Louis Sunday). When it's over, we'll have to go over rosters, the draft, things like that.
"I don't think we have to make many changes to be a playoff contender. Some breaks this year and we'd be right in the playoff fight. There will be some roster changes, but that's normal. But if we could keep away from major injuries and if some of our young guys like (guard) Melvin Jones and (tackle) Jerry Scanlan come through and if we add another top draft choice, we aren't that far away from being a top club."
Pardee said the Saturday stories touched off a scene "that I've never seen the likes of. We were eating at 7 a.m. and everyone read the papers and that's all they talked about for five hours. What a circus.
"Everyone was comparing names and seeing who was mentioned. We had a bad week of practice but I thought we had gotten over that. Things were a little touchy concerning our concentration, but I thought I could control that by working at it in pregame meetings. The stories made it more difficult.
"How can they win one for the Redskins if you know you aren't going to be around anymore. You need every edge going for you but this got them thinking of something else other than the game."
Pardee acknowledged that some of the players cited in the stories had talked openly of either retiring or not playing for the Redskins next season. But he said it's different "when you joke about it yourself and when someone else says it. How can you predict the future? No one knows what is in store.
"I can deal with stories questioning my future, those are a job hazard. But when the players are named, it's a different situation."
Pardee said that directing the team has become increasingly more difficult for him every week. "We only have the players for a few hours every day, but otherwise, they haven't heard or read much about winning. They've read only speculation about my future and things other than the opposition."
Pardee said he first noticed a change in the players' response to his directions "early in the season, when the talk about my job began. It doesn't take them very long to see what is happening. You better be able to recognize trends in this business.
"It's just like a college coach trying to recruit with a one-year contract. You can't do it."
Pardee said he had no idea whether he would be fired after the season. "I haven't worried about it," he said. "I don't know when a decision will be made, but I'm sure it won't take too long."