Redskin owner Jack Kent Cooke was there, along with General Manager Bobby Beathard, Coach Joe Gibbs, most of the remaining front office personnel, a few players and members of the press. They were assembled at Redskin Park yesterday to watch the first day of Terry Metcalf's two-part tryout with the team, an event Metcalf had been anticipating for days.
And then it rained.
It was only a light sprinkle, but it was enough to make the artifical turf too slippery and dangerous to risk an injury to Metcalf, whose agent even showed up. So the workout was postponed until today, when the former St. Louis Cardinal star, trying to return to the NFL aftger three years in Canada, will go through individual drills and participate in the opening session of a three-day mimicamp.
"It's too bad," said Metcalf, who had trouble sleeping the night before. "I was really pumped up for the try-out. It was like a track meet this morning, the way I felt. I only could sit there and think and get ready."
Gibbs also was disappointed. He would like the Redskins to sign Metcalf, but first he has to convince Beathard and Cooke it would be a wise move.
"We will have to do what is best for the Redskins and for Terry," Gibbs said. "I don't anticipate any decision being made quickly. We will have to sit down and talk about it. But I want[TEXT OMITTED FROM SOURCE]
But even with the little work Metcalf did (he mainly caught passes from quarterback Mike Kirkland), he showed some of the quickness and agility the Redskins have been lacking.
"He's still got quickness," said Mike Allman, director of player personnel. "We'll just have to see how much."
Meanwhile, the Redskins traded off tight end Henry Childs to Los Angeles six days after acquiring him from New Orleans. In return, Washington received future considerations from the Rams, believed to be the fourth-round choice the Redskins gave up to New Orleans and probably a seventh-round pick, both in 1982.
The Redskins apparently made the deal because they already were satisfied with their tight ends but unhappy with their lack of draft choices for next year. They already lack first and eighth selections and could surrender a fifth-round pick if they sign Metcalf.
"We saw a chance to help our draft situation and we took it," Beathard said.
The trade was announced during the final practice of a two-day rookie camp at Redskin Park, which gave the coaches their first look at players selected during last week's draft.
Gibbs came away especially impressed with defensive end Dexter Manley, an agile, fifth-round pass rusher from Oklahoma State. He also praised two free agents, receiver Virgil Seay and running back George Ragsdale.
Starting today, the rookies will be mixed with the veteran players at the mandatory minicamp. "The camp will give us a chance to evaluate our defensive situation," Gibbs said. "Are we okay there or do we have to do something in the way of trades?"
Gibbs said the play of both Manley and free agent Neil Elshire, once a highly regarded defensive lineman who is coming off two knee operations, could have a definite impact on future decisions about the defense.