Redskin Coach Joe Gibbs strolled off the field smiling after yesterday morning's final session of a three-day minicamp at Redskin Park, pleased with his team's progress.
"It's a little hot now," Gibbs said with a laugh. "Maybe we need a week off. I felt we made very good progress. Things sort of came together and fit right in a groove. Of course, we're just teaching and not hitting. Overall, we accomplished all of our objectives and got as much out of this camp as we could get."
The new Redskin staff's main priority was to familiarize the players with the new system.
"I think they picked up the system pretty good," Gibbs said. "It really wasn't that hard. We tried to do a lot and be flexible.We went over maybe 70 percent of our offense. Some guys know there are things they need to work on, but the value of this minicamp has been invaluable."
Even the veterans, who put minicamps in the same category as poison ivy, felt this session was worthwhile. "This was a good one and it was needed because we are learning a new system," fullback Clarence Harmon said.
Veteran guard Ron Saul agreed. "I don't really like them, but one's okay. They're important and good for the young kids because they can pick up so much."
Two players Gibbs said would definitely be behind when the training camp opens July 14 at Carlisle, Pa., are Washington's No. 1 draft pick, offensive tackle Mark May of Pittsburgh, and 14-year veteran defensive end Coy Bacon. Neither has signed a contract for the 1981 season.
"I guess that was to be expected," said Gibbs, referring to their absence. "I was disappointed they weren't here. Coy came in (Friday) and wanted to work out (Saturday) but he wanted to sign some sort of waiver. Since he hasn't signed a contract, I just told Bobby (Beathard) not to even bother letting him come out."
Bacon spent yesterday morning watching practice and meeting the rookies. He shook hands and exchanged pleasantries with Redskin owner Jack Ken Cooke, who watched the 90-minute session.
"I'm just visiting," said Bacon, who appeared in good shape. "I weigh about 265, my regular weight. I stayed in shape playing basketball and softball. I'm pretty sure I'll be at camp next month."
Gibbs said he was impressed with the performances of defensive backs Lemar Parrish, Joe Lavender and Jeris White, tight end Don Warren, defensive tackle Pat Ogrin and rookie receivers Charlie Brown and Virgil Seay.
"They had real good camps," Gibbs said. "And Wilbur Young also did real well. He's a little overweight right now but we'll get him down."
Brown, a speedy 5-foot-11, 180-pound flanker from South Carolina State, was the hit of the camp, making several acrobatic catches. Brown and two other draftees, receiver Jerry Hill of North Alabama and tight end Clint Didier of Portland State, signed a series of one-year contracts yesterday.
Fullback John Riggins, who looked good in the camp despite sitting out last season because of a contract dispute, underwent speed and agility tears at the end of yesterday's session. Gibbs would not reveal the results but said "Riggins was smooth and showed he was in good shape."
Gibbs made a point of telling the players that every job is wide open. "I told the guys that I don't care what school a guy is from or what round he was drafted. Everyone will compete for the 45 spots," he said. "We have no preconceived notion of who will play. We have a lot of young guys at every spot and many did a good job. Coaches have a tendency to make quick evaluations. That's easy to do with no pads on."
Gibbs and his staff have visited Carlisle and like the facilities. He said he would probably practice a couple nights for a change of pace.
"I expect a good camp," he said. "In some places I've worked, guys are settled at spots. That's not the case here. That's why we should have a very competitive camp."