With the first mandatory squad cut four days away, Redskin Coach Joe Gibbs plans to use tonight's preseason game against Minnesota to give some borderline players a last shot at impressing the staff and avoiding the pink slip Tuesday.
"We'll use some people differently than last week," he said. "Where they might have been used more on special teams, they'll be used more this time on defense or offense. We want to be absolutely sure as much as possible about everyone."
The Redskins still have 83 players in camp. They have to be down to 60 by Tuesday. In particular, Gibbs is carrying a heavy complement of running backs, wide receivers and linebackers.
Gibbs said he probably would start Terry Metcalf and Wilbur Jackson in place of John Riggins and Joe Washington against the Vikings . . . the club is still trying to figure out how to best use Jackson and Clarence Harmon, who was the Redskins' best clutch player the past few seasons. With the bulk of playing time going to only four backs, this could be one of the more interesting duels over the remainder of the preseason . . . Ron Saul (knee) and Bob Kuziel (back) probably won't play. Brad Dusek, Larry Kubin and Mat Mendenhall also will be held out as they continue rehabilitation from injuries.
Both Mike Nelms and Metcalf should get a chance to return kicks, although Gibbs would like to get another look at 5-foot-7 Virgil Seay, who almost broke a kickoff for a touchdown last Friday against Kansas City . . . Virginia Coach Dick Bestwick was a camp visitor this week, as was Ken Moffett, the mediator in the baseball strike . . . Gibbs spends more time preparing his players for preseason games than either George Allen or Jack Pardee. He feels it is important to try to win these contests while also using a lot of players . . . Linebacker Coach Larry Peccatiello got caught in the middle of a pass pattern this morning and was knocked to the ground. He was not injured, just embarrassed.