Cornerback Darrell Green, the Redskins first-round draft pick who missed the team's first day of minicamp Monday because of unfinished schoolwork at Texas A&I, practiced with the other free agents and rookies yesterday at Redskin Park.
"It's all squared away. I flew in last night (Monday) and I talked with Coach (Joe) Gibbs this morning," Green, who is also a kick returner, said between yesterday's two workouts.
"You see, I've been behind in all of my classes. I needed to talk to some (professors) Monday to tell them the whole situation and to set up when I could turn in some final papers . . . I'm going to mail one in."
Another school-related problem lies ahead Friday, Green said. "I have to get my stuff out of my dorm room. They are closing the dorm Friday and after that you can't get things out. I'm trying to get a friend to get my things out for me.
"I will be here for the rest of the (mini)camp," Green said. "Right now, my job is to learn the defenses."
After witnessing Green's whippet-like flashes in his first professional practice, Richie Petitbon, the man in charge of the Redskins' defense, said, "He's very quick, but you can't make judgements in minicamp. You have to wait to start doing some banging."
The Denver Gold of the United States Football League has made an offer to Redskins reserve quarterback Tom Owen.
"Right now, I'm still up in the air about it," Owen said over the phone from Kansas yesterday. Owen, 30, is a 10-year veteran and had been expected to report to minicamp Wednesday with the rest of the Washington veterans.
"I'm boucing things back and forth with Bobby (Beathard, Redskins general manager) now. I should know which way I'll go soon," Owen said.
Charlie Armey, Gold director of player personnel, said, "We've made (Owen) a very substantial offer. Right now, I think we've got a real shot at him. Tom visited one of our games recently. You bet we want him to play for us this year."
Beathard had said on Monday that Owen had agreed in principle to a new Washington contract. So it was not surprising that yesterday, upon learning of the Gold offer, that Beathard was not pleased.
"The guy had made an agreement. He had said that he would come in Wednesday and sign the contract . . . Right now, I don't know what will happen with him."
If he remains a Redskin, Owen likely will duel rookie Babe Laufenberg, a sixth-round choice from Indiana, and second-year player Bob Holly to back up starter Joe Theismann.
Mike Nelms, whose kickoff and punt returns have placed him in the Pro Bowl the past three years, came to minicamp early to work out as a wide receiver.
"The biggest adjustment is learning discipline in routes," said Nelms, 30, who also plays defensive back. "As a returner, you can ad lib, your moves are spontaneous. As a wide receiver, you have to make cuts on a dime. It wears on your feet. My toes are sore. My feet are sore. My legs are sore."
Charley Taylor, the receivers coach, watched Nelms with admiration, saying, "He's got the acceleration and the hands are definitely there." Nelms isn't so sure about his future as a receiver.
"Realistically, I'm not anticipating a whole lot of offensive playing time," he said. "Those other receivers we have are good. Even if I become as good as they are, still it wouldn't make sense to put your kick returner out there, would it?"