Federals Coach Ray Jauch responded yesterday to reports he may be fired unless the team improves by saying that since the decision is not his, he could not worry about it.
"My reaction's the same on that," he said. "I'm just going to keep on going. If we don't win, what can I do? I keep trying. I try to keep these guys in the game and win. If that turns out to be not good enough, if we lose, then it's his (owner Berl Bernhard's) decision."
Jauch said he was not surprised by reports in The Washington Post that Bernhard would consider replacing him and General Manager Dick Myers if the season continues to be one of defeat. The Federals' 1-9 record is the worst in the U.S. Football League, and attendance at home games has decreased steadily.
Meanwhile, after missing Sunday's game in Chicago because of severe stomach pains thought by doctors to be caused by appendicitis, quarterback Mike Hohensee returned to the practice field yesterday. Although he still is feeling the effects of a nagging case of flu, he is scheduled to start against the Invaders in Oakland Monday night.
Doctors determined Hohensee did not have apendicitis but gastritis, an inflammation of the bowel. "I'm on antibiotics," Hohensee said. "Otherwise I'm fine. I feel ready to play."
With Hohensee prepared to start and Kim McQuilken and Joe Gilliam as backups, there is little room for Leamon Hall, the former West Point quarterback picked up on waivers Monday.
"We picked up Leamon because we didn't know what would be with Hohensee," Jauch said. "But I don't know what we'll do with Hall. He's a big kid and he throws well. I'll make a decision on him soon. It's hard to tell anything from one day of practice."
Hall graduated from West Point in 1978. He was under contract to the Dallas Cowboys, but so far this season he has tried out for the USFL's Arizona Wranglers, the New Jersey Generals and, now, the Federals. Despite much publicity and comparisons with former Navy quarterback Roger Staubach, Hall has yet to take a snap from center in a professional game.
"I'm just really frustrated," he said. "I thought I'd be getting a chance here, but now I don't know. I know I can play."
But of the comparisons with Staubach, Hall said, "That's just ridiculous. I mean Roger Staubach is the best quarterback I've ever seen in my lifetime. I'm just trying to play."