Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann was a touch of his old self -- at least following yesterday's game -- although his team had been beaten, 35-17, at RFK Stadium by the Miami Dolphins.
Theismann may not have been the dominant quarterback on the field, completing 21 of 36 passes for 204 yards and two interceptions, but he certainly was a key figure in front of the notepads, tape recorders and microphones. Postgame sessions, Theismann has decreed, are the only times reporters can record his pronouncements.
And among those pronouncements yesterday was his suggestion that, perhaps, the Redskins' game plan was too run-orientated when the game was still in doubt.
"We certainly didn't underestimate their (the Dolphins') ability," said Theismann. "But it is tough to come back against a team as good as they are. They are a bend, don't break type of team and the most they will give you at a time is 10 or 13 yards. I think we had to put the ball in the air a little more."
Of his not talking to the media except after games, Theismann said, "I've made my decision and I think it's been a good one.
"I thought I threw the ball pretty well today," he continued. "But I don't think I played poorly when I was talking."
Theismann said his silence has made his life a little simpler. "It's made things easy for me, and I don't think I've made anybody's job tougher because of it." Then, possibly misstating the aims of some members of the Washington media, he added, "We are all here for the same purpose -- to make the Washington Redskins a better football team."
Theismann did not want to compare how the Redskins would react to yesterday's loss. Last year, they lost to Dallas in their opener but went on to gain a berth in the Super Bowl.
"We are not the same football team we were in 1983, and the 1983 team was not the same team as the 1982 team. We will have to develop this year as a different kind of team," Theismann said.
He refused to concede that the Redskins may have problems in their defensive secondary, which Dan Marino took apart in completing 21 of 28 passes for 311 yards and five touchdowns.
"I have no doubts about anybody's ability on this team," Theismann said.