Calvin Muhammad, dead tired and a little displaced, folded his arms, then picked a woolly thread off the sleeve of his sweater.
"I feel like a zombie," he said and rubbed his eyes. "I left L.A. last night, just flew into town this morning. It was a wild night. I'm exhausted, no sleep except for one time on the plane. I tell you, I feel like a zombie."
The spangle of silver light emitted by his right hand, pinched tight over the bridge of his nose, was no normal reflection of Super Bowl glory. The ring was a monstrous thing, with bunches of diamonds growing out of a silver and black face that said, "Los Angeles Raiders, World Champions." Everyone who saw it knew where it came from, what it meant.
Raiders 38, Redskins 9.
Muhammad, 25, until yesterday a wide receiver and special-teams player for the Raiders, was acquired by the Washington Redskins for an undisclosed 1985 draft choice. His addition will help the Redskins overcome the probable loss of all-pro Charlie Brown, who sprained his left ankle last Sunday against Philadelphia and is doubtful for Sunday's game with the Indianapolis Colts.
"We've been looking around for receiver depth," Washington Coach Joe Gibbs said. "We've really been hurting there lately. We checked around the league, and Calvin's definitely the kind of guy we'd like to have there."
The Redskins waived tight end Walt Arnold to make room for Muhammad. Arnold was signed Sept. 5 but became expendable when tight end Clint Didier was activated from injured reserve before the Eagles game.
Muhammad, who played in Super Bowl XVIII but did not catch any passes, said he was warned by teammates on the Raiders before leaving Los Angeles last night not to wear the ring, not to rub it in.
But he wore it anyway, "and the guys here complimented me," he said, just moments before taking a physical examination. "They said it was very nice."
Muhammad, who attended Texas Southern University in Houston, admitted feeling frustrated with the Raiders in his secondary role to receivers Cliff Branch and Malcolm Barnwell. He had been on injured reserve all season and was "a little tired of waiting around when I knew I could play." Muhammad broke a bone in his shoulder in a preseason practice session "while running a noncontact drill," he said. "(Linebacker) Matt Millen decided he wanted to hit me from behind, so he did. That's the Raiders."
Muhammad came to Redskin Park knowing none of his new teammates personally, although he and Vernon Dean had exchanged words a few times on the field last year. When he saw Dean in the dressing room, Muhammad said, "Vernon looked around and said, 'Hey, man, what are you doing here?' I guess I shocked him. I told him what had happened with the trade and all and he seemed glad to see me."
Muhammad is 5 feet 11, 190 pounds and can cover 100 yards in 9.3 seconds. He caught two touchdown passes in the Raiders' 37-35 regular-season loss to the Redskins at RFK Stadium last year. In that game, he caught five passes for 112 yards, with receptions of 33, 25 and 22 yards.
"I tell you what, I feel pretty excited," he said. "The attitude of the guys is totally different than I thought it was going to be, especially towards me as an old rival. The fact that I'm a Raider . . . well, was a Raider, doesn't seem to bother anyone. And it seems as though the coaches are sincerely interested in me. Hopefully, here I'll get some playing time."
Muhammad said he was "basically unhappy" with the Raiders and spent most of his time there "just standing around, doing nothing."
Gibbs called Muhammad last night before he left for Washington and was so excited, Muhammad said, "that it got me all excited. Now, I'm tired but I want to learn as much as possible and get to know the guys. Hopefully, come Sunday, I'll be out there, a part of this team."
Gibbs, a bit more practical, said, "I seriously doubt that he'll be ready to play by Sunday. It would just be very hard for him to participate."
Muhammad has not had time to compare the teams, but said he gets "a warmer feeling here than I did in Los Angeles. The guys seem to be much more down to earth, and a little more sensitive. I really like that kind of atmosphere."
Muhammad, who had 16 receptions for 344 yards for an average of 21.5 yards a catch over the past two years, expects no problems learning the Redskins' offense. He said he and Charley Taylor, the receivers coach, met yesterday morning "and went over things. It's a pretty complex offense, but I think I can handle it. All over the league, receivers run pretty much the same routes. Except for the terminology, it shouldn't be any different."
Offensive tackle George Starke missed practice with a sore left knee. "There was some fluid on the knee," Gibbs said, "but Stan (Lavine, the team physician) drained it yesterday and he should be fine." Starke is expected to practice Friday and will play Sunday, Gibbs said . . . Bob Slater, the rookie defensive tackle who has been on injured reserve, dressed for the two-hour workout but hobbled off the field shortly after trying out his sore left knee . . . The weekly injury report to the NFL office lists cornerback Anthony Washington (wrist) and safety Curtis Jordan (thumb) as probable for Sunday's game with the Colts. Linebacker Rich Milot (elbow) is out.