Washington Redskins free safety Curtis Jordan is a fun-loving fellow and he isn't sure everybody out there understands that.
"Sometimes people view us as almost inhuman," Jordan said yesterday before practice. "Sometimes you get the feeling they think we don't have other interests or don't have any fun and that we live, breathe and die football 24 hours a day."
Not so. Jordan is responsible for a lot of fun around Redskin Park these days. Some on the field, some off.
His performance in Sunday's 14-7 victory over the Cleveland Browns brought a bunch of smiles and an award from the National Football Conference, which bestowed its defensive player of the week award on him for intercepting a pass, recovering a fumble and being in on 19 tackles.
"A lot of pile-ons got my total up there," Jordan said. "It makes you feel good to get an award like that. I heard that I get a yacht for winning that. Is that true?"
"No yacht, huh," Jordan said. "Oh, well."
Jordan, in his ninth NFL season, has been the Redskins' free safety since the third game of last season. Jordan filled in at that spot in the second game when Mark Murphy hurt his knee. Murphy recovered from the knee injury in time to return to the active roster but Jordan remained the starter.
When Murphy returned, Jordan had an inkling of what might follow. "That's when I felt like I had taken over," Jordan said. "When they brought him back but didn't put him in the lineup, I felt like I was playing better than he was.
"The biggest adjustment I had to make (in going back to free safety after playing strong safety) was making the calls on defense. You've got a lot of weight on your shoulders in that area because everybody is relying on you every play for audibles."
Murphy was put on waivers in July, and later expressed bitterness over the way the team treated him. Jordan said yesterday there weren't hard feelings between the two players.
"There wasn't really any hostility," he said. "We'd been pretty good friends and I think both of us understood that it was the coaches making the decision. I don't think either of us is petty enough to get into a personal thing."
Jordan also was the force behind the "Assassin Game," currently being played by about 17 Redskins players and coaches, although 35 orginally were involved. Each participant paid $20 to enter. Each has at least one plastic gun that shoots plastic suction-cup darts. A "kill" gets the shooter $5, and once shot, the participant is out of the game. The last participant "alive" wins whatever money is left. One rule is that no one can be "shot" within a block of Redskin Park.
Jordan was knocked out of the game last Friday by tackle Mark May.
"I made a rookie mistake," he explained. "I left my car window open and when I stopped at the corner (of Redskins Drive) they got me."
Jordan, acting as an advisor, and linebacker Rich Milot staged the most daring hit of the game Monday night when they got Jeff Bostic while he was doing a report on WTTG's 10 o'clock news.
"I think that was the most dramatic (hit) of the game," said Jordan, adding that Milot has dodged the most attempts, so far. "It took a lot of cunning and guile on both our parts."
Wide receiver Charlie Brown, who was traded from Washington to Atlanta Aug. 26 for guard R.C. Thielemann, said a game against his old team is no more important than any other.
Asked if he had something to prove to the Redskins, Brown said, "That's not my outlook towards this. Everybody in Washington is probably thinking that way, but I have nothing to prove to the Redskins. What I did while I was there (for three seasons), I thought I was very successful at. This game is no more important than the one after it. If we win, it's great for us. If we lose it, it's going to be hard on us in trying to make the playoffs."
The Falcons are 1-7.
Brown said he talks with Redskins Otis Wonsley and Anthony Jones. "I still have a lot of friends up there," said Brown, whose fiancee attends George Washington University Law School. "I do care about my friends and how they're doing and wish them the best, but I'm not getting my paycheck from the Redskins anymore."
Defensive tackle Tom Beasley (pulled groin) will take it easy in practice this week, said Coach Joe Gibbs, "and we'll see how he is at game time."