There may be a touch more heat on the ball when it gets to them now, and the switch from Joe Theismann to Jay Schroeder may involve some subtle adjustments, but some of the Washington Redskins' receivers don't foresee much difficulty in settling into a pattern with a new quarterback.
"We worked with Jay in the preseason, and we don't see much difference," said tight end Clint Didier, who caught the winning touchdown pass from Schroeder Monday night. "It's just another guy back there passing. Joe Theismann is a heck of a quarterback and Jay did a heck of a job Monday night, and we've just got to find ways to win."
It will take some time, though, for the receivers to learn the nuances of Schroeder's style.
"It will be pretty much the same," said tight end Don Warren, "but we haven't had that much time to work with him, so it's a little hard to tell at this point."
Jerry Rhome, the quarterback coach, said the switch makes a little extra work necessary.
"One may throw a little harder or softer or quicker than the other," Rhome said. "When you do change quarterbacks like that, you do need to spend a lot of individual time getting the timing and feeling down. We spent some individual time with Jay this week. It's just a matter of getting used to how the ball comes.
"Jay throws pretty hard, and that's something they'll have to adjust to," Rhome said. "I can attest to that myself. He got my thumb a couple weeks ago, and it's still sore."
Coach Joe Gibbs said the similar styles of Theismann and Schroeder will make the switch easier.
"If the two guys had been totally different, it might be more of a problem," Gibbs said. "But Jay moves around back there and throws hard, and so did Joe. If there was a tremendous change between the abilities of the guys, it might make a little more difference."
Schroeder may have a new target Sunday. As expected, wide receiver Mark McGrath, who had been on injured reserve, cleared waivers and was added to the active roster yesterday. He will be the fourth receiver after the release of Malcolm Barnwell on Tuesday.
To make room on the roster for McGrath, Joe Phillips, who was signed Wednesday, was released yesterday afternoon.
If Gibbs has decided whom to start at running back in Sunday's 1 p.m. game in Pittsburgh, he wasn't saying yesterday. However, George Rogers and John Riggins got more work than Keith Griffin did during the very wet and very cold two-hour practice.
"I'll take a look at everything when we get up there and see who is the best to go with," Gibbs said. "All three will play." . . . Tackle Joe Jacoby (strained right knee) did not practice at all yesterday because of the wet footing. "He'll go with us and dress," Gibbs said, "but he won't play. He'll be there in case of an emergency. He said it was feeling pretty good and with one more week, he might be in good shape."
Center Rick Donnalley, who fractured his left hand in Monday night's game, is in better condition to play than Jacoby but won't start. He snapped for the second-team offense yesterday, but said afterward, "I still can't push off with it too well. It's still sore." . . . Jeff Bostic worked at center and will probably start there, with Russ Grimm and Ken Huff at guards and Mark May and Dan McQuaid at tackles . . .